Monday, January 26, 2009

New Facebook group for Portland-area gardeners

In the shameless self-promotion department, I'd like to report that I've started a Facebook group for Portland-area gardeners called PDX Gardening. It's only been around for about a week, so it's still small and quiet, but I hope it'll become a more happening place soon. If you're on Facebook, stop on by and join!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hits and Misses and Mosses

I hereby accept my award for Lamest Gardening Blogger Ever and resolve to do better. Thanks for not firing me, Janet, even though I've been AWOL from Rainy Day Gardening since last summer! All I can say is, whew, it all got away from me. The blog AND the garden!

Last spring, I posted a list of goals for the gardening season, and though this is probably obvious at this point, I didn't accomplish many of them.

Completed tasks: Did not let the dandelions win, Removed strange bush from front yard, Added new soil to raised beds.

Not even attempted tasks: All the rest of them.

Some of those not-completed tasks will make it onto this year's list, because I still really want to do them. Others, like trying to get rid of the blackberries in the backyard, are going to change a bit due to the profoundly naive notion of ever being truly rid of blackberries to begin with. That's fighting a losing battle, yo. I only fight battles I can win.

I have lots of plans for both this blog and my garden in 2009. Here are a few of them:

1. Stop being shocked that the cherry tomato plants get so tall and buy bigger cages and longer stakes so I can stop having to resort to what you see in the photograph, stage left. Honestly? That is ridiculous (though functional, I must say). Last summer was only the second year we grew cherry tomatoes in pots, and I still thought the success of that the first time around was a fluke. Turns out, cherry tomatoes looooooove big black pots on concrete! Who knew? This year, I think I will also be planting all gold/orange ones instead of a mix of red and gold/orange. Know why? Because the gold/orange ones taste the best, and sacrificing flavor for color is for sissies. You heard it here first.

2. Post a monthly list of tasks on this blog, so we all know what we're supposed to be doing each month in our yards. I haven't actually looked this up anywhere yet, but I'd wager that in January, what we're supposed to be doing is: reading seed catalogs while buried under a soft blanket on the sofa in front of the fire. If I learn anything different, I'll let you know.

3. TAKE NOTES. I keep meaning to diagram my garden each spring when I plant it, and then keep track of how things did in various locations. But I never actually DO it. And it's dumb because then the next year rolls around and I can't remember where I had the petunias that one year when they did so awesome. Was it the back bed? Or the bed up and to the right of the back bed? Crikey. Also, I planted a "wildflower" mix last year that performed dismally, except for one of its flowers, which was utterly majestic. If I'd taken notes on A) where I'd gotten the wildflower mix, and B) what flowers were IN the mix, I might now have a hope of being able to find that flower for this year. Alas, all I know is that the seeds came in, like, some sort of packet dealio, and they were, like, you know -- itty bitty and seed-like.

So not helpful.

4. Plant lettuce in a pot. I know last year I said me and lettuce were over. Through. Kaput! But I so desperately want to grow my own lettuce! This year, I'll try it in pots and if it still fails me, I'll give the ring back. For reals. Stupid lettuce.

5. Do something -- ANYTHING -- about the moss. No, not THAT moss. Not the moss in the back yard and the front yard and the side yard -- that's another battle I've discovered is not worth fighting. Now I'm talking about the moss everywhere else. On the roof. On the path to the front door. On the front porch. In my ears. ON MY BRAIN. It must all go. Especially the moss on the roof. It dies first.

6. Plant more coleus. Know why? Because they like me. To wit:

<-- Look at the size of that mutha'!

Okay, so, that's it for my goals so far this year. I have a feeling more will come to me when the weather stops being so miserable and the urge to play in the dirt starts to become overwhelming. In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to another (more prolific, we'll hope) year as co-blogger of Rainy Day Gardening. Ready to work, Janet!