Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1st Garden Update

June 1st and the garden is rolling.  Zucchini in the foreground and butternut squash on the other side.  This bed didn't do well last year, and as a result, I didn't get much squash.  I'm hoping that my winter clean-out and a pile of fresh new veggie mix soil has fixed the problem!

I'm growing half the pole beans I've grown in the past.  It's not that I can't find a home for them all, it's that they are very time consuming to pick.  With plans to do craft shows this summer, I don't have time to spend hours picking pole beans every three days.  So I'm hoping this 4' long trellis of beans will spark the right balance between having yummy beans without devoting my life to the cause.

I'm also growing fewer tomatoes.  Only 6 plants this year.  I usually grow twice that, though I have to preface that comment.  Every year for one reason or another, I've lost about 4 of my plants.  So gambling that all 6 will do well this year (and early signs are positive), I will only be a couple plants short of what I've grown in the past.  Again, trying to free up some of the time I spend harvesting in the summer.

I was smart this year and put netting over my pepper plants the minute they went in the ground.  Last year, birds demolished most of them.  I just took the netting off, as they are mature enough that the birds should leave them alone.  I've already got a couple of them flowering.  I'm growing the standard bells, and Lipstick, a small-sized sweet pepper.

Had good broccoli and cabbage this year.  Though the main crowns have been harvested, I've got a few plants that are still producing side shoots.  I'll leave them growing until the bugs take them over and the heat ruins them.  I'm thinking I should have another 4 weeks with these.  Then I'll have to find something to plant in this bed mid-summer.  Still pondering that one!  I might put a snow pea teepee here and go for late summer peas.

The shallots I planted in November are about 4 weeks from harvest.

Man, I have never had a clematis grow this big. It must be in a happy place.

This plant is from one nasturtium seed. Last year, I planted an entire packet in this spot. It was like a bad 50's horror movie, "Attack of the 50ft Nasturtium!" Shows how deceiving those tiny little seeds can be. I am smarter now. I let one orange and one yellow grow this year. Even these will probably consume my path before the summer is over.

I did not have tomatoes this early last year. I think it's going to be another good tomato season! We deserve it after all those cold summers.

These wine barrels have been three years of trial and failure.  Tomatoes did not do well here.  Neither did herbs.  I think I've hit the jackpot with sunflowers.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Garden Update

Started my tomato and pepper seeds about a month ago. They bolted before I could get them under lights and I had to restart, setting me back a couple weeks. But I've learned not to sweat the calendar too much. In a good 30-45 days, they should all be ready to plant outdoors.

I planted bok choi in one of my barrels and it's doing really well. I'll be overrun in another 2-3 weeks. Best thing about the barrels, the slugs keep out!

And my spring broccoli and cabbage that I started from seed 1/1 then transplanted about a month ago is really taking off. I brought in all new dirt in the garden this year and they are responding well. I will get a good crop that will last me through June.

We had good rain last night, so I planted some dwarf sunflower seeds in my other two wine barrels.  I haven't had much luck in the barrels other than bok choi in the spring.  We'll see how the sunflowers do.  They are another plant that gets devastated by slugs no matter how hard I try to fight them.  It will be a win/win if I can get the flowers to do well in the barrels where the slugs can't get to them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spring Preparation

Broccoli and cabbage seeds are incubating in my workshop. They are a couple weeks old and my plan is to plant them 3/1 providing we aren't expecting any serious freezes.

Spring seedlings means I have to start thinking about prepping the garden for planting. Today I spent the day excavating this bed. It's my "sick bed". The one that has never done as well as the other two. I theorized the problem was that the layer of gravel under these beds--here from when the space had been lawn--was thicker under this bed than the others. A small amount of gravel, good for drainage. Too much gravel, you're trying to grow over a parking lot.

So, today was spent excavating down to the native soil underneath. I'll haul in fresh veggie mix soil from my favorite supplier later. Crossing my fingers all the back breaking I did today was worth it!