Monday, May 31, 2010

More behinder

The traditional planting weekend for this area is over, and the tomatoes still aren't in the ground.

On the plus side, the peppers are all planted -- 6 hot, 6 banana and 23 (there were 24, but one seedling croaked) Ace. And the alliums (onions and garlic) got some serious weeding, thanks to my co-gardener.

The new-to-us variety of garlic that ripens in June is, in fact, showing signs of being almost ready for harvest. The green tops stopped growing a couple weeks ago, and now they're sending up scapes.

The green beans are being eaten by the bunnies as soon as the seeds sprout (and my co-gardener, not a green-bean eater, rejoices). Unfortunately, the critters are also nibbling on the sugar snap peas.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here's this year's investment (rounded to whole dollars):
  • $25 for new variety of garlic
  • $78 for onions, asparagus and assorted seeds
  • $22 for plants below

Total so far: $125

The plants we purchased were:

  • 24: Ace peppers
  • 6: banana peppers
  • 6: hot peppers (not sure of variety)
  • 6: San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6: grape tomatoes (not sure of variety)
  • 1: peppermint
  • 1: lemon balm
  • 1: thyme

The weather is still iffy, so we're waiting to plant the peppers and tomatoes until this weekend. Mint and lemon balm are in a whiskey barrel. Can't figure out where to put the thyme. I have some issues with bending, and I'd like the thyme to be raised off the ground for easy harvesting, but most of the raised areas are too shady.

So far, we've planted seeds for: cucumbers, swiss chard, spaghetti squash, yellow summer squash, butternut squash and green beans.

We're still trying to figure out where to plant the basil (seedlings growing on a windowsill now, but too tiny to plant outside), sunflowers and carrots. And I'm not sure the space allotted to the tomatoes is big enough.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Purple asparagus!

We're trying a new variety of asparagus -- purple passion. The first sprouts are just coming up.

We had a hard freeze two nights ago. I brought in one semi-hardy plant from my deck but forgot I'd put the rosemary out in the garden. Fortunately, it survived. So did the sugar-snap peas (not so surprising) and radishes and dill and onions and garlic. The tatsoi is almost ready for harvest and is absolutely loving the cool, wet weather. (That may be our new shorthand for cool and wet: "Will the tatsoi weather ever improve?")

The new (to us) variety of garlic isn't looking all that great. They're tremendously uneven, with a few really pitiful patches in the row. Normally, I'd attribute it to an area of less fertile soil, but the old (to us) variety is growing more uniformly in a parallel row just a few inches away, which makes me wonder if the patches of anemic plants all grew from the cloves of a single head, and the variety just has more than typically uneven vigor from plant to plant, head to head. If that's true, I wouldn't recommend the variety for the basic crop, but it does offer extra-early harvest, so it may be worth putting up with the uneven growth in a crop that's only intended to provide for a short period when the prior year's harvest is completely gone and it's too early for the current year's main crop.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


There's a saying attributed to the Amish: "the faster I work, the behinder I get."

I haven't been working particularly fast, but I'm definitely getting behinder fast. We lost most of March and April to rains and floods, and we're still mired in what seems to be a perpetual rainy season. The garlic, which I thought might drown, seems to be thriving. The red onions -- all 200 or so of them -- were planted a few weeks ago. The peas have sprouted, and so have butternut squash from the compost pile. The asparagus is growing faster than we can eat it.

I just noticed yesterday that we have a few billion self-seeded dill plants. They've overflowed the whiskey barrel where we grew them last year, and have sprouted all around that barrel and in an adjoining one too.

I'm really late with the early crops and the indoor-seeded crops. I just started basil plants a couple days ago, and I still haven't started any lettuce. We had temperatures nearing 90 degrees the other day, which made me fear that I'd missed any conceivable window of opportunity for the cool-weather crops. I half expected the tatsoi to start bolting. Today, however, is barely into the 50s, if that, so if the thunderstorms ever stop, I'll get some lettuce seeds into the deck planters in the next couple days.

The lilacs have bloomed already, and the peonies are about to. The tree pollen is overwhelming.

Next week, we'll be getting nightshade-family plants from the local nursery. It's too early to plant the tomatoes and peppers, but I don't want to risk finding that the preferred varieties are sold out. I'm behinder enough without that happening!