Planting Time

This week the rubber meets the road.  Shovels in the soil, seed potatoes out of the root cellar and sprouting, seed packets stacked on the kitchen counter, and rain and hail storms every ten minutes reintarnating the potholes we volunteer to keep filled.  It still dips into the 30s at night.  We’re still wearing knit hats.  But it’s the first week of April and every sun ray feels like love.  We have spring fever.  Sunday was a New Moon.

Here are the last of last year's potatoes, whites and reds, straight from the root cellar. My seed potatoes. I'll let them warm up and get light for the next 2 weeks so they'll start sprouting, then I'll plant them after the full moon on April 17.

The moon, it turns out, is a Farmer’s Almanac basic.  Its ebb and flow, wax and wane, affects ground moisture, and the timing to plant both underground and above-ground crops.

 The water issue really isn’t a problem here — our issue is the cold — but I like the idea of the moon pulling the earth’s water.  Potatoes and other root vegetables like to be planted on the waning moon (getting smaller).  I think hiddenness.  Plant peas and cabbage and broccoli seeds when the moon is waxing (getting bigger).

I’ve been weeding and sifting huge moss slabs and other green stuff out of the soil.  It was an experiment to leave the thick layer of straw off of the gardens this year.  We had so much still half-decomposed last April that I thought some minimal moss build-up would be preferable to hauling all that wet straw to the compost.  Wrong.  The mossy ground cover here takes in a full inch of top soil.  And it chokes out the seedlings.  I don’t use any poison, so I’m sifting it out on a nifty screen.

By the time you read this, there will be sweet peas planted in this spot.

Our younger Twenty Something daughter called this week from nursing school and expressed concern about the first cedar arch seen in last week’s blog.  “I hope it’s not an eyesore,” she said, “with all that plastic.”  She was a bit cranky, having just gotten out of a 3 hour lecture on breastfeeding.  She thanked me for breastfeeding her, and reminded me that she’d been born with a tooth, as though I could forget.  Vampire child.  As we talk, our conversation veers happily toward love, and I gaze out at sunlight glistening through the five glorious, feminine, curved arches and dark, fertile, freshly turned earth.

Hoop house arches are all up.

We are actually digging holes!  At least in the garden.  We’re filling them up out on the road, where at this time of year, the holes spit out the gravel overnight.

We fill the potholes on our 3/4 mile dead-end gravel road.

 A woman in a black Lexus offered the Bearded One a religious tract on the road earlier this week.  When it gets nice out, the evangelical traffic really picks up.  Neither of us is in the market for a religion, though.  So when we step out on the road, I scan up and down for proselytizers.

The Bearded One/Moses sees my concern, and knows I struggle with what to lovingly say to well-meaning religious workers.  So, as Ruby the Golden Retriever rushes to the edge of the road to deliver her pee mails, he sings out in a low, rumbling, Charlton Heston baritone, “LET MY PEE PEE GOOOOOO!” …. farmlet humor that might not translate into blog, I wish you could hear the melody …. and it’s like magic, I laugh, leapin’ and hoppin’ on a spring moonshadow, and say that if Brother Love himself comes up our road with his Traveling Salvation Show, I’ll help him set up the tent.

Maybe even bake them their daily bread.

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7 responses to “Planting Time

  1. kathie prater

    Oh, Ruby…..don’t take your pee to town!!! LOL I loved this blog! Everything about it was peerfect!!!! Each sentence gave me a picture in my mind, and it was like sitting here watching a mini-movie. Christi, you are simply the best! Oh, and by the way, I breastfed both my boys, and my oldest got his first tooth shortly after his one month birthday. So, I definitely can relate to that! 🙂 As always…sending all my love along with this comment! Sy Hi to the Bearded one, Ruby, Gardfield, and Molly, Annie and Austin as well!

    • You made my day with this comment, Kathie. Molly called and said you were the sweetest and she loves your comments, too. I hope you are feeling better. Kisses, ck

  2. Gabriel Clark

    Hiddenness is what I take away as well as the Charlton Heston impersonation. It translates, though your grandchildren may not get the reference.

  3. Christine Widman

    …”sunlight glistening through the five glorious feminine curved arches”…and dark fertile turned earth…..just …just….stunning.
    I am thinking about penstemons after an Alice in Wonderland afternoon in the Tohono Chul Arboretum.
    My new dream:
    To attempt a penstemon fairy garden and a lady banks rose waterfall here.
    Just thinking about this, I can feel the sag of gardener’s defeat in the marrow of my bones.
    So wish me luck.
    Missing you C.

  4. Penstemons! I’ve got to look that one up. My dictionary says it includes the “beard tongues”. Hm. 🙂 Your dream garden has beautiful words already….good luck. Kisses, ck

  5. Christine Widman

    Now two years later..no penstemon fairy garden but I have two lady banks roses. One climbing up the pink wall in our front courtyard and another – planted last year – beginning to climb the pink wall in the Saguaro Guest Room courtyard. Not waterfalls of roses yet but it’s a start.
    The penstemons, globe mallow & fairy dusters are blooming along Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde Road. Our creosote bushes are filled with their tiny yellow flowers. The aloe are sending up their pink and yellow flowering stalks.
    Spring here in the desert.
    C

    • The plant names are so wonderful! I just learned that the name of the weed that I have to pull out of the gardens every year…flickweed…because it flicks its seeds out far and wide.:)

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