Simpler Living

May 14, 2011

Gardening / Notes from the Garden - 2011/05/14

JB

I learned several things this year.  First, the "days to harvest" on a seed packet seems to be *after* sprouting, but it never explicitly says that.  Second, at least in my garden, I need to give the plants another week or two or three after that.  Apparently seed packet writers are optimists.

Very little of the tomatoes that I intentionally planted have done anything, except the Silvery Fir Tree tomatoes.  A few of them are doing well.  We went ahead and bought some tomatoes from The Tomato Man's Daughter.  We also have lots of volunteer tomatoes, though I have no idea what variety they are.

The Mizuna lettuce has *already* bolted and gone to flower.  It did not get nearly as thick as the package indicated.  The package made it look like it might somewhat make a head, but before any major leaf growth we got flowers.

We also got bok choi flowers already.  I think that's because the bok choi is supposed to be in a cooler zone.  I harvested the non-flowering ones and left the flowering ones for seeds, and planted our purchased tomato plants around them.

The turnips that we planted in the late fall and kept covered with milk jugs through winter are flowering.  This might be an easy way to get turnip seeds, and I'm not sure I even need the coverings.  This is my first year harvesting turnip seeds (and it was an accident at that), so I'm not quite sure how long I should wait until I harvest the seed pods.

The peas are doing well.  They did well unstaked, except that in a high-wind situation, they fell over.  I might just add a single stake or two next year so they can grab onto that instead of getting blown over.  It doesn't seem to be hindering production, but who knows.

The beans are doing very little.

The leeks from the winter garden look good.  I can probably harvest them anytime as I have need for them.  I also tasted one of the leaves - yummy! 

I pulled up one of our last four garlics from the winter planting.  I think they are ready.

The lettuce has been going gangbuster this year.  We are eating very well from a variety of lettuces.  I have Simpson Elite, which is doing well, a green Romaine lettuce that is doing well, and a mixed Romaine that is doing well.  It seems to only take a few days from when you cut the lettuce to when it grows back!

The lettuce I ate over winter has bolted and is about to flower.  Yay!  Not the best-tasting lettuce, but if you can harvest lettuce three times over the winter, I'd say that the lettuce is worth keeping, no matter what it takes.

I have several sweet potatoes in the ground, and they seem to be doing well, and several more that I need to get in the ground.

I want to do some guerilla-gardening this year, but need to figure out what to plant.  Maybe my sweet potatoes would be a good way to guerilla garden.

I've been trying my hand at propagation techniques.  I tried to propagate a whole bunch of bush/tree type plants using a rooting hormone.  The only ones that successfully rooted were the Rosemary bushes. 

My carrots seem to be doing okay, though they are growing very slowly.

When I harvested my radishes, they were kind of small - I think I need to give them a few more weeks.  I left three out for seeds, and they got *huge*.  We'll see what next year's stuff looks like.

My beets were beautiful in the backyard, so I transplanted them to the front yard.  Now they are ugly.  Go figure.

My cabbage has started to actually do some growing.  It was basically dormant for a while.

I need to get some pepper seeds and see if germinating them late will give me a decent crop at the proper time.

It's looking like I'll need to plant a bunch of stuff in three weeks - I should have my peas and beans in, my lettuce will probably have run its course, and my turnip seeds should be harvested.  That will open up more than half the garden for new planting.  And, I might have gotten my Leeks harvested, too.

May 02, 2011

Gardening / What your weeds are trying to tell you

JB

I found this link and thought it interesting.  The idea is that you can tell what your soil is like based one the weeds growing in it:

What Your Garden's Weeds are Trying to Tell You