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Friday PhotoEssay

Wow! The eggplant and tomatoes are sure kicking it into high gear this week! So are the spider mites and stinkbugs… Let’s take a tour of the garden!

The top end of the garden is finally starting to look like something, with the sweet potatoes growing fast and the sunflowers and vegetable arbor also looking great. You can just see the green haze of the buckwheat.

Here’s the view from the other end. I wasn’t going to show this picture because I’ve got so many this week, but I wanted you to have a better sense of just how crazy those tomato plants are getting. The one on the end is the ‘Limmony’ heirloom.

The ‘Taxi’ tomato plant continues to produce like crazy. After a couple of larger initial fruit, they have settled down into very consistent 4-5 oz fruit, which is what they are supposed to be. No signs of cracking so far, but I picked a LOT of tomatoes this morning.

We uncovered the squash in the Pizza Garden this week because it was starting to bust out from under the row cover. It had several broken leaves from being under a too-low row cover. It seems to be bouncing back just fine! It also looks to have some buds starting, and so far there is no sign of squash vine borers. Read the rest of this entry

2013 Garden Plans: Shallots, Beans & Brassicas

These next couple bed plans are going to seem a little bit random, I think. That’s because Beds 2 & 3 are mostly full of shallots, garlic, etc at the moment. That has inspired a little bit different garden planning for this year. Let’s just say that we’re going to be a lot busier in late June, late July, and early August than some years!

Fall Brassicas

So the majority of the bed is full of shallots, multiplier onions, and elephant garlic at the moment. There is about 5 feet at one end where we had some lettuce last fall. In that open space, we will be planting two types of bush beans: Amethyst (purple) and Jade (green). Everything in this garden should be ready to harvest/remove by sometime in July.

For the fall, we are going to plant 4 varieties each of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. We will start the plants from seed indoors in late June with the plan to plant them out in the garden in late July or early August (weather dependent). Here’s a little more information about each variety.

Broccoli

Both ‘Santee’ and Apollo’ are sprouting broccolis, meaning that they do not produce one large head, but rather a lot of smaller side shoots. ‘Santee’ is a purple variety.

‘Arcadia’ and ‘Imperial’ are both regular broccoli varieties, but varieties that are supposed to be very cold tolerant and do well in fall plantings.

Cauliflower

‘Amazing’ is our white cauliflower selection. We chose it because it is supposed to do well in the fall and is fairly short days to maturity.

‘Veronica’ is a green, romanesco type cauliflower. ‘Cheddar’ is an orange cauliflower. ‘Purple of Sicily’ is…you guessed it! A purple cauliflower!

Cabbage

We have two savoy cabbage and two regular cabbage. ‘Famosa’ is a savoy (crinkly leaved) green cabbage and ‘Deadon’ is a savoy with red and green leaves. ‘Tendersweet’ is a regular green cabbage and ‘Red Perfection’ is a regular red cabbage.

2013 Garden Plans: Kids Snack Garden

This garden should be a fun one!

Kids Snacking GardenSo the idea behind this garden is actually a combination of two ideas. I had the idea of planting a “snacking” garden, planted exclusively to vegetables that can be used for eating raw as a “snack.” One of our Master Gardeners wanted to plant a garden geared towards kids. So…we combined the two ideas! I think it will be a lot of fun!

We have been doing the cattle panel trellises in the raised beds for 3 years now, but for this garden we will be trying something different again. We are going to try putting a trellis over the walkway between beds 4 and 5. It will be quite an experiment! I hope it turns out!

Sunflowers: We will be planting 3 varieties, ‘Teddy Bear,’ ‘Aztec Sun,’ and ‘Valentine.’ These are a variety of heights and colors.

Tomatoes: We will have two cherry tomatoes, one red and one gold. The varieties are ‘Super Sweet 100’ and ‘Golden Honey Bunch.’ We will probably be doing some heavy pruning to keep them controlled on the trellis, so that will also be a new experience.

Beans: A lot of people do not have success with pole beans here, but one of our Master Gardeners has had good luck with ‘Emerite’ filet pole beans, so we will be giving those a try.

Cucumbers: We will be revisiting the white ‘Salt and Pepper’ cucumbers that we had in the Vertical Garden last year.

Peppers: Our pepper plants will be the red and yellow ‘Lunchbox’ peppers.

In the spring, we are planning to have some baby romaine lettuces and mixed color carrots and radishes. In the fall we will revisit the lettuces as well as try out some purple and white cauliflower varieties and the ‘Purple Peacock’ Sprouting Broccoli.

We are also going to try some fun containers near the garden, one with sugar snap peas and the other with perhaps a tomato or a bush pumpkin or melon.

This should be a fun garden to photograph this summer!