unripe early girl tomatoWe’ve reached something of a milestone at Flying Terrier Farms. All the starts are out of the greenhouse and every bed is planted with something. Don’t tell me. I know I’m late to be only at this point with Sonoma gardening. But remember the big gardening disaster where workmen shut off the water to my greenhouse killing a whole season’s worth of starts just before I was to transplant them? That left me up to a month late with planting. I’m anticipating it will all end with another panic harvest just before the Fall rains.

In any case, here I am with everything out in beds and most things growing to some degree. As I’ve mentioned, though, growing has never been my problem. Everything I plant grows. I just have a pathological aversion to thinning. So I tend to have a gardening Cambodia where only a machete and a team of bearers can effect a harvest. Currently, the results of that deficiency can be seen in my leeks and celery. Not to mention the nagging fear that I shouldn’t even be cultivating leeks or celery this late into Sonoma’s hot season. I can’t remember why I planted them. I think it was something as crazy as a Darwinian experiment. I found a couple of packs of seeds in the back of my cabinet that were two years out of date. I thought I’d just sprinkle them in the garden instead of throwing them away. Survival of the fittest.

butterfly and celery

Bam! Celery Cambodia. A veritable forest of celery. At least the Checkerspots love it.

smooth fox terrier in an asperagus bed

Someone else is enjoying the Enchanted Asparagus Forest.

The tomatoes, despite their late restart after the Great Greenhouse Holocaust, are doing nicely. I’ve even got some Early Girls on the vine. They’re tucked up in a bed companion planted with Marigolds. And this may turn into a problem. I’ve always bought into the story that Marigolds repel pests and nematodes from gardens. Turns out there is a wealth of info on the Internet to say, “Not necessarily“. There are three classes of Marigolds: French, African and some other. (Hey, I don’t retain this stuff, I just pass on the links.) Each repels some bad thing but also might attract another bad thing. So you can’t just throw in Marigolds. You have to know the right Marigold for the problem.


Are my Marigolds forces for Good or Evil? How do I know? Before yesterday, I thought Marigolds was Marigolds.

Other than those crops, I have potatoes, peas, carrots, beets, beans, summer squash, lemon cucumbers and eggplant that are thriving. But I think the big success story is going to be my corn. I secured an heirloom Native American non-GMO variety at the National Heirloom Exposition. This corn is proving to be the Crazy Horse, Tecumsah and Sitting Bull of corn. The stalks are already nearly as thick as my wrist, more than twice as tall as a terrier and a vibrant green.

my heirloom corn

They are already starting to flower. (Does corn "flower"?)

In the category of “The Jury’s Still Out” are watermelon, cantaloupe, okra and butternut squash. The second attempt on these didn’t flourish as my initial murdered starts did. They seem to be perking up now that I’ve planted them out in beds.

watermelon start

Most of them are still vulnerable little seedlings. Hope they catch up.

It occurs to me, at this point, that I should be keeping some sort of gardening diary. Unless I can find the water soaked remnants of the seed packages from the greenhouse, I don’t have a clue what varieties of each crop I planted. Hmmm. And it would be nice to compare how well or badly they do based on when they were planted. Whew! This gardening stuff can be like a college Biology and Botony course all rolled into one. It can be intimidating.

Gardening is boring for terriers.

If you are a terrier, it's all downright boring.

I sense that this post has limited instructional value. But you don’t come here to find solid how-to information on gardening, do you? If that’s what you want, you should be here or here. They’ll set you straight on what to plant and how to plant it.

But they don’t have terriers. Nor do they offer my particular brand of Gardening Schadenfreude.