Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

First the ugly. Blogger is messing up again. Blogger won't let me log in when I'm signed into Firefox and even in IE it won't let me comment on other people's blogs (or my own so I can't answer comments). I'm so unhappy. I want to comment. So for now I'm reading silently. And I can't even use Firefox to create new posts. I have to use IE and it is messing up so I have to edit html instead of doing it in plain text. Blech.

I've had so much happening in the garden recently. Monday got up over 80F and the heat is going to continue through the middle of next week. We have sun in the forecast. So we have hit summer weather. Wow. All at once. One week we have highs in the 50s (one day in the 40s), then this week is mostly in the 80s. My summer crops would grow but many of them were killed off by the cold weather.

Potatoes sprouting

I'll review what lived and died. First the good news. My potatoes are up! My potatoes are up! After planting them so deep, I was wondering how long they would take. It took about 20 days.

Tomaotes on the sides and carrots in the middle

My tomatoes are doing fabulously. Even the ones that weren't covered. I'm worried about disease with all the rain they got though so I sprayed them today with an asprin and worm tea. The eggplants that were already planted survived just fine. There is a bit of yellowing on the lower leaves, but not much. This heat ought to perk them up. I planted a fifth one in the bed on Tuesday from a later seeding. The basil all lived through it and looks fine. It is small but looks happy enough. The peppers mostly are doing OK. They didn't grow at all but none of them succumbed. The scotch bonnets are the worst off with some yellowing of the lower leaves. But a lot are doing great.

Zucchini with huges leaves, gardener with dirty fingers

The zucchini looks great and with the heat has started to grow. I see the first leaves forming. The corn is mostly up. Some has rotted and been reseed.

And the bad. All my already planted cucumbers died off. So no Diamant cucmbers for me this year. I used the last of my seed up. It really isn't much of an issue. I had some Little Leaf cucumber seedlings waiting in the wings. I've planted those and also some more Little Leaf seed as I had room for five more. The squash seed mostly rotted in the ground. I had one butternut come up and die in the cold. And I had one come up and live. Losing the squash wasn't much of an issue. It was a try at an early planting. If it dies, I replant. I replanted. You never know what the weather will be like in May. Sometimes it can get into the 80s and sometimes it throws you highs in the 40s.

Then we get to the beans. As you probably know I'm doing a big bean trial this year. I planted a lot of early beans. But they just can't handle weather like last week when we were 15 degrees below normal. I planted them in a warm week. So they started to come up and then died off. Pretty sad. Things I don't have replacements for and won't be able to reseed - all my yard long beans (no biggie, I'll try again next year), Fortex (no biggie, I tried it for three other years and liked Kentucky Wonder better), Soissons Vert (I'm more of a dried bean person than a shelling bean person anyway), Ga Ga Hut (ACK my pinto trial, I do have seed somewhere of these, but couldn't find the packet, but bad bad bad, two did live and I'll let them grow). I reseeded Turkey Craw, Tarbais, and Norridgewock. And seeded more Mexican Pinto and Kentucky Wonder to fill in the gaps left by things I don't have. I also seeded some Rattlesnake beans to replace the Ga Ga Hut. If I find my packet then I can put that into the late seeded bed.

Of all the beans the Apache Red did the best. It is almost all filled out and growing. I'm hoping it grows and produces well as it will be my kidney substitute then. A bean that can survive last week has got to be good here. I have my fingers crossed. The second best of the beans was the Mexican Pinto. There is almost a full stand of those up. I had to fill in a couple of gaps but not many.

All in all the summer crops are off to a decent start considering the spring weather we had. Soon the melons will go in. After today they will be hardened off enough and with 80s in the forecast it is a good time to get them in the ground.

As for the spring crops a lot have been harvested. I harvested a lot of Asian greens that were ready to be picked so there was a huge gap in the Asian green section. I planted some more Asian greens transplants to fill in. I put in tatsoi, choy sum, yakatta-na, kohlrabi, and some komatsuna. I'm thinking the lettuce needs to be harvested soon. Not that I haven't been, but if the hot weather keeps up they will all bolt and get bitter. I have some babies in the wings growing. They have a couple true leave right now. They will be ready to go out in two weeks I think. Then I'll need to sow some more successions. It never stops does it? Once one thing comes out, I've got to have the next ready to go in.


  1. I'm sorry about your beans! The tomatoes do look good. Do you make your worm tea? I just sprayed my tomatoes for the first time with diluted fish emulsion because they were starting to show signs of wear from the excessively damp cool weather we have been having.

  2. I have more trouble trying to leave comments on blogger blogs!

  3. You sound very upbeat under the circumstances.

    I planted thirty healthy beans two weeks ago and foolishly took the fleece off them this weekend. One storm later and they have become thirty leafless stumps.

  4. It's going to be fun to watch your bean trial, you've got so many interesting varieties. I've been thinking of doing something similar with beans that I've saved from packets of beans from Rancho Gordo that I bought for cooking, they have some really unusual and very good beans.

  5. You have a positive gardener's attitude given the situation(s). Aren't those the situations we always run into when we're trying so hard to make it all work right? You have an excellent flexible approach to the gardener's dilemmas that you are faced with. Keep it up! You inspire the rest of us!

  6. Daphne, It just took for ever to get to where I could leave a comment.

    I guess no matter how hard we try, mother nature controls what we grow and what we eat. When we do beat the odds with here it is a true victory.

    I got so excited about my harvest for today, I couldn't wait until Monday to show it off. I am sure you will get a chuckle out of it but it is part of gardening in the middle of no where.

    Keep your good attitude even when you have failures.

  7. Haven't had the blogger problems yet. I have my first tomato bloom today. Yours can't be far behind. Despite your tribulations your garden is looking fine.

  8. Yes! I figured out how to post a comment again. I can't wait until they have this issue fixed.

    Vanessa, yes I make worm tea. It is not the aerated type so not as good as that, but still it has a lot of good micro organisims in it. I used 1c of worm castings and 1 1/2 crushed adult tablets of apririn. I put them in two quarts of water to sit for a day. Stirring occasionally. Then I strain it with some cheese cloth and put it in my sprayer and fill it up to 2 gallons. Whenever I spray I make sure to get the tomatoes, the roses, and the cucurbits since they are the worst when it comes to mildew.

    Karen, blogger has been flailing recently. They were so good for a while and then they started throwing errors and then totally died. Now it is login and comment issues.

    Mal, its early still. Any warm weather veggie that died still has time to be put in. Many don't even plant until this coming weekend. My neighbor only has one tomato plant in right now.

    michelle, I would do that too with my local bean farm, but they only grow bush beans, which is typical of small farms. But it is a lot easier to grow them. No supports to deal with. I like the look of the jungle in the middle of the summer. So that is what I go for.

    Veggie Pak, I have so much death because I was pushing the seasons. You really have to expect some death when you do that. Some years you win and some years you lose the early gamble. I was just hoping the tomatoes would survive since I don't have time to grow them all again. And they did just fine. Thanks goodness. Cucurbits, beans, and corn can all be seeded again. They have plenty of time to grow.

    wilderness, you have even more issues since you are so far north. My temperatures are at least moderated by the ocean. But the season is still pretty short.

  9. Grumble, grumble. Now I seem to be able to leave comments on my own blog, but not others. Very frustrating.

    Wilderness, yes I loved your harvest. I used to harvest those out of my old garden, but not nearly as many. I don't think the frost gets into our ground to bring them up as much as it does yours in zone 4.

  10. In the midwest it looks like a repeat of last year - cool and rainy in May then 90's after Memorial Day. It's rough on the peas. I've been opening my blog and signing in from there. Using blogger login just gives the 404 page.
    Good luck reaching those carrots!

  11. Sorry about blogger. Thankfully it's worked for me through all this on IE. Good luck getting back going again.

    Also sorry about your plants. My tomatoes are in the same boat. Nothing's growing and something (likely weather) is killing them. I know I'm late planting any summer crops, but with our weather, little would germinate and nothing would survive our cold, weat season. No clue what I'll do besides plant late and hope for the best.

  12. My bean stumps just dropped by to say "hi" to your bean stumps. But hey, I have four green tomatoes!

  13. Blogger has been giving me grief for the past two days if I am trying to post using my blogger account - versus posting with name/url. The former has not been working, but the latter has been fine - assuming it is an option. Not all blogs give you that option.

    Sorry about the losses. I have had some too for the same reasons. I recently direct seeded my cucumbers because I lost all but three of the transplants I put out... just too cold and wet for them. I have lost two butternut squash plants as well. It happens and most all my other season pushing items are doing just fine... so no worries.

  14. Having trouble with commenting in blogger too. Hope the second sowing will germinate quickly and grow much better. Bean season will over for us next month.

  15. gardenvariety-hoosier, At least we aren't in the 90s, but the heat we are getting is pretty oppressive for this time of the year. I'd prefer to be in the upper 70s. Our norms are in the low 70s. I'm usually happy when the weather is within 5 degrees of the norm. Then the temps don't swing so much and the plants are happier. And yeah it is hard to reach the carrots. It takes them a while to mature since they will be shaded in not too long.

    Sinfonian, lucky you. I still can't comment on some people's blogs. I hope they get it fixed soon. I guess we are lucky here about the weather. It ight have been cold up through last weekened, but it is hot now. I know things will germinate.

    Granny, lol yup matching stumps. I pulled mine out and tossed them on the compost. The poor things. No toamtoes on my tomato platns yet. I do have buds starting to form. They are a long way off those pretty red and yellow treats though. Months.

    Laura, I was just happy that the tomatoes and peppers lived through it all. The tomatoes seemed to florish. Even the ones outside of the plastic (though you can see the difference in size between the two). All the rest can just be reseeded.

    Diana, It ought to germinate pretty quickly with the warm weather we have been having. I'll have to keep them watered so the top of the soil doesn't dry out too much.

  16. The blogger problems are terrible lately. I can comment on some, and sometimes I can't even comment on my own blog. And sometimes, I'm even anonymous---how odd.
    But your garden looks wonderful and so full of potential.
    Have a great holiday weekend!

  17. I didn't know the blogger problem wasn't me! I'm so new to this stuff! Using Fire Fox and that's working fine.

    Your garden looks great! Sorry about the beans...I haven't even planted mine yet...Tuesday will be my day. Taking the weekend off and away from the garden and the time.