The Bright Yellow Flowers In The Pasture

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Bob Bauer
May 21, 2019 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 2 minutes

May 21, 2019

The bright yellow flowers in the pasture this time of year always remind me of buttercups. They look exactly alike but are a month later. I let some flower in the garden last year and now I have an invasive plant. I never saw the seeds. The extra water of a summer garden allowed them to grow abundantly. They were the prime reason I had to occult a 10'x10' plot. They have spread out and I keep finding them everywhere. I found bright yellow flowers on a cantaloupe plant too. It's only seven weeks old so this is crazy early.

Sit down now. You won't believe this. There is a one inch long zucchini on my zucchini plant, and a half inch straight neck squash on each of my straight neck squash plants. I'm speechless. I want to cover the plants back up to protect them but they are too big. The melons have grown so rapidly that they are vining now and touching the wall of their shelter. I still cover them at night by lifting the vine off the ground and propping it up against the wall.

May 22, 2019

I got an early Father's Day present from my youngest son. TWO bales of straw. That's twice what I was going to get so I'm ecstatic. This is the time of year, when the soil has warmed up, that you can start pushing your mulch up closer to the plants. I try not to let it contact the base of the plants for fear of inhibiting air circulation, but the birds continue to scratch at it and move it around. You would think that with twice as much as I anticipated that I would apply it with abandon, but the opposite has occurred.

I'm raking the spread out straw up closer to the plants and discovering where i don't need to put fresh. I'm prioritizing where it goes, and not just covering anywhere that could use it. I'm reserving some for later in the year when more beans get planted and the cauliflower gets transplanted. I'll need some to tuck under the melons and cucumbers to keep the fruit off the ground, and sprinkle on top of my weed mulch berms to make them look like borders instead of rows of dead weeds. I'm savoring every moment of this special time of year, and decorating the garden with the eye of the artist.

May 23, 2019

As I was judishisly applying my straw mulch, I knelt down in front of a tomato plant that had no mulch around it yet, and looked up to find five dime sized tomatoes on it. I realized that mulching it would be a bad idea because the bare soil was absorbing more sunlight than covered soil would. The soil temperature as a result was more in line with what a tomato plant prefers. Surrounding the plant with clear plastic would hasten the warming and bring in an earlier crop of tomatoes. I've been mulching my tomatoes in May because I want to get the earthworm activity started, but the tomato plant doesn't care about fluffy, moist, nutrient rich top soil.

It wants warm, moist, nutrient rich soil around it's roots. Holding off on the mulch until the tomatoes start ripening might be a better way to grow them for an early harvest. I can get nutrients to the roots, not by trickle down earthworm castings, but by fish emulsion that has been allowed to warm up in the sun.

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