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June 2020, Week 1

Happy June! Well, okay, y'all are right, it is still May and we have to finish up this month first, but it is the last day of May so my mind has moved ahead to June.

I looked at my own forecast and see almost no rain for the next 7 days. Yippee! The NWS ruined our perfect forecast by sticking a 20% chance of rain in the Tuesday forecast, but I'm going to totally ignore that since it is such low odds. I think our puddles are going to dry up this week, or at least most of them will. We'll see how well the ground dries up below the surface, but I'd imagine that I will be able to at least work in the raised beds this week. The combination of sunlight and heat along with no new rain falling should bring us some much-needed drying out in our area.

I'm going to drag Tim and the grandkids out plant shopping today, whether they like it or not. I'll try to be considerate and not stay out shopping too long, because the girls expect to spend a gazillion hours in the pool today just as they have for the last three days, and who can blame them? I mostly want to find some summer color to fill up several large containers near the house so we can have more flowers there. Last year I just had periwinkles in pots but I want larger pots and a bigger variety of flowers near the back door this year. Most of the flowers we have are in the fenced garden because that is where they are protected from deer and everything else, but the deer generally don't venture too close to the house in the summer months so I need to have more flowers there, and containers are the way to go since the landscape still has too much Bermuda grass and not enough raised beds for flowers. Now that the rain is backing off, maybe we can start on Bermuda grass removal. Time will tell.

The part of the garden that is planted looks spectacular, and I am pleased with how well it is chugging along with relatively little maintenance from me....just harvesting, weeding and mulching. Hopefully the rest of the garden can be planted this week and then I'll be a lot happier with the front garden. It is time for me to start seeds of tomatoes for the fall garden, and that sounds crazy, but here it we are about to begin June, so it is time.

We did a little minor tree pruning yesterday to remove some lower limbs that were hanging too low after all the rainfall made them so heavy with foliage, but we have more to do either today if we get to it, or next weekend. Our trees have been growing like crazy for the last few rainy years, and we haven't kept up with pruning them very well.

I saw one lonely ripe plum on our sand plums yesterday---the sole survivor in a season when they bloomed far too early (late February) and lost most of their fruit to many subsequent freezes. That has been the pattern in recent years and I am so tired of it. I miss having tons of peaches and plums to harvest, but we keep having too much early warm weather in the winter months and the stone fruit trees, even those with the proper chilling hours for our location, just keep blooming too early and getting hit by freezes after they've bloomed and set fruit.

What is everyone going to work on this week? Y'all know my plan is to finish the front garden as soon as the mud is gone, and Tim's plan to mow was fulfilled yesterday. I'm sure he'll get to mow again next weekend, so he'll be a happy camper. Life here is so much better when we aren't totally underwater. Some friends of ours just spent several days on a getaway to a lake cabin to fish and didn't get a single bite until either their 3rd or 4th day when they finally got one fish, and they were out there fishing every day. I can't help thinking the lakes still are too high and too disrupted by the constant rainfall. Maybe the fishing will improve now that rain isn't falling multiple days per week. I know the ability to garden is going to improve.

Watch out for those pesky chiggers! Everyone here in our area is getting into them and complaining long and loudly. So far, we haven't gotten into any chiggers yet, but we're pretty good about wearing long pants and spraying our shoes, socks and pant legs with a DEET-containing insect repellent at this time of the year exactly because we want to avoid chigger misery. We also are having to watch where we walk because of all the rain-driven fire ant mounds and that likely has helped us to stay chigger free too just because we pay attention more to where we're walking.

Have a great week everyone. Maybe the GW Garden Gnomes will behave this week!


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