Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hot enough for ya?

We topped 90 degrees here yesterday, a little unusual for early May, but helpful in addiing conversational variety --- every interpersonal encounter around here begins with discussion of the weather: too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, too windy, not windy enough and, occasionally, just right.

It's hard to justify complaints, however, considering recent tornadoes and current lower-Mississippi flooding down south --- and the fact other parts of the country are far too dry. But we complain anyway.

Planting, finally, has shifted into high gear --- and that's a positive thing, too.

And surprising how quickly southern Iowa dries out. Driving west on Highway 34 toward the greenhouse yesterday afternoon, a big tractor/planter rig crusing down the shoulder was throwing enough dust to wipe out visibility for several vehicle lengths behind it.

Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week, however --- hopefully just enough to dampen things down a little without seriously disrupting farm work.


After 280 pounds of potting soil and two major spending sprees at Ellis Greenhouse out there at Lucas (major source for disciminating gardeners across south central Iowa) on Monday and Tuesday, it's beginning to look like I might get the planters going again. I figure one more big trip, then a few minor ones to fill in all the holes. Also holes in the borders to plug with annuals plus a few pepper and tomato plans and a few herbs (which I don't cook with; just look at).

There are way too many of these planters, about a dozen at last count, but I got carried away during years that I was only in Chariton on weekends and discovered that geraniums would flourish, no matter how dry it got, with thorough waterings on Sundays and Mondays (or whatever other days I had off).

Out in the back 40, the chives are blooming enthusiastically now (photo up top) and early iris are putting on their spring show in a bed that, unfortunately, has not yet been cleared of winter debris.

I'ts not clear why I've been lagging on the garden front this year (I blame the weather), but apparently I'm not the only one. The exception in this neighborhood is my neighbor, quite a ways into her 80s, who makes the rest of us look like loafers.

In between other stuff, and providing the rain holds off, I've got to beat the back 40 into submission again. The mowing should have been done Saturday, but sloth set in and it wasn't. Now I'll pay for the hesitation.

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