Red, green and blue

After a very nice May for the most part, June has been nothing but rain. Sometimes terrible torrential downpours, sometimes just annoying bursts here and there to ruin the day. I hate to complain about water when other parts of the country are dry, but my plants are drowning over here. It’s a good thing we put in the swales in May or it would be even worse.

In spite of all that, we are somehow getting our first crop of the sweetest strawberries we could hope for.

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Don’t blink, you’ll miss them.

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At least the cooler weather plants like it. The greens are going nuts.

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Onions seem much happier in a raised bed than in the garden, to no one’s great surprise.

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The hops have already made it nearly to the first wooden support.

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The fifteen raspberry plants all made it and are getting plenty of leaves now. Here are 10 of them, they are even bigger today.

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And finally a view of the orchard, where all of the trees seem to be relatively happy so far and surviving the onslaught of water.

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Fixing some drainage issues

Our property has the opposite problem that California is facing right now, particularly in the spring. We get way too much water flowing over our property from snow melt and other run-off further up the slopes on the south and west sides of the property. At times in the spring we probably have 5-6 distinct streams running across various parts of the property, including right into the driveway. So we are constantly struggling with erosion and washout in our drive and the gardens stay wet for a long time. If we could even get them dried out a week or two earlier, we could get our cool season planting like peas, potatoes and brassicas done much sooner.

Excavate

So part of our landscape design is to build in some swales to help direct the water better. It’s not an insignificant expense and there are other things that would be more fun to spend the money on, but we’re hoping this work will pay dividends for years to come. Today our excavator is starting the work, so excited to see what kind of difference it makes. The main difference won’t be apparent until next spring, but even during big rain storms we sometimes have a limited version of the issues. So it should help with the drainage in general.