Monday, May 26, 2008

Dodging the rain.

Sunday May 25th

More thunderstorms and rain forecast for tomorrow (Monday) so that day is earmarked for blog updating, messaging and e-flurrying.
Today was the day to get things done outside while we had some sunshine and dry weather.

Plot 1

I'm now getting a bit of help with the carrot beetle problem in the form of a couple of Blue Jays. The plot is riddled with holes they have dug and carefully dissected pieces of beetle litter the area. They have even dug up a couple of the onion bulbs in their relentless search. Good for them I say, keep up the good work!
I do my bit by digging around each weekend, picking out any live ones I find and dropping them into a container of rubbing alcohol.

This is one of the sunflowers which are in plots 1 and 2 They are around 6 inches tall now. Still a long way to go as they are supposed to attain around 10 feet.

Plot 2

I've planted some Rainbow Swiss Chard seeds in here in an attempt to rustle up a supply of salad greens for later in the season. Temperatures are on the rise and pretty soon it will be scorching hot so any spinach or lettuce I start now wont have a chance. This, hopefully will be an alternative.

The pole beans are making progress in here. I got a decent crop last year despite a late start so I'm hoping for a repeat this time around.

Plot 3

Carrots, lettuce, 4th radish crop, onions and bell peppers are all looking fine here and the floating row cover is permanently off. This plot was really slow to start this year but has picked up in the last couple of weeks, probably due to the amount of rain and sunshine we've been having.

The Yolo Bell Peppers are now flowering and forming peppers

Plot 4

It looks pretty bare in here since I pulled the turnips and spinach. I've resown more turnips on the left and added romaine lettuce seeds down the centre so it should soom fill up again. The 3rd crop of radish seed which I mixed in with carrot seeds are about half way there. It will be interesting to see how the carrots grow along with their companions. This plot is now permanently uncovered too.

Plot 5

"Spud City". All 6 plants look healthy, no sign of flowers yet. I've been very light with the watering this season due to the heavy rainfall. I think I've watered them twice since planting. But when the flowers form and the weather dries up I'll have to increase the amount as its then that the tubers start to form. I can't say that I can see any significant difference between the growing methods yet. Covers still in place here and will remain so until the flowers form.

Plot 6

All 6 tomato plants are healthy and forming flowers. the plant that broke off at the top has rallied tremendously and is catching up. Today the lower stems were pruned, the plot was weeded, old straw was removed and consigned to compost heap and a fresh layer added. I'll need to start thinking of pruning a few suckers soon. Next weekend I may treat them to some fish emulsion fertilizer (if they are really nice to me).
One evening last week I added a few marigolds and some of my home grown basil as companions.


Due to the loss of plot 1 this year I ended up with a few plants needing a home. So now I have squash and cucumbers living here, all grown from heirloom seeds. The cucumber has flowered.
I've sown a few radish seeds in with the cucumbers as they are supposed to keep away pests. The radish wont be used, just allowed to grow and go to seed.

Sunday May 26th

As predicted the thunderstorms have arrived. The power went off for around half an hour. I had to rush out and drag the strawberry hanging baskets to safety yet again but did notice this........... I ate it!!

Then back outside to rescue this.............

............... our lovely petunia hanging basket.

Let's think on the bright side, at least everythings getting a good watering.



DP Nguyen said...

Wow, your garden is HUGE! and tons of variety. I'm trying to also grow veggies in TN, but yours is amazing. I think I'm going to add more variety to my garden... as soon as I build more square foot boxes.

That strawberry looked delicious!!! :-)


Ashraf Al Shafaki said...

Amazing! I adore this post.

I love the part where after posting the photo you say "so I ate it".

I like how you provide the photos and tell the story, giving live feedback on how your plants are progressing in the different plots.

I also noticed the brick-walled plots. It is not a practice common here in Egypt. So tell me, the plots are all brick-walled? How about the plots from the bottom, are they also surrounded by bricks from the bottom or left open through through the ground and the bricks are only done from the sides?

Mick said...

Thank you so much for the kind comments and for visiting this blog Ashraf. Yes, a little humour does creep into the posts, as it does in my "real life".

I try to give accurate feedback for both my own benefit and for anyone else who may gain from it. We learn from our successes and failures and this blog is a handy record of both.

The bricks around the outside of some of the plots are simply to allow me to raise the level of the soil. If I had more bricks I would stack them on top and raise the beds higher. Underneath the plot is open soil to encourage root growth and healthy plants. My soil is poor, lots of clay and very wet so I have to raise the level as much as possible.

I hope this explains things.