Hot Potato

I really hate summer.  Well,  there are many summery things I enjoy like barbecues, swimming and ice cream trucks, but I really hate feeling too hot.  Walking the 10 feet between my office building and my car it should not be hot enough for sweat to start creeping down my back.  Seriously – I moved to Vermont, didn’t I?

What this heat the last few days has meant for my garden is that the ground resembles dust much more than it resembles soil – not the best environment for my seeds to turn into happy seedlings.  Thankfully, my roommate didn’t have to work today and she watered the rows that I have planted but until we get a new nozzle for the hose, watering the garden means lugging a watering can back and forth across the lawn.  Very hot work in steamy weather (have I mentioned how much I dislike feeling hot?) but at least I convinced her to take on that job for today.

When I got home from work, even though it was still sticky hot at 6:00 pm, I decided it was time to plant my potatoes.  I bought certified seed potatoes from Gardener’s Supply – hooray for having a store in Vermont! – and was very happy with how they looked.  Not that I really know how seed potatoes are supposed to look, but as long as slightly shriveled potatoes with 4-5″ sprouts peeking from the eyes is what they should look like, my seed potatoes are wonderful.  While I was digging to plant them, I noticed a pair of anthills located in my potato row.  Hopefully the ants will either a) leave the garden for a new home or b) have no interest in nibbling on the tubers. There are many other possibilities which would not make me happy, but I’m going to concentrate on encouraging the ants to choose either a) or b) so I don’t have to worry about them later this summer.  Of course, by “encourage” I mean direct strong leave-my-garden-alone thoughts at the ants rather than any chemical-based encouragement, so we’ll see how successful I am.

Once I got the potatoes in the ground, I did a little bit of weeding (while sweat poured down my face) and was  excited to see that some of my onion sets are starting to sprout. It will still be a little while before I can really see the bunching onions or carrots seedlings poke out (I think), but it’s exciting to see the happy green onion sprouts coming up.

Right now, my happiest plants are the asparagus and garlic in the back corner of the garden.  This corner is dominated by GIANT ferny treelike structures that 10 days ago were asparagus spears (originally planted a year ago by the previous tenants).  I’m optimistic that if we keep them well weeded, watered and fertilized we should see more than 3 spears next spring.  The garlic that my roommate planted last fall is also growing well.  I read that garlic plants grow best in cooler months (fall and spring) but they seem to mind the heat a lot less than I do.


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