28 June 2009

carrots and more

We ate a few thinned carrots today- sweet. The smaller Broccoli plants were crowded between the large ones and obviously not thriving, so I transplanted them to another empty part of the garden. Transplanted the three volunteer Tomato plants left in pots into gaps in the garden- now the total count of Tomato plants is- eighteen! I was staggered when I actually counted them all. Well, some are very small still, so they'll give us late tomatoes perhaps, when the other plants are done producing, if the fall is long and mild. I found that one plant in the row of cucumbers was "not like the others"- it's actually a volunteer Canteloupe! So I moved it over to replace the canteloupe that got toppled by (I think) a cutworm. It's not happy, but with some dug-in compost and a douse of water, sprinkle of rain tonight, hope it will be okay.

The Pumpkins are flowering, and the largest Tomato plants. Every day I anxiously check on the new G Bean seedlings- the two that came up last got chewed up by something, but so far it hasn't touched the others, and I'm hoping they don't deteriorate like the failed plot did...

The Cilantro has grown tall, and is making little flowers. On a whim I picked fat sunflower seeds out of the wild birdseed mix, and planted a row of them across the back of the long garden plots. Everything else there failed- the herbs didn't grow (except for Cilantro), the sweet peas shriveled, the garlics I put there are growing so slowly. I wanted something to make a row across the back- marigolds next year, but none grew at all this time. I looked at how robust and healthy and strong and fast-growing the Sunflowers are, and put those birdseed ones in on the other side. Already the seedlings are coming up- and not getting eaten yet. I haven't seen any sign of slugs, only catching a few fat ones in the beer last night.

26 June 2009

ailling beans

Weeded yesterday, feel like I haven't done much of it in a while. Turned the compost pile- put a few shovelful of the blackest stuff around base of one Tomato plant and one Cucumber. See how they like it before I give to more plants. This morning the compost was scattered about the Tomato- but not far. A bird snatching up grubs?

The stunted little G Bean plants were putting out flower buds- and I thought that can't be good, so I pulled them all up. The roots were small, short, non-existent. Eaten? diseased? I think it may be nematodes, trying to read up on that. Recall now that that area of the garden last year grew little- the Zucchini did fine there, but the herbs and lettuces never grew.

23 June 2009


Well, I think I erred and harvested the Garlic too early. I thought since the tops had all fallen over, it was time. I read up a bit more and found out you're supposed to leave off watering for a week before harvest- and it's supposed to be a dry week, so I should have waited until the end of the week. Or maybe until the fallen-over tops had started to turn brown. Too hasty. Most of my garlics don't have a skin formed on them yet. Does that mean they won't store well? I have no idea. I'm going to clip the tops off some of the smaller ones to keep in the fridge for immediate use, and braid and hang the rest in mudroom (where it's cooler) hoping they keep well for a while.

Anyway, here's a photo: the Garlics with dirt lightly brushed off,

and braided and hung in the kitchen. My braids aren't very neat or pretty, but I feel satisfied looking at them!


All those Broccoli I started inside have died, eaten up by the slugs. O well. The five plants sown outdoors are getting nice and big.

The Cucumber plants are starting to flower. One at the end of the row looks like it's a different plant- it was a volunteer from another row I thought a cuke and moved it here. Now I'm not sure what it is- a relative, though.

Pulled a few Beets today- still not quite big enough- the largest here is almost tennis ball size.

Dug up all the Garlic, as the plants were falling over- got a few nice big fat ones w/well-formed cloves, and lots of small ones. We'll eat all the small ones and save the big ones for planting again in fall. I'm not sure why some grew big and others small- did only the largest planted cloves make big bulbs? or was the how deep I buried them, or the conditions of the soil?

Two of them grew a bulb under the soil and started forming cloves above the ground about a half inch up the stalk. It looks really weird.

We're eating a bowlful of fresh peas every other day.

The Lettuces left in ground are tall and pretty now, almost ready to put out flowers.

Nasturtiums look nice, too.

20 June 2009


Planted one more row of Basil outside today, and Green Beans in the plot that was meant for peppers. Trying again... snacking on fresh Peas.

17 June 2009


Steady light rain today but we did some gardening anyways. Weeded all the vegetable beds, picked some peas, moved some Purslane from garden over to side of the house- it's starting to really fill in there and looks better than the all the weeds I constantly battled last year. Four of my Tomato plants are growing fast and strong, the others not so much. The G Beans still look sad but are putting out new leaves, slowly. I'm thinking of planting some more, in a different location. Some of the Garlics under kitchen window are falling over- I pulled one up, it had formed a small bulb with the slightest hint of clove shapes. We cut it up and the flavor fantastic- the greens used as green onions. Is it because the soil's too rocky, and they loose purchase? I don't know... but probably next year I won't plant them there. They're still growing straight and fine in the walled plot.

We ate the last of our Lettuce from the fridge yesterday. There's still a few Romaine heads out there that haven't quite bolted yet; with all the rain it's stayed kind of cool. Picked a leaf- it's bitter, but I read that if chilled in clean water in fridge for a day or two, the bitter flavor will leach out... might try that.

15 June 2009

big seedlings

Planted the Cantaloupe and rest of Zucchini seedlings outside. One Zucchini has three seedling leaves instead of the usual two. We've begun picking Snap Peas. The orange daylilies are flowering- even those we moved to the corner by the driveway. The transplanted Basil under cloches are beginning to put out their first true leaves. Snapped the terminal ends off the Sunflowers that were higher than the fence, to make them spread out more bushy. About a week ago I started more seeds indoors- peppers and herbs. The basil in small plastic greenhouse already sprouting, nothing else yet. I'm most eager to get the peppers; Oregano is already large enough to pick, in the pot outside the door. What I thought was Mint isn't though, it's the Catnip. So I need to plant that again, too.

11 June 2009

plants, plants

Turned the pile today- very wet from the rain, covered again when done. Just under the latest layer of weeds it was all black stuff- but not crumbly, and quite slimy. I mixed in a bit of dry leaves and hope for the best. Turned dirt over in the plot where I'm going to put my Cantaloupe seedlings. It's nice, dark rich looking soil. Pleased with that. Moved a few more volunteer Tomatoes from pots to the soil- with sticks for stakes, as ran out of cages. Maybe too many tomato plants, but I'm not sure how well they'll grow. My G Beans that didn't die seem to be recovering- new leaves, and no new damage. I'm going to wait until they're grown well and bushy before try to fill in the gaps with a few new plants- which will stagger the harvest, too. Isabel insisted on pulling a Carrot today- they're only a few inches long and quarter inch thick but she was delighted. So I thinned five out, for her to snack on. And pulled the largest Beet- golf ball sized. I'm going to let the rest get bigger.

10 June 2009

setting out

Today weeded all the garden plots- one Potato plant is sick, some leaves yellowing, curled brown at the edges. A bug? A deficiency? More stuff to look up. Pea pods are forming. A few of the largest Beets almost ready. There's even one seedling coming up near the corn that has the large, broad leaves of a squash- could it be the Watermelon I gave up on?

I put tomato cages around the five heirloom Tomato plants. Planted outside some of the indoor-started seedlings: two rows of Chard, one row of Basil (all of the plants brought form the safeway are recovering and sprouting new leaves!) and ten Broccoli plants under the kitchen window.

09 June 2009

stuff growing

I planted Zucchini seeds in toilet-paper roll pots about a week ago, not really thinking they'd grow so fast (the ones I planted outside have not sprouted in all this time). Cut the tubes in half this time, didn't fold the bottoms under but just left sitting in the tray. Five seedlings pushing up through the dirt! The Broccoli seedlings inside all have a set of true leaves now, though they look fragile. I might put them out under cloches. The Canteloupe all have two true leaves, I'm going to turn over soil in their plot and put them out soon. The Chard seedlings don't seem to be growing very fast anymore, maybe they need to go outside as well?

Outside, there are pretty, though very leggy, white Radish flowers in both patches. One in each spot is pink- I wonder why. I still don't know what's damaged my G Bean plants- the leaves were all so coated with mud from heavy rains I squirted it off with a spray bottle, but afraid it was too much. A few plants recovered and are putting out new leaves, but most have wilted. I can't tell if there's any new holes in the leaves, but last night out w/flashlight found two flies- each on the edge of a leaf, the side that gets chewed on. I pinched them dead. Do flies eat leaves??

One of the Basil plants I planted outside by the Onions has recovered and is making new leaves. We had fresh Basil for the first time this week. My Nasturtiums in a pot are flowering and the Snap Peas are forming pea pods!

05 June 2009


Harvested the Lettuces. Read up on how to store in fridge, and then went out and cut all the plants that weren't bolting yet. Got about two thirds of the Romaine and three-fourths of the Simpson. The rest left to grow tall and make flowers.

Fresh picked bowls of Lettuce.

Romaines drying in the dish rack.

Separated leaves drying on paper towels before being chilled.

04 June 2009

failed seeds

Inside, I dumped out most of the seedling pots which haven't sprouted- breaking them apart out of curiosity- the Cantaloupe seeds were still there, just never germinated. The G Bean and Pea seeds rotted. Well, I got plenty of those, and three Cantaloupe plants, which is really all I need.The Beets are still coming up here and there, so I kept the remaining egg carton pieces of those to wait if any more show themselves.

03 June 2009

stuff going on

The Lettuce is beginning to bolt. Something is eating my young Tomato plants- chomped down to a bare stem in the morning, just like first happened to the sunflowers. I've put three of the volunteers in the empty spots, and covered them all. Cloches removed during day and finally for good from the G Beans and Cucumbers- the cukes remain untouched, the G Beans don't look well. I still don't know what's eating them, and the leaves are not a good color.

01 June 2009

driveway edge

The Purslane came back! I've been weeding the ground beside driveway because I planted Marigolds there, no sign of them. But after those few days of heavy rain, suddenly Purslane is coming up- two large bushy patches and small clusters of tiny plants everywhere else. I'm hoping now to encourage it to cover all the ground there. The orange day lilies are putting out buds to flower, even the small plants I dug up and moved- they look rather tattered and I thought wouldn't flower, after the stress of moving. Looks like there will be a few shoots of bloom there regardless.

A nice full salad of just S Lettuce today. Pulled a few Radishes, too- most have bolted into pretty flowers, one good to eat but quite small, about as big as a taw marble. I want to call the radishes a fail, but I enjoy looking at the flowers, so never mind. They're not a favorite vegetable of mine, anyway.