Digging in the Earth

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Did everyone have a good Earth Day? I’m sorry I missed going down to Idlewild this year, but I was actually putting into practice some of the things the experts were teaching. Still, it’s the first one I’ve missed since I can’t remember when. Sounds like you guys did all right without me (see Earth Day at Idlewild). Myself, I added a new zone drip system onto my already existent sprinkler system and put in some plastic edging along the sides of the new garden sections I’ve been building in my front and back yards. The edging is also designed to prevent water runoff, as my front yard is on a bit of a slope. You can call it micro-terracing, but that seems a tad pretentious.

So basically, the front yard is now a circle with two parallel arcs—picture a quartered dart board. My plan is to put in a dogwood or barberi or Japanese willow with two Russian sage plants, and then I want to study what’s going on there. Get a feel for what can and will look good on an unusual design space. So anyway, after I get the shrubs in, I’m going to plant annuals. And regular readers of this column know when I say annuals, I mean vegetables. For a border, I’m going to plant a combination of peppers and eggplants. I think the attack cat should be able to keep the bunnies out. I’m considering making some of the fruit available to passersby. We’ll see. I can get pretty greedy when it comes to my own vegetables.

The new backyard garden is going to be huge, probably 50 feet by 10 feet, although its organic design would make specific measurements more trouble than they’re worth. Suffice it to say, if I can make four drip zones work, it’s going to be something else.

And finally, to everyone who ignored my advice and planted cold-sensitive flowers and tomatoes before the snow Saturday night: Ha-ha. (Imagine Nelson Muntz’s voice here.)