Green Thumb Up My Nose

Garden Report 110905

Dug up my mid-season potatoes today. Small plot — 3x5ft. Yield: 0.75kg (stop laughing). These were small Burbanks, bought as part of the Irish Eyes “cage collection” but not grown in a cage. I have some other kinds (Yellow Finn and All Blue) actually in actual cages (OK, garbage cans), and we’ll see how those do in a month or so.

The reason I dug them up now is that I want to use that part of the garden, along with the cornfield (OK, corn feet) to try some late season peas.

The corn was a disaster. Ankle high by the …end of August. That don’t rhyme.

Tomatoes have been slowly ripening. We obviously missed our watering schedule at some point, because there’s a certain amount of blossom-end rot. What’s funny is that everything is so small. OK, the cherries are meant to be, but the “beefsteaks” are about the size of your standard tennis ball grocery store tomatoes. The only thing that’s the expected size is the heirlooms we got from an friend, and they are misshapen enough you’d think they came from Fukushima. The ripening schedule has been spread out, so that we have enough for salad garnish every night, but not enough for salad ingredients. That may change soon, since there’s ten or so medium-sized coming on line sometime this week.

More news as I eat.

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4 Responses to “Green Thumb Up My Nose”

  1. Kurt Says:

    For us, the tomato plants grew out of proportion, but fruit is late to set and, for the cherries, is only now ripening and for the large variety is just now on the periphery of ripening. At the same time, the tomato blight that’s plagued us for the past few years hasn’t hit–not sure if it was helped previously by our up and down temps in the Willamette Valley. This year has been moderate (nay, temperate), but that’s kept the nightshades that bear above ground from bearing early. Our eggplants, usually steadfast, are full of gorgeous foliage. Great zukes (a multipurpose statement), though! Our potatoes are doing well–some I caged, the others I grew in a raised bed, added an extra helping of soil partway through the season, and let them sprawl. Unfortunately, the potato cage fighters were so prolific they tangled with the nearby mutant tomato plants, their grappling shading out spectator plants that in a normal year would have had plenty of sun. The lesson, for us, is to segregate the potatoes completely, I think, not space everything further apart (which could backfire–also, our plot isn’t huge and I like to fill it without shading out where unnecessary.) Lousy for carrots, too. On the positive side, we had spring peas and greens for longer, and the sun hasn’t cooked my peppers.

    My taters are Finns, too. Yeller, like famous old dawg. Although I think they buried Yeller at the end of the story. Our’s is more of a zombie tale, I guess-bury first, them dig em up and eat ’em.

    (I’ve been plucking off all the new blossoms and unessential foliage from the tomatoes to encourage their ripening. I don’t want to withhold water just yet. …Reading what I just wrote, I’m wondering why you don’t add gardening to your articles on torture. I guess it’s because I don’t consider plants sentient. I’m in deep doo when the pod people land and take up roots.)

    • FoundOnWeb Says:

      All of our tomatoes are in pots of various sizes, which may be an issue. We have one pot of Black Cherries, which are actually golf-ball sized, that has a set of fruit that’s been about halfway ripe for a week now. It gets into the 80’s and 90’s right now, but drops back to around 50 at night, which might also have an impact.

      The squirrels got our spring peas. There’s already six holes in the patch I planted stuff in yesterday. Counter-squirrel-ops start this winter.

      Gardening is more along the lines of self-torture. I’ll include it when I start reviewing S&M anime.

      • Kurt Says:

        Gardening is like the old saw about childbirth. By next spring, you’re so overcome with the festival of impending green that you forgot what a wash it was the year before. And the gardening books and newspaper’s home and garden sections full of prize winning gardens just fan the flames. On the other hand, it’s also like raising kids but getting one more chance annually to get it right. We’ll screw most of the effort up, and have a few minor successes. Like real life. There’s also a bit of playing God/feeling immortal in our mortality. Forget all this nonsense about growing one’s own food–home gardens, for most people, are one of the least efficient ways to do this. Gardening is a psychological endeavor.

  2. FoundOnWeb Says:

    One website I looked at said the only reason to grow your own was:
    A. for freshness and flavor (e.g. tomatoes: http://is.gd/cHu4Yx )
    B. for things you can’t get otherwise (e.g. sunchokes – and no, I haven’t tried them)
    …which also means you don’t want to bother with stuff like dried beans (e.g. pinquitos, of Santa Maria BBQ fame, or potatoes), because you’re not going to eat them fresh.

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