Monday, May 31, 2010

Harvest Monday

I've been neglecting to participate in harvest monday for the last few weeks. Things have been harvested but just not pictured. Mainly just small things like asian greens and what not. The last couple weeks harvest have been bigger so I have been taking the camera out with me. Here are some photos of what has been brought in:

I harvested all the leeks to make way for peppers. They were
planted last July, overwintered under poly and where harvested
last week. They have certainly been growing for a long time.

Little Gem Romaine. They were harvested this morning along
with everything below. They produce mini head which are perfect
for one per person. Their small size also makes for a quicker crop.

Pinetree Lettuce Mix. It offers a nice variety. Not really a
fan of mesclun mix so this is a good alternative.

I also picked the row of easter egg radishes that were plant
about a month ago. They are a little bug eaten but nothing
a brush and knife can't fix.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Legumes and a garden visitor

The peas and broad beans have started to bloom the last few days. We have had some pretty hot spring weather the last week with most days around 30c (86f) or higher. The heat has really pushed the crops along and even crisped up a few pea shoots. Here are some photos of all the different varieties of legumes in bloom:

Oregon Sugar Snow Pea just starting to open.
Seed shared by Miss M.

Cascadia Snap Pea. Seed shared by Laura.

Opel Creek Golden Snap Pea, that's a mouth full!
Even the bract is golden.

Victorian Climbing Shell Pea, they are suppose to grow
8' high! Seed shared by Gary.

The Crimson Flowered Broad Beans have started to bloom.
They were started in potting soil and were just planted out.

Now about the visitor. We had this cat show up in the yard and it decided not to leave. It was fallowing me around like a dog outside. Last night I broke down and let it inside. It is really skinny so it has been on its own for a while. It also doesn't seem to like being outside. We will test the water for a bit, if it is going to work out we will get the cat shots & spayed. Any name ideas for a female cat?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Beans are in

It would appear I missed another harvest Monday. Today was a holiday which made it seem like Sunday. I did get my beans in today though so I will post about that.

With rot problems last year I decided to grow all the beans in rootrainers this year. They offer 32 cells per flat and worked really well. I am growing quite a mix of beans this year, I will spare you a photo of each one and just list them below:
  • dragon tongue
  • kentucky blue pole
  • purple podded pole
  • boriotto (from Gary)
  • soldier (from Kath)
  • true red cranberry (from Kath)
  • tiger's eye
  • trail of tears (from Daphne)
  • vermont cranberry
In this bed I have pole beans on a bamboo trellis.
Then in front I have brush beans.

Here I have some more pole beans growing up wigwam's
made from branches and twine. Nice and cheap!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yesterdays Garden News

Yesterday I finished planting out the lowest bed in the garden. This bed is new this year and is just yard soil that is lightly amended with homemade compost. At the far end there already is a row of brussels sprouts and a hop vine in the top corner. Yesterday the rest was filled in with potatoes, crimson flowered broad beans & celeriac. First off I turned, amended and leveled the bed which you will see below:

I then planted out all the potatoes. They have been green sprouting on a south facing window sill for about a month now and were ready to go in the ground. I planted them in trenches fairly deep with a some kelp meal sprinkled in. I planted similar to what Laura is trying this year, she has a good post about it at this link. Basically you plant them deeper to avoid hilling and space them closure to save space.

I then ended up with half a row of potatoes so I planted some crimson flowered broad beans to finish the row off. I started these in rootrainers and they are just about to flower. Probably should have planted these weeks ago.

At the front of the bed I planted a row of celeriac. I am growing two varieties, both received in seed trades. The potted photo shows giant celeriac on the right from Miss M and brilliant celeriac on the left from Kathy. Never grown or eaten celeriac so I am looking forward to this crop.

To wrap things up here is an overview of the finished bed. Brussels sprouts & hops at the back, potatoes in the big empty spot and broad beans & celeriac at the front.

Now I am off to plant out all the beans, look for a post on that next.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baltimore Oriole

The Orioles started feeding from the hummingbird feeder today. This was the first time I had seen them at the feeder. It seems they can get some nectar out but the ports are pretty small from them. Maybe we will set up an Oriole feeder now, I have heard they like nectar, oranges & grape jelly. This feeder looks like it fits the bill.

In garden news it has been pretty uneventful lately. I have a few things that really need to be planted but I have been slacking. I have still been taking care of everything in the polytunnel though. Hopefully everything will be in by the weekend even though the farmers almanac says it is a barren time from the 19th-23rd.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Update

I have been blog-glecting lately, mainly because of the weather. The past week has been really chilly with most nights just above freezing. With the weather all the warm season crops came back in, the hardier stuff was buttoned up in the poly tunnel and nothing has been happening in the garden. Tomorrow it is supposed to start warming up a bit finally so I shall have more to blog about now.

Today I moved everything back outside because nights are forcasted to be much warmer. The poly tunnel is now completely filling with things I have sown from seed, mostly veggies and some annuals. Starting to think I may need to build a second one.....

The first bed I planted out is doing well. It comprises of Broccoli, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Tatsoi, Pac Choi, Romaine, Mixed Lettuce & Radishes. Please don't judge the weedy upper bed :-)

Here is a close up of the Broccoli. My transplants were rather small this year so I am happy to see they have bulked up. Technically they should have been this size before transplant at about 6" high.

However, Not all the brassica's have came through unscaved. Something has been chewing on them and wiped out two cabbages & defoliated a couple kale, cabbage & brussels sprout plants. My first thought was birds but I am starting to think it is an evil chipmunk. I have placed TP rolls over the most affected plants to hopefully give them some protection.

The overwintered spinach is still going bonkers. I think I will harvest it all next time. The weedy plants surround the spinach is flowering Mache. Maybe I will save some seed if time allows.

The onions are off the a really good start. The thicker ones to the left are sets and the thinner ones are seed grown.

The tatsoi is bolting even though its been cold. I will use it anyway, bolting doesn't seem to affect the taste.

Peas are taking hold but growing slowly still.

I have been chitting my potatoes for the last couple weeks, doesn't that sound vulgar? The place I ordered from calls it green sprouting, seems more civilized. I was going to plant these last week but it has been so wet I have held off. Hopefully they will go in the ground soon.

To wraps things up I will end with a few spring flowers. They certainly flourish in this cold, wet spring weather:


Foam Flower & Ostrich Fern

Pulmonaria

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Peak in the Polytunnel

The polytunnel is bursting at the seams currently and I still have three flats of plants under the grow light. At the moment it is mainly full of warm season crops and overwintered plants. The last week or so has been pretty warm so everything has been staying outside. Sunday is forecasted to be much cool though so I may have to start carting things in and out which I really don't want to do. Here goes some shots of whats in there:

Celery & Celeriac

Red Scallions from seed shared by Thomas. The larger ones
were started about a month ago and the wee ones were just
seeded. There should be enough for a good sized clump.

In this flat are double yield cucumbers, butternut squash, petit
gris melons, crookneck squash & zucchini. They are getting a head
start in peat pots and will be planted out in 2-3 weeks.

All the tomatoes for me and my sister. I will be growing
18 plants this year and of those there will be 18 varieties.

Peppers, doing nicely. I may plant them soon if the cold
snap later this week doesn't last.

All the beans. There are poles, bush & shell beans in there.
To many to list so they will have to get a post of their own.

To wrap things up, here is my not so early tomato.
I will plant it out soon in hopes of some early fruit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I started out my Sunday by

making seed mats. You didn't think this post was going elsewhere right? I made them fallowing Granny's directions and it worked great. Basically you glue evenly spaced seeds on biodegradable paper products to have perfect rows without having to thin. A little tedious but definitely beats being bent over doing it in the garden. Here is what was matted:

Albion Hybrid Parsnips. 3" apart & 6" between rows

Carrots, 1.5" apart & 3" between rows. Varieties grown are:
Purple Dragon Carrots
Yellow Amarillo (seed from Soggy Creek Seed Co.)
Scarlet Nantes Carrots (seed from Hometown Seeds)

After the seeds are laid out and dried you just roll them out in the garden, cover with soil and water. Now I just have to wait for them to grow. The greens in the middle of the seed mats are Tatsoi. They will be harvest soon so they will not interfere with the new planting. The multiplier onion in the back on the other hand maybe a little close. They may be moved or I may put in some kind of divider to keep the carrot foliage off of them.