Monthly Archives: May 2009

Productive Sidewalk?

Lettuce SidewalkI just had to share this picture! Even the cracks in the sidewalk along our garden are producing lettuce this spring! Apparently some of the lettuce seeds escaped when we were planting a few weeks back.

Friday Photossay

Yes, it’s that time again! I love this time of spring, because there’s something new to see out in the garden every day. It is hard to pick only a few of the things to share with you.

Dwarf Grey Sugar PeaThe ‘Dwarf Grey Sugar’ Peas are blooming furiously. They are so pretty, the fact that they produce delicious snow peas is only a bonus!

Feisty BloomingThe ‘Feisty’ peas aren’t going to be outdone. They are also busy blooming and setting on pea pods. Maybe by this time next Friday there will be a few peas ready to pick.

Snake in the BeansOur friendly garden snake is hanging out in the beans for the Memorial Day Weekend. I hope he scares away some of the bean leaf beetles that are chewing round holes in the bean leaves!

Purple Pepper?The Sweet Banana Peppers we transplanted last week are showing some rather nasty purpling of the leaves. I’m not 100% sure what’s going on, but it is likely that it is a symptom of some stress (perhaps the watering issue), and it will probably clear up in the next couple weeks.

Tiny TomatoThis ‘Gartenperle’ hanging basket tomato has the first tomatoes in the garden!

Quiet Garden The Quiet Garden is a peaceful spot to get out of the sun. The impatiens here will be beautiful all summer.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Drying Out

The Demo Garden is enjoying the warm weather and drying out some. In fact, it is drying out a bit too much!

We have a drip system, but one of our connections is cracked, which causes a great geyser when the water is on. Unfortunately, the connection is in an area where we can’t just shut off the water to that line. Ugh! Therefore, our whole drip system is effectively useless until that connector is fixed.

You can see where this is going, can’t you? I’m going to complain about the lack of rain because we have a broken irrigation system. I know, I know, there is a chance of rain every day this weekend, so I shouldn’t complain too much. It’s just so much easier to water when it rains! …That is…I don’t have to water!

Watering a fairly large garden with a hose is not very efficient, and I miss being able to simply turn on the drip system for an hour or two and thoroughly saturate the raised beds! Watering with a hose and water breaker is a pain. Dragging the hose around may be good exercise, but it is annoying as all get out! More importantly, it is hard to get the beds thoroughly saturated, so I have been watering every day to keep things moist.

Okay, I’m done whining and complaining now.

In Search of a Great Watermelon

I love watermelon, and I have for years. The annoying seeds have never deterred me from the succulent flesh of a deliciously ripe, red, sweet watermelon. Other melons are nice as well, but they just aren’t the same as watermelon.

Someday I hope to grow a really great watermelon. Growing up in northern Wisconsin, growing watermelon was really just folly. The growing season was not long enough (or hot enough!) to produce a truly tasty melon. When I lived in Ohio I grew numerous melons in trials for the company I worked for, but none of them were watermelons.

Now I’m here in Kansas, where I KNOW that it is possible to grow delicious melons, and I’m itching to try it. Unfortunately, the Demo Garden is a bit small for melons. Maybe we’ll find a way to try it next year?

Which brings me to another point. Do you like seedless watermelons? I understand that the seeds are a major annoyance for a lot of people. However, I have to say that I have had extremely bad luck in selecting excellent tasting seedless watermelons. I don’t think it is just me – I think everyone has a hard time selecting a good seedless watermelon because the really delicious ones are hard to come by. Now, I know that it is still too early for prime melon season. They are still coming out of Mexico. But I bought a seeded watermelon last weekend (the first time I’ve seen them around in a couple years!), and it was really good! No, it wasn’t the best melon I’ve ever tasted. No, it wasn’t perfect. But it was a far cry better than any of the seedless watermelons I’ve bought in the past year, with possibly one exception. (I’m giving my memory the benefit of the doubt here.)

What experiences have you had with seedless watermelons? Are they all they’re cracked up to be?

Growing Flowers Like Grandma

In one of our raised beds, (the one I haven’t talked about much) we are planting zinnias. The catch is, we are planting them all from seed, rather than buying plants. We are trying several different varieties of zinnias to see how they do.

We started out by planting the seeds in single rows. The rows were kind of like a “nursery” row. Zinnia rowThe zinnias are still rather small, but it seemed like a good time to transplant them – before the roots get too tangled together. The seedlings were gently dug up and spaced out to be planted on a 4-6″ grid.

Zinnia plantingThey are so tiny! It is hard to believe that in another 4-6 weeks they will be large plants that are beginning to flower. Bob, our other horticulture agent says that this is how older generations that couldn’t afford to buy plants would start a lot of their flowers in the spring.

So, do flowers weasel their way into your vegetable garden? I always had flowers in the vegetable garden growing up, because that’s where they fit! What flowers to you plant?