Gotta Garden

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lettuce and Other Stuff

So, I'm out and about running errands and I see lettuce starts. Of course, I have lettuce seeds at home, but...I confess, I'm interested. The price of a nine pack is less that a package of triple washed lettuce at the grocery. And, I see a Red Sails pack that is ready for picking now...hmmmm (that's what thinking sounds like)...

It just so happens that I actually (a first) have a place I can plant some lettuce. I should back up and say that my yard is hard orange clay. Not exactly soil (soil? How kind of me.) that one can just drop things in. It has taken me years (emphasis required) of work and countless bags of amendments, but there actually are spots now where one can...plant...without backbreaking labor. Amazing. Usually, I would scout out a spot and drag bags around. I either pocket plant or build up. Lately, there's more of the building up as my digging days are behind me (I hope).

I have very little blank space (ask the dogs). It occurs to me that those spots I am saving for tomatoes could host lettuce. Then, when it's too hot for lettuce (Mayish, I'm thinking), out they go, add some more amendments and in go the tomatoes! Sounds like a plan, right? I'm game.

In fact, I'm so motivated that I actually also planted some peas. How many years have I thought about that (but not done it)?? Well, we'll see how they do....their trellises are not exactly the best and who knows if the weather will cooperate, but, hey, sometimes you experiment.

Best of all, I had a little salad...almost home grown (very tasty), no matter what happens, I got my money's worth.


As the early blooms begin to pick up steam, it's hard to keep up...but I, here's a few more things:

I thought this crocus was a bit unusual. Most of mine have stripes (that have stripes, of course) on nearly all the these:

The Roman Hyacinth (one bulb) has apparently increased! Multiple stems this year! And, with our mild winter, I didn't get the usual frozen one first.

Saucer Magnolia right on schedule (for it)...early...this means a freeze could be in our future (let's hope not):

Look closely and you'll see a bird's nest:

The first of the tulips surrounded by larkspur seedlings:

An early daffodil, an unknown, though I think if I could find a daffodil hunter, it might be identified with that distinctive orange ring:

What's interesting with daffodils is that one day you might have one open....then by late afternoon or surely by the next morning, the whole group bursts into bloom...and they last for a number of days.

Another variety of iris reticulata...this was a little mix...will the yellows make an appearance...who knows.

The very first flowers on one variety of creeping phlox. There's a Korean Spice Viburnum above this one and I noticed the buds swelling on it...won't be long!

And, lastly, Glory of the Snow, thankfully, no snow...

Well, that's all I have time for's a bright and sunny day...I think it's calling me.


Rose said...

I was surfing through garden blogs, searching for articles on soil problems when I found your blog. For some reason, I thought you were in Indiana and I was so jealous of all your blooms. Well, ok, I'm still jealous--here in Illinois only the crocus is blooming. Your pictures remind me, though, of what is soon to come. Thanks for a day-brightener!

kate smudges said...

I think it's cool that you have lettuce going and peas. How I wish!

The Saucer Magnolia is spectacular with so many blooms. I clicked on the pictures and saw the bird's nest. The daffodils are beautiful as are the crocus and the Roman Hyacinth. Those are really pretty.

It sounds as if you've put in the back-breaking labour and now you can benefit from that hard work now by just planting!

Di DeCaire said...

I like the short early tulips as well. Your daylilies must be getting a start. Still under considerable snow cover here. No end in sight.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I garden on clay, too. Austin's is black unless you did down a bit and hit caliche. I had a contractor dump caliche all over my yard and I'm still trying to get rid of the awful stuff.

I've amended and amended but organic matter breaks down quickly in our humid heat. Does it do that there too?

I like the way you write. Our thought processes seem similar. I can hear myself musing over the lettuce and then thinking about planting peas. I like to plan but I end up doing a lot on impulse.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

That's a great idea, to plant the early lettuce where later the tomatoes will go! I'm definitely stealing that idea.

Well, I'm stealing that idea if and when our snowcover finally melts. *sigh*

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Rose: Thank you for stopping by! You know the crocus is only the beginning. Here's to a great spring for all of us!

Hey Kate: Well, only in a few areas...but I treasure those areas! Hang in there...spring will come!

Hello Di Decaire: The daylilies are up and growing! Well, except one...but, that's my only loss this year. The first of the new arrivals is here...probably a shock for it/them! I do hope your snow is not for much longer.

Hello mss: Yes, I think so. That orange clay is always lurking, waiting to assume dominance!

Guess what! I found a couple of the peas are up! We'll see if that impulse actually pays dividends in real peas in a bit! Ha, she says, with fingers crossed!

Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Great minds thinking alike, right?

Ki said...

We have the same weirdly striped crocus and the same red tulips. Our saucer magnolias have yet to unfurl their blossoms although the stellatas are starting to do so now. I guess you are several weeks ahead of us in the blooming season. Lovely photos.

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