Sunday, May 23, 2010

Planting and more planting

The windbreaker was required for much of today's gardening.
Except during the much-too-infrequent-and brief sunbreaks,
which warmed things up enough to make even a light jacket uncomfortably warm!

I did some planting last Sunday but worked late in the yard and didn’t get around to making my weekly blog post. Here’s what got planted last week on 5/16/2010 (all seed from Territorial Seed Company):

(Bed #2)
  • Red Ace Hybrid - 55 days
  • Touchstone Gold - 53 days

Carrots (Bed #3)

  • Yaya
  • Bolero

Broccoli (Bed #4)

  • Packman - 66-75 days
  • Belstar - 70 days
  • Arcadia - 55 days
  • Southern Comet - 80 days

All beds (at each end):

  • Assorted Marigold (seed saved from last year’s plants)

Sweet Peas (planter pot)

  • Pink Cupid
  • Sugar n’ Spice

And here’s what I’ve planted so far today (5/23/2010):

Cabbage (Bed #4)

  • Parel (green) -2 50d
  • Gonzales (green) – 1 55-60d
  • Primero (red) – 2 72d

Chinese Cabbage (Bed #4)

  • Soloist (baby cabbage) - 40-50 days

Bok Choi (Bed #4)

  • Joi Choi - 45 days

There’s not much to show in the way of planting pictures since the just planted beds look pretty much like the unplanted beds and the few seeds from last week that are just now sprouting don’t really make for compelling blog photos.

I did finally get around to thinning the onion bed today.

It's painful to pull them up, but it's necessary for nice big onions later!

Some of the thinned plants came up with a respectable amount of root attached so I replanted the best of the bunch into one of the raised beds. If they survive we’ll eat them in salad as early onions. The rest of the thinnings will go into tonight’s salad along with some of the volunteer dill plants that found themselves in the way of progress.

Salvaged onions

Our tomato and pepper plants arrived from Territorial on 5/12/10. They always look alarmingly small in their tiny 2 inch pots!

Teeny-tiny tomatoes
(unfortunately, I didn't think to put something in for scale - trust me they're wee!)

Unfortunately, it’s not been warm enough to plant them out since the evening low temperature should be reliably around 50 (F) and the evenings are still unseasonably brisk (for instance, a few nights ago it was only 39 degrees!), not to mention stormy and windy. So the plants have been re-potted and are sheltering in the garage until Spring decides to finally take up residence here in the PNW.

Our moving dolly has been temporarily re-purposed into a Tomato Trolley to make it easier to move the plants in and out of the weather.

Tomatoes and Peppers soaking up the sun between showers today


After my brief blogging and tea break, I went back out to the garden and planted some more seeds in the new raised bed.

Greens (Raised bed #5)

  • Wild Garden Kale - 30 days
  • Wild Garden Mustards - 30 days
  • Valmaine Romain Lettuce
  • Flashy Trout's Back Romain/Cos Lettuce
  • Victoria Green Butterhead Lettuce
  • Red Iceburg Crisphead Lettuce
  • Bordeaux Red-veined Spinach
  • Tyee Spinach

A delicious dinner salad with dill and baby onions

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mid-week Garden Update

ETA: For some reason blogger is not emailing me comments on the blog even though it is configured to do that. So thank you for the comments! I didn't know I had any until I was checking a past post for an unrelated reason and saw them.

(I know that's a wonderfully creative title! But sometimes the title is the hardest part of the blog post, seriously, so rather than not post for lack of a witty title I'm just calling this one like it is)

It seems like it has just been one weekend thing after another since we got back from DC. Just to recap:
First weekend: Garden Guy's back was out and I managed a good fall in the hall so both of us were out of business as far as gardening was concerned.
Second weekend: We had house guests.
Third weekend: I enjoyed a not-so-lovely weekend of gastroenteritis.

There has been gardening, just not nearly as much as planned and my planting is now officially behind schedule. Also, obviously, the garden journal blogging did not take place last weekend. So, in order to be caught up for this coming weekend I thought a quick mid-week garden update was in order.

Here's a visual update on the onions and potatoes planted before we left:

Onions waiting to be thinned

Unlike the other plantings, the potatoes are undaunted by the cold spring weather
(the potatoes also secretly think the other plants are wimps)

The fall planted garlic is coming right along too

Italian Late Garlic from Territorial Seed Company

My salad mix is still looking fairly puny and not at all impressive:

Sad salad mix...

What is rather amusing about it is that the more pathetic section on the left was actually planted approximately 2 weeks earlier* than the patch on the right which was planted 4/23/2010. I think between the unseasonably cold weather and the @#$%^ neighborhood squirrels, it just gave up. The plan is to have a hoop/plastic setup over the bed next year to facilitate earlier (and more successful) planting of salad greens.

I'm also proud to report that we have finally vanquished Hog Fuel Mountain, rototilled the front bed and generally restored some sense of order to the garden.

Garden Guy gets busy with the rototiller Saturday 5/1/2010

The garden as of Sunday 5/2/2010

The garden as I left for work Monday morning 5/10/10
Only one last patch of sod to eliminate!

And here's the updated view of the raised beds

Garden beds 5/9/2010

As you can see, we've added a new bed on the far end.

Okay, that's it for now. I'll planting some seeds this weekend and my tomato plants should be delivered in a couple of days - I just got a notice from Territorial that they'd been shipped.

*I don't have the date because someone, and again I suspect the neighborhood squirrel gang or the naughty blue jays are behind this (and for good reason I might add), removed my carefully notated planting marker.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Excused Absence

The lack of posting doesn't indicate that I've already failed to follow through on my intent to blog about the garden regularly!

There was no new gardening news from home to report because Charlie and I were away in Washington DC from 4/15 to 4/20 for his 30 year Marine Corps TBS reunion. We had a great time and after the two nights of festive events we had two days to see the sights in DC.

The weather was fantastic while we were there and a nice break from the PNW Spring chill. We toured the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and the National Museum of American History (with an extended stay at the Julia Child exhibit!). We also visited another Smithsonian art museum but apparently I neglected to note the name (it was the last stop on the second day and I was tired and pretty much museumed-out at that point).

On our way to a much needed coffee break at the Starbucks at 6th & C Street, we discovered a great little community garden plot:

We walked around the garden but didn't see any informational signs anywhere, but didn't walk over to the parking lot area (back of picture one) so it may have been there. There was also a little fitness setup at one corner of the garden area that looked to be popular, there was a very fit young military man using it while we were there.

Bonus vacation exercise

Later we headed over to look at the White House and while all the other tourists were trying to get photos of themselves with the White House in the background, we were trying to get a better look at the kitchen garden on the White House lawn. Too bad I only had my little Canon PowerShot with me as these were the best shots I was able to get:

The garden is not located very convenient to the fence from the front (for security reasons I'm sure) and where it's closer to the fence along the side there are heavy shrubberies and plantings blocking the view.

I was so busy trying to see the garden that I almost didn't notice something right in front of me: a beehive!

For some reason, a beehive on the White House lawn pleased me to no end

We had a great trip but by the end we were ready to come home and get back to our own garden.

We both had big plans to use our first weekend back to catch up in the garden, but as luck would have it Charlie seriously wrenched his back right off on Friday. He soldiered on through his self-appointed Friday chores but he was in quite a lot of pain for the whole weekend and basically barely able to walk Saturday and Sunday.

Then Sunday morning I had the brilliant idea to finish painting the hallway as we had guests coming over the following weekend. So I took up the hallway runner to get ready and noted that the floor was extremely slippery underneath. I warned Charlie to be very careful if he had to walk down the hallway and headed out to walk the dog before beginning to paint.

Do you see where this is going?

I returned from walking the dog, took off my shoes and, completely forgetting my own warning given not 30 minutes prior, headed down the hallway in my stocking feet. My feet flew out from underneath me and up over my head and I came down hard on my tailbone while simultaneously slamming my head on the wall.

Needless to say, the rest of my day was somewhat unproductive.

Coming up: Actual garden progress