I haven’t done much in the garden this year. A new job, lots of rain during the planting season, and gall bladder issues that stretched from spring through the summer have kept me kind of busy. But we did get a few tomatoes planted late, and we’re reaping the harvest now. Pictures after the jump.
Archive for the ‘Garden Blogging’ Category
I promise this isn’t going to turn into a gardening blog — well, not exclusively — but I do want to link to this interesting piece on attracting European honey bees, which includes a recipe that’s supposed to bring the little suckers running…er, flying to pollinate all those flowers that make yummy fruits and vegetables.
Have y’all tried something similar? If so, have you had success?
ETA: Joe has a post about his own experience raising bees in Vestavia Hills, with some fascinating pictures and video. Check it out.
…when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands. The WTF story for the day (well, aside from this week’s Doctor Who cliffhanger *spoiler alert*) is this one from Loretta Nall. There is a move underway in Alabama to outlaw a particular type of salvia, salvia divinorum, which is apparently a hallucinogen.
Deborah Soule, executive director for the Huntsville-based Partnership for a Drug Free Community, said efforts are currently under way to outlaw the drug once and for all. Since 2007, Soule has personally contacted many of Alabama’s legislators and Gov. Bob Riley to bring attention to the drug.
She had limited success during the last legislative session, when Sen. Roger Bedford Jr. sponsored a bill to make salvia a controlled substance. However, the bill never made it made it out of committee.
“It just got caught up in a log jam of a Republican filibuster,” Bedford said.
To Soule, the real problem with the bill was the lack of education about salvia.
“The biggest problem in the Alabama Legislature is a lot of people didn’t know about it,” Soule said.
Well, goodness, let’s get busy and inform the legislature about this terrible danger lurking in our midst. And, at the same time, clue in the kids who are supposedly at risk. Loretta makes some excellent points here:
Once Ms. Soule, in collusion with our legislative clowns, make it illegal, we will see a huge jump in its use by kids. We’ll see prison imposed for possession of a geranium plant, teens and college kids saddled with felony criminal records (according to Sen. Bedford they are the main consumers), lives ruined, forced treatment, drug court and all kinds of crazy stuff that we don’t see now when it is legal and not widely known all because of the raging, moralistic crusade to outlaw anything that might give someone else pleasure. What will they outlaw next, spinning around in circles until you get dizzy? That also alters ones state of consciousness.
Let me add my concern. How will the salvia police know which plants are illegal? I googled an image of salvia divinorum and came up with the same one Loretta uses at her place, which looks way too similar to pineapple sage. Pineapple sage like the one on my back deck. Yeah, a plant expert could tell them apart, but how many police officers will get botanical training before they’re sent out to fight the terrors of, um, sage? Especially when they can use the guilty-till-proven-innocent asset forfeiture laws to grab houses, cars, and cash from homeowners or plant nurseries that harbor suspect plants.
I’d like to hope our legislators would resist the lure of yet another headline-grabbing “tough on crime” measure, but I’m not holding my breath. Guess I’d better start building a priest’s hole for my pineapple sage.
I spent an hour or two in the garden this morning, taking care of the tomatoes. The tomato patch was a mess, branches hanging on the ground and lots of extraneous foliage. Now it looks like something out of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, with the plants rising out of long-overgrown baskets and clinging to six-foot stakes. I remember back when those tiny seedlings looked like they would never reach the first ring of the baskets.
That was April; this is now:
I did lots of pruning too, so maybe they’ll get busy making more tomatoes instead of growing more leaves.
Here’s my new rule for growing tomatoes. Stake early, prune often. For some reason, I bet that’s not news to anyone who has grown tomatoes in the past. I waited too long to do this, which made it a lot harder. Oh, and those tomato baskets? Yeah, I’ll be leaving those in the garage next year and starting out with stakes in place. I did discover one cool new thing (also likely not news to the experienced tomato grower), velcro plant tape. It’s amazing!
Or something like that. I don’t have the energy to look up the lyrics. And most of y’all are probably too young to remember that song anyway.
It’s hot here. Duh. June in Alabama. The tomatoes are coming along. I missed the first ripe ones, but nephew Zach, who was kind enough to house-and-pet-and-plant-sit while we were on vacation, sampled them and said they were good. It’s not quite as traumatic as missing the baby’s first steps. We’ve had a few off the Early Girl and one from the Celebrity, and I picked the first Cherokee Purple yesterday. It wasn’t quite ripe, but I wanted to bring it in before the birds spotted it. I’ll cut it today or tomorrow and see if the inside really does look like raw liver. The jalapeño plants are covered with peppers, and I’ve already made one batch of cornbread.
We added to the herb collection while on vacation, picking up a Kentucky Colonel mint and a tri-color sage. It’s really too bad that I can’t stomach bourbon (a bad experience in my misspent youth), but perhaps someone else would like a mint julep.
The bell pepper seedlings and cilantro plants are coming along. I’m keeping them in pots as my other peppers (except for the jalapeños) aren’t doing too well in the yard. Just rescued the hot banana from the back bed and put it back in a pot; it’s looking pretty pathetic. Zach’s, OTOH, is doing great. He brought it with him when he came over to house-sit, and it has two big honkin’ peppers on it. I should have taken a picture of his and pretended it was mine. Zach, you should post a pic at your place; you definitely get bragging rights.
The cats are enjoying the catnip and other herbs — when they can bestir themselves to chew. I cut a bunch the other day, made pesto with the basil and stuck the rest in a vase.
I promise more politics soon. Cat and garden pictures and a recipe for jalapeño cornbread after the jump.