Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gone a week, come back to a Tokyo windstorm

Last week I enjoyed a 7 day vacation in Hawaii and am a bit bummed to be back to real life here in Tokyo. On the other hand, only 51 more weeks to go until the next Hawaiian weeklong vacation!

I didn't have anyone who could take care of these plants while I was gone, so I did my best and topped them up with water and hoped things would turn out for the best. Unfortunately Tokyo is in the midst of a spring windstorm and there has been quite a bit of damage to some of the plants.

Strawberries devastated by the wind

The strawberries seem to have taken the brunt of the wind. The larger, taller plants are all broken near the soil and any fruits that we might have expected seem to have dried up. It may not have all been a wind problem, as no one was watering them all week, but seeing how torn up the leaves and stems are seems to show that the worst damage came from being battered around in the wind.

Interestingly, the shorter (more delicious berries) on top seem to have done okay. I suspect because they aren't so tall they didn't catch the wind as much and just pushed through the storm.

What I'm not too happy about is that the plants on top are foregoing fruiting and are just sending out runners. Runners are great when you want to make more strawberry plants, but not so great if you want strawberries. I'll have to find a pot to catch the runners in and start them before it gets too hot. They will become next year's plants. I still wish I could get *this year's* berries, though.

Corn seedlings thirsty for water

The corn seedlings seemed a bit better. Although the vinyl covering that protected them was torn off during the windstorm, the seedlings seem to be doing okay. However, because they are in such small pots, the soil was bone dry and a lot of the seedlings were wilting. I gave them a shot of water this morning and hopefully we'll see some life in them. These are for giving away to other veranda gardeners. We certainly don't have room for 16 more corn plants here.

Corn in the planter doing great

Surprisingly, the corn in the planter, directly exposed to sun and wind for a week without anyone to care for it, has done great. All the planted seeds have sprouted and they look great. Sadly, there are too many here and I will have to thin them out. This is always the most difficult part of gardening.

The thinning will be done next Saturday so the most vigorous corn can be identified. Hopefully the strawberries and corn seedlings in the starter pots revive!

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