Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tomatoes Planted

Yesterday I was able get most of my tomatoes planted.

Two 'Silvery Fir Tree' went into pots in the pool area.  The rest went into the empty greens bed in the Potager.  Cherry tomatoes were planted next to the fence.  These will be trained to one stem and tied to the fence.

  I planted the following:
2  'Sunspot Mixed'
1  'Ivory Pear'
1  'Amy's Apricot'
1  'Purple Pear'
1  'Reisenstraube'
2  'Black Cherry'

Two 'Victor' tomatoes went into the front of the bed.

I was also able to get three poles of Pole Beans sown.
2  'Cornetto Largo Verde'
1  'Fortrex' x 'Kentucky Blue' (Seed from Granny)

I'm hoping that sometime this week I can get the dwarf tomatoes planted in the flower beds and a few more bean poles planted.  That is if we get a break from the thunder storms.  Every evening a violent one has rolled in late afternoon and they are predicted for the rest of the week!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Harvest Monday- May 28, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  It is a great way to share what you have harvested and see what others have.

The first of the 'Blizzard' snow peas were ready this week.  Not much, just about half pound.  There are plenty more on the vines though.

The rest of the harvest was lettuce and escarole.  I'm only showing one picture this week.  I've been harvesting leaves almost every day and all of the harvest looked like this one.  That is a large sized paper plate the leaves are mounded on.

There is no Swiss chard this week.  All of the plants are getting attacked by earwigs.  Thanks to all of the rain the earwig population has exploded.  I'm going to try drenching them with a garlic based brew this week to see if this will repel them.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Garden Late May

The garden is in transition.  Late May means that spring vegetables and flowering are coming out, and summer plants are going in.  It may seem a bit late, but the mountain's influence on the temps means that it takes until late May for night time temps consistently above 50 degrees.

The pool bed is filling out very fast.  The lettuce, escarole, cabbage and Swiss chard are growing like gang busters.  Self seeded 'Carpet of Snow' alyssum is blooming.  Peppers and dwarf tomatoes will be added soon.  I haven't decided yet what flowers I'll use as fillers.
Pool bed looking towards the house.

Pool bed, view from the opposite side.

Pool bed, view from the pool.

'Primero'cabbage in the pool bed.  They are extremely ornamental and the bugs have not bothered them at all.

'Wild Garden Mixed' lettuce, escarole and alyssum in the pool bed.

The pool bed on the opposite side is also coming along nicely.  The burning bush stump is just now starting to regrow.

Pol Bed #2, the lettuce  border is filling out very fast.

The Potager is also filling out quickly.  Due to all the rain last week I'm having some extreme bug problems, namely earwigs and slugs.  The slugs are attacking the lettuce and cabbage, and the earwigs are decimating the Swiss chard.  I mixed up my "witches brew" of ground mustard, ground cayenne and garlic powder.  This was applies as a drench, emphasis on the heart of the plants.  I'll reapply every days for the next week and see if the populations dwindle.

View of the Potager from the pad.

The back bed, tall peas with beets in the foreground.

As promised, close up of the purple podded 'Pretty' pea flowers.
The right bed next to the pad, lettuce, cabbage, escarole, Swiss chard and a few daylily seedlings.

The left bed, the greens are all gone.  Tomatoes and beans will be planted soon.

The 'Broadway' rose in the center of the bed next to the pad is amazing this year.  Last year it's spring flush was 15 blooms.  After the early growth was killed by frost it started to regrow like gangbusters.  There are 40 buds now which are just starting to open.  You may recall that when I first started this garden I left the rose here as it was just a "one cane wonder", and a pathetic one at to boot.  I expected it to die.  It's recovery has been astounding.

'Broadway' rose putting on a splendid performance.

Close up of Broadway's opening night. 

This year the driveway bed will be primarily flowers.  I put in the first few plants yesterday.

Friday, May 25, 2012

WOW!!! Super Sweet Peas Taste Test

Yesterday I was finally able to get outside after work.  While inspecting the garden I noticed that a few pods on the super sweet pea 'Garden Sweet' had started to fill out.  I picked a pod and tasted the raw peas.  WOW!!!  They are much sweeter than regular peas, and this was at a very immature stage.  If that sugar level holds up when the peas are mature I'll be in heaven.

The rest of the peas are now in full flower.  I thought this was going to be a bad year, but I was way off on that prediction.  I will get my first harvest of 'Blizzard' snow peas this weekend and the shelling peas are blooming away.  I found a few plants of 'Freezonian' with two blooms per stem and have marked these to save seed from.

The above photo is the first bloom open on the purple podded pea 'Pretty'.  I'll have to get a new picture of the row in full flower.  It really is pretty.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Harvest Monday- May 21, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  It is a great way to see what other across the country are harvesting.

This week it was all about lettuce.

'Fordhook Favorites Mixed' lettuce, well over a pound in this pile.

'Wild Garden Mixed' lettuce, I did start to steal two or three of the outer leaves from some of the plants.

'Bronze Beauty' lettuce.

OK, it's not lettuce, but I also picked a few of the outer leaves of the escarole.

Not much was done in the garden this weekend, besides basic maintenance.  Now that the pool has been opened, it takes a lot of time during the first few weeks. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pea's- Five Flowers per Stem!!!

I was stunned when I went to look at the 'Garden Sweet' peas.
There were stems that had four and five flower buds!!!  I've grown peas that consistently produced two flowers per stem with an occasional three.  
Check out the pics below.

I've never grown this variety before.  It is supposed to be a "super sweet" variety with 30% more sugar.  I'm sold already on the productiveness.  If it is as sweet as advertised it will definitely become my #1 pea.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

'Wild Garden Mixed' Lettuce

On Saturday I removed the landscape fabric from around the stump of the burning bush.  After amending the soil I began to plant and planted a border of lettuce.
I had several different speckled and a few reds plants, all from the 'Wild Garden Mixed' lettuce.  This mix contains all of the released lettuce varieties of Frank Morton and some unreleased work too.  The diversity of this mix is amazing.  Several are the reddest lettuce I have ever grown.  Their are all types in this mix, leaf, head, butter head, deer tongue, romaine, oak leaf and everything in between. 

A speckled crisp head, this is a type I have never before seen!

Speckled oak leaf.

Blushing, speckled oak leaf.

Very speckled romaine.

A very red loose leaf.

Another very red loose leaf.

There is more of this mix in the pool bed.

The reddest of them all.

A blushed butter oak.

Regular green butter head.

A bronze crisp head.

A bronze loose leaf.

Green deer tongue.

These selections are just a small sampling of the diversity found in this mix. 
I purchased the seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  I'm already looking forward to starting a lot of this mix for fall planting.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Harvest Monday- May 14, 2012

Greens, greens and more greens.

The newest addition is the Swiss chard.  I was able to harvest well over pound of it.  I have no idea what I will do with it when all 16 plants start producing.

Then there was the spinach.  This was the last harvest as it has all started to bolt.

The last of the spinach.

Then there was the Thai greens and the arugula. and the last of the golden radish.

Mixed Thai greens.

One of the many batches of arugula.

Golden 'Zlata'  radish.
Not to forget the lettuce which is now growing rapidly.

Most of this lettuce is from an old packet of 'Fordhook Favorites Blend' that I found in the stash.  From left to right, 'Mighty Red Oak', 'Green Ice', 'Royal Oak Leaf', 'Black Seeded Simpson' and 'Prizeleaf'.

Now I just have to figure out how to cook Swiss chard.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  Stop by and see what everyone else is harvesting.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today in the Garden- May 12, 2012

Today was the first chance I've had to get out in the garden since last weekend.  There was a nice growth spurt after all the rain.

Overview of the potager.

The back bed, solidly filled with greens which are starting to bolt.

'Garden Sweet' pea blossoms.  This is the first pea I've grown that has three blossoms to the stem.

The bed of greens will be gone this weekend.  The spinach, Thai greens and arugula are starting to bolt.  This is actually to plan, as I had planned on hot weather crops to be planted next week,  The peas will be the only survivors.

The front bed is really starting to fill out.

Swiss chard ready for picking.

The carrots are now big enough to be noticeable.

Escarole is starting to form heads.

The cabbage is growing great.  I may actually get a harvest from the red cabbage this year.

I spent over an hour laboriously pulling out maple seedlings in the pool bed, again!  I spent the same amount of time last weekend doing the sale this thing.

Side view of the pool bed.  Lettuce and Swiss chard in the foreground.

The pool bed facing the pool.  The red cabbage is starting to grow fast.

I was able to get one project completed.  The bed where the burning bush was had finally been addressed.  The landscape fabric under the mulch was removed and the bed dug over.  I did discover that the stump of the burning bush finally show signs of growth, so it is going to remain.  The bed will be filled annuals and some ornamental vegetables.

The before shot.  The after will follow soon.
 Tomorrow, I'll be spending a good part of the day washing all of those bolting greens,,,