May has brought many colorful finches to our feeders, and some of my favorites are the house finches. This little fella’s enjoying a breakfast of sunflower seeds.
In other colorful deck news, the first blooming pot of Daydream tulips has progressed to even a deeper orange!
Due to a very cold and wet spring, to avoid rot I’ve had to wait a long time this year to plant our tubers, but as of yesterday, the lion’s share of dahlias are settling into Coppertop soil. Those I’d potted in the shed did seem to sprout earlier than those I kept in storage, but it will be interesting to see if the growth evens out and bloom time remains the same for all. I’m not certain the extra time and effort to pot them then transplant is worth it.
About 10 days ago I planted all five 4×4′ raised beds in my cutting garden according to the below plan, then placed slug bait and the black netting which keeps the chickens out. I have many tubers of certain varieties, so I figure those five beds hold close to 70 tubers.
Hubby helped prepare the new 3×30′ bed, which we added a couple inches of compost to after removing the lawn. Yesterday I planted 70 tubers of 27 varieties, sprinkled bone meal liberally, staked them, then Hubby came in and added a couple more inches of compost. I topped it off with slug bait and today will add the required black netting. Since yesterday was planting day, we decided to not allow the hens to free range, but one girl escaped when we replenished their water, and sure enough, she found her way to the new dahlia bed at some point to scratch and peck, breaking off two sprouts from one of my favorite transplants, ‘Punkin Spice.’ The netting is essential!
I have less than a dozen unplanted tubers remaining — ones I’ll add to wine barrels when tulips have faded. So many flowers to look forward to!