Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Planting Some Beans and Picking Some Spinach

I didn't add strings to my trellis before because my hands were too sore from tying all the jute when I made the thing. But yesterday I finally got it done. I also did the typical soil preparation for planting. Fertilizing (with a low nitrogen fertilizer), loosening the soil, and adding compost to the top. I must say that I did it totally wrong. Do you know how hard it is to get your garden fork in to loosen the soil once you have a big honking trellis in the way? Well it is pretty hard. It makes all the spreading of things hard too. Live and learn.

In the morning I had started to soak my beans. I don't always do this. And sometimes I don't just soak them, I let them sprout a bit first. But they soaked for a good 4-5 hours before they were planted. As always for beans I sprinkled them with an innoculant to help them grow. Today's planting was some Cherokee Trail of Tears beans. I decided that I never grow enough. I'm not sure why I think that. I still have some left from last year's planting. But regardless, I'm planting a whole 4'x 8' bed of them. I've also never done a trellis with two sides before. I've always put the bean trellis on the northwest side of the bed. This time I have twice the trellis and they are on both sides of the bed. I guess I'm still experimenting with the best way to grow my beans. I hope both sides can get enough sun.

Someone asked me how I make my trellises. I have one more still to put up this week, so I'll try to do a post then.

My other big chore was to get my spring spinach picked. I picked off all the good looking leaves. I tend to leave the oldest leaves on and let the younger ones grow. But those middle leaves are perfect. This patch will have one more big picking next week before I have to pull it. I want to get the melons in this bed by June 1st. So far the spring spinach hasn't started to bolt. We have had really wonderful spring weather in the 60Fs and 70Fs. It is just recently that some 80Fs have started to show up. So I'm sure by next week they will be starting their bolt. Though I'm still surprised to not see them bolting now. Spinach bolts not just by heat but by day length. I figured out ages ago that that was May 15th at my latitude.

Since I got not quite four pounds of spinach and I didn't want to freeze this batch, I sent out an email to my extras list. I got two responses. So they got a quarter of the harvest each. I think I'm left with enough for this week. Maybe still too much, I'm just one person. But I think I can eat all that is left before my next picking. Then of course I made myself a salad for lunch and forgot to add spinach. I swear I'll remember today to have it for lunch. And I think I'll have some for dinner too. Maybe a spinach pizza. And my husband will be on a business trip starting on Thursday. That would be a good day for some spinach and mushroom quiche. Yeah I think I can use it up if I work on it.


  1. I always tend to put up structures first and THEN do soil prep. Occasionally I remember to do it the other way around, but more often than not, I don't. Envious of your spinach crop. My spring planted spinach is getting decimated by birds this year. The fall crop is definitely going to get some protection.

  2. ..."Live and learn"...I am so glad to read that you also do that! after 4 years of trial and error gardening, I just relax and do what I think is the best thing,then if I make a booboo I figure I can improve the next time. Love love love love garden!!!

  3. What a nice harvest of spinach! I'm wondering how your extras list works, as I've been thinking about compiling one. I'm curious if it's worth the energy to make note of who likes what, or if I should just send out an email when I have extra.

    1. I have 9 families on my list. I just email blast them all. Last year I had 7 but I was asked to add two this year (both family members). Sometimes one person wants a lot of one thing and the next time they don't want any of it. For the most part I don't get a lot of responses. Last time only two responded. Last fall when I had a plethora of greens no one responded. I ended up bringing a full cooler of greens to Thanksgiving and my friends took them off my hands.

      I might not have quite as much to give away this summer. My townhouse mates have their son home from college and as usual have picked up some stray college kids, both vegetarians. One will be leaving in June, but will work for food. lol I don't have much work that I want others to do. I showed them the weeds outside the garden proper. Some of my weeds inside the garden are food, OK most are food (volunteer dill, lettuce, etc). But they will get lots of garden fare while they are here.

  4. Your spinach bed is very impressive. I don't think you will have any problems with your beans getting enough sun. I sometimes grow beans on two parallel trellis only about 3 feet apart. I have to go through the bean tunnel to pick the ones on the inside.

  5. Yum I love spinach but have never had any luck growing it,so I grow silverbeet instead! How about spinach and ricotta filled cannelloni? One of my favourite ways to use greens!

  6. I can well imagine how hard it would be to do that after your structure was up! I need to work on remembering to use my radishes like you need to remember to use that spinach! Enjoy! Nancy