it is unseasonably warm this evening ( again! the average high for today historically is sixty-one degrees [fahrenheit] )and that is disturbing...perhaps also a new "normal"...a stroll around the warm back yard revealed the first in-ground spud of the season ( second )...a german butterball i believe...it is in the same bed with the red pontiacs that had one of the batch develop blackleg rot....so we will be keeping a very close eye on this bed as the season progresses...over on the north side the ramps are thriving ( third ) now i am waiting to see who blooms and seeds...on the south side, egyptian walking onions ( fourth ) and garlic ( fifth) round out the allium contingent in this season and all seems well...i have a half dozen syrian dwarf wheat plants ( sixth ) which will, hopefully, provide seed for a larger planting next spring...and the last photo is of the old domesticate emmer wheat...more numerous, these will serve as a seed source as well...there may be a larger population of ancient dna nest spring...we will see.
looking to cleanse the palate of the whole blackleg business i too to my back yard today after work...and it seems to have worked...beyond the garlic, ramps, and onions there are other advances out there some planned...some a surprise...there are leaves on the concord grape vine hanging from the catalpa tree ( fist and second photos..the vine is dead center in the second )...the seedless grapes are coming into leaf as well ( third ) and i put up a new trellis last weekend to help them along...the fourth photo is of a wild strawberry bloom that will be fruit soon enough...i have quite a few of these out there and new daughter plants coming along every year..finally a better photo of the asparagus "ferning" to fed the roots...all good.
the top two photos are of the black sludge the rotting potato from the previous post left on the shelf in the basement and the floor beneath it...one of the sanitizing methods fro clean up after blackleg rot is to pour hydrogen peroxide on the affected area to kill the bacteria ( dickey dianthicola ) that causes it so i did...and you can see how the hydrogen peroxide reacted with ( and, hopefully, killed ) the bacteria...there will be further dousing until there is no reaction...here's hoping the tubers in the ground already are not infected.
well it's not all ungood...the yema de huevo on the right in the top photo has turned into the plant in the second in a matter of a few weeks...which is a good thing near as i can tell...the next three photos are definitely not good...while i was doing a routine check of the seed potatoes i found that one of the red pontiacs i got locally had gone bad...it was soft and slimy to he touch and when i cut i open the stench was unpleasant and the flesh of the spud had begun to liquefy...a virus? i don't know for certain yet 9 more research ) but i do know that this one went into the garbage, not the compost, and the rest of those seed pottaoes will be watched closely...i have a few of these in a couple of beds...they looked fine when i cut and calloused them but that may not tell the story..if the remaining three in the basement don't go bad between now and the time i am ready to plant them ( or they tell me to do so ) they will be going into containers, not a bed...they will be isolated just in case....further research says it may be blackleg rot caused by the bacteria Dickeya dianthicola...the list of symptoms are very similar...i treated the shelf where the potato was with hydrogen peroxide per usda recommendations
one of the hazards of making only weekly trips out to the garden during the spring is the possibility of seriously underestimating the ability of asparagus to grow like a weed ( first and second photos )...since my last trip out spears that were only a few inches tall have grown and are in the process of "ferning" to feed the root...impossible to eat since the stems have become woody the only thing to do is let them continue in their natural cycle and make more frequent trips to harvest the newer spears ( third )...the good news is that the plants continue to produce new spears ( fourth ) and the season will still go on...further down the row the jerusalem artichokes have emerged in their multitudes ( fifth ), daring anything to try and establish itself in their turf...the garlic beds are robust and about halfway to finished ( six and seventh )...and the first spuds have appeared in my bed to challenge the jerusalem artichokes ( last )...that red pontiac will need some assistance as the season progresses...there will be human intervention in the lives of plants...it's what gardens are about.
the spuds on the deck are all coming along well however the all blue in the top photo is by far the most advanced and will need an in-ground home soon...more jerusalem artichokes ( second ) are up and the task of keeping them under control will begin soon enough...both here and in the community garden...the rhubarb is flowering ( third and fourth ) which is a new experience and one i am interested in keeping up with...just to see...there is a fair stand of alfalfa ( fifth ) up with more in containers on the south side of the house...waiting for the leaf cutter bees in june ( speaking of which, i need to clean the cocoons in the fridge...another post later perhaps )...the ramps are booing along (sixth though eighth ) on the north side...that is very gratifying to the gardenenr after last seasons debacle...the transplant has taken hold...difficult as it could be to see over a background of green, the asparagus ( ninth ) has "ferned" in the back bed and is feeding the roots...i will be dressing it with compost to help it along...finally the garlic in the last photo is doing well...another relief after yet another debacle from last season...spuds, garlic, and butter...two thirds of a lunch from the yard...looking forward to that.
my rain gauges have measured ( depending on microclimate location ) between 3.4 and almost 4.3 inches of rain in the past week...so i wanted to drive out and look at cornfield berms and when the time presented itself this afternoon i did just that...beyond the well established and growing gap that i have been photographing for some time ( third photo ) i found seven instances of noticeable erosion in two fields...some just beginning...some well enough established to begin floating detritus from the last harvest out of the field ( corn cob in the fifth photo )...on the east side of the field the berm becomes much steeper( ninth photo ) and you can see the beginnings of cuts runoff has made in the soil...a little further down the berm water has begun to undercut it ( tenth photo ) and may lead to further collapse...according to usda figures the u.s. loses 12,000 pounds of topsoil per industrially farmed acere per year...about six pounds of soil for every pound of food produced...here's a small corner of that total.
an industrial worker and university student (everyone needs a hobby...my hobbies have evolved and, to keep things straight, i have left my formal student career behind for reasons that are too detailed to delve into here...continuing to be a student of life however and not adverse to learning...stasis is death ) sliding down the back side of middle age...a social loner with collectivist leanings...explain that.