Friday, May 9, 2014

What Happened to April?

I guess it wasn't noteworthy or I was busy. I think it was cold. It was. We had temps in the low 30's on the 15th and two days before. So, blah. That's gone, though. It was almost 90 three days this week. We need rain. It just drizzled a bit. The next 5 days all have chances for rain so the last day and a half I spent busily planting everything I could. It was probably a record for getting the garden planted.

Big Garden:
Row 1: carrots, Dutch shallots, fennel, parsley, wild arugula, peas, bush beans, pole beans, Mexican sour gherkins, a few onions
Row 2: onions, 2nd yr parsnips, zucchini, winter squashes, chives, adding picotee Cosmos
Row 3: Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, volunteer verbena, garlic, tomatoes, added a few red okra seeds
Row 4: 34 pepper plants, 11 eggplant, onions
Row 5: volunteer garlic & borage, tomatoes, marigolds, walking onions

Old Garden:
Basils (3 kinds), broccoli, Walking Stick Kale, Rat tail radish, lettuces, parsnips, nasturtiums

East side Orchard bed: back to front
3 kinds of maters along the fence- Ivory Pear, Gezahnte, Purple Russian
Melons- cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew
Cucumbers- Hmong Red, Parisian, Pepino
Nasturtiums & White Four O'Clocks

Orchard beds:
Kale, lettuce, arugula, collards, forage kale, cabbages, borage, dill

 Zucchini planted- Fordhook

First hilling of the potatoes

 New labeling system: clothespins.
Also notice the white dust on the plants- diatomaceous earth. Last year I had a problem with the pillbugs eating my young pepper plants so I'm trying this.
 Dusted peppers

 Beauregard Sweet Potatoes (6) planted in the chickweed

Garden ready!

Potatoes in a pot. 
I had several small, sprouting potatoes leftover so I tossed them in this large pot. I've noticed a lot of these on youtube. 
Below: the difference 2 weeks can make. I already had to raise the soil level. It will be full soon. I think this means I will have an early crop. 

My unscientific experiment.
The pot on the left contains compost and a Cali Wonder Bell Pepper Plant.
The pot on the right contains compost with 1 coffee can of "biochar" and a CWBPP.
Biochar is wood that isn't completely burned (charcoal). It is suppose to provide a great habitat for beneficial microbes and is slated to make for healthier & more productive plants.  According to many sources, the practice is 2-3,000 years old. Here is more info on it and how to make it.
I can say that the plant on the right has already been nibbled on by something- probably pillbugs. 

This year I bought Remay or "floating row cover" for the first time. While the tulle I bought from the fabric
store was successful I wanted to compare it to something you wouldn't use to make a prom dress. I can say they both tear easily. Also, I'm having initial concerns about water penetrating the remay. I tested it and it puddled up on the top of my eggplant cage (here). Not good. I uncovered the plants for some impending rain, but worry I will put them at risk of flea beetle infestation. 

The new asparagus bed.
Needs to be painted and tops & bottoms attached. 
I think I counted 20 of 24 plants up. 

The "old" garden.

 The difference a week can bring in spring.
Rain, warmth, longer days.

And today these lilacs are finishing.

 Side yard. Two weeks ago.
Side yard meandering.

New native wildflower bed. 

Fire pinks, Gray Goldenrod, Erigeron, Jacob's Ladder, Columbine
Woodland Phlox, Spigelia, Woodland Spiderwort, Skullcap
and Alpine Strawberries (ok, not all native). 

I just liked these colors & textures together- spirea & hosta

I feel a lot more organized and on top of the gardening game this year. Early on I drew some maps, made a plan and have actually followed through with it this year. Feels good to have it all pretty much in and ready to go. Let's hope the weather cooperates. 

Happy Gardening.


Anonymous said...

I never realized how much space you actually had there. Looks Great! Keep us posted on the biochar experiment.

Laura said...

Will do Steve!