A few days ago we got 3″ (7.6 cm) of rain in a 24 hour period, followed up by another 70/100s the next day.

That is like almost too much rain. Aside from concerns poorly drained plants will suffer drowning (and in theory I have none of those), I had just planted a succession crop of lettuce, plus coriander, shiso, succession crop of spinach and some more beans. I am afraid they were either washed out or the surface pummeled so badly by the rain that it got crusty, as clay soils are wont to do, and the new seedlings won’t be able to emerge. I threw some radish seeds in between some rows and they have come up but the rest remains to be seen.

Yesterday was mulching mulching mulching and still didn’t finish it all. Mulch helps retain moisture in dry times but more importantly suppresses weeds which invade gardens in wave after relentless wave otherwise.

In my blueberries, which aren’t doing particularly well, we are laying out a thin layer of newspaper and covering it with well rotted wood chips that have turned black after laying around for 10-15 years and being under the cover of a rug to keep weed seed out. The newspaper stops germinating weeds from coming through and the black rotted wood chips add organic matter blueberries love and it looks good.

Other places we cover the newspaper with hay, which does introduce some weed seed but works quick and easy for this season at least.

I have also been closing in a gourd arbor in which we have planted several different kinds of dipper gourds plus bitter melon. We set out the transplants and protected them from the ground hogs by putting the milk jug hotcaps I had removed from the tomatoes over them but they quickly outgrew those so we needed to seal in the fence.

Tulasi and I went around the base of the fence and tacked locusts posts all around so it is harder for the ground hogs to get under the wire, but I will feel very vulnerable about my gourds until they start climbing the wire and get above the ground hogs’ reach.

If they make it, a couple of the plants are extra long handled dipper gourds which I will give some special treatment to including removing excess fruit set so the ones that remain get all the juice from the plant and get as long as possible. The goal is to win the longest gourd category at next fall’s Ohio Gourd Society show.

The bitter melon is pretty safe — no one eats that, except some humans. :-)

Bali Mardana: Only thing I did not like was the bitter melon.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Bali Mardana: I did not like the bitter melon.
Prabhupada: You did not like?
Bali Mardana: It is too bitter.
Prabhupada: Oh, it was so nice. Eh?
Sudama: Do you like it, Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. It is very beneficial for the stomach and kidney.
Bali Mardana: It’s like medicine.

Morning Walk — January 16, 1974, Hawaii