Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Season Veggies

Tomatoes and Basil planted May 19th,  2013
      It took me a very long time to come out of winter hibernation this year.  Usually I start all of my tomatoes, peppers, and squash inside to grow out on the porch.  Just never got into it this year.  Then came sticker shock when trying to buy veggie starts.  Some tomato plants going for $3.49 per small pot!!  Finding the little six packs of tomatoes is almost impossible.  In the picture above, I have finally gotten some tomatoes and basil in the ground.  Nine days after the magic frost date of May 10th, yet we just had a frost so I was waiting.  With cooler temperatures recently, the tomatoes and peppers would not have made much outdoor progress anyway.

Peppers in the ground, May 19th,  2013
      How is this for intensive gardening?  The peppers run down the outside of this bed, garlic is in the middle, and tomatoes will be planted along the poles on the left side.  The garlic plants should all be harvested within a month, leaving more room and light for the tomatoes and peppers.  Grass clippings are used to fertilize and keep down the weeds.

Beans started, May 27th,  2013
      The turnips that had overwintered were finally pulled out and taken over to Highland Orchards for a treat for the pigs and chickens.  If you bought eggs there at the end of May and they were particularly good, that was my turnips!  On the left side of the bed you can see the white shelled Tenderpod beans, and on the rest of the bed to the right you can see some brown shelled Dragon's Tongue beans.  The Dragon's Tongue is the most moist bean I have found for eating raw.

Bean seeds covered
      Trying to avoid extra work, I just broadcast the seeds on top of the lightly hoed bed.  They were covered with about an inch of mushroom soil.  And yes, I remembered to soak the beans overnight in water before planting to get them fully hydrated.  I plan (hope) to do a better job of planting succession crops of beans this year.  There is still plenty of time to get in multiple plantings.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Frightening Food Article

      Most vegetable gardeners grow their own food with the assumption that their produce is far superior to the food one can buy at the big grocery stores.  And the food probably is superior due to its freshness and hopeful lack of pesticides and chemicals.  But what if the seed we sow does not produce the vitamin packed veggies that we expected to raise?  This article really shakes my faith in the food system and seed system currently in place:

      I may have to design my garden more around the seeds that I use.  Looks like all of the heirlooms I have been growing are probably superior, if only because they have had less human tinkering.  And arugula, you just had to think that something with its strong earthy flavor had to be good for you.

       I gave all of my purple potatoes to my daughter, now I will have to beg for some seed potatoes after harvest.  The Indian corn sounds like fun.  I bet the raccoons would pass by the Indian corn for sweet corn grown in nearby community plots.  Sounds like a future plan.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Back Yard Garden, May 22, 2013

Back Yard,  May 22nd, 2013
      One part of the garden is very much in bloom right now.  Most of these plants were available in the recent plant give away.  That is mostly finished for now as prime transplanting time has come and gone.  During the give away time I found it difficult to remember the colors of some of the day lilies, so I can identify the Stella de Oro lilies that are now blooming.

      The clump of Stella de Oro in the foreground are in the northeast corner of the back garden.  A strip of Forget Me Not runs up to the next clump of lilies.  The taller stems behind the Forget Me Not are phlox which are not yet in bloom.

     Walking around into the garden leaves the one Stella clump in the middle behind the bird feeder, while the second clump is now hidden by the orange tetraploid lilies that are taller, but not yet in bloom.  The pure yellow iris at the right is just starting to bloom, and the iris in the middle forefront is a pure blue just about to bloom.

      This is the same yellow iris, but this shot swings a little to the left and shows the shasta Daisies in the middle.  On the right are the tetraploid lilies again, and the magenta colored clematis is at the top in the middle.

      This shot shows the magenta clematis in the foreground, and the purple clematis in the middle.  The purple has lots of baby offshoots at its base.  They were and still are available for the asking.  At the base of the magenta clematis, the Joe Pye Weed is just starting to grow.  It needs to be dug out REAL SOON and a limited quantity might be available for a road trip.

      The perennial geranium is near the entry to this back yard garden.  To the right of the geranium is the African Daisy, about three feet tall on its way to six feet tall in a couple of weeks.  The gold finches will feast on the daisy seeds later in the season.  It won't be long before the Shasta Daises seen earlier are finished blooming and become finch bait.  There are some Forget Me Not behind the geranium, and behind that is penstemon, also known as Beard's Tongue.

A different angle, May 22nd,  2013

      This mixed purple and blue Bearded Iris is by the deck in back.  It is my favorite of my iris, and has had a very nice bloom this year.  I will move some this fall to see if I can increase my stock.

      The Weigela is now in full bloom.  My wife was told that if we prune it back hard after blooming, there will be a second flush of color later in the year.  As it badly needs a trim, we will put that theory to the test.
      What a pretty time of year.  And there has been enough cool weather this spring to prolong the colors!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mid May Blossoms

      Here are some shots taken just out back on May 15, 2013:

Native red columbine
Domesticated purple columbine
Bearded Iris
Weigela bush
Camassia cusickii
Jack in the Pulpit

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bringhurst Woods in Early May

      The Northern Delaware Greenway connects Bellevue State Park with the beautiful grounds at Rockwood Museum.  There are many wild flowers along the trail, and the following shots were taken this morning or yesterday morning.  It is somewhat of a challenge to hold a small camera in one hand and a leash attached to a 50 pound dog in the other hand, and still try to see what kind of picture will result.  But here is what is currently in bloom:

Native deciduous Azalea

False Solomon's Seal
False Solomon's Seal
Bush Honeysuckle
May Apple
May Apple
Cute little flower, please help with ID
Lonicera species?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Plant Give Away - 2013

Bleeding Heart

     Even after giving away a bunch of plants last year, there are still some waiting for good homes rather than a trip to the compost pile.  Much of what is available this year is the same as last year, so please refer to the  following posts:

May First, 2013 - Back Yard Shots

      Where does time go?  It is May first already, and I am terribly behind in my gardening.  It was just such a cold and gray winter that I had difficulty waking up from hibernation.  It will be a summer where I have to buy all of my vegetable starts, because I don't even have peppers or tomatoes!

A couple of driftwood pieces by the Ash tree
Bleeding Heart
Pause between spring and summer bloomers
Rescued kale from park compost pile
Enjoying salad greens,  May 1, 2013
Anticipate a great garlic harvest the first of July
Everbearing raspberry bed starting up
Leaf pile still to be shredded, even more work