Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Square Foot Garden Observations

The harvest of spring crops is winding down.

'Detroit Dark Red' beets, 'Scarlet Nantes' carrots, 'Over the Rainbow' carrots, 'Golden Grex' beets and one tiny 'Golden Detroit' beet. Not shown, two heads of 'Gonzales' cabbage.

Lettuce- planted four per square foot is much to close together. For the first time I had problems with slugs and ear wigs. I usually harvest just the outer leaves until they start to bolt, it is much more work to harvest whole heads and I don't think the usable harvest was much more.

Conclusion- next year it's back to spacing of one per square foot.

Peas- what a jungle! I'm sure that the potential harvest was seriously affected by the thick tangle in the center. Also, while waiting for the seed to ripen, I could have replanted most of the area if there wasn't such a tangle.

Conclusion- next year they get their own bed and it's back to wide rows.

Beets- these did fine at nine per square foot. It was the varieties I had fault with.

Carrots- see beets above.

Spinach, arugula and broccoli rabe all did well at their recommended spacing.

The only other caveat was block placement. I will not leave space between carrots and beets for early bush beans. The area was much too shady and the beans got leggy, then flopped on top of the carrots.

As far as succession goes, next year will be beds for spring/fall crops and the summer crops will get their own beds. Interplanting tomatoes in the lettuce set them back way too much.

In conclusion- next year I'll be using a modified method of square foot gardening... of course I'll need to see what the summer brings...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garden Overview

The pole bean jungle.
They are growing like crazy, despite a heatwave with record breaking temps. There are three tee pees, one pole and some up strings on the fence. The 'Cornetto Largo Verde' on the front tee pee are in full flower and actually will be harvested before the bush beans!
They are shading the tomatoes a bit, but that's not a problem. One of my dirty little secrets is, I'm not that fond of tomatoes (Ed hangs his head in shame).

The pool garden.
Mostly annuals, but this year there are many overwintered 'Stripes and Picotees' carnations that are just coming into bloom. In a few weeks this bed should look spectacular.

The Pad.
This is a ten by ten concrete slab that once housed a shed. The shed is long gone.
The vegetables are to the right rear, a sea of daylilies to the left and mixed plantings to the right front. Next year the right front will be more vegetables. There are few pots on the pad, but it is just too hot for seating. On the left is my dappled willow, this was a sprig that was six inches tall when planted in fall 2005. Now it is over ten feet high and gets pruned back to about five feet each spring.

'Border Sentry' daylily.
One of the pad pots. She has been in the same pot for about ten years, over winters like a dream and just gets better and better each year. I really should liberate her from the pot...

What form would you call this?
I'm still trying to figure out the variety of this mislabeled mix. I'm now leaning towards 'All Sorts Mixed'. Whatever it is the flowers are endlessly fascinating.

I'm on vacation this week, or should I say "staycation". No matter, I've got a huge list of things to do that should keep me out of mischief :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Under the Weather

Last week I was sidelined by a nasty sinus infection. That combines with the horrible heat and humidity kept me indoors for most of the week. June has been like August when it comes the weather, I'm afraid to think of what August will bring.

Above, last weeks harvest. A 'Golden Grex' beet, 'Gonzales' cabbage, 'White Satin' and 'Scarlet Nantes' carrots. They all went into a stir fry, yum!

Brand new bed.
An enormous clump of tradescantia was removed, it was just to big and floppy, and was affecting the lilies to the right. Now there are 'Dahlia Flowered Mixed' and 'Burpeeana Mixed' zinnias and a leftover tomato, 'New Big Dwarf'.

Bean blossoms! These are 'Greencrop' bush beans.

'Sequoia' bush beans.

One of my favorite daylilies, 'Tuscawilla Blackout'.

One of my seedlings, a cross of 'Wild One' x 'Unique Display'.
An interesting bi-tone, and the closest color to what I envisioned when I made the cross.

In case you didn't know, you can click on any photo to enlarge it. Try it on the daylilies, they look much better enlarged.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Last Weeks Harvest-Finally Shelling Peas!

I was finally able to get out and harvest the shelling peas! With the extreme heat this passed week I was starting to worry about them, but they turned out fine.

Above, 'Golden Grex' beet. 'Detroit Dark Red' beet and baby carrots, 'Scarlet Nantes', 'White Satin' and 'Over the Rainbow'. The carrots went into a stir fry, yum!

Three types of peas. The purple pods are 'Pretty', the green pods are 'Freezonian' and the light green pods are 'Blondie'. When weighed this bowl came to slightly over 2lbs. I did leave quite a few pods on the plants so I can save seed.

And here they are shelled. The lighter ones are 'Blondie'. I'd love to know what the going rate is for shelling peas, but nobody around here sells them. I was shocked when I remembered to price snow peas yesterday, $3.50 for six ounces! That made my last weeks harvest worth over $10!
Just wait till next year though, with the planned garden expansion and I the fact that i left quite a few pods for seed, I should really be "snowed in" :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Daylily Daze

'Pink Ambrosia'

'Moon Witch'

'Huckleberry Candy'

'Mayfair Morning"

'Spacecoast Krinkles'

The daylilies are really starting to come on strong. At least that is one benefit to the August like heat we have been having. The hotter it gets, the better the ruffling. Those fancy ruffles usually don't come into their own until July.

The heat and the humidity have been awful this passed weak, add a nasty sinus infection and you can bet I wasn't outside much. Hopefully this coming week will be more productive.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stripes and Picotees

I've always been a sucker for anything that's striped, picoteed, splashed, flaked or spotted. Here are the first of this years blooms.

'Brighton Rock' snapdragon.
One of the very few surviving strains of striped snapdragons. The stripes are more prominent in cool weather.

'Seashells' cosmos.

This is a close up of the picotee from the mixture. It is something I am definitely going to save seed from and attempt t0 fix as a separate color.

Monday, June 7, 2010

'Blizzard' Warning

A blizzard of snow peas actually. Last weeks harvest of 'Blizzard' snow peas, just over a pound. not a bad harvest from three square feet. There was even enough pods to let some mature to save seed for next year. Lettuce was the only other harvest this passed week, over two pounds of it.

Potted cosmos is starting to bloom, the variety was supposed to be 'Double Click', turns out that it is actually 'Sea Shells'. Not a problem, I've never grown 'Sea Shells' before. You've gotta love that unusual picotee on the left!

Zinnia 'Zahara Starlight Rose' is also opening. I was disappointed at first as they start out all white, but the rose blotch develops after a day or two. Looks like this could be a winner.

The daylilies are starting, about a week earlier this year. This is 'Merry Moppet'.

'Artisan's Touch'

The 'Cornetto Largo Verde' pole beans I pictured germinating a few weeks ago, they have now reached the top of their six foot tee pee!

I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with my planting. I'm hoping to be finished by the end of this weekend. Then the massive weeding begins...

Friday, June 4, 2010

What's Growing On

I haven't had much time at the computer for a update. All of my spare time seemed to be trying to get my planting finished. Here's an update of what's growing on in the garden.

Purple podded 'Pretty' peas, a shelling variety.

'Blondie' peas, these should be ready to harvest soon.

Three varieties of carrots, 'Scarlet Nantes', 'Over the Rainbow' and 'White Satin'. the carrots are doing great, hopefully they will start bulking up soon.

'Gonzales' cabbage forming heads, just ignore the slug damage, I do.
Just a little sample of what's growing on, on the mountain.