Sunday, June 6, 2010

The State Of The Vegetable Garden

The first week of June 2010.

Well I have not had to water it in quite some time. I see growth, more so in some things than others. It's the usual thing. My hot is 80 degrees, considered for a moment late in the afternoon. Those things that want heat like melons and peppers just sit there waiting.

Look at all those self seeded sunflowers. I love it.

The strawberries are blooming and making runners. The directions said to remove all the blooms the first year and well, I am just too busy. I'll have to suffer with berry production. I get a couple of strawberries a day now.

The beans are poling. This is Scarlet Emperor from saved seed. They originally hail from Chuck B. in San Francisco. When it blooms it is a show stopper and my mail carrier's mother-in-law requested seed after seeing them each week as she drives to church on Sundays. Yes they are edible too I had to tell her and are not grown just for the flower. The butterflies go nuts over them.

The tomatoes are caged and there are no signs of late blight. The first hint of late blight will demand ruthless action on my part this year. Nip it, nip it in the bud I say.

The potatoes are lush and could bloom any time now and began their fading away. They too could be hit by late blight, more so since they are from saved taters from last year's crop. I culled early signs of potato virus y, x or z, whatever, and have not seen any bad signs since. The second potato planting went in last week.

The poor cucumbers are in the cups in front of the potatoes. They are just not cooperating this year. I am getting about 30% germination from the seeds and if they do germinate they sit there acting like it isn't warm enough to suit them. We must have pickles. I will keep adding seed.

That bare spot to the right of the newly coordinated bean poles is the melon department. I really should give it up. Melons want heat and I don't have it. I even experimented with a watermelon this year. Perhaps I need to start saving seed from any decent melon I get and select for cool tolerance.

The sugar snap peas have been a strange disappointment this year. Just sulking when they should like the cool and be in full production by now. Two sowings of corn are up. Carrots, beets, turnips and parsnips are up. I have been eating radish. Those are easy. The squashes are finally beginning to show signs of vigorous life. I informed the executive chef that there was no need to buy salad greens until further notice. The peppers of course sit there waiting for heat.

And what about the wildflower surround? The climbing rose that won't climb, at the far east end in the trees, is blooming nicely. It does well for only half day sun at best.

Coreopsis and Ox-Eye Daisy are adding a strong dash of color for the passing travelers on the scenic byway. I wave a lot while I putter in the roadside vegetable garden. I like that the regulars see a person out there enough to help deter any covetous thinking.

Oh, the vetch. It comes in two colors, pink and deep purple and is most striking in bloom. It is a thug though and wants to smother everything in its path. I yank it with abandon knowing full well I will never be rid of it.

The roadside bed on the other side of my driveway is the prelude or exclamation point depending on the direction of travel to the roadside vegetable garden. Its wild theme blends well with the wildflower surround of the vegetable garden.

The eremurus are spiking, though two of them look to be lacking spikes. The hollyhocks are surprisingly still there. I expected them to be biennials. Chicory and verbena will be blooming soon. Ironweed grows tall to bloom late in the summer. The mum 'Sheffield Pink' is an ever expanding mound. Clumps of miscanthus grow more robust, safe, after two years of continuous division.

Overall, I think things are looking pretty good.


Lola said...

Your garden looks grand. Love those sun flowers.
I picked more bush beans, dug some potatoes. Beans with new potatoes---huummmmm. Some carrots too. Tomatoes are there just not getting ripe yet.
We had more showers today too.

Anonymous said...

Funny how some years some things do well and other years don't; I am thinking of your peas. That's just the life of gardening I suppose.
Other things do unexpectedly well to compensate.


Antique ART Garden said...

Okay, what is that alien-looking thing in a few of the pictures ? An old sign or a metal scarecrow you made with one lone silver Christmas ball on it and metal tentacles ? Don't leave us in suspense.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola I look forward to meals totally from the garden. That's weeks away though.

Bev that good year/bad year syndrome makes me a little nuts. I have to tell myself it is ok, accept it.

Gina that is Uncle Ernie my scarecrow/yard art made from leftover plywood and the metal straps used to bundle lumber. He does need a new summer bauble.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! Your garden is looking great! Can't wait to see the bean vine and sunflowers in bloom. Everything is looking so luscious!
I have a question on the cozy cabin ~ are you setting the floor tile first and then painting, or are you painting the walls first? It is looking so grand!

Crystian said...

Lovely. Just lovely. I give it 2 thumbs up. I like the mulch. It has the garden looking clean and well kept.

Hey, you seem to be worried about blight. Well why not plant some herbs (especially marigold) around the perimeter of the garden and in between some of the crop?

Insect pests hate the scent of the marigold herb. The scent also disguises the scent of the vegetables. It's a natural camouflage.

You can even try floating rows. These are fabric that allow sunlight through and acts as a barrier between the insects and the pest.

But again. Yours is the best garden I've seen in a long while. Congratulations.

You can check out...

chuck b. said...

Your runner beans seem to be a month ahead of mine! I'm trying a new variety this year, 'Wisely Giant', from Thomson and Morgan. Supposed to be verrry productive. We'll see.

I don't think you have to worry about low berry production with all those plants. You'll have lots of berries, if you can keep the birds and other critters away from them. A friend recommended white Fragaria vesca to me. Apparently birds don't recognize non-red strawberries..? Anyway, I bought some seeds, and we'll see about that too...some day.

Relic Dan the Disgruntled Old Man said...

Ah some terrific insight at last.
How to say, that even a gardener who seems far ahead of my knowledge base and organization skills, still has some difficult veggies, without sounding like a jerk?
Well - seems like it was explained not only with the temperatures, but just - go figure - one of those things. Yeah really - I shake my head as well.
Melons - 50/50 - when they do decide to plump up - squirrels seem to beat me to it. They do not care for watermelons - but again, chancy crop here in South Ontario.
Thanks for good advice and reading.
That first radish is a treat, have a bountiful harvest.
Pickles and Zucchini relish, hmmn.
Come on peppers!
Dan R