Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Karma and Morning Glories

I have been gardening most of my life. As I have said before, I was introduced to gardening by our grandfather, Daddy Jake. I used to spend spring break with my grandparents on their ranch. If you have ever visited a farm/ranch in March, you know it is one busy place with gardens going in, lambs being born, cattle to be worked. It was a lot of work. I loved following Daddy Jake around while he put in the vegetable plot. My love of gardening started right there in central Texas.

Although I have been gardening a long time, I have made some monster mistakes along the way. The mistake I make every year is over planting. Crowding is just something I cannot seem to avoid or learn from. Morning glories are another one of my weaknesses. I love morning glories. My favorite is heavenly blue, although Grandpa Ott’s purple is a real beauty. We have some that come back every year that are a different pink. I think there must have been some cross pollination between the Ott’s and something else.

The first time I planted morning glories was along the fence in my first vegetable garden. My dad had a peach tree a few feet from this fence. My morning glories grew right up off of the fence and into the peach tree. Dad wanted to pull them out. I had a fit and fell in it, so the vines stayed in the tree. Did I mention that I was 13 and a real teenage drama queen?

This was the same garden that our Great Dane, Missy, decided to jump around in on a fine afternoon. Ever tried to stop a 100 pound Great Dane from dancing on your squash? Good times. That same dog had thirteen puppies a few months later. Karma paid her back.

Ok, here is the real rookie mistake I made about four years ago. I was out for a walk and came across a really pretty blue morning glory growing on a fence out in the middle of nowhere. I really liked this little blue morning glory, so I gathered some seeds and brought them home with me. I dutifully scattered them along the fence of my vegetable garden, just like I had done with the heavenly blues that grew into the peach tree in my first garden. That’s right; I intentionally planted wild morning glories in my tiny garden. I didn’t know. I really had no idea that they would try to take over the universe. I did not know that they make a bazillion seeds and these seeds spread everywhere. So now, every year for months and months, I try to get rid of all the wild blue morning glories. Looks like Karma paid back that teenage drama queen.

My Garden After The Storms

Yesterday we had thunderstorms all day. I did not put my rain gages out, so I don't know how much rainfall we had, but the ground is saturated. I was grateful for the timing of these storms as I had just sewn some seeds. I planted corn, beans, and squash in the Three Sisters style as well as purple hulled cow peas.

I went outside this morning to check and see what had gone on overnight and discovered a lot of seedlings. Some were from the seeds I had planted but most were wild morning glories. That's right, WILD MORNING GLORIES-CRAP. I am going to be really busy taking care of this problem or they will take over the garden in just a few days. These morning glories are my fault, but that's another story.

I am always amazed at how green and lush my garden looks after storms. I always thought that rainwater was just way better for the plants than city water. However, after doing a little reading, I found another reason why plants may thrive after a thunderstorm. Air is 78% nitrogen. Lightning fixes some of this nitrogen. The fixed nitrogen is dissolved in the rain and falls to earth. This "fixed" nitrogen is in a form the plants can use. Pretty cool.

BTW we have baby bunnies again. I kind of let the subject go before, because the first litter did not make it. First time rabbit mom's are not usually successful. This litter is four days old and mom is doing a good job. Mario is again banished to the dog kennel. Starr is much happier with him out of the hutch. I can't imagine why.