Gardening in the Valley of Heart's Delight
May Progress Update
Baby fig leaf The fig sticks (described in April) have sprouted!! Oh thrill, oh joy. There are even more buds appearing further down the stick, so I hope the next picture will be even leafier

But now for the sad news: none of the peach tree grafts (described in April) made it. Several looked promising, a couple had definitely taken, but the next time I looked, they had died. Who knows, maybe a bird tried to perch on them and broke their tenuous connection to life. However, I'm told summer budding is easier, and I've now got billions of suckers (peach tree suckers, that is) to choose from. More and better news next time, I hope.

Tomato plants getting bigger The tomato plants (shown in April) continue to grow nicely. I squeezed the water out of the wall o'waters in April, leaving the plastic loosely around the cages as a bit of wind protection until May. The plastic in this particular picture, however, is merely green-tinted bubble wrap. A rip-off product, in my opinion, since they wouldn't even fit the 33" cages as advertised. I wanted to use 54" cages anyhow, so that's two tomato wraps pictured here, cut open and taped together in a fit of irritation. You'd be better off buying bubble wrap, cutting it properly to size, and securing it with duct tape. Good idea, bad implementation.

On other fronts: the peas succumbed to mildew and have been replaced by beans and cucumbers. Many seeds have been planted: corn, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini (zucchini balls, called Roly Poly Zucchini!), cantaloupe, yellow beans, purple beans, green beans (Blue Lake Pole, the finest), and romano beans.

Some of the lettuce has bolted but the patch that gets shade in the afternoon should still be edible for a few more weeks, I hope. I've seldom managed to have home-grown lettuce and tomatoes at the same time. Ok, I admit, I never remember to start a second batch. I've always suspected that they would bolt in the heat anyhow, no matter what their age. But maybe I should find a cool spot somewhere and start a few plants, since it always cools off in the evening here, even when the days are hot. Any other northern Californians reading this? What do you do?

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Copyright 1997 by Karen Schaffer
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