June 7, 2009

All Hail Broke Loose

After last year's attempts at transplanting strawberries (and the two post-planting frost episodes), I was nervous to try again this spring. But as one who can not pass up free plant starts I decided to give it one more shot this year. If the frost got them, I'd admit defeat and would plant something else in the area designated for berries come next year.

Much to my surprise and delight, all 50-some strawberry starts that were tenderly dug from my neighbor's patch and transplanted in my little raised bed have flourished. The first week after planting them I nervously watched the weather forecast every day. I watched for frost warnings and constructed a prevention plan that incorporated old bedsheets and tent stakes.

As we got further and further from the projected frost-free date here in Idaho, I began to be hopeful. I watched as the little green plants showed signs of browning around the leaf edges. I watched as they begin to wither every so slightly in an attempt to put down new roots. I watched as new growth emerged from the crowns, quickly reaching for the sunlight.

While the strawberry transplants were merrily growing in their new home, we devoted our time and attention to the rest of the yard. Tomato and pepper plants were bought and planted. Seeds for sweet corn, squash, carrots, lettuce, peas were sowed into freshly tilled soil. Flats of annual flowers were planted among the shrubs, under the trees and around the things I'd like to hide, if only for a temporary span of time. For the first time, I tried my hand at herbs -- with a little container containing some parsley, sage and basil.

I watched as everything germinated, took root and began to dot the barren flowerbeds/garden with tiny spots of green. The flowers were beginning to open, the bulbs began to sprout, the trees were full of leaves.

And then the storm blew in. A storm to make other storms cower in the corner. One full of rage and anger with wind gusts that uprooted mature trees and marble-sized hail.

The wind and hail tattered my tomato plants, shredded hosta leaves, and defoliated many a petunia in the yard. The apple tree looks a little worse for wear.

Thankfully though, my strawberry starts seem to have been spared.


peter said...

Yea for strawberries! I'm so glad they were spared. It is truly amazing what a few minutes of hail and pounding rain can do. My struggle this year is figuring out how to plant a garden with so much water! It rains so much...I actually dug trenches/canals into my vegetable garden...and it's a good thing I did. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to set up a drain for the area.

And by the way, the snowball bush (not much bigger than a few twigs) is blooming. Thanks. :)