We live near the gap in the mountains where the clouds, heavy with rain, squeeze through. So while all of Albuquerque is dry, we have had terrible wet weather. It has rained every day for 15 days and has been unseasonably cold. This is a bad beginning for our cotton plants. We have had more bugs and more windy leaf damage. However, you can see a good leaf forming in our stunted little plants right in the center. We have a lot of hope for a nice crop. We did lose a lot with the last hail - more than half this year.
So if you have poor looking plants, do not despair. Wait for the warm weather and have a happy surprise.
My tree cotton tale was so sad, I hated to bring it up. The seeds were from Ruth Schooley and I got them just before she died so suddenly. I babied the plant and took it in for the winter since I got the seeds kind of late. When it came back out, it looked fine for a couple of days but we had wind gusts over 60 mpg for several days running. I lost almost every leaf. The plant meant so much to me that I was distraught. But I should have been confident since it is coming back. We had to tie it a lot until leaves came.
Even on branches where the leaf fell off completely, a new one begins.
On the next two photos, you can see the damaged leaves, but good ones are coming out from the crown.
And the other garden plants? They are going ape. Look at the size of these two lavender bushes grown from seed. They are about 1/2 way up the mailbox which is a bit higher than most on the street. The bluish plant on the side is another variety of lavender which is larger than normal for scale.
How is your cotton doing this year?
Finally it warmed up enough to plant seeds in the soil.
Fiberguy made crisp edges for the bed with a tamper and rake. These will hold a pool of water in, forcing it down deep into the soil. We do this also because we live on a steep slope.
Next the seeds are planted with soda bottles put on every site. Lovely rocks keep the bottles in place from strong blowing winds. The bottles will also protect the plants from bugs and especially hail. It is about 2 weeks to hail season here. Each bottle covers two seeds and gives us some to weed out if everything sprouts.
The green plants on the edge are volunteer poppies just about to bloom. They keep the other weeds down and hold the sides up nicely. Besides, I love how they look with the red blooms swaying in the wind. The poppies started up the street and around the corner and have worked their way down to us. Now we collect the seeds and sprinkle here and there in the backyard, but near the cotton it is all volunteer poppy plants.
Today we put in Pima and green but we still will be planting our three types of brown and a tree cotton. The tree is in fiberguy's office and will need to be hardened off. We are debating whether to leave it in the current pot or transplant it. Cotton is not fond of transplanting.
Emergence. Look at this mighty seedling rip the ground above it's head.
And leaves are coming out all over.
Even in the big pots we are getting 100% germination. We will have to thin like mad I think.
And if you look very closely next to the rock you will see several little green shoots coming out.
So even after the snow last week, we are having luck. We still have some to get into the ground, but now seems like a good time. Oh and don't you like my volunteer poppy at the edge of the bed?