Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Rose Among the Carrots

Such strange bed fellows... Last year when this garden was being constructed, there was a scraggly little rose named 'Broadway' right in the middle of the bed. I decided to leave it be. I figured it would not be able to compete and my conscious could rest easy for not having to dig it out. Of course, this little rose decided to have the last laugh. Pictured above is it's first flower, it has six other large buds. And here is the glamour shot.

I guess I'll keep it :) The bush has a narrow, upright growth pattern, so it really doesn't tale up that much room.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Planting

Planted today-

'Horizon Orange Ice Hybrid' Geranium 8

'Sunset Giants' Marigold 9

'Admiral Hybrid' Pepper 1
'Bell Boy Hybrid' Pepper 1
'Northstar Hybrid' Pepper 3
'Peacework' Pepper 3
'Valencia Hybrid' Pepper 1
'Vidi Hybrid' Pepper 1

'Black Cherry' Tomato 2
'Black Sea Man' Tomato 2
'Ramapo OP' Tomato 1
'Russian Black' Tomato 1
'Snowberry' Tomato 1
'Striped Pixie' Tomato 1
'Sungold Hybrid' Tomato 1

'Zahara Double Cherry' Zinnia 8
'Zahara Double Fire' Zinnia 9
'Zahara Starlight Rose' Zinnia 8

Harvested all the broccoli rabe and the rest of the 'Long Scarlet' radishes and planted eight peppers in there place.

The tomatoes were planted in between the lettuce. I began harvesting every other head to give them some room. I've discovered that in my conditions at least, a six inch spacing for lettuce is much to close. Next year it will be at least nine inches apart for them.

Continued planting the pool side pots. 'Zahara Double Fire' zinnia was added to four of the pots, 'Zahara Double Cherry' zinnia was added to two pots, the rest were planted in the triangular bed. 'Zahara Starlight Rose' zinnia were planted at the edges of the 'Double Click' cosmos pots, these may be moved. Snuck a few extra peppers and a mini tomato in these pots as well. The tall salmon and cream zinnias will be added to these pots next week.

The geraniums went into the corner grouping of pots on the fire pit patio. These pots are going to be in creamsicle shades of orange and white.

The tall 'Sunset Giants' marigolds went into the long driveway bed.

Watered all the new plantings with a shot of AlgoFlash for a gentle boost.

More planting and pics tomorrow!

The first flower on the 'Pretty' purple podded peas!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Germinating 'Cornetto Largo Verde' pole beans from home saved seed!

You would think a seed fanatic would routinely save their own seed. Well I know I should, but in the passed I have not. Last year I decided to save seed from my favorite pole beans. Here is the result, and that's 100% germination.

'Fanfare Hybrid' cucumber, 100% germination from seed dated 2003!
More gratification, excellent germination on seven year old cucumber seed.
In a separate post I'll tell you of the fun I've had with ten year old tomato seed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last Weeks Harvest

The first of the 'Long Scarlet' radishes. They look like red carrots, don't they?

Another 18oz of mixed lettuce. Not shown is more spinach and arugula.

More things in bloom, 'Mrs Sinkins' dianthus.

'Golden Unicorn' Shrub rose.

'Charlotte Armstrong' hybrid tea rose.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Productive Weekend

The weather actually co-operated this weekend. Partly cloudy, temps on the mid 70's and a light breeze. Perfect weather for planting. The first tomatoes went into the ground, 'Wayahead' (2), 'Bush Celebrity Hybrid' and 'Bush Big Boy Hybrid'. The first of the bush beans were sown, two squares of 'Mon Petit Cheri', two squares of 'Sequoia' and two squares of 'Greencrop'. Three 'Cherry Pink' tomatoes went into an eighteen inch pot with a small bamboo obelisk in the center. Eight 'Early Call Mixed' morning glories were planted to climb the bamboo.

This is an overall view of the vegetable area. Note the giant pea vines towards the back. This is a purple podded shelling from Burpee called 'Pretty'. I've grown it before, in large pots and it was well behaved, about two feet tall. In the ground the vines are at least five feet tall and are starting to bud like crazy. My seed was dated 2006, and the germination was very good. As far I can tell, Burpee no longers offers it, and I can find no other sources. I guess I'll be saving it's seed from now on

The other major project was getting the pots around the pool cleaned, filled and to start planting them. There are eight of these pots in the stones on two sides, the pots are sixteen inches in diameter. I had everything all planned and started and ready to be hardened when one of my housemates brought home these cushions for the swing. They are a lot more orange than the picture shows, and would clash horribly with the pink and white combination I had planned, sigh.... Instead of soothing colors I'm now leaning towards hot colors orange, scarlet, yellow and rust. It should be interesting to see what I can come up with.


I also got these potted up, 'Stardust Mixed' geraniums from Park. They are supposed to have star shaped flowers. Note the points on the leaves, very different. I have wanted to grow these for years.

In closing, one of my all time favorite bearded iris 'Amethyst Flame'. This was one of the first iris I planted back in the mid 1970's and it has gone with me each time I've moved. It won the Dykes Medal in 1963, which is also the year I was born so it has to be good!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hardening Off, Part 2

Now that the weather is warming up, it's full steam ahead with hardening the seedlings. Above, Strawberry 'Temptation' and Marigold 'Sunset Giants Mixed'.

Above, Alyssum 'Carpet of Snow', Echinacea 'Powow Wildberry Rose', Rudbeckia 'Cherokee Sunset', Cosmos 'Double Click'.

Above, Tomato 'Orange Banana', 'Cherry Pink', 'Anna Russian' and "Bush Big Boy Hybrid'

In closing, Iris 'Vitafire'.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hardening Off

The weather finally seems to be settling down and the night time temperatures are finally supposed to be above fifty degrees. The tomatoes and peppers can finally be brought out to start hardening off. There is a relatively protected spot next to the kitchen door on the deck with a few hours of sun in the morning. This is where all of the seedlings go for hardening off.

If your wondering what varieties of tomato and pepper I'm growing (I know I would be!), here's the list.

One plant each unless otherwise noted.
These are being hardened:
Anna Russian (2), Cherry Pink (2), Orange Banana, Russian Black, Striped Pixie, Bush Big Boy Hybrid, Bush Celebrity Hybrid, Wayahead

Still under the lights:
Black Cherry (2), Black Sea Man (2), Snowberry, Sun Gold Hybrid, Ramapo OP, New Big Dwarf, Rozalinda, Golden Dwarf Champion, Orange Pixie, Mountain Princess

Vidi Hybrid (2), Admiral Hybrid (2), Valencia Hybrid (1), Bell Boy Hybrid (1), Northstar Hybrid (3), Peacework(3)

Of course this is way too many to actually fit in my tiny plot, but who said greed was a bad thing :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Harvest Monday

Sixteen ounces of mixed lettuce.

Sixteen ounces of spinach and arugula. We are eating salads daily at this point :)

Tonight is supposed to go down into the thirties again. The long range forecast looks good though, as my tomatoes and peppers are very ready to begin hardening.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a Difference a Month Makes...

Well, five weeks if you want to get technical. The photo above is the vegetable areas as it looks now. Can you tell that I like lettuce, LOL! Four varieties of peas are in the back bed. From left to right 'Blondie', 'Blizzard', 'Pretty' and 'Freezonian'. Today I noticed that 'Blizzard' is starting to bud. The white Iris in the foreground is 'Immortality'. This will be moved after the blooms finish in order to ezpand the vegetable area.

There are a dozen varieties of lettuce. Left back row 'Bronze Beauty', 'Forellenschus', 'Hyper Red Rumpled Wave', 'Forellenschus', 'Les Orielles du Diable', 'Lingue de Canarino', 'Kagraner Somer'. Left middle row 'Salad Bowl', 'Lollo de Vino', 'Buttercrunch', 'Blushed Butter Cos', 'Two Star', 'Blushed Butter Oak'. It's hard to believe I've already harvested two pounds of lettuce leaves. The cabbage in the front row is 'Gonzales, that will be soon thinned to one per square foot.

The area of the back bed behind the peas. From left to right, 'Ice Bred' arrugula, 'Tyee' spinach, 'Even Star' arrugula and two extra cabbage. Just over a pound and a half of these greens have been harvested, but the arrugula is already starting to bolt. Oh well, it's almost time to plant the pole beans in that section.

One of the benefits of this location is that the fence on two sides gives the area protection from most of the winds that constantly come down from the over the mountain. The rose in the middle of the right bed is 'Broadway'. I was going to remove it, but of course it started to do so well that I didn't have the heart to remove it.

All of the lettuce and the cabbage were started under fluorescent lights in the basement. This year I've been keeping track of my seed starting on an excel spread sheet. I'm at 117 different types and varieties, flowers and vegetables, with no end in sight!