Saturday, May 15, 2010

Busy Garden, Slacking Gardener

So today my daughter graduates from college. The grandmothers have come in to see the event, though I'm sure my daughter is wishing that she could just avoid the whole thing. No such luck for her. We get to see her get handed a little piece of paper whether she likes it or not. But because of company I haven't gotten out to the garden much. I did succeed in getting out for just a few minutes yesterday.

I had a couple of chores. First I had to move the row cover off of the bean and spring spinach bed. I needed the cover to finish the hardening off of my tomatoes and peppers. The sad spring spinach will have to live without it.

And I say sad because above is what you see more in the spinach patch than spinach this year. This is the self sown deer tongue lettuce. I'll have to move it out when I plant the beans, but it is growing delightfully. Thank goodness for the over wintered spinach, because the spring spinach just didn't grow.

Also in the bed I had sown the Jacob's Cattle beans just so I wouldn't have to toss them. I was doing a germination test on some local beans that they sell for eating. Well I think they would be great for sowing too as they germinate beautifully. Luckily they were under the row cover during our cold snap.

Ottawa Cranberry Bean

The beans I sowed last week also are just starting to come up. So the pregermination in the paper towels seems a success so far. Though for dried beans I really don't need the season extension a lot. I get a harvest by the later sowing. It is just the harvest dates that could change. Late August is a better time to harvest than middle September. We often get long dry spells then. September tends to be wetter. So if this makes them mature a few weeks earlier, so much the better.

Then since I was out I peeked under the brassica row cover. It looks so pretty doesn't it? OK I agree it looks kind of jumbled up and messy, but most things were growing well, especially with the soapy water white traps (which are working wonderfully on the flee beetles). I had two exceptions. The overwintered spinach section that has broccoli interplanted was ready to be all pulled out. And just in time. The broccoli there is about half the size as the broccoli outside of the spinach. I hope it still has time to produce.

In addition the Choy Sum was bolting as was the Ching Chang bok choy. We have had some wild temperature fluctuations over the last few weeks. From about 90 to about 34. Asian greens hate these kinds of swings. The others seem to be holding in there. The Shanghai bok choy from Mac shows no signs of bolting yet and is almost ready to pick. Probably next week. My understanding of the name "Shanghai" bok choy just means baby bok choy and there are many varieties of it. So I'm not sure which I'm actually growing, which is too bad because if it works well it means I can't order more. If I'm wrong about that, someone correct me.

In new house news, I'm hoping the bed that I'm using for my garden this year will be all ready to plant by the end of the day. The bed is behind a rock wall. The builders back filled it with rock. So we had to hire someone to come in and dig out all the rock and fill it with soil. As a record keeping note this is not going into the costs of the vegetable garden, as even if I were just putting in ornamentals I would be doing this. I'll be adding in things to the vegetable garden budget that I wouldn't other wise do, like the rodent fence and the raised beds. Since I'm not around during the day, I'm just hoping it gets done. I much prefer to be around when the workers are if there are any issues. The raised bed section of the garden won't be done in time for planting - maybe for fall crops but not for summer. But this section has about 200 sqft of planting space so it is a little smaller than my current garden. I'm just going to plant summer vegetables and hope the fall garden gets up.


  1. I transplanted some green beans under row cover the other day and they seem to be only slightly sun damaged despite the fact that I didn't harden them off before doing so. I need to be better at transitioning my plants.

    You must feel like such a proud parent today! What a milestone! Enjoy the ceremony.

  2. Congrats on your daughters graduation! Your garden looks great as always! You have a lot going's amazing that you have any time for your garden. Hope you are feeling better.

  3. What a proud moment ! Congrats. Have a wonderful time. :)

    My direct sown spinach is doing poorly. I have a couple winter sown starts that are doing better but they have put on very little growth.

  4. Congratulations to you and your daughter! My daughter heads off to college later this summer - so my adventure in the college years is just beginning. High school graduation next month to look forward to though.

    Our weather has been rather erratic this year too and it definitely stresses out certain greens. I am just hoping the broccoli is not phased by it and gives me some decent heads. I have a suspicion though that my spinach patch is going to bolt on me early this year. Hope I am wrong about that!

  5. Congratulations to the daughter!

    Your garden looks to be producing very well. I wish I could share some of my spring spinach with you. The leaf miners have slowed down and the pickings are pretty good now.

  6. Hooray for your daughter's great accomplishment! Everyone needs a college education of some kind these days... I'm sure your new garden will do quite well, and 200 sqft is pretty big!

  7. Huge Congratulations to your daughter!!

    I can't imagine tending to a garden while in the middle of preparing and settling into your new home and gardening in a new place. I bet you'll be happy to have your gardens situated and growing.

  8. You are going to have your work cut out tending two vegetable gardens in different places, but what fun!

  9. Congratulations to your daughter, and congrats to you for being the proud parent (and pretty green veg gardener!) We pretend that the graduation(s) are only for the parents, but really it is pretty pride inducing to be standing on that stagem so it's a win-win situation.

  10. Thomas, Row covers really help to keep the plants from getting sunburned. I think they block the sun just enough.

    Robin, thanks

    Miss M, I wonder how the spinach of other New England gardeners is doing. Maybe it has just been a bad spring spinach year.

    kitsapFG, I'm hoping for broccoli too. I keep trying to grow it and have never succeeded in getting a great harvest. Maybe some year I'll learn the trick. And congrats on your daughter too.

    Annie's Granny, I hope my leaf miners stay away now that my row cover is gone.

    EG, it is pretty big, but it is for two families, so not really.

    GrafixMuse, I can't wait to get set in the new house with the garden all in. It will take quite some time for that though.

    Jan, it will be.

    prue, well she got through it with the minimum of complaints. Luckily for us it was a beautiful day.

  11. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation!

    Deer tonge lettuce is so good! I much prefer it over spinach, so it seems to me you got a good deal, specially having overwintered spinach any way.

  12. I hope the new gardening project goes off without a hitch for you once things really get rolling.

    Congrats on your daughter's graduation, must feel good to finally be on the other side of that milestone!

  13. Congratulations to your daughter on her graduation, you must be thrilled.

    I wonder why your spinach is being so fussy, perhaps it doesn't like the temperature swings either. But I think the brassica bed does look lovely, it doesn't have to be neat and tidy to look great when everything looks so healthy.

  14. Congratulations! What a milestone for you all.

    Those fluctuating temperatures just don't want to stop out here. The cucumbers are Not Happy. And all the Asian greens are just gone.

    Oh, email me if you'd like some tat soi seeds.

  15. The young flower buds were quite tasty on my asian greens...