The air is thick, intermittently cloudy and sunny, and there's about a 50% chance that the thunderstorms will dissipate before they hit us. Trying to decide whether or not to set up the sprinkler (it is very still, after all, so that's good) I decided to hand water the containers and the newer plants, and steer clear of anything with a bud forming. Gotta watch those fungus vectors! The pinchings I took off the ageratum this morning were already so tough and covered with mud splashes, and now they have these new wounds - I wouldn't be surprised if something happened at that joint and sent them all to the next phase of their life. Death.
What are some actions I could take? Well, to minimize splash-up I could mulch with something. I have woodchips, which could work but might feel like a waste of a scarce resource, and besides the pieces within the woodchips are larger than is ideal for such small plants. BUT I don't have too many other options. Pieces of cardboard cut to proper sizes (which would be small and wiggly) and properly weighted down could work, but god help me that sounds horrible! So if I do anything at all it'll be woodchips. But most likely I'll just do nothing, and watch to see what happens and plant more snapdragons there if they die.
To keep going through the farm tasks that are occupying my time and my brain space, let's talk about knife weeding the Rocket and Madame Butterfly snapdragons. Those roots are too well rooted to pull - they dislodged a mature snapdragon when I tried! So cut them down to size, and let the snapdragons get that one last growth boost that will render the weeds irrelevant. The snaps have a lot of weeks ahead of them, so best to keep them happy now. To that end, I will also stake and string those two varieties (the Ribbon that lies between them being so eager to bloom that it's only getting shorter for the remainder of its rather short tenure). String with the blue and white spool I bought, rather than the Hortnova netting I didn't buy, for those of us keeping track.
I will clip low those first blooms of zinnias and marigolds. Sacrifice the potentially plentiful but puny sideshoots in favor of a slightly longer weight for certainly longer stems. Ditto for the gomphrena, both varieties.
I will continue with this very nice type of hand weeding that has beautified the statice, gomphrena, ageratum, strawflower, and scabiosa beds.
I will knife thin the direct seeded sunflowers.
More aspirationally, I'll pick up my next round of transplants from Pinter.
I'll prepare close to 200 bed feet for that transplants. In addition to some more beds for some more direct seeding. That will involve some staking, measuring, calculations, and ordering. And maybe even a volunteer day for those new beds...