Check out this pretty tomato:
Check out this pretty tomato:
Harvesting: Potatoes, lettuce, herbs, baby chard, carrots, the last of the shelling peas.
Planting: Nothing this week
Growing: tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, lettuce, grapes, zucchini, fall squash, cucumbers, beets, carrots, strawberries, chard, sweet peas, arugula, herbs of all sorts
Gave up on: The shelling peas – short season this year and a very low yield. We tried a new variety this year (need to confirm the type) and it did NOT do well in the garden.
Summer squash above and the garden haul below. We had a great garden feast on Sunday – Roasted carrots with honey-thyme butter, green salad, roasted rosemary potatoes and minted peas — all from the garden!
Still haven’t put up the grade trellis but the vines are filling out – they even have tiny grapes forming! This year I will remove the fruit before it matures and concentrate on training the vines for a healthy first harvest next year. Here is a picture of when the grapes where first transplanted in March 2013 – It seems like they have been here longer.
Tomatoes above and lettuce below … all making slow but noticeable progress. Not sure if the red mulch is helping much. I added a tomato to a different bed without the red mulch and it seems to be growing faster (?!)
So I broke off the starts and planted it…an experiment
The blueberry bushes have never really thrived in the garden – they were planted in March 2013 and are still a year out from producing (hopefully) fruit. The blueberry below is Brigitta.
Arrrrgg. i’ve typed a report on my garden twice now and glitch has erased it. So for now just pics.
Its the never-ending winter. Some signs of Spring are making their claim on this early May. The temperatures have warmed a bit (are we actually out of the 50s?) and sun will come out to play for brief spells through out the day. Things are starting to look good in the garden. The oregano and lavender plants are green and healthy. The pea sprouts are disappointingly small — I hope they take off before too long. They are occupying the spot where I plan to put the tomatoes when they arrive from Territorial Seed Company. Speaking of Territorial Seed Company — I am going to have a chance to visit their facilities (store? greenhouse?) in Cottage Grove next weekend — I have to be in Eugene for work and figure its worth the extra drive — I think they are a great company and their catalog keeps me inspired with the gardening. Plus, my arugula have bolted and its time to find a replacement crop. Here’s whats happening in the squarefoot garden. Pics to com.
Bed One: 4 squares of spinach planted from seed 4 weeks ago. Status – the seedlings are just beginning to emerge. 1 square oregano. Status: The oregano was planted last year and is starting to grow beyond its square. It seems very happy. Lots of new growth. 1 Square carrot. Status: Carrot planted from seed 3 weeks ago, then dug up and scattered by a squirrel, the first little shoots are just starting to appear but not in neat little rows! 2 squares lavender – both planted last year, the lavenders are a lovely green and have good new growth as Spring rolls out. That leaves 8 squares unplanted – 6 of these I plan to use for potato and the other 2 for chard.
Bed Two: 4 squares peas – growing slowly but surely. 1 square lettuce – planted from seed about two weeks ago. No sprouts. 5 squares broccoli – just starting to form the curd or crown or what ever you call it. 6 squares cabbage – a mixed variety planted as transplants about 6-7 weeks ago – growth is really starting to take off.
Bed Three: 4 squares strawberries – huge plants planted as transplants last year. Lots of flowers. Very happy and much larger than last year. 3 squares peas – growing slowly but surely. 6 squares arugula – bolted already. I’m pulling these out and will replace with something…not sure what. 2 squares lettuce – planted from seed about 2 weeks ago. Just starting to send up sprouts. 1 square scallions – one of the first things I put in. They do not seem very happy.
What is this animal that poos in my garden? Can it be Bently? The elderly neighbor pug who’s elderly owner is wheel chair bound and thus, not able to chase down his dog and/or access the garden to pick up the doo? Is it the friendly striped cat from across the street who might be too lazy to bury his doings? I don’t like poop on my carrot seedlings. Call me crazy. Between pooping pets and squirrels burying peanuts in my garden its becoming a challenge to get seedlings started. I’m more concerned about the feces rather than the squirrel nuts (I wonder what google search would turn that sentence up) so my first attempt to deter pets from using my square foot garden as a rest stop will be to put a bunch of chopsticks in the beds. Steve has had some success with this method – but also went hi-tech with a cat-deterrent. Does anyone have lo-tech suggestions on how to keep animals from pooping in the garden?
At last the garden is starting to take off and look healthy. We have had a cold spring here in Oregon. The sun peeped out for one glorious day this weekend and I was reminded how a little sunshine goes a long way with plants. The peas, which I planted back in early March, are FINALLY starting to make some headway. Nearly 6 weeks after planting, the strongest of the pea shoots stands at nearly 3 inches. Next weekend I will put up my PVC trellis and some twine to support their growth. The arugula transplants are starting to thrive. 4 out of 6 of the broccoli transplants look strong and healthy – one became snail food. Its hard for me to tell if the cabbage transplants are doing well – it’s a new crop for me. Aside from a few bites out of the leaves, they seem to be doing alright. Scallions, which I transplanted around the second week of March do not seem so happy. I pulled half of them out and threw in some lettuce seeds of Organic Green Deer Tongue & Pom Pom from Territorial Seed Company. I interplanted the broccoli and cabbage bed with more radishes. This weekend I turned over the crimson clover in the third bed, added some compost and fertilizer and leveled the beds for planting. That bed has 2 lavender plants and a square of oregano bouncing back from winter. I also planted four squares of spinach from seed and one square of carrots. With the weather warming up, the garden should be taking off soon! Next steps: plan for future plantings, order tomato and eggplant transplants from Territorial Seed Company, build an extra raised bed layer for several squares of potatoes. I love fresh potatoes. Any suggestions for what varieties to plant and when – for the Pacific Northwest? Here is the garden layout (minus the carrots which I forgot to add to the chart) as it now stands. Garden layout, click here: April 2008 Garden Layout
Soon I will have a big crop of radishes – which are the first harvestable crop in my square foot garden. I’m trying to find creative and tasty recipes featuring radishes – I’m bored of just throwing radishes on a green salad. Here is a recipe from Bon Appétit for radish dressing on a green bean salad that I found on epicurious.com – I’m going to give it a whirl when more radishes are ready to be pulled out of the ground. Has anyone tried roasted radishes? What about radishes on butter with bread. Both sound odd to me but depending on the garden yield I might have to check it out.
Green bean, red onion, avocado salad with radish dressing
5 radishes, unpeeled, trimmed, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed
1 red onion, thinly sliced (try soaking onion slices in apple cider over night for a bit more tang)
2 large radishes, sliced paper-thin (optional)
Place 5 radishes in processor. Add oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic; process until thick dressing forms. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring just to room temperature before using.)
Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain beans and rinse under cold water. Drain and pat dry.
Place beans, sliced avocado and onion in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
In late fall of 2007 I tucked my square foot garden beds in for the winter under a blanket of rye grass in one bed and covering of crimson clover in the other two. Although I got all beds off to a late start for over wintering… the rye grass grew quickly, stayed a lovely shade of green through out the winter and provided dense coverage. The crimson clover provided spotty coverage, and managed just a bit of growth before it was stunted (im assuming) by cold weather. The clover was good for growing around a few crops that stayed in through the winter – the rye grass seemed more invasive. Fast forward to spring… When it came time to turn the beds over for spring planting the rye grass was a pain in the arse. I’m still fishing out clumps of rye grass and do not like the texture of the soil filled with blades of grass. Turning in the crimson clover was easy and left the soil feeling light and fluffy. I should note that I had only two weeds total in all of my square foot garden beds – and I did not do a thing to the garden between late November and early March – this gardening method is great for weed control. In conclusion – next year I will go with crimson clover — and make sure I plant earlier than last year. Unless anyone has sugesstions for great overwinter coverage….. Ideas? What has worked for you?