Thursday, June 6, 2013

Garden at the end of May

Let's see,...we had the fake Spring of mid-May, and then the week o cool rain, ruining many a Memorial Day plan.

I'll admit that the warm week tricked me into buying a dozen tomato plants (among them every single Paul Robeson I could find and several Marmondes), but at least I had the sense to tuck them into the hoop house, where carrots are also sprouting just fine. On the other hand, the beans planted without cover went into hibernation until yesterday.

Meanwhile, in the next row, Ozette potatoes are growing better than any taters I've ever planted. I've been good to them, prepping the ground with plenty of cultivation and doses of bone meal and wood ash, but not overly solicitous. I've hilled them up, digging into the grass next to them and shaking the dirt free where it could do some good. Mostly, sun and rain have done their job, and the plants look healthy and sturdy. Now, a week into June and back in sunny weather, they are flowering. I could start graffling soon, but will hold off.

"Graffling" is old southern term for reaching into the dirt and feeling around, pulling a few tubers without hurting the plant and stopping the rest of the crop from continuing to grow. There are variants, but this is how I remember Grandma saying it. She was a mischievious and skilled gardener. She might appreciate the random offshoots of my garden more than the neat rows. I wish she were around to enjoy a meal of new potatoes.