Thursday, May 21, 2015

Are We There Yet?

'Hot Wings Maple' happy after the storms
Everyone knows the story about being on a long car trip as a kid and asking your mom or dad if we're there yet.  A few years ago I read a quip in Reader's Digest where the kid's parents said not to ask if we're there yet because we'd arrive after dark, so the kid asks a few minutes later... "is it dark yet?" Okay, we're not kids anymore going on vacation to visit relatives, but I feel like Denver area gardeners have been on a long trip of cloudiness, rain and cold. It's almost painful! BTW...there was always a silver lining to those trips, my dad could be counted on at the first gas stop to bring back an assortment of candy bars, or as he liked to call them - "bandy cars." And with three older siblings, I usually got the left over Bing candy bar instead of my favorite Salted Nut Roll.  
Internet Photo, Palmer's Candies

Back to the weather... it's Colorado...it's late May, so we can count on sun and warm returning in a few days, maybe five days, definitely no more than ten days. I'm not placing any bets on when the dreariness stops, but I am keeping my transplants out of direct rain and cold at night.  

As for planting, just say no and hold out until soils dry out and conditions improve.  If you're not convinced that it's not wise to plant do your own soil check. Use a trowel (wear gloves unless you enjoy wet, sticky mud on your hands, I sort of like it), grab a handful.  No doubt it's a muddy mass, not at all a hospitable place for new plant roots to establish and happily grow in your garden.  The poor plants will just sit there in a globby, gooey state of sulk and decide not to do much of anything, possibly even checking out for good just to punish you for your actions. 

Waiting for the right time
In the meantime, just mind your new plants and shop for more, why not? You'll be so ready to plant when the sun returns and soils dry out that you'll enjoy every minute being outside making up for lost time.  Also, get your portable containers cleaned out, spray empty vegetable containers with a disinfectant solution to kill possible disease.  I use a homemade spray of vinegar, water, a little borax and drops of lemon essential oil. You can also try a one to ten water/bleach or rubbing alcohol spray.  Be sure to rinse well.  Position them where you'll be planting, so all you have to do is add soil and plants when it's time. 
 
Disinfect Vegetable or Herb Containers


One more thought - promise yourself to enjoy the garden this summer despite the rough spring, plant challenges, even the losses and most of all the late start.  

"He who plants a garden plants happiness.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden."
  

Chinese Proverb

 

 


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