Now the wait until sprouts appear above the soil. Its raining on the newly planted seeds and that is good for them. We’ve had plenty of rain already and maybe too much. In just 12 hours between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning one inch of rain fell and more is on the way. The total for the month is over 5 inches. The river has flooded and if we get more rain tonight it will become a lake.
In between rains I planted carrots, parsnips, gobo, root chicory, salsify, chard, bulb fennel, celariac, root parsley, broccoli, and kale in the West Garden in ten rows for a total of 360 feet. Left to plant in the West Garden are paste tomatoes, more beets, summer squash, cucumbers, pole beans, and Dakota Ivory Corn. In the East garden onions, potatoes, and Kamut wheat have been planted. What is left to plant there are Painted Mountain Corn, cabbages, beets, turnips, rutabagas, leaf chicory, cauliflower, runner beans, amaranth, quinoa, sunflowers, naked seeded pumpkin, and winter squash. There is a separate area near the rhubarb where sweet corn will be planted.
I have also planted more fruit trees and bushes. Last week a box of honeyberry bushes and Firecracker apple trees arrived. The holes for them had already been dug in anticipation so there was no waiting. They seem to be doing well and new leaves are breaking bud. I’ve also moved the tomatoes to a bigger pot size so that when they are finally transplanted to the garden they will be large healthy plants.
Some more Opuntia cactus cuttings (O.fragilis and O. humifusa) arrived along with three plants of wild blue indigo (Baptisia australis). These have been potted up and once they form strong root systems I will be setting them outside. The Opuntias are edible species. Both produce tender new growth that can be eaten before the spines form and one, Opuntia humifusa, sometimes produces reddish-purple edible fruit. It tastes a bit like a watermelon to me.
I’m planting the wild blue indigo for a few reasons. First, I only have one plant and it is not setting seeds. Indigo may need to outcross to produce viable seeds. Second, it might be possible to produce a dye from the plants. They are related to the true indigo. And third, and most importantly, the wild blue indigo is eaten by the larva of the genista moth which has recently increased its range north in the past decade. They have already been here eating my lone indigo plant and I am hoping to attract them back.
Mulching the squash and tomato mounds is done but the trellises for them are still not finished. I’m hoping that there will be a few dry days this week when I can get them done. All the needed poles have been cut, trimmed, and are lying next to the mounds.
The horseradish roots I planted last month are now pushing above the soil and mulch. The asparagus is not yet up since being moved which is just as well since it is sensitive to frosts. My rhubarb is looking good except for a few plants. The new plants of Chapman and Crimson are slowly coming to life and I hope to get them in the ground by the end of June. Today I had my first fresh from the garden rhubarb unsweetened and raw.