Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy Morning

It wasn't going to be a busy morning. The forecast said the rain wouldn't arrive until the late afternoon. I could harvest in the morning and then slowly do a little garden work here and there. I sat down to start writing my blog post and saw the black clouds moving in this morning. Whoops.

I ran out to finish my planting. The second round of carrots were planted between the tomatoes. They were supposed to be planted when the tomatoes and peppers were planted, but I ended up planting the tomatoes way too early for the carrots. Now is the time for my second succession.

I raked the bed smooth, uprooted all the weeds and amended it with the last of my greensand. I made three rows. The first row is Sugar Snax which is by far my favorite carrot to sow. The seeds are huge for a carrot. I can easily sow them an inch or inch and a half apart. The rest were more spotty. One row was shared. Half was the last of the Atomic Red carrots, the other half Big Top. The last row was Danvers. I'm really thinking that the Atomic Red carrots are not worth buying unless you really need a weird color. There were so few seeds in the packet. It only seeded about 13' of row. My other carrot packets had at least twice as much seed. I still have plenty of seeds for fall carrots and two of these packet I used last year too.

After covering my carrots seeds with just a bit of fine soil, I put on their burlap covering. The burlap helps keep the seed from washing away. It also helps keep the soil constantly moist since the seeds aren't covered very deeply. Sadly my burlap wasn't quite wide enough. So in one section the Sugar Snax row is uncovered. In another part it is the Danvers.

To make sure the carrot seeds get plenty of moisture I removed the row cover from my tomatoes and peppers. It should rain a lot tonight. I really hope it rains at least an inch since we need it. I thought about watering the garden today, but the weathermen all promise rain. Then again they have promised me this before and not come through with it.

Since the row cover is now off permanently, I added on the tomato supports. Six 4' T-posts and six cages went in. The cages are concrete reinforcing wire and have seen better days. The cages need to be retired. I'm hoping they have enough structure left to still support the tomatoes. I still need to get up the supports for my potted tomatoes. I probably have six 6' T-bars which I can use. I don't have cages. I might have to make something (ick).

I had been hardening off my tomatillos and some more tithonia. I figured that 3 days ought to be enough. Supposedly with soil blocks and newspaper pots there is no root disturbance so they transplant easier. However we all saw what happened to my basil. You can still have issues if they aren't hardened off enough. It is supposed to rain and be cloudy tomorrow too so it is a good day to plant. The tithonia wasn't going to be used, but I have a hole in my perennial bed where I took out some iris earlier this spring, so I just stuck that in. If it doesn't work, I'll have to buy something.

I harvested. Whoohoo! I love harvests. This time it was my Asian greens. I'll do a whole comparison of some of them later, but for now I'll just say that slugs love Asian greens. Now I need to start looking up some recipes. Anyone have any for Komatsuna or Holland Greens?

And last but not least in my busy morning is getting my derriere in motion for my lettuce successions. I didn't have any seeded when I left. I finally started another one today almost two weeks late. While I was playing with the soil block maker, I made blocks for my sunflowers. I had seeded them in the garden before I left. The Music Box sunflowers came up just fine except one. So I'm seeding another plant for that spot - this time inside. The Lemon Queen sunflowers from the Great Sunflower Project were mailed in a letter envelope with no padding. Many of the seeds were cracked. Of the eight seeds planted only one came up. I've got four seeds left and put them all in individual soil blocks. If that doesn't get me a Lemon Queen sunflower, nothing will. I'm crossing my fingers.

So it was a busy morning. I have so much to write about for future posts. Life is running away on me again.


  1. Do the carrots grow through the burlap?
    How do you use your tomatillo?

  2. David in Kansas, well my burlap is a tighter weave than most. Most carrots will grow through a normal burlap. Mine was left over fabric from a costume. Sometimes they get through, sometimes not. Either way as soon as I see some good germination I take the burlap off. Getting squished for a day or two doesn't seem to bother them (well maybe the Atomic Red, but the others aren't affected).

    Well I've only grown green tomatillos before. Those I used for salsa, sauces, and soup. I'm curious how the pineapple tomatillo will taste. It isn't in the same species as the green tomatillos. I'm thinking it will be more like what I think of as a ground cherry. I'm hoping it really does taste like pineapple and I'll make "pineapple" salsa. I might use it in salads if it tastes like it belongs there. I'll probably make a sauce or two for fish or chicken. I'll know more when I find out what the heck it really tastes like.

  3. I am making a quiche right now for Thursdays garden meal. It is actually becoming a bit of a disaster but you may be able to use the recipe for your greens. I will post it later tonight. After you commented about the crusted seeds I checked mine and it looks like only two of mine were crushed. I hope they germinate as I have had to expand a bed and move stuff to fit them in!

  4. Boy, do you ever have some gorgeous peppers! ;-)

    And I hate to admit it, but your tomatoes look much better than mine.

    I wonder who has the prettiest dill?

  5. I was struck by how great your peppers looked too, Daphne! Hope you got the rain you needed. Ours arrived just in time to save me from watering, too. And thanks for the 'Sugar Snax' recommendation! I hadn't heard of that one and will check it out!

  6. Dan, your quiche looked very yummy. I'm thinking spinach is the right green for that though. Hmm I should harvest my spinach again soon.

    Annie's Granny, well I thought asking about my tomatoes would be cheating since you won ugliest plant with that one. Well I'm hoping my dill is prettiest but then again you are growing my dill, so I win either way don't I? Oh dear, what if Dan's dill is prettiest. Drat.

    our friend Ben, I'm kind of shocked by how well the peppers are doing. Usually they just do OK for me. I can only hope for a good pepper year. I have visions of salsa dancing in my head. Sadly we didn't get much rain last night. Just a sprinkling to make the soil surface wet.We are supposed to get more Saturday night. Do I wait? Do I water? I always have issues with this.

  7. Daphne, your dill and Dan's dill are equally pretty. Yours is just taller, as his is a short variety. I love the looks of both of them in the garden. Pretty enough for a flower bed! I do have a couple of surviving tomato plants that would rival the size of yours, I'll bet ;-)