Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bird Bath Continued

I hope this worked. I won't know until it sets up and I can unmold it. Rather than purchase an actual bird bath mold, or use something like a terra cotta saucer (wouldn't that have been easy!), I chose to fashion my own bird bath by using these two saucers:

It was a way bigger pain in the butt than I thought it would be.  It will be worth it if I unmold it and find a beautiful bird bath saucer inside.

And note to self: A 60lb bag of mortar makes a CRAPLOAD. I ended up with a bird bath top, 4 stepping stones and a mushroom cap. Oh, and still in the workshop is the second bag of mortar I'd bought thinking I might run out just making the bird bath top. I don't know what I was thinking. Even if I'd needed the second bag, what the hell would I have done with a 120lb bird bath??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice Garden Update

I figured this significant point in our annual calendar would be a good day to do a garden update. Here's the "global view" as of 6/21/11. 

Clockwise from upper left:  Carrots, pole beans and cucumber at the 4-week mark:

Sweet bell peppers seem to be happy in their container:

They are starting to fruit even.  Fingers crossed I might actually get some decent peppers this year:

My snow peas are fruiting.  They were planted a little over 60 days ago.  I have NO IDEA why the peas on the left are so stubby compared to the ones on the right.  They were all planted at the same time, in the same place, from the same packet of seeds.  It's just proof that gardening involves lots of WTF-ishness.

I've been fretting over these tomatoes:

Note the monstrosoties growing in the background.  Those are Brandywine and Juliets that are quickly on their way to becoming a jungle.  When all these tomatoes were planted they looked exactly alike, yet these Early tomatoes (Moskovich) pictured here are gangly and I don't know why. They get roughly the same amount of sun as the others.  They're planted in the same ground.  The only thing I can figure is that the sun they get leans more toward morning sun, where the others are late afternoon.  Amazing that would make a difference being they're only 6 feet from each other.  The only other thing of note is that the monstrosities are planted where pole beans were last year.  The gangly earlies were planted right next to broccoli.  Something to be said for companion planting?

IMO it's just more WTF-ishness.

But while I'm fretting over them, I look back on the few pictures I took last year at this time, and even these spindly ones are way ahead of last year's tomatoes.  In fact, despite their appearance, they've even got a tiny green tomato on them already.

And while we're talking gangly tomatoes, these ones I planted in containers aren't doing as well as I'd hoped either. They're closer to my gangly earlies, and when it comes to these, I know it's due to less sunshine. I thought this spot would get more sun, but in reality, it's only topping out at 6 hours, which is the minimum for most veggies.

I think next year, I'll plant my peas and carrots here and leave the tomatoes to the sunniest spots.

Next to my gargantuan tomatoes are my gargantuan anaheim chiles. I've never grown chiles before, and honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the chiles when they're ripe. But they're sure doing well. I planted them as an alternative to peppers since people say they grow better than bells. I can now attest to that.

Here are my two varieties of zucchini. One is plain old zucchini (Plato), the other is Costa Romanesca. Though I can't tell you which is which. I forgot to label them, then immediately forgot what I planted where:

The pole beans are taking off, as they always do.  They are my favorite garden veggie because they're easy, they grow fast, they're pretty and they give me lots of production.

And to end on a sunny note, the first nasturtium flowers are starting to bloom. I've planted them all over, though as I discovered with my tomatoes, some are growing much faster than others.

That's it! The garden as of the longest day of the year.