Friday, May 23, 2008

picture pages, pictues pages, time to get your picture pages; time to get your crayons and your pencils!

I loved that Bill Cosby Saturday morning doo-dad. I never did buy the activity book or the fun pen that made noises, but I watched him every week!

So today I finally got around to pulling the pictures off my camera and onto my computer. I also laid down some more hay and planted Burgundy Okra, New Zealand spinach, and Black Futsu, Jumbo Pink Banana, and Chicago Warted Hubbard winter squash. I've never grown okra or winter squash before so we'll see what happens. I grew New Zealand spinach in Florida and it went gang-busters, turning into more of a ground cover than a vegetable. I doubt it will do that here, but time will tell all fortunes...

I had to transplant some cukes and the zucchini due to a truly sophmorish mistake! In my experiment planting beans and cukes under a tree, I didn't take into account that this particular tree would be super-slow to fully foliate. So now that it's completely leaved out, I only get four hours sun underneath. Boo! I feel dumb! It's humbling! And it's fine... I chalk it up to the infinite learning curve and say meekly, "Whatev."

I left all the beans under the tree. The soybeans, which are slightly more shaded, will probably do nothing but they can grow the season, just to see (and to be, they live, after all!). The Provider beans might get enough sun to provide a small crop - we'll see. But I moved one each of the cukes and the zucchini. I don't know if they'll survive the transplant, but if they don't, that's okay, too. It's all okay until the days of true gardening guerilla warfare brought on by high-peak-oil. Until then, it's all practice, babies.

Now for the 2-penny nickelodeon!

First, I present to you le jardin c. April 19 of Anno Domina 2008:

I planted most of the spring bed out in late February, although the spinach went in in January and the beets in March, etc. Notice the "homemade bird scarer" which is a steel can suspended over the bed by braided plastic sacks. There are several more that have been pushed over to the side of the yard. Incidentally, I don't think they worked that well. Hanging the wind chimes on the clothesline overhead did a better job of it, I think. That, and the recent addition of a stray cat who has adopted us. Rigby is my watch-feline (and in search of a more permanent home...).

About two weeks later, the miracle of sun+water+soil+seed transformed into this:

And then today here we are, miracle of miracles:

The sunflower you see at the far left of the summer bed (the less grown of the two) is a volunteer, and from whence it came, I know not. I had a bunch of volunteer peppers, too, that came out of the compost. Of course, if I were composting correctly, seeds wouldn't survive it...but I'm not turning it often enough and the snails are mostly taking care of the decomposition, so oh well. Why turn the compost pile when you can have snails and earth worms do it for free? :) I do have to be careful when using the compost, though, being sure to pick out the grubbies to protect my plantlings.

I also have a volunteer squash that I let go for it. I know, I're not supposed to let volunteers grow unless you're sure of the seed - which I'm not. In fact, the peppers and the squash are most likely from store-bought produce (horrors!) and therefore from hybrid seed (double-horrors!). I let a squash go a few years ago in similar circumstances. It produced three amazingly shaped squash which were ugly but completely edible. Plus, I dig experiments, so volunteers - grow on! (And, I admit, I have a really hard time killing anything, which is the truth behind the euphemism "thinning." I need more of a spine to be a better gardener...I still feel guilty when I kill a cabbage worm here and there. Mostly I just move them to other habitat. I'm nowhere near hardcore.)

Here are a couple of pictures of our recent harvests:

In terms of actual planted produce, here's the complete list, and just FYI, unless marked by an asterisk, everything is grown from seed:

  • Early Market Copenhagen cabbage (still growing, probs with loopers)
  • De Cicco broccoli (still growing, see above)
  • Early Purple Sprouting broccoli (still growing, very slowly, but very beautifully, probs w/ loopers)
  • Bull’s Blood beets (still only 6" tall, not sure why)
  • Golden beets (same)
  • Swiss Chard (delish!)*
  • Blood-veined sorrel (beautiful, slow to fill out, but perennial!)*
  • 1015 yellow sweet onions (great, although flowering)* (sets)
  • Red short-day onions (great)* (sets)
  • White short-day onions (great)* (sets)
  • Purple top white globe turnips (turned out hot and not sure why; still good)
  • Early Purple Vienna kohlrabi (delish!)
  • Dragon carrots (delish!)
  • French Breakfast radishes (delish!)
  • Little Marvel peas (needed innoculant to get a good harvest, but those that are there are awesome!)
  • Buttercrunch lettuce (fantabulous)
  • Viroflay spinach (fantabulous)
  • Sylvetta arugula (which was remarkably slow-growing but very tasty!)
  • Opalka tomato (fine and feathery, looking forward to a harvest)
  • Golden Queen tomato (growing great)
  • Green Zebra tomato (growing great)*
  • Amish paste tomato (growing great)*
  • Mexican Midget cherry tomato (growing great)*
  • Sweet Million cherry tomato (growing great)*
  • Paul Robeson tomato (growing great)
  • Roberto's Cuban (low-heat) habanero (growing great)
  • Regular high-heat habanero! (growing great)*
  • Jalapeno (growing great)
  • Tabasco (growing great)*
  • Red Bell (growing great)*
  • Ancho (growing great)
  • Hungarian Wax (growing great)
  • Cayenne (growing great)
  • one little lemon-drop pepper (the rest either didn't sprout or died, so I hope he hangs in there!)
  • Slicing cucumbers (transplant fiasco, I'll keep you posted)*
  • Pickling cucumbers (transplant fiasco, I'll keep you posted)*
  • Suyo Long Chinese cucumber (transplant fiasco, I'll keep you posted)*
  • Romano pole beans (Bee-U-tee-full on the bean teepee out front; pics to follow)
  • Provider bush beans (under the tree fiasco, I'll keep you posted)
  • Soybeans (under the tree fiasco, I'll keep you posted)
  • Okra (growing great!)*
  • Burgundy okra (just planted seed)
  • New Zealand spinach (just planted seed)
  • Chicago Warted Hubbard winter squash (just planted seed)
  • Jumbo Pink Banana winter squash (just planted seed)
  • Black Futsu winter squash (just planted seed)
  • Eight Ball zucchini (transplant fiasco, I'll keep you posted)*
  • Ichiban eggplant (growing great!)*
  • Turkish orange eggplant (growing great!)
  • Chartenais melon (probably not getting enough light)
  • Herbs: Dill, tarragon, basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme, sage, chives
  • Flowers: Nasturtiums, Dwarf French (tagetes) marigolds, echinacea, sunflowers (2 types), black-eyed susans, morning glories.
I got all of my seeds from Seeds of Change, Pinetree, Territorial Seed Company, and - my favorite - Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I got a few plants from the Sands Springs Herb Festival and Lowe's (but I probably won't do that again).

Well, that's the (super-long, loquacious) scoop, chickens. I'll keep you posted on the happenings and many more pictures to come! Thanks for reading!


HausFrau said...

I have had a few beers right now, but you had so many different varieties of veggies that I couldn't read them all! Props to you biodiversity queen!


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