Monday, June 14, 2010

More grapes

Grapes came in finally a little after 1:00 this afternoon. I'm not terribly impressed. I know that "dormant" can look awfully dead....  but when one is snapped in half and the broken part is just dry and brown with no green, its not usually a good sign.  The other grape plant didn't look much better, when i clipped away a bit off the tip there was some green but it didn't look like a live green color.
Burpee guarantees their plants for a year, and in a few weeks i'll know if they are even alive, but it will be too late to replace them before the replacement plants will be acclimated enough for winter.  If they do survive but are off to a bad enough start that they will be too weak for this winter and i find that they have croaked in the spring, that might be a better time to turn to Burpee to honor their guarantee and send me replacements. I think it is a one-time replacement.

My other alternative is to take a refund and reorder next spring, putting me a year behind on growing.
If one of the plants lives (the order was a package of 2 though i only needed one) i'll ask for a half refund and go my merry way and maybe root a cutting from the live one for insurance.

It was raining out when i got the package and when i planted them so i didn't take pictures. But i will later and edit the pics into this post.  They had great looking roots. I'm not sure how to tell if the roots were alive, their packing wasn't very moist but i think it was maybe damp enough to keep things just ok.

I wish Burpee was like Stark's.... Stark's sent my stuff in a big, long box and not a paper bag. It was a sturdy paper bag, but a paper bag is a paper bag..... my ground cover fabric was sent in a box... and the paper bag probably would have been fine for the roll of cover. Funny how things work like that.

But far and away, my Stark's order was superior to my Burpee order. My grapes from Stark's are just about to break buds.  I can't wait till my blueberry plants have hardened off enough to plant out. The leaves are coloring up nicely.

Ok, here's pics.

The Edelweiss that looks bad...  this was broken in two when it came.
This one might possibly get somewhere:

Compare that to the Marechal Foch and Reliance from Starks' (Frontenac is taking its sweet time but looks like its about to get moving so i didn't photo it)

I tend to fret over things, so i hope something happens with my Edelweiss soon or i think i'll burst.

But here are the blueberries, getting used to full sunlight, Patriot on the left and Blueray on the right.

Oh, since i took the cover off the brassica row, i took a picture
The Red Russian kale is pretty looking, a couple dried right out a week after planting, so i put a couple cabbage seedlings in to replace them.

Since this has turned into a picture post, here is the poor little fig plant .  It has started to regrow some leaves in its joints and it looks much better now than it did out of the box:
It will live, but its going to look pathetic for a while.

June 15th deadline

I guess that is the traditional day to have 'everything' in if you want a summer crop. I heard it reiterated somewhere that things planted early in June will catch up with things planted around Memorial Day by the first week of July. I'm not sure, if that is so, why plant around Memorial Day? 
I have a good chance to test this theory out this year. My dad and i managed to get those extra seedlings into his garden yesterday.  We must have planted about 18 tomatoes, 4 peppers, 3 eggplants, all the winter and summer squashes and cucumbers-  i think they have 6 of the Sundance yellow summer squash - This is an extra-prolific summer squash in a class of plants known for their prolific production. They will be up to their ears soon! lol

The blueberry plants are adjusting well it seems, we have had gray skies for the last 3 days so that actually helps.

The UPS tracking on my Burpee order says my plants are 'out for delivery' so  by 11am they should be delivered.

I bought "The Grape Grower: A guide to organic Viticulture"  for my Kindle for PC  I don't expect to adhere purely to  the Organic culture of my grapes until i see the reality of actually growing them in my yard and see my setup in actual practice.  I'd like to, but the beginners' learning curve could prove too steep for the first few rounds.  But the book got great reviews and the reviews convinced me that it has enough cold-climate info for me as well as information on so many other aspects of grape growing, i decided to get it.  I am only a few pages in so far though.

I need to decide when i am going to rip out the flowerbeds in the front of the house. The Iris didn't bloom hardly at all this year, which means they need to be divided anyway. I think i might do things 3' square at a time. Hopefully when i get into it, i will be able to separate the bulbs and tubers and recognize which are tulips and which are daffs, then i can bag and box them up and set them in the basement to rest until i can put down the weed barrier and put back just the things i want to keep. 
I can't decide if i want to start in the next week or so or wait until later. The weather is only going to get hotter, but the greens off the bulbs and roots need to get sunlight for a bit longer. 
I'm also not sure what to do about the garden at the edge of the yard that the nice neighbors are on.  When we bought the house a fence was there. It got rotten within the first year we moved in so we removed it.  When it was installed by the former owner of this house, it was put slightly within the planted part,  so on the neighbor's side of the fence was a 2' strip of  "escaped" plants which they tended.  When we removed the fence, i assumed the plants were theirs and left that strip alone, and they continued to tend it a little so i left it alone.  They also put their bird feeder stakes just on the outside of it....  but hubby said he thought the whole thing was ours and the survey we had done seems to confirm that.  But where it was 'shared' for so long i don't know if they have anything in there that they'd like to keep. I haven't seen much of them lately so i haven't been able to ask.

There are raspberries that i think belong to them that are taking over the parts that i  know are mine. They are coming up all over. That is going to be a pain to clear.

I think i might take the row covers off by the end of this month.  I would have gotten better advantage from them if the garden was ready earlier and the spring wasn't so warm. I probably will take off the one over the brassicas but leave on the tomato and corn row. The brassicas don't need to be warmer. I'm wondering about the bugs, but i don't want my broccoli and cabbage to bolt.
 I'll be ble to play with things more next year. This year the focus was to just get things planned and executed. I'll arrange the plant placement better next year, grouping things that need heat with other things that need heat or cover from bugs.  I think the covers will go back on in late August tho...  safe from frost, it might extend the production a bit longer.

So, the last planting of grapes today and some weeding will do it.