saturday, while was visiting, she and i and laid the foundation of the drip system in our rather ambitiously-sized garden-field, and then proceeded to plant six edible fruit-bearing shrubs along the south fence, which also involved clearing weeds–almost the last tall patch of last year’s kosha still standing. the shrubs are western sand cherry, chokecherry, red elderberry, three-leaf (or lemonade) sumac, red currant and black currant. the sand cherry is blooming, which is exciting; it’s two years old, a transplant from our previous garden, and it didn’t bloom last year. i’m hoping it bears at least a few fruit; i’d love to taste them!

having gotten them onto the newly-installed drip system, i planted potatoes (white, purple, and russet) with a fall harvest in mind. they are good companions for corn and beans, which will go in the rows just north of them when it warms up.

while planting everything, i remembered the mycelium-based soil-improvement stuff that gave us, and put some in each hole with the shrubs, sprinkled it over the potatoes as i planted them, and then, having rather more of it in my hands than i knew what to do with, took it into the greenhouse, and sprinkled a judicious amount of it onto every pot of seeds in the greenhouse.

when i did that, we already had sprouting had a fair amount of chard, some beets (like 7 or 9 beets), two carrots, two sugar-snap peas plus the 25 i pre-sprouted in the house, some orach, three spinaches, some basil, some flax, one onion, seven or eight volunteer purslane, and one pot of radishes.

that was saturday. when i came home and set about watering the greenhouse today, i found ALL the orach up, ALL the chard, a bunch of lettuce, a half-dozen onions, seven new non-pre-sprouted peas, plus significant growth in the pre-sprouted ones, every pot of radishes exploding with new life, a handful of carrots, twice as many beets, more flax, more basil, more purslane (it’s a weed, but a really tasty and nourishing one that i’m happy to cultivate if it’s going to keep sprouting in my greenhouse), and what i believe is the first marigold.

i can’t help but see the Earth Magic mycelium supplement as a really significant causal factor. it’s even about as local as it’s possible to get; this guy in Los Lunas grows it–as put it, “we could walk over there.” now i’m convinced, and am going to feed the trees some, and mix it in with the soil with everything else that i plant this year. we’re dealing with barely-enriched clay-sand soil throughout the garden—we mixed in truckloads of compost, manure & straw, but it needs four or five times as much as we could give it so far before it will be truly rich or loose soil.

i also had about a million weeds up, almost one or three in every pot, in the greenhouse. the Earth Magic clearly encourages them, too. As Chris puts it, “it’s all life,” but it’s some life i’ll feed to the chickens to transform into eggs, instead of leaving it there to crowd out our beets! it was mostly kosha, some grass. the purslane i’m saying yes to and transplanting when necessary. the weeds were able to be there because i used native soil straight from the garden in my high-hummus potting mix. my (unorthodox) theory on this is that if it will sprout in the soil i’m giving it, then it stands a really good chance of being able to grow & even thrive here. and if it won’t come up at all, then perhaps its brief life would be fraught with misery, and would help to compound mine by failing in my garden, because it just can’t cope with high daytime temps or clay soil, or our paltry 4900 ft of elevation, or significant 24-hour temperature variation. of course, once they’re up and in the garden, i’ll treat them like royalty, tend to them before even going into the house when i get home in the evening, give them mychorrhizae, and fish emulsion, and compost, and shade-cloth, and timers, and filters, and nighttime water, and 3-5″ of mulch and ollas and lots of personalized attention. which is why it sucks so profoundly when they fail anyhow, which some things just do. those eden’s gem melons last year, or even the zuchs last year, bizarrely. the latter were seedlings from a nursery, and never did thrive. i want lots and lots of vegetables, so i want them to be the strongest seedlings, whose seed we’ll want to save and grow next year because they do well here with all the factors we can’t control, too. of course, all that effort is why the size of ours garden scares me this year, too. that, and that we’re growing about a dozen things i’ve never tried to grow.

i transplanted several chards that are too big for their seedling pots; they’ll be ready to go outside by next week. i’m thinking this saturday’s work party is a good time to get the pea trellises in, too, as the peas are now coming up fast and furious; there are easily 35 of them above-ground now, and if this stuff helps them grow as much as it helped them sprout, we’ll be wanting trellises quite soon. besides, the hot weather isn’t much more than a month and some away; if we’re going to get to eat any, it’s time to get them outside!