A perfect May day: calm, warm, even seeming hot at moments, with enough cloud to make transplanting a dream; I crawled through last year’s corn patch, tucking young plants through the mulch.
Several lemon geraniums – slipped and rooted from one plant my sister gifted me last summer – mingled with thyme, basil, marjoram, mint, rosemary and hyssop. These surrounded kale, cauliflower, and other brassicas. Lettuce plugs and Cortland onions were added, along with pea seeds, poked in around cabbage relatives.
In the distance, two white butterflies danced beautifully while I thought murderous thoughts about them.
They showed interest in one blooming basil plant. These were tree-like, kept over from last year, too, and I wondered, eyeing butterflies, whether I should strip the blooms. Two butterflies: that’s really all it takes to ruin the brassicas.
There was enough moisture under the corn mulch to plant without watering, though some transplants wilted as afternoon wore on. Where there was little ground cover, the soil was very dry and I didn’t plant at all.
On advice from locals who swear by the “onions deter Colorado beetle” method, I’d purchased a sack of onions at the store. Ours were used up long ago, though we are still eating last year’s carrots and potatoes.
I spaded holes while my son tossed potatoes, in each hole dropping a few pieces of freshly cut onion, then kicking soil over.
When Farmer pulled the rock picker to the field, heavy clouds rolled in.
I was still outside when a hydraulic hose broke on the picker and he called the house 10 times before one of the children heard ringing from the backyard. He told me he needed a ride.
In recent years, planting a crop hasn’t been easy for “dry land” farmers.
By supper, Farmer’s rocks were picked and heavy rain fell on the field he’d cultivated with difficulty because it was too wet to seed.
We are a house firmly divided on spring rain. After supper my son and Princess made signs for their garden plots, selected seeds and drew planting maps.
“You won’t be planting in the mud,” Farmer declared. He wouldn’t, but we would. Rain is timely for us.
With the cows still at home and sucking on the well, Farmer had already reminded me not to spill water on the garden. It would seem the garden heard him and has connections.