Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wet, and Looks Like Rain (and It Is Sprinkling)

Waterlogged Japanese peony 'Hanakisoi'
A gardener farther to my north has said she is madly searching for those plans for the ark.  I have offered to clean my junk drawers in an attempt to assist in their location.  I'm pretty sure I must have borrowed them sometime this spring.

It is late.  And, it is cool.  And a lot of vegetable gardens are not planted around here.  Food prices are going up.  Salad stuff is starting in the potager and I'm going to have a very nice strawberry crop this year.  The family garden is another story.
'Honeoye' Strawberries

Blackberries are looking good, too!  (Now if the neighbors can run between the raindrops and side that garage!)

In between raindrops we did get it plowed.  Yesterday, on the only sunny day for a week, I managed to till a third of it twice and plant two bags of potatoes (German Butterball and All Blue), two rows of Early Sunglow sweet corn, a row of sugar snap peas, 100 onions, some green beans, mustard and Swiss chard.  I already had raked over a small 4' by 4' corner and planted leaf lettuce, which is up.  This is very late, though.  The soil there is a bit heavier than the sand here in my garden, and so if it rains, there is a necessary time delay between planting.

When I was a young girl, my father would say we need to make hay while the sun shines.  Not so with hayliage, though, which I am seeing cut off from hay fields, I'm thinking to go right into the feed troughs of waiting cows.  There is no hay to be had and the cows that were not shipped to processors because farmers could not afford to feed them, are hungry.  I heard it somewhere, just this week, the cattle herd is the the smallest numbers since 1952.  Our appetite for meat had increased since then.

Typically in the central sands of Wisconsin, I see a huge number of fields row after row filled with potatoes, not so this year, just three 80-acre fields out on a corner where the state high bends north of my parents.  And, surprisingly, because not a lot stops these sand farmers with tractors with big bouncy wheels that almost turn the tractors into hover craft (A car recently drove under one driven by a friend of mine, the car's roof not so good, but the driver while shaken and stirred, walked away-- she said she just didn't see the tractor) and with "walk-around" irrigation that looks like something from a alien mechanized farm world.  Some of these farmers have unplanted fields.

So my dad has his cows out on pasture, and they are wet, wooly beasts slogging through mud making their way to the barn where my son and his grandpa take turns milking them twice a day.   Of course, my dad would like to make some hay, but the sun is not shining.

I would dare say it has rained nearly everyday since the middle of May.  And, the ground was frozen in spots until a week before that.

Smokebush 'Nordine' dies to the ground after surviving a number of years.  No "smoke" this year.  At least the foliage is a beautiful color.

Deutzia, which really shouldn't be able to grow here.

So, garden chores today will not be invasive to the soil, I do not relish becoming a mud puppy.  I will probably spread mulch (where I can reach without walking in my beds) and do some light weeding.  I may try to pot up some containers, but only if my container mix is relatively dry. 

Good news, the color of the neighbor's new siding could have been a lot worse (it's sort of a subdued mossy green).

So there's your farm report and garden report for central Wisconsin.


  1. LOL! Maybe we can drift from town to town on our ark and find like minded gardeners! On the good side, our lilacs are lasting a long time this year! :)

    Good luck with your weekend plans! AND I don't mind your neighbors siding color at all!

  2. Well, at least there isn't a drought. Your Lonicera is looking good!

  3. Wow you worked hard in that vegetable garden. It made my back hurt just to read about all the digging. Maybe the rain will help launch the new starts... You seem to be having some kind of Trial By Weather, but I think you're getting through it. The neighbor's siding looks a-ok seems like. (Our neighbor arranged his pasture so we have to open and close two gates if we want to drive in or out.)