Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Postage Stamp Potager (PSP) late April

Finally, a sunny and dry Saturday.  Lot's going on in the PSP.
Growth is still rather slow, but things are at least starting to noticeably grow.

Above, an over wintered 'Bronze Beauty' lettuce ready for harvest.  Look how big it is compared to the direct sown chicory!
Above, the bed on the right side, the back section is the spinach and arugula finally starting to grow.  The front section is 'Australian Yellow' lettuce, 'Primero' cabbage, 'Samantha' cabbage, 'Gonzales' cabbage and edging in front of 'Lollo di Vino' lettuce.
Above, the back bed.  I added the string "cage" to the bamboo supports.  I'll be adding another rung weekly until I reach the top.  The peas are really starting to take off as is the lettuce.  The seedlings edging the sides are 'Zeolights' and 'Solar Flashback' calendula.
Above, an over view of the PSP.  It should really start to look good in a week or two.

Several types of seedlings were potted up.  5 'Kaleidoscope Mixed' pepper, 6 'Rotundo Bianca Sfumata di Rosa' eggplant, 2 'New Yorker'  tomato and 4 'Mountain Princess' tomato.  These are in addition to what was potted up last week- 3 'Victor' tomato, 6 'Northstar' pepper, 2 'Peacework' pepper and 3 'Tennessee Spice' pepper. 

The eggplants and some of the peppers will most likely be put in the driveway bed.  Flea beetles are menace in the PSP, so I'm going to see if the eggplants can escape them out front.

Tomorrow I hope to pot up some of the larger flower seedlings and perhaps get another sowing of carrots in.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Three in a Row

Dry days that is.  Along with no rain the temps have been in the low 80's.  It is amazing the results the warmer temps with all that water have brought.  The peas seem to be getting taller each time I look at them, the carrots and beets are finally up and the over wintered lettuce is ready to harvest. 

The over wintered lettuce was not something I planted on purpose.  My fall lettuce went into the garden very late and very small last fall.  Cool weather kept the plants from achieving any size.  They received no protection and about 3/4 of them died over the winter, but the survivors are now growing like gang busters.  This coming fall I am going to purposely plant some to overwinter along with spinach and arugula if i can find the space.

I do have a bit of a dilemma.  I was going to plant another round of carrots and beets last weekend.  The soil was to wet the prepare the area for seeding.  This coming weekend  it will be  May.  I can't decide if I should plant more or wait another week and put in the first planting of bush beans... decisions, decisions...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Flowers

What would Easter be without daffodils and tulips?
This year they were the best ever.
Above, an island bed in the front lawn.

Above, 'Delnashaugh' daffodil.
Above, tulip close up.

Have a Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Planting Update

Despite the clean up from the storm, I did manage to get out and do some planting.


Above an over view of the Postage Stamp Potager. The junco's seem to have departed so in a few days I'll remove the mesh flats from the spinach and arugula. Doesn't last years parsley look good? After using it to make stuffing for Easter it will be removed as it starting to bolt. The large lettuce plants in the left bed are from last fall. They survived the open winter and I should be able to harvest them soon.

The back bed, peas and newly planted lettuce. The peas in the foreground are 'Blizzard', left back are 'Freezonian' and left back are the purple podded 'Pretty'. 'Lingue de Canarino' lettuce is on the left, 'Salad Bowl' on the right and 'Ruby' as the front edge.

. Two rows of cabbage, 'Gonzales' in front and 'Samantha' behind. The red cabbage still needs about a week to size up before planting.


I was shocked looking at pics from this date last year that the garden is about three weeks behind in growth. Last year the peas were about a foot tall, cabbage was triple it's size, lettuce, arugula and spinach was ready to be harvested. Thinking back, the weather was much warmer last April. hopefully the warmer temps forecast will help everything catch up.


The lower level of the house is drained and the carpet is almost dry. It will be a while until we can tell if it needs to be replaced. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it won't.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tales From the Mountain Slide

Yesterday we had one of the worst rain storms I can remember. The day began windy with teaming rain, and that was the best part of the day. The afternoon brought line after line of thunder storms. At one point, my cousins and I were looking out the back window and marvelling at the river that was flowing between the backyards. Then we were marvelling at the fact that the fire pit area was under about three inches of water. Then we moved to the front windows to watch the river of water race through the gullies that line the street, we have no sewers. My cousin then went down stairs and all hell broke loose. The carpet was saturated where he had stepped. We don't have a real basement as this is a split level. The lower half has a family room, bedroom, full bath and a huge launder/storage area. The outer walls are supposed to be sealed. About twenty minutes later, there was an inch of water and rising. The rest of the day was spent bringing what furniture we could upstairs. And the water kept rising... We got out the shop vac and started vacuuming, despite the fact that it was still pouring out. This went on all night. By this afternoon all of the water was up and now we are trying to dry the carpet. I won't know for a few days how damage there was.


Now lest you think the title of the post was an exaggeration, when we took a drive to see if the roads had reopened, there was a large mud slide on the top of the mountain. Wish I had thought to bring my camera and take pictures.


Of course you realize that my first thoughts of disaster was not for the carpet, or the furniture, or the appliances that were flooding. It was for my seedlings. They are on stands in the laundry room and the timer and a surge protector are on the floor. Boy was that fun having to figure a way to wade through the water, without getting electrocuted, to unplug the lights. Thus, the rest of the lettuce seedlings went out to start hardening and once the cement dries I will have to figure out a way to rewire- more rain is forecast for the coming week. AUGH...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday in the Garden

Although it was still a bit cool this weekend, I was able to get outside on Sunday. While the vegetables seem to be taking forever to sprout and then grow. The perennials and bulbs are growing nicely.


Above, my clump of 'Katie Heath' daffodil is starting to open, a light pink that fades to apricot, this was a hitchhiker from my old garden. The single bulb has sized up to a nice clump and is one of my favorites.

Above, 'Blizzard" snow peas are emerging like gangbusters. I was a bit leery about my home saved pea seed, but it seems that my worries were unnecessary, germination has been great.

. Above, lettuce that is now hardening off for planting next weekend, 'Salad Bowl' and 'Lingue de Canarino'.

. Above, 'Ruby' lettuce and 'Samantha' and 'Gonzales' cabbage will also be planted outside next weekend.


I resowed both types of spinach as the birds seem to like these seedling above all else. I took some of those mesh trays that one gets when buying transplants and covered the spinach area with them. This hopefully will help keep the spinach cooler with the upcoming heat and keep the seedlings away from the birds until they size up. Funny that the birds avoid the arugula planted in the same area!


Sowed beets and carrots today. 'Mokum' and 'Over the Rainbow' mixed carrots, and 'Red Ace' and 'Touchstone Gold' beets. Next weekend I'll make another sowing of them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pea's a Poppin'

Finally! The peas are starting to germinate like crazy. All varieties are sprouting with what looks like excellent germination rates. I was a bit leery as most of the seed planted was home saved from last year. It seems that peas seeds are easy to save as bean seeds.


This spring, for the first time I'm having problems with birds nipping the seedlings. The culprits are the Junco's. These have always been winter birds departing early in the spring. I'm just hoping that they have their flight out booked very soon. I just hope that they have not decided to stay for the summer.

Monday, April 4, 2011


It was actually warm today! Not as warm as they were predicting, but it did reach at least 80F.

Above, a small clump of 'Ice Bred' arugula.

Above, one square of 'Tyee' spinach.

Above, one of my favorite things, a twenty foot ribbon of 'Tete a Tete' daffodils.

Above, part of a giant patch of chiondoxa.

Above, the chartreuse foliage of a 'Woodside' columbine.


One of the things I love about this time of year is the emerging foliage of some plants. The cool weather makes some seem so vivid like the columbines above. The foliage will stay that color until after they blooms, then gradually turn more green.


The weather is supposed to be a bit milder this week. I should be able to start hardening the first of the lettuce seedlings and the cabbage. Hope fully this weekend I'll be able to get the carrots and beets planted. Now if I can only keep the birds and the squirrels out of the peas...

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Must be what the pea seeds I planted two weeks ago must be saying. These have passed two weeks have been abnormally cold. Almost every night going down to the high 20's, and we have not have not broken out of the 40's at all.

The arrugula took one week to germinate and the spinach took two weeks. Yesterday I noticed that one brave 'Blizzard' pea poked it's head up, and today another on broke the surface. I'm hoping that they let the rest of them know it's safe to come up :)

On the bright side, daffodils and hyacinths have stayed looking exactly the same for the last two weeks. their season should be greatly extended this year.

Last weekend I put in a band of an escarole/ mixture and a band of 'Giant Noble' spinach. When it warms up a bit I'll be sowing carrots and beets and planting the lettuce seedlings.