Friday, July 17, 2009

Busy as a Bee

Yes my bees have been busy in the garden and so have I.

The major pull this week was to get the old plants out and the new plants in. I was successful with the carrots. First I pulled all the earliest carrots. They are deciving. These are large carrots the ones on the left are Big Top. The ones in the middle are Atomic Red. And the ones on the right are my Sugar Snax. I did indeed succeed in growing those long long carrots. They probably would have gotten thicker if I had let them stay in the ground longer. The really weird looking ones are also Sugar Snax. About a third of them turned out strange, but the other two thirds are gorgeous. These were growing between my tomatillos and eggplants. The tomatillos have already grown together, but the eggplants are still far apart. So in between them I planted the next succession of carrots. Three 3' rows right in the middle. It isn't enough carrots for the fall, but they aren't my only carrots.

After fixing up that part of the bed I thinned out my late spring planting of carrots. Some of the thinnings were a 1/4" wide already. They don't get a lot of sun since they are growing under the peppers and tomatoes, but they seem to be growing anyway - just a bit slower.

I have some seedlings (6 broccoli, 5 Chinese cabbage and 2 kale) that need to get planted. I've been hardening them off since I got back from vacation. I don't have room for them all so have to figure out which ones make the cut. I'm thinking that the Chinese cabbage is low on the totem pole since my earwigs are out of control. The earwigs love to take up residence in the head and lace it. Today I pulled up all my corn in the Three Sisters Garden because the earwigs were getting into the tiny ears (very tiny the corn didn't grow well) and cutting off the silks. Sigh. No corn for me. At least my squash has more room to spread out now.

My seed saving for the Seed To Seed Challenge is coming along. I went out and collected some borage seed today. The lettuce is starting to bolt. Now I just have to figure out which of the lettuce I want to save. I'm definately saving the Deer Tongue. I like that one. I should save some Red Sails too. The photo is of the Merveille de Quatre Saison - the first to bolt, so I'm not likely to save its seed. Too bad too since it is such a pretty lettuce.

I have a couple of pea plants marked to save seed from too. They are looking very ragged. I'm worried that they are going to rot and not dry, but I can't change the weather. At least this week has been mostly sunny and dry.

I need to get to work on my peppers if I want to save seed from them. I have to figure out how I want to isolate the plants or flowers. If I have more screens saved up from when we redid the windows I might make some screen boxes. Peppers have perfect flowers and can self pollinate so I don't need a pollinator, I just need some isolation. I should go look. If I wait too much longer the peppers might not be ripe in time.

And one last photo. Even if the corn didn't grow, the beans sure have. They are in full bloom right now and looking for more space to grow up in. The poles are about 6' tall (7' poles about a foot in the ground). The beans have found their neighboring pole as a way of getting more space. I wonder if they will all do this. I'm trying to at least keep the different kinds of beans separate. I don't want the Kentucky Wonder and the Trail of Tears to grow together because then I wouldn't know which ones to eat fresh.


  1. Yes indeed, you and the bees certainly have been busy.

  2. That's a lovely bee photos. The beans are reaching, reaching. . .

  3. Your transplants are beautiful! I too liked the deer tongue. The AYL I barely had a taste of before it bolted and went bitter. Maybe it will do better sown next month.

  4. Keewee, We had a rare hot day yesterday and the bees really come out then. They must hate the cold weather.

    Stefaneener, Thanks.

    Dan, The AYL just didn't do it for me. Mine didn't bolt all the quickly, but its taste was just to bland for me and had too much of a bland texture. The deer tongue was great though. Its only issue was being smaller than my other heads of lettuce so I need to put it closer together. Which is an issue easily solved in the next planting.

  5. Those are some good looking carrots. I need to install a taller raised bed before I can grow nice long carrots.

  6. Chiot's Run, It took me 17 years before I felt I could grow them here. I have such heavy clay soil. They aren't perfect, but not bad. I should sift my soil before planting next year.

  7. The carrots are gorgeous... it's still too early down here in the South to plant them. But they will definitely be going in for the fall garden.

    My chickens would love the ones that you've thinned :-) Do these go into your compost piles?

    I've never planted the Deer Tongue lettuce... you must like it if you are saving seed.

    Hope you have a great week!

  8. I love the beans! They've been watching ET at night. Phone home, little beans!!!

  9. Judy, I wish I had chickens to feed them too. Mine just get tossed into the compost pile. I pulled out and trimmed so much stuff that day, but still my compost pile isn't full.

    Ribbit, they do seem to try want to leave the garden don't they? I think only the squash has any chance though. The beans are doing it wrong and growing up to the sky. The squash will easily escape following the ground right through the fence.