Saturday, August 11, 2012

Catch Up

I'm having trouble figuring out where to start after not really blogging about gardening for two weeks. I've done my harvest and cooking posts, but not any gardening posts. Above are my sweet potato vines that are taking over the world. Isn't it funny how a morning glory self seeding itself in my vines? I kept thinking that I needed two zinnias in the middle to make it a very pretty bed, but it turns out all that I had to do was let this one "weed" grow. I didn't even know it was in there since the leaves are close enough that I didn't notice.

As you can see there are two different flowers in this photo. The small pink one is from my Garnet sweet potato. It has a morning glory like flower as it is in the same family, but it hides under the foliage and is smaller.

The second bed of sweet potatoes has no flowers at all. That bed has my purple sweet potatoes that Norma gave me. All the sweet potatoes are intent on taking over the world. They are in the circle garden. The center circle is my herb garden. The vines were quickly encroaching on it. So I hacked them back. I thought about just turning the vines in as I'd done in the past. But it was just too much this time. So off with their heads. Many had already rooted into the ground and I had to rip them out before cutting them off. Sweet potatoes are very aggressive. Not as bad as a squash plant, but they are persistent.

It looks like a lot of bare soil doesn't it? Well only one half bed is bare. The one with the upside down trash barrel (I put the sprinkler on it to make sure it gets over the row covers) is empty, but the half part closer to the fence has newly germinated lettuce and beets. The bed to the right near the fence (next to the single row cover) should have carrot seedlings. I tied to get them to germinate but they just wouldn't. Luckily this was my second bed I was putting in carrots and my first bed is up just fine. I weeded and thinned it the other day.

The small patch of fall peas that I planted are up and doing well. The pole beans also germinated. A handful in one section died to damping off in the heat, but the rest are growing well. The bush beans germinated spottily, but are up. The fall brassica bed is growing well. I might get to harvest some bok choy soon. Oh and that empty bed that hasn't been planted, well it is going to have my quicker maturing Asian greens planted there. I might put some kohlrabi in too, but I don't usually plant that one until the end of August or the beginning of September once the weather cools off.

My cover crop came up well. Both the section I put soil over and the section where I just raked the seed into the bed.

Each of my beds are 16' long and divided into two 8' sections. This is the same bed that has my cover crop but it is the other 8' section. I can't use the 8' section near the fence for fall crops as it is in total shade in the fall. The front section at least gets some sun - for a while. This bed was seeded in kale as you can see. It all came up well and has been thinned once. It really needs to be weeded soon.

I've done a lot of weeding in the last couple of weeks. It has been hot and I've been watering so the weeds are in abundance. The crab grass is trying to go to seed so it has been a challenge to keep it down before it seeds all over the garden.

Do you remember from earlier in the year when I told you about my monster rhubarb? It insisted on going to seed even though I kept trying to cut off the flower heads. As summer progressed it became even more unruly and very ugly. I think of rhubarb as a pretty plant. But half the plant rotted out and it was right in front of my air conditioner during a hot summer. So I decided to kill it. I took it all down. I'll be pulling it out for months I'm sure as it tries to regrow. The nice rhubarb that was next to it was harvested by half, but otherwise left. Though that rhubarb won't produce as much as quickly, it is a much prettier rhubarb and won't block the air flow to my air conditioner. Let that be a warning to my plants. You get out of line and out you go.

Usually I like big plants. I had a huge sunflower with over 20 flowers on it. It was probably just under 10' tall. I loved its monstrosity. Though it did attack me when I was trying to turn on the spigot. I had to keep it propped up with five bamboo poles it was so heavy. It made me smile every day as I bumped my head on its heavy flowers. But sadly it broke under its own weight. Not even during a storm either. It just got too heavy. The lower part and a few flowers are left. So sad. But I'm not at all sad about my rhubarb. It was an ugly thing. Now I have to keep up on pulling the leaves to kill it. I haven't yet taken a shovel to it. I really ought to dig out as much as possible, but it has been too hot for that kind of work.


  1. I typically only do two (occassionally three) blog posts a week. I do the Monday harvest and if I did the Thursday Kitchen Cupboard too... then there would be no regular blog posts from my end. That's why I have chosen not to do the Thursday event (even though I visit everyone who does participate and enjoy it) and tend to combine other things with my weekly harvest recaps for your Monday Harvest routine. I just cannot add more time to just do more posts.

    I have a bunch of bare beds now too but I am about to start filling them back up. I have one long bed that looks bare but actually is not, it is the potato patch that has had the vegetation all die back but which still has all the potatoes in the ground. I will do the big potato lift in September when the temperatures are consistently cooler so they will store better.

  2. That is the most beautiful morning glory! I am in love.

    I completely understand about the rhubarb plant. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do, LOL! I just took down a lovely cherry tomato, because it was consuming one side of my patio. I hated to lose the tomato plant, but there was no way we could enjoy the patio with tomato vines everywhere. Next year, no toms on the east side of the patio.

  3. That is a beautiful morning glory. I put a couple packages of morning glory seeds in my flower bed this spring like I always do but NONE sprouted. That has never happened before. I could not have pulled the rhubarb. Anything that produces well here, we keep!

  4. I grew sweet potatoes for the first time this year and I noticed how pretty their flower was. I wonder if they are a distant relative to Okra bc its flower is very similar as well.

    I understand about the blogging. I got a little burned out on it all and took a 3-4 week hiatus. I am back now; as I like sharing my gardening and reading others, but I have to find the right balance.

  5. I love how harsh you are to your plants. I wonder, if I were harder on my garden, would my children toe the line?

  6. Asian greens planted there. might put some kohlrabi in too, but I don't usually plant that one until the end of August or the beginning of September once the weather cools off.