Saturday, May 21, 2011

Planting Ramps

This is my new ramp patch. I know, I know, they're all flopped over and pathetic. But when I planted a dozen grocery store ramps last year, they did the same thing. The leaves tried to stand back up, but then quickly withered away when a drought rolled in. Then, half of them surprised me by putting up seed heads.

And then this season, half of them - perhaps the same plants that flowered last year - came back!

Look at what a cheapskate I am. Here, slumping ramps decorate the feet of a rescued rhododendron, which may or may not survive being ripped out of my neighbor's flowerbed.

I have planted perhaps eighty ramps so far this season. At $12 a pound, which is about 40 ramps, and a 50% success rate, I'm game. Especially since it keeps me from splurging at local nurseries, where I'm as likely to spend more on a single plant.

If I were planning ahead, I would order a few hundred ramp bulbs from the Ramp Farm, which is the only ramp farm in existence. But of course then I would have to wait until next year, when it's the time for shipping dormant bulbs. Or I would have to try seeds. Again.

Uh-uh. I require instant gratification. So I'll take my losses and support the local Whole Foods.

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