Monday, March 23, 2009

Busy, busy weekend at l'Orto

Applying wet copper sulfate paste.
I know that some areas of Italy are still seeing snow, so I am being very humble in saying that we are very fortunate for this microclimate in our mountain area. All we need is a couple more sunny weekends like this last one and most of the garden prep work will be out of the way. Garden and home d-i-y center Leroy Merlin emptied our pockets of 123 euros but it was well worth it. Now we've got a new toy (Bosch cordless grass shears) and the herb section and soon-to-be tomato patch will sport wooden borders to block Mister B when he goes to the loo. We also bought a compound mixture of solfato di rame (copper sulfate) and calce idrata (hydrated lime?) in hopes of protecting the fruit trees from disease and eventual pests. Painting a wet mixture of this compound is done in a lot of gardens around here, but we'll try organic solutions to directly battle the ant/aphid problem as best we can. The peach tree has already begun to put out tight little flower buds and tiny leaves, and the persimmon, mirabelle plum, nashi pear and cherry tree are not far behind.

Did Adam and Eve have it so rough? I can't tell you how much it means to me when I say we look forward to enjoying the fruits of our labor. We've already spent 3 months stuck in the house. It's barbecue season!

At his height, I think this should thwart surplus watering from the doxie.

Something about Bosch that makes me not mind handing over the moola.

For the moment I've got 24 tomato plants at 6 weeks old.

The slayer of lizards stationed at her post.

Average daytime temperature: 16°C / 61°F


  1. you are so good to plant in separate pots, me I just throw the seeds into the ground, if they come up good, if not, I try again.

  2. I'm so bad this year. I did not start any seeds at all. But i have some seeds coming in the mail, I guess I'll just sow them outside when the weather gets warm.

  3. Kat - if it weren't for the dogs I'd probably just direct sow the seeds too. Seeing as how Mister B used to bite plants last year, now he's into "watering" them. :-DDDDD

    Louise - I know that if I held down a job there is no way that I'd be able to devote time for a garden. Of course my not working means that I can only spend so much on seed orders! ;-)

  4. I've just been reading a book about combating pests in the garden: ants, aphids, etc. Lots of grape jam, melons, tobacco and soap suds. Supposedly planting marigolds and/or nasturtiums around plants will discourage many pests... maybe.

  5. Fern - grape jam and melons? I've heard about the tobacco and soap suds (we've already done the soap one last year, it was nullified with the abundant rains). We went looking for marigolds (seeds and plants) at Leroy Merlin but I guess they don't do gardening on a fullblown scale. I've heard the same about the flowers...but also that you can eat put nasturtium blossoms in a salad!

  6. Yes, you can put nasturtium flowers in salads. They have a nice peppery taste and look very pretty.

  7. Chaiselounge - I guess that calls for another trip to the garden center for seeds (not that I'm complaining) ;-)


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