Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

Green Thumb Up My Nose — The 2017 season begins

April 24, 2017

Well, OK, it really began two weeks ago when I scattered some lettuce seeds in Section 1, but the NENW has had an unusually cold and wet winter/spring (current soil temperature is 50F), so our formal planting is starting off about a month later than I hoped.

The Plan

Despite that, the greens are starting to sprout.

However, it is now getting a little warmer, so on Saturday I cleaned all the spruce cones (thanks, spruce) and trimmings of spruce new growth (thanks, squirrels), weeds (thanks, weeds), and trash (thanks, me), laid down some anti-squirrel barriers, and planted a bunch of lettuce, and some cabbage and broccoli in Section 2. Now, I know I’ve said that brassicae don’t do well here (my last try bolted by mid-June), but it might just be cool enough…

Green Thumb Up My Nose

July 16, 2012

Garden Report for 120716

Hot all week, with highs in the mid-90’s.

Continued work on the KHG. Got the walls completed, and pavers down on the North Landing. Just need to insert the knee-holes, and the fill. Section 4 is about half full of detritus, and I’m still thinking about getting a half a truckload of compost dumped in the driveway. Sunday, I started on a frame for part of sections 1 and 2 — old deck railing designed to hold netting, primarily to keep the dogs out, and to give the squash a source of support.

The hot weather is starting to have an effect. On the bad side, the radishes bolted, as did the daikon. My lone bok choy also bolted, without ever producing a real bok choy head. On the good side, the tomatoes are flowering like mad, and my S-100 already has 1/4″ tomatelets. The lettuces are taking longer to come back from their haircut, and I think it might be that successive cuts are further down the leaf. As an experiment, I’ll trim them a little higher each time. There’s gazillions of squash coming along, but nothing is ready yet.

One, at least, of my summer squash plants seems to be throwing off bad fruit — they don’t mature. Remain wrinkled. Blossom end rots (if it were a tomato, I’d know what to do). Squash falls off the vine. As far as I can tell, it’s all the fruit from one plant. Based on online research, I guess it is blossom end rot. Went around to the hardware stores, and found one little handpump bottle of feed that has CA in it. We’ll see if that works.

My Daw Gauk beans sprouted indoors just fine, and I’ve transplanted them to where the bok choy and daikon used to be. Call it my Asian corner.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

June 25, 2012

Garden Report for 120625

Cool weather, becoming hot and thundery, and rainy.

Did a lot of work on Section 2 of the keyhole garden. Got the cinderblock laid. Very uneven, due to the four-year old foundation having shifted and me being too lazy to dig it out again. Note that it is not at all round, because I’m using an existing garden and foundation. Moved the boxes into the enclosure.

Section 2 of the KHG with the cinderblock laid out and two of the green/brown filled boxes in place

I then continued to fill them with home-made compost — I dumped in the small garbage can you see on the right. I’d been using it to compost stuff. Bottom two feet (say, two months old) were completely soil-like. Top two feet completely garbage-like. Covered it up with more broadleaf weeds, 30 lb of coffee grounds, a pound or so of charcoal fines. Went down to the recycling center, and found that their sale is next Friday, but that a local (new) landscape company sells their stuff for not much more. Got about three garbage cansworth into the back of the Ford Focus, and dumped two of them on the garden before the heat (80F, I know, I’m a wimp) got to me. I was going to let it slide until Saturday, but remembered what I’d learned about mowing lawns in VA in the spring — do it now. So that evening I went out and finished the job. Glad I did. That night we had t-storms come through, which wetted everything down nicely.

Saturday I got another load of compost. Just barely filled the KHG to the tops of the blocks, with nowhere near enough for the central volcano. I almost decided to let it go at that, and build up with potting soil as the summer goes on, but we had some heavy rain overnight, and today I think I’ll wait until the compost shop opens on Tuesday — it really does need another load. I think that’s because I had more massive inputs last time — like a large box of telephone books, etc.

Two loads of compost and two days of rain. I need at least one more of each.

I have about 20 bean plants sprouted and waiting to go in to Section 2, along with five or six various squashes. Most of this section will be planted to summertime greens — chard, kale, amaranth. I figure I’ll plant just one side, with all those plants, then in a couple of weeks plant a remaining corner in greens, and a final corner in greens at the end of July.

Everything growing is growing well, but the lettuces are the only thing producing. My lettuce planter is 8x8x36″, planted with a lettuce combo. I found that if I give a 6″ or so section of it a haircut, right along the top of the planter, I get enough for a small salad; and if mixed with some store-bought iceberg and spinach, two normal salads. By the time I’ve worked my way to the end of the container, the first cut region has regrown. We’ll see how long the lettuce can keep this up before it gets discouraged. Some of the lettuce in the KHG is now big enough to start thinning. Tomatoes doing OK. Some are starting to flower, but no fruit yet, and probably not until August. Carrots in the deep container haven’t sprouted at all. Might have planted too deep. I’ll try again later this week.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

May 21, 2012

Garden Report for 120521

The weather was nice most of the week, cooling slightly towards the end.  This week is forecast cool and rainy — like a nice April week should be. Too bad it’s the end of May. Surprisingly, it looks like it’s actually been warmer than usual. I did a visual scan of the weather curves at WeatherSpark, and it looks like over the past two months we’ve been well above average 30% of the time, and our minima have rarely been below the average. My calendar for yesterday said it was ‘early outdoor planting’ day, for things like tomatoes.

Slowly, one or two things are sprouting from the 11 May planting in the seed sprouter — Better Boy tomatoes, lemon cucumber.

Outdoors, I did a second planting of lettuce and radishes, plus, I planted a small urn-shaped flowerpot with chives. Still waiting for the peas to produce. Still waiting for the hops to sprout. It’s been officially one month now, but we’ve had only about a week of warmth.

Both the hanging tomatoes are doing OK, probably not quite as well as the others, but they have less soil and no warmth. The real reason for planting them is decorativeness, and because I can use corners of the deck that I would not otherwise put stuff in.

The keyhole garden in Section 1 of the main garden is doing OK. By that I mean that nothing has died, but nothing has sprouted, either. In Section 2, the peas are only about 18″ high. I also planted some grass seed there. That all gets plowed under, come mid-June. Section 3 is spinach (barely visible), and transplanted head lettuce. I took off the covering from the lettuce.

Still have two large pottery pots to plant, plus about five other pots of various shapes. Plus the other two sections of the main garden. I have an embarrassment of coffee grounds right now. I haven’t used all that I got ten days ago, let alone the latest delivery. I’d like to put it in the fridge for the next three weeks, but MJ has the usual unreasonable housewifely objections. I guess I’ll dig it into the new plantings. LATER: I snuck the bag into the tiny downstairs bar fridge. I had a bit of a hangnail, and the bag tore. Kids, remember: good grooming is important.

If this all comes in on time, we’ll have real cornucopia on our hands. Starting in mid-August we’ll probably be able to feed ourselves solely from the gardens. Assuming one wants to live on salads and greens and squash, oh my.

Green Thumb Up My Nose

May 14, 2012

Garden Report for 120514

The weather is warming now, and the gardenizing is kicking into high gear.

The Wednesday night 31F prediction actually happened on Thursday night — I brought the four tomato pots inside, put plastic water bottles over the tomatoes and squash in the KHG, and covered that with a tarp. After watering for about 20min. Everything survived.

Friday, I put in some more squash, some walla walla sweet onions, bok choi, and daw gauk beans into the KHG. Put up another hanging basket with cherry tomatoes in it. Planted a 36x4x4 tray with a mixture of French greens, and another one with some buttercrunch and baby romain lettuce. Potted two more tomato plants. It’s hard to know when to stop. Last year we got the equivalent of one tomato for every seed I started.

Sunday I reserved for putting in some Swiss chard and some daikons, peas, and more lettuce. I also went out and bought a Sweet 100 at the local hardware store and planted it in a biggish container.

Now, there’s nothing to do but weed and water and wait for mid-June.

MJ harvested some of our Unkillable Rhubarbâ„¢ and cut it up and boiled and stir-sticked it to make a quick rhubarb BBQ dipping sauce. Very good. Was heavy on the brown sugar, with yellow mustard, so I guess it’s like a South Carolina sauce. The leaves went into the compost bin (the one I’m filling up to put into Section 2 of the KGH). I looked on the Interwebs and they said it was OK, despite the oxalic acid — they wouldn’t let them put it online if it wasn’t true, would they?