Veggie Patch 5/13/2018

The Veggie patch is now in Full-swing. Every few days I get to come home with a batch of fresh produce. There’s enough beets in the fridge for me to eat for a few weeks. That will be turned into some sort of beet soup for work lunches since the husband isn’t a fan. There are unfortunately still turnips in the fridge. I’m going to just roast and eat to get over with. In the corner to the left of the picture below you see the first pulled Rutabaga which may or may not have been a mistake like the turnips. Unfortunately there are even more rutabagas than turnips…. That is an experiment for later. One that my dear husband and I are a little hesitant to try…

IMG_0965

Onions are being plucked from the ground weekly. Only the Georgia Sweets are impressive in size. That is the impressive variety. Texas onions are still puny. The combination of a little later than recommended planting plus too much shade from the dill that has grown out of hand is likely the reason why they are suffering.

IMG_0963

Carrots are ready! Much to my surprise the carrots are ready to be picked. Equally surprising; they taste good even though it’s been in the 90’s for a few weeks. We roasted them with an onion and some new potatoes last night and MAN was that delicious! Sprinkled a little avocado oil and some of the rosemary-sage salt. My favorite variety just based off looks alone were the black ones but they are equally delicious.

Peppers are starting to produce like crazy too. The hot peppers aren’t really totally ready they are still smaller than full size but I’ve been using the Jalapeno’s for peach salsa.  I also picked some mystery peppers to try to figure out what they are. I’m guessing they are actually Hungarian yellow wax peppers.They are NOT Anaheim peppers. A few Anaheim peppers were picked too just because they were touching the ground since the plants were buried deeply and I didn’t want pest problems. The sweet peppers are still a little behind. Most are just starting to make flower buds, a few have baby peppers.

The beans are finally starting to gain some momentum. It is ridiculous how fast they are starting to grow now. The picture on the right was 15 days ago compared to the left which was today:

The climbing ones are starting to climb, some of the dried beans are starting to put on flowers and a few tiny beans. The first planted fresh eating bean is the french dragon which I got to try today for the first time.

Today I planted some squash (might be too late for that but I already have some at home.) And some melons. Here’s an overview of what the garden looks like right now:

IMG_0981

I even found a frog:

IMG_0969 2I love going out there. It’s much less work and much more enjoyable. Happy gardening!

IMG_0921

Peppers and Beans 3/17/2018

This morning was glorious and beautiful. Setting foot outside was like walking into a jungle. A little humidity, some morning shade, the grackles calling like some tropical Hawaii bird. I love this weather. 80 degrees and humid at 9am YES PLEASE. It’s like living in paradise here. Armed with my strong morning black coffee that my husband lovingly makes for me, it was time to repot the pepper seedlings.

IMG_0454

The sweet peppers we’re trying this year are: Jimmy Nardello (red mottled thin long peppers), Corno di Toro Ciallo (yellow/green large and elongated), and Red pepper cheese (little red turban shaped mini peppers). These are supposed to be flavorful and odd. Something you wouldn’t be able to find in an American grocery store. If we don’t care for these, then we probably don’t care for sweet peppers and I’ll know to not plant them next year. The Jimmy Nardello I was particularly excited about trying and unfortunately only two seeds sprouted of the original sowing so they were re-planted sort of over the top of the old ones a few weeks later. There were much better results in germination the second time even though the conditions seemed the same. As a result, most of the Jimmy Nardello’s are very tiny seedlings compared to the other pepper varieties. Newly repotted in their new homes they will live out/indoors as they harden-off this week. Next weekend I’ll plant them outside in their permanent residence. Since today was 80 something and sunny they received full-shade treatment so they don’t fry completely the first day outside.

IMG_0455

These are all bound for the sweet pepper bed next weekend.  Today the hot pepper bed was planted out fully. My stead-fast garden salsa peppers were not available this year at the store so I’m experimenting with poblano, Anaheim , Goliath Jalapeno, and Mild Jalapeno’s.  Today I also planted 4 eggplants (2 different Japanese varieties) and basil.

IMG_0469

Today was also the beginning of bean day. I planted one bed full of pole / bush dry beans and one bed of pole/bush fresh beans. The picture of those just looks like a bunch of dirt so it’s not that interesting yet. The top row is fresh pole beans, the middle row is fresh bush beans, the bottom row are the dried beans with black turtle being the only bush variety.

IMG_0476

Succession planting seems like a smart idea for the fresh beans, One bean plant per week per variety will be planted for 6 weeks total for the bush beans. Hopefully this means fresh beans will be abundant at different times instead of getting one bumper crop that is over all at once. Not sure what will happen there, It’s the first time I’ve tried it.

Every other day I go out to water the seeds from that were planted earlier in February:

IMG_0472This is the beet and turnip bed. It seems as though they are growing very slowly. Then I think about how the seeds were as small as a ball-point pen tip and they are already this size a month later. That is fairly incredible. I’m sure the growth trend will continue.

And here is an over-all picture of the garden plot progress:

IMG_0468

There’s still some pathway weeding/mulching to do but the beds are getting filled slowly but surely. Hoping that this is the beginning of a wonderful garden season with lots of lessons learned and enough success to make it fun.

IMG_0093

Planting Seeds 2/17/2018

Results of Planning

I skipped garden activities for a few weekends. The husband and I were off traveling a little bit. Beds also needed to be weeded more before they would be useful. This put my seed planting behind schedule by two weeks. Better late than never!

There has been another 8 hours of weeding done at the community garden plot. All but one of the large side beds have been cleared. Most of the middle beds are still a mess.

The other night my master plan we worked out. Ultimately I want a beautiful functional kitchen garden space. A lot of googling and pinterest-pinning later I’ve determined the elements of potagers that I love that are:

  • boldly defined raised beds with clean lines & clear pathways – Lucky me my plot already has this bold line design, it’s just needs some tidying still
  • Flowers in every bed – these could just be for beauty or serve a purpose, use them as cutting flowers, have them attract beneficial insects or have them repel insects I don’t want. They can even be edible.
  • Even spacing – I actually used a measuring tape to make sure my spacing of seeds and flowers were evenly spaced
  • Straight planting rows that frame another type of vegetable – I used a string that i had measured the placement of and planted along the string to get straight rows and planted the same type of plant all along the outside of the bed so that eventually onions will frame the carrots all the way around for example.

So my super rough sketch of what goes where is as follows:

IMG_0416

Planting time

The time for planting bulbing onions was two to four weeks ago. Here’s hoping it still works. I picked out two varieties. They are now bordering four varieties of carrots to experiment with primarily because they come from India or other warm places and this is the year of experiments!  There is so much more work that needs to be done. Other than weeding the remaining beds and the pathway I’ve started to lay down a thick layer of mulch over cardboard to hopefully help suppress the grass in the pathway. So what you see below is a lovely combination of half-finished projects. Partially weeded beds, partially mulched pathway and wonky supports haphazardly stuck in the ground. But, it is the truth. Nothing looks beautiful when you just start out.

Allium/Umbellifer Family beds:

Onions: Spacing 4 inches apart 2 rows per foot staggered.

  • Bulbing Texas Sweet
  • Bulbing Georgia Sweet

Carrots: spacing oxheart 3 inches per short row 1.5 inches per short row all others

  • kyoto red,
  • Pusa Asita Black,
  • Pusa Rudhira Red,
  • oxheart

Dill: one line of thinly spaced seeds in will be thinned.

  • mammoth and dukat

IMG_0388

Brassica family beds:

IMG_0385

The bed to the right has turnips in the middle of the marigolds and has rutabagas around the outside. The bed to the right has different turnips in the middles and beets surrounding the outside.

Turnips: – every 4 inches two rows

  • nagasaki akari Kabu (purple)
  • Purple top white globe

Rutabaga: – every 4 inches two rows

  • Collet vert (yellow and green)

Beets: – every 4 inches two rows.

  • Flat of egypt
  • bulls Blood
  • Colorful beet mix

IMG_0417

Now I hope it keeps raining so the seeds are well watered.

IMG_0089