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.