Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happenings in the Garden

I haven't really written about the garden since last Thursday, but things have gotten done. Lots of things that I probably won't even remember. So a short list. My handyman was in doing some work. He gets called in when I'm too busy or too lazy to do things. I had a huge list. Too bad I don't have an EG around to do these for me. But Mike is great. He even put in my pipe supports for my fig trees. Sadly no photos, but it is just a pipe 8" above the soil. I ordered the figs, but because of some travel I have they won't get delivered for a week or two.

View of the pea bed

One of our bare root peach trees never leafed out, so a replacement was sent. I put it in the basement for the heat wave of last week, but this weekend hubby and I planted it once it cooled off. I also did a lot of landscaping weeding and some mulching.

More of the pea bed

I've been busy training the few beans that have started to run up the bean strings. The tomatoes have been pushed back into their cages. They will all get out of control in the end, but for now I'm trying to preserve the small path I have. Today I took Allie around and showed her what to do when I'm away. She is college student living this summer with my townhouse mates. She is studying botany and I think would love to have my garden. So for a while she will.

On Monday I tested the lettuce. It had gotten horribly bitter. So I pulled about four pounds of lettuce out of the bed and tossed it on the compost pile. It was so sad. But our wild weather swings and high temps were just too much for it. I had some more summer lettuce varieties to go into their spots.

Newly planted on the left

But I was worried. The lettuce has the hottest spot in the garden. It is surrounded by brick path on three sides and even the sides of the beds are made of bricks. They really hold the heat of the day. So I covered the edges with burlap and figured when it gets hot, I can soak the burlap and get some evaporation cooling going on. I can only hope it works. But it can't be worse than the uncovered bricks.

I had a few extra lettuce plants so planted them in one of the three sisters beds. That bed gets the most shade of any of the beds in the garden. I figure the squash there won't grow all that well anyway, unless it can get through the corn to the other side. So lettuce ought to love it.

And speaking of lettuce. I have saved two lettuces to go to seed. Little Gem and Paris Island. The Little Gem is already starting to bolt. I don't think the Paris Island is long behind it.

In strawberry news, the alpine strawberries have been planted out. Some of them are still tiny, but I hope they will grow. They are planted in an arc in front of the house. Yeah I know no photos. I ought to take more photos of things, but I don't always. The smallest of the plants are at the ends so if they don't make it, it won't mess up the pattern.

The regular strawberries are starting to send out runners. I'm going to fill the bed in with them. I'll cut off any extra ones after I've got what I need.

After I planted the last of the lettuce I celebrated my lack of seedlings. Then I promptly went upstairs to the nursery and started my third wave of fast maturing brassicas and my slow maturing fall brassicas. And I planted some more of that green monster - Michihili Chinese cabbage.. It is hard to deal with coming out of the garden due to its size, but it tastes so good.

And for Ribbit. I've taken some aerials of the garden. I'll post them sometime when I'm gone.


  1. http://engineeredgarden.blogspot.com/
    EG is the author of Our Engineered Garden. He makes all kinds of things.

  2. For some reason I could not leave a comment yesterday. Your garden looks great. I am so impressed with the variety, quality and quantity of what you produce in your urban garden! Your garden really deserves a feature in Fine Gardening mag.

    And as always, looking through your posts give me ideas. Thanks! I'm off to sow more cilantro in front of the peas.

  3. LAZY?? Daphne, you are the farthest thing from lazy. The garden almost looks like a jungle already. I know that these are early summer crops. I know what out of control can be. When planting in a defined space, there is always a tendency to overplant. OH well.

  4. Ali, blogger has been a pain over the last month or so. And you make me blush. Though I do love the look of the new garden. It is more upscale than my last one. My last one was a rustic garden with a peeling fence and logs to hold up the raised beds. I like the look of rustic gardens too, but they are such a different look. My favorite part about my new garden is the brick path. We put the path all the way around the house and oh how I love having a path that doesn't get muddy. So fabulous.

    johanna, lol yes I have a huge lazy streak in me. It is mixed in with random bursts of loving to work. It is just like exercise. I hate to start, but once I get started I want to keep going. This spring I got the nastiest sunburn. I hadn't done that in years. But I went out early in the morning to do 10 minutes of chores and four hours later came back in. Usually I would wear my sun shirt if I were going to be out for that long, but I totally lost track of time. But I am lazy with some things. All the things I had my handyman do, I'm quite capable of. Nothing was particularly hard. Well except one thing I didn't know how to do, but most of it I could have. But it was 24 hours worth of work that I didn't have to do that way.

  5. Everything is so lush, tidy, and beautiful looking. I have decided after reading this that I need a handy man too! LOL!

    I too have started some of my fall crop brassicas in the house but need to get more things going this coming week.

  6. Your garden looks beautiful, especially all the peas!

  7. DAphne everything is looking so great. I know about becoming overgrown. Usually by harvest time it is almost impossible to walk through my gardens.

  8. Your carrot foliage look so pretty in your photo. Mine always look so bad. You really know how to utilise your garden space.

  9. Well, your peas sure didn't get blown over in a wind storm :-(

    I need to make some drastic changes in my garden next spring. I'm not loving the looks of this new layout, so I'm spending the remainder of the year pouting and coveting your garden. But hey, my lettuce isn't bitter! In fact, we had double salads of Paris Island last night, it was that good.

  10. Your idea with the wet burlap (I think this is what we in the UK call hessian / sacking?) is inspired. I have heard something like this done to cool down greenhouses. Now you need a seep-hose to keep the burlap wet!

  11. Hi Daphne, out of curiosity, what fall veggies did you start? I think I started my broccoli at the end of June last year but I'm thinking I should start it now since the weather has been so quirky.

  12. I love to see what you have in your garden. Have a nice day/Gela

  13. Gosh, I'm not sure you'd want an EG to use at your disposal - the beautiful backyard you have would end up looking like an amusement park. Heh....

  14. Your garden looks so nice. I see a jungle in formation.

    What kind of summer lettuce varieties are you growing?

  15. That is one impressive swath of peas. It must be abuzz with bees in the A.M.

  16. Laura, A handy man is nice to have. The only issue is that he takes forever to get the quote and give ma a time he will be here. I still haven't started my kale, but I'll do that next week I think.

    Kartrina, thanks

    wilderness, I always have that problem. This year I expect it to be worse since my paths are so narrow. But we will see if I can keep it all together.

    Diana, I love the look of carrots a lot. They are so pretty. I'd rather be eating them though. I miss them.

    Granny, nope. they saw really bad winds when the tornadoes hit Massachusetts, but I've got some string in there to make sure they don't fall over too. I need to otherwise they would have taken over my whole path already. I'm really working to keep this garden under control. So sorry about your peas. And I'd be happy to share the garden with you lol I share it with everyone else. But if I do, you have to share your lettuce. I could use some nice sweet lettuce. I think next week I'll start picking again.

    Mark, yeah I'll just have to be my own seep hose. That part of the garden is just a few of steps from my kitchen. Literally too. I have three steps down and I'm right there. So it ought to be easy to keep an eye on.

    Thomas, well lets see if I can remember them all. White and green stemmed boc choy, mizuna, kohlrabi, two kinds of broccoli, two kinds of Chinese cabbage including that huge one, tatsoi, choy sum, purple cabbage. The purple cabbage I planted in the spring didn't do well. It hasn't started heading up yet. I'll probably just pull it for the space when these are ready. I might have others I started and have forgotten. It is so hard to remember everything. I'll start some kale at the end of June too. It won't go into the brassica bed. I think I'm going to put it into the onion bed when they are pulled. So I need to start them later as the onions won't be pulled until August. Maybe I'll even start the kale in July.

    Gela, thanks

    EG, lol but I've seen you make that beautiful bench. We could use one of those.

    Sherry, it will become a tangled jungle by the end of July. But as long as I can walk down the paths I'll be OK.

    Gardenvariety-hoosier, sadly I don't have a lot of bees around here. I've been trying to attract them. But I have seen a few bumble bees recently so that is a good sign.

  17. Wow, your peas are looking good! I'm having the best crop this year so far (I'm in Mass too), but mine aren't nearly as thickly sown as yours ... do you get the mildew as bad as we do? It's already showing up on the honeysuckle :(