Friday, July 18, 2014

Tumbling Tomatoes

      These tomato plants are volunteers from last years' Sweet 100 patch.  There is supposed to be a path under these plants, and it is difficult to get into the garden.  So after some very heavy pruning and a quick bamboo trellis construction, this it what it looks like now.

      Ah, the path is back.  In a few days the plants will fill back out, yet have plenty of space for sun and air circulation.

Fabulous Friday

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Picking Potatoes

       Back on April 6th of this spring I put my Kennebec potato starts in the ground.  I ran out of garden space in the back yard for potatoes, so took the leftover starts over to my park garden.

      These two trenches were about eight feet long, and the potato starts are about a foot apart in each row.  The bed itself was actually the remains of about eight inches of leaves covered with mushroom soil from the previous year when I was trying to wipe out a weed invasion.  There was no prep this year, just using a hoe to make the trenches.  In went the potato pieces and the trenches were refilled.

      The picture above shows the potato patch on the left as of June first.  Potato beetles found the patch a couple of weeks ago, and although insecticidal soap had kept them somewhat in check, I found the adult beetles in force this morning.  I dug my hand under one plant, expecting to find only a few new potatoes, but was surprised to find a couple of good sized spuds.  Decided then to harvest the whole small bed to take away the beetle food supply.

      The vines had only started to yellow and had not collapsed at all, so I would not have harvested yet if not for the beetle problem.  But the good news is, the potatoes look great, and were harvestable by hand by simply pulling up the plants.  The potatoes had formed in the leaf layer, and were essentially sitting on top of the harder soil.

      This picture shows how the potatoes just pulled out with the rest of the plant.  Then pulled them off the roots and put them in the harvest bucket.

      What a great harvest.  From just the small patch of leftover seed potatoes at the park.  Wonder what the bigger patch will yield.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Squash Trellis in Early July

      This trellis is a vertical home to various climbers of the squash family: Boston pickling cucumbers, poona khera cucumbers, buttercup squash, marina di choggia squash, butternut squash, swan gourd, pointsett cucumbers, white cucumbers, and green dragon cucumbers.  I think I better reinforce some of the vertical supports.

           Right behind the squash trellis is the Kennebec potato patch.  The out of control potato patch.  The potato patch that is spilling everywhere.  In about ten days I am going to harvest the whole patch for what will be smaller potatoes.  That will give the squash plants room to ramble.  Here is the potato patch from the other direction.

      The squash trellis is on the right.  In the foreground is an artichoke plant in a large flower pot.  Note the humidity in the picture.  It is going to be quite unpleasant working outside today.

      The garlic patch is to the right of the potato patch.  The tall garlic in front is "Music", and to the left of that patch is a shorter stand of "Red Russian".  I may have to harvest the garlic today as the tropical system Arthur may dump a lot of rain on us tomorrow.  Not what you want at harvest and curing time.

      There is a bed of beans next to the potato patch which so far have not been overrun.  Then to the left of the beans is the tomato trellis.  It is time now to trim and tie the tomato plants to the uprights.  Time to go to work on some of these things.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunny Sunday Morning

      The weather has been so changeable.  One day muggy, then maybe the next. Then slip in a couple of beautiful days.  Cool, workable weather.  Today is fortunately one of those days.

Sunday morning, June 22nd, 2014
Rose Campion, Forget-me-not below

Di Chioggia Squash forming
Magenta day lily
Day lily blossom on deck
Pink phlox
Stone crop
Stone crop, closer view

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Early June Flowers

      The back yard garden is in full splendor this morning, bigger than it should be from give-away flowers never taken.  For future reference, the bearded iris at the right side are a solid sky blue.  The two day lily clumps in front that could stand even more dividing are solid yellow.

      Here are shasta daisies that grew in profusion from last year from seed heads that were left too long on the major path.  Now it is a major grouping of daisies. The Joe Pye weed is choking out the magenta clematis.  Dig and divide is needed.

      This light purple clematis keeps getting bigger and bigger.  It has made lots of rooted babies that are now available.  Any takers?

      The previously mentioned monster daisy patch.  Available for digging or flower cutting soon for seed heads.  Time now to head back out for gardening.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Paper Towel Germination

      With the long miserable winter having dampened my usual seeding frenzy, I am behind in starting my veggies.  So to get started as quickly as possible, and to be able to monitor the progress, I started seeds on Wednesday and Thursday using the damp paper towel method.

      The paper towels are the ones that are about 2/3 full size, then cut in half. Seeds are put on that half sheet, which is then folded over two times, and dampened.  The paper towel and some sort of identification then go into the little snack baggies.  That should provide enough moisture for germination.  In just two days, I have my first rooting activity in my own seed saved of Golden Treasure Peppers!  And treasures they are. I am so glad that variety chose to be the first out of the gate.
  Started 4/9/2014:
   Malabar Spinach from my own 2013 seed
   Peppers:  Cubanelle, Golden Treasure, Poblano, and Sweet Banana
   Tomatoes:  Black Krim, Bloody Butcher, Brandywine Pink, Cherokee Purple,
        Chocolate Cherry, Glacier, Dr. Wyche, Jubilee, Ox Heart, Rutgers, and
        Sungold Cherry

Started 4/10/2014:
   Flowers:   Cardinal Vine and Spanish Flag - both from my own seed and both to
          attract Hummingbirds
   Peppers:   Green Bell, California Wonder mixed, Cayenne, Chuska, Golden
         California Wonder, and Jalapeno
   Squash family:  Buttercup, Butternut, Cucumber Poinsett, Delicata, Luffa Gourd,
         Marina Di Chioggia, Mesa Acorn, and Swan Gourd
   Tomatoes:  Big Red, Early Girl, German Johnson, and Marglobe

      The seeds planted were about 10 to 12 per paper towel, yet I only want about two plants from each variety mentioned.  I expect to get what I need, and certainly hope to have extras of lots of things.  Let me know of any interest and stuff to trade.
      These towels were planted from seeds on hand, some dating back to as far as 2009.  The paper towel method allows to see what germinates without wasting time to try to set out dozens of six packs.  What I am missing from my current seed stock and need to correct is seed for cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash.
      Please use the side bar to this posting to see more on "Paper Towel Seed Germination".