Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sun Through the Clouds

It has been one wet and soggy week. The plants are crying out for some nice hot sunny days. It looks like this week they're going to get it.

Yesterday I planted out all of the nasturtium, coleus, yarrow, foxglove, and rhubarb seedlings that I have been growing indoors. I paired the coleus with a nasturtium in a glazed ceramic planter on our front porch - they both have very rich magenta and jade coloring and should look nice together when they start to bush out.

I have put special care and thought into where my rhubarb patch is going to be. Our front yard and side yard are the only areas that receive enough sun, and the side yard is already taken by my raised beds. I didn't want to plant the rhubarb in a raised bed - I wanted them to be somewhere more permanent since they will (hopefully) have a long lifetime over the years. I decided to incorporate them into the corner of my flower bed which borders the front of the house.

I turned the soil of a 2' x 4' area and liberally incorporated some Plant Tone to richen the soil. I have read that rhubarb likes very composty roots. After I was finished, the dirt was not all that bad looking, nice and aerated with some good dark coloring. I carefully tucked all five seedlings into the ground and watered thoroughly.

As my mom said the other day, I am the only person she has ever know to grow rhubarb from seed. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I hope they are happy and grow big enough to provide me with harvests for years to come.

Some more exciting discoveries this weekend - the purple jalapeno has put out its first amethyst bloom. If the leaves and flowers of this plant are any indication, the mature peppers will be quite an interesting shade of purple.

We also had a moment of serendipity this week when we realized that the scraggly sad looking tree in our backyard is actually a very prolific mulberry tree! Funny, but neither of us remember seeing berries on it last year. However, this spring it is loaded with berries that are just on the cusp of ripening. The birds have been going crazy gorging themselves on the plump juicy fruit.

My grandma used to have mulberry trees on her farm, but always seemed to regard them as sub-par when it comes to eating. However, everything that I have read doesn't seem to support this. The final test was yesterday when I plucked one of the ripe berries and ate it - not quite saturated with flavor like a raspberry is, but still quite good nonetheless. I think they will taste best in a cobbler. I'll have to wait until there are enough to harvest then will take advantage of the unexpected treasure in our back yard!

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