Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring is slow to settle in--plants are loving it

I keep going out to look at the plants because my tomatoes have NEVER looked so good. I have taken lots of advise about how to grow good tomatoes and what varieties to grow and am having a great year so far. every plant on the lot (20+) was grow by me from seed except for 2 that I got as transplants. I am pleased that the Early Girls are living up to their names--each has cascades of blooms and are setting most of them. So far most plants look to have 5-6 or more tomatoes on them. The San Marzano's are just behind them and since they went in 2 weeks later--doing great. They also have lots of blooms and have set 3-4 tomatoes per plant already. The Supersweet 100s and black cherry are also ramping up as is the Thai Pink Egg (top corner above) We are excited that the new Jaune Flammee(center), an orange tomato is setting clusters of 5-6 tomatoes and is blooming like crazy. They are getting measured water and fertilizer each week and had protection from the cold winds a few weeks ago with row cover. I was really worried as I waited and still they got a bit more cold than I thought they would do.

The herb area and the front part of the garden are getting a real facelift this year. It is fun to make it so colorful and unique. The cucumbers seem to love their rales and the scarlet runner beans are already blooming on the bamboo trellis. I am still not pulling out the peas as it is cool and they are still producing enough to keep us eating a time or so every 10 days. 

The onions I planted last fall are really getting big. I have been scraping back the soil from around the bulbs and think the harvest will keep us in onions for months. I have harvested about half of the green cabbage but none of the purple yet. The heads are doing well and getting big. I was able to trade a couple of heads of the green for eggs and make 3 - 1/2 gallon batches of kraut plus slaw. We intend to eat some cooked too. Brocoli is going well but will bolt if the heat comes on too fast. good thing it is getting within days of picking. I am already planting beans where I had beets this winter. There are only a few beets left out front but I am replanting in the back were there is more afternoon shade. Lettuce too in shadier spots so we have it until bad heat.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New growth as garden goes from winter to spring

I have been so busy trying to rearrange the plants and cope with the crazy weather we are having. Hot days in early spring confuse the plants and are making me cover and uncover to keep things on an even keel.  Got all the tomatoes in just after the last freeze date around March 10th only to have very cold nights a week later--37-39 is not freezing but way too cold for the little guys. I did a different thing in up-potting them that I will do again. I put the seedlings into 4" round pots that fit into quart yogurt containers and had self watering seedling pots. Roots came down, plants grew great and transplanting went really well. No root bound plants.

I put in a second round of broccoli from the nursery and am encouraging the brussel sprouts to make little heads--fighting the bugs. We will see how it goes. Peas are just about done and need to come out so I can plant the blackeyes there or peppers there and blackeyes where the cabbage is.
Was lucky to get another variety of eggplant at the sustainable harvest spring event and put them in and got one more in a plant exchange.
I harvested 3 beautiful cabbages this morning. Biggest yet--around 4-5 lbs. each. I am going to shred some for slaw and kraut and cook some for dinner. well worth planting!