Friday, June 10, 2011

the season is upon us...

Strawberry season, that is if you're here in the Northeast, or other areas of the country in USDA hardiness zone six.  No more supermarket strawberries that taste like cardboard for the time being.  Next week I'll be eating tons, making strawberry jam (more on that to follow next week)  and strawberry shortcake with biscuits (the real way, not the sponge cake way).

I bought these just down the road from my house at a local orchard, where one of the employees grows these on their own time, pretty neat, huh?  We're growing strawberries here too, but they are smaller and more sour, I think a different variety is  in order for next year.

At the same time that the strawberries are ready, it's time to put in the tender bulbs.  It's also time to change over the spring pots, put in all the annuals, do the second ridiculous round of overdue major weeding, next sowing of beets, chards, time to do major plantings in the borders, shear back the early bloomers so they'll rebloom etc.  the list is endless right now.  Everything needs to be done in a scramble of it's finally warm enough, yet its not too hot frenzy.  I actually did a lot of those things today, during the six precious hours that my children were in school.  Unfortunately, I don't have one picture to show for it.  Today was a really sweaty, dirty work day and the thought of taking on and off my gloves constantly to take pictures just wasn't going to happen.  My camera is way too precious to me to to put my mud caked hands and gloves on it.  Maybe I should hire a photographer?  One who will take payment in strawberry shortcake?

So, back to the tender bulbs (which actually aren't all bulbs, some are tubers and rhizomes, but why split hairs).  It's time to put in cannas, dahlias, and other bulb like things that don't like the soil here when it's cold.  I promise, I'll take pictures of them when they bloom.  Truthfully, they aren't that exciting to look at right now anyway.  Plant them the same way you would other bulbs, to the depth mentioned on the package.  The difference with tender bulbs is they need to be dug up at the end of the season and stored in a very specific fashion, then they can be replanted next year.  Unless your lazy like me, who has no strength left at the end of the gardening season to do this task (plus its an invitation for mice to find their way into your basement where you store them, yikes).  I buy all my tender bulbs at the cheapest place possible, usually a hardware store or Agway and leave them in the ground.  

On a completely unrelated note, I just ate a whiskey brined pickle from Whole Foods.   It's probably one of the best things I've ever eaten.  Just so you know...

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