We begin our blogtastic voyage in the strawberry patch. In my previous posts, these plants were covered up by a rowcover but they are now free from those restraints to spill out of the bed. This has been an unusually wet spring and the constant humidity of the cover was causing powdery mildew to start growing on the leaves. Thankfully, a few days drying in the sun seems to have cleared this up. There are a now a few berries too.
|Ain't nothing gonna break my stride,|
Nobody's gonna slow me down,
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving ...
|first red berries!|
Next, we turn to the alliums -- scallions, garlic, onions, and leeks. They are all loving this rain. The scallions are around 8-10 inches tall now, and will be ready to begin harvesting soon. However, the oregano blob has other plans for this patch of dirt. If I don't cut the oregano back soon, then I'm going to lose most of one row. Anybody need some oregano?
Here is the garlic jungle. It's getting tough to walk through here now. Last week, I mulched this garden with a bunch of grass clippings. It seemed to work really well for last year's crop by maintaining a good moisture level in the soil. We are still working on the last bulb of last year's garlic harvest. If 20 bulbs lasted us an entire year, what are we going to do with 120 bulbs? Oh boy.
The onions and leeks under this hoop house have some new neighbors this week. These are the various chile, bell, and sweet pepper plants. Onions are great companion plants for peppers and tomatoes, and will help to deter pests from the peppers.
The potatoes have hit their stride now and are starting to push the limits of their hoop house. I've already hilled the plants twice, which will help prevent greening of the potatoes. In the furrow that was left in the middle after hilling, I planted some bush beans. No space will be wasted this year!
This weekend, I also planted the concurbit bed. At the far end of this bed are the cucumbers, which will be trellised. I hope to build that trellis this weekend, if the weather holds up. In the front half of the bed is my tres milpas experiment. Corn shoots are now poking up, and I just planted the yellow squash and zucchini. The squash and zucchini will grow low around the corn, maximizing moisture and minimizing weed growth. Once the corn is about a foot tall, then I'll plant pole beans to climb up the corn.
I was hoping to also post about how great my peas were doing, but they suffered a blow from Mother Nature last night. A strong thunderstorm blew through and somehow knocked over the trellis. This amazes me since it was anchored with nails bent over the feet of the trellis. Anyway, the thing fell over and closed on it self, simultaneously chopping and crushing most of the snow peas. This is really frustrating since the peas were basically at their peak this week. I did my best to support the damaged vines, but I'm not sure if they will recover ...
|it's touch and go ...|
|it used to be impossible to see through the trellis|
|some of the survivors|
A few random updates ...
|first and second sowing of salad greens|
|cilantro seedlings have emerged|
And now for a brief gardening equipment interlude ...
|the new rain barrel and Mason bee lodge|
|'60s era garden tools from my Aunt Cora ... so retro!|
|my friendly neighborhood orb spider|
The raspberry bramble is almost finished with flowering and fruits are starting to form.
The blueberries finished flowering long ago, and are now heavy with fruit. I think we should have ripe berries in about two weeks or so.
This year's fennel crop is looking much better than last year's. I think that the excess water is doing well for it. Also, I read that keeping the bulbs covered with soil will promote better growth. So, I topped this planter up with an extra two inches of soil. If you're wondering why these guys are in a planter, it's because fennel is allelopathic -- it kills other plants.
The swiss chard is not as pretty as the plants in the catalog, but the leaves taste great. We've already had it for dinner twice. Next year, I think that I'll plant a lot more because the leaves really shrink a lot when you saute them. A half pound of leaves probably ended up yielding only half a cup of cooked chard.
The sage and thyme have come back with a vengeance this year. They are in need of a serious pruning before they engulf the rosemary, lavender, and mint.
Lastly, my little oak tree has come back to life. Maybe by the end of the season, the trunk will actually be bigger than the leaves ...
Well, this blogtastic voyage has now come to and end. Happy Memorial Day!