Monthly Archives: May 2014

Garden Work Day in April Weather

Yesterday, although it felt more like April rather than mid-May, we forged ahead with planting our vining vegetables anyway! I’m just tired of waiting on the weather’s pleasure, and the soil is marginally warm enough anyway.

The main things we had left to plant were the cucumbers, gourds, melon, and pumpkins on the trellises throughout the garden. Here you can see the spinach and mustard still growing well in the trellis area of the Taste of India Garden. Typically we plant on the outside of the trellis, but given the plant and trellis placement this year, we decided to plant the seeds between the drip lines and the edge of the trellis.

We also had the Prairie Star Annual flower trials to plant this week. The entry gardens, quiet garden, and some containers were planted with the flowers in the Prairie Star trial. We’ll be keeping an eye on them all summer long to see how they do.

 Since only 3 of the original strawberry plants survived, we planted a few more plants of two different varieties that I was able to find locally. We added 7 Ozark Beauty plants and 5 Quinalt plants to our mix. I hope we have better luck with these! The rest of the garden we will plant to some flowers or herbs or something else. We’ll wait and see!

Except for a few miscellaneous things, we are almost done with planting for the year. It will be fun to see how things grow!


Friday PhotoEssay – May 9th

Once again, the garden has changed a lot this week, although the visible changes are more in the tomato cages than the actual tomatoes at this point!

For the second week in a row, I’m going to show off this view of the garden. When I take the picture in mid-morning, the shadows are not kind from the north side, so I like this better! You can see that there is more green, and a lot more metal in the garden!

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to spend half of my time this summer taking pictures of the ‘Silvery Fir Tree’ tomato plants. This one was planted in one of the tiers of the Wheelchair Accessible raised bed, and it is looking great. Isn’t the foliage cool? I hope the plant still looks this neat as it grows.

I’m pretty sure that the potatoes has doubled, tripled, or quadrupled in size in the past week. They were only a couple inches tall last week, and now they are well on their way to being a jungle.

In the “weird” category, the Borlotto (‘Lingua di Fuoco’) beans in the Italian garden are coming up, but their first set of leaves are looking damaged. It doesn’t look like herbicide injury, but I am wondering if the soil is too “hot” there, meaning we added too much compost. However, beans in other areas of the garden (different varieties) are looking good. Although the leaves that do unfurl look holey, I don’t think it is an insect. We may have to try replanting to see if we get better results, or I might try planting a few seeds in my office to see what happens.

It would appear that this tomato plant didn’t want to go on. It seems to have swooned after being planted! Actually, under closer inspection, it looks like the stem is almost perfectly cut through, which would seem to indicate a cutworm. Ugh. At least it has left the other plants alone so far? We will have to replace this plant next week.

Harvest? What harvest? The endive/escarole mesclun appears to be enjoying the weather this week, as we harvested some on Tuesday and it you certainly can’t tell! I know that plain endive is not very commonly eaten in the U.S., so I’m going to try to find some recipes to try. Endive is often found in salad mixes, but it is a more bitter flavor on its own.

Have a great weekend!

First Harvest of 2014!

We harvested our first veggies of the season this week! In fact, the French Breakfast Radishes really could have been harvested last week, but I wanted to leave them in for Herb Day.

The radishes were definitely good sized! They were also growing up out of the ground, which drew quite a bit of attention to them.

The spinach that was next to the (now pulled) radishes was also getting big and ready to harvest. We harvested a couple bags of spinach leaves from these two 4 foot rows!

Also on the docket was the romaine lettuce that we transplanted in March. We only harvested half of the heads, cutting them off at the soil level. We harvested every other head, so the others will have a little more space to grow for a week or two.

We also harvested a little bit of spinach and mustard from the Indian garden and some of the Endive/Escarole mesclun from the Italian garden. I now need to come up with a recipe to try with both of those!

Friday PhotoEssay – May 2nd

My best intentions to post more than once a week keep being thwarted by various and sundry other things going on. I guess the most positive way to look at it is that when it stays colder, things don’t grow fast enough to get ahead of me and my sketchy posting schedule. That looks like it is going to change here this weekend. I just wish the rain in the forecast wouldn’t keep getting moved further out with lower percentage chances!

Here’s a look at the whole garden. Yes, we have the trellises up! Nothing is planted, but we wanted the trellises up as a display for Herb Day.

Speaking of Herb Day, I think I forgot to mention it with my dearth of posts in the past few weeks. The French Tarragon is looking great in the garden. It must know that it is the featured herb tomorrow!

On the other hand, the beets aren’t looking particularly spectacular, but I don’t think it is their fault. It looks as though something is enjoying them as a snack, and I can’t see any sign of the culprit. I feel like it almost has to be an insect, since the nearby lettuce and carrots look okay, and the beets are in the middle of the bed. I guess we’ll just have to keep watching!

After shivering underground for more than a month, the potatoes finally decided to put in an appearance this last week. I think that only one of the nine seed pieces hasn’t come up, which isn’t too bad considering how cold it has been several times in the last month.

Putting the trellises up this week helps the garden literally take shape, and it’s getting me excited to get everything else planted and growing. We plant to plant tomatoes and peppers this week, and we’ll probably plant all the vine crops the week after that.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to come check out Herb Day!