Friday, June 26, 2015

A Garden-List Post

Ah, yes, I've been absent. A busy last few weeks of school and basketball, followed by my sister and family (the cousins!!) visiting from the East Coast and a vacation in the woods with no cell service or wifi. When I've been home at all, I've been frantically watering things and pulling things and tying things up in the garden, which has absolutely exploded in this early and uncharacteristic heat. The good news is, I should be loaded with amazing tomatoes in a few weeks! Normally I have to wait until mid-August for the first cherry tomatoes, and hope for the best on the bigger ones. The bad news is, all the pea vines shriveled and fried to death, and many of the other seeds such as carrots never came up at all.

I re-sowed them all and still no luck. Eaten by birds maybe? I've seen a bunny or two running through the backyard at night, but have noticed little damage to the lettuces and other plants, which surprises me. Maybe they are too full of strawberries, of which I've had none, despite the gorgeous proliferation of plants. Too many plants by far, I realize now that where I thought I saw one plant there was actually three or four. I should have radically thinned them. Which may be the reason for no berries--or something is eating them all.

On the first semi-free day I've had all month, I'm making some garden notes for future years. I'll post a few here in lieu of a more literary offering--that will have to wait for the growth explosion to slow down a bit, for Hoopfest to be over, and for all of us to return home to a more normal (normal? is summer ever normal?) routine. I've got separate notes for vegis, fruit trees, and berries, all on Evernote for future reference. My climate is dry, with hot summers and cold winters. My soil is not good, a silty clay, though I've tried to amend it in many ways. Here is my veggie list so far. I will also post lists for the fruit. If I get ambitious I will add some pictures!:

VEGI LIST FOR 2015 GARDEN:

Started most seeds mid-March, planted out 2 weeks earlier than normal in Mid-May. It's been a very hot and dry Spring, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees by the end of June, and no freezing nights throughout the month. Unusual, but the climate may be changing in this way in general.

BEANS:
(Pole) Fortex--60 days--2.50/.5 ounce at Fedco
Late June 2015: Growing very well, could use something higher and stronger to climb on than the 3-4 foot branches I stuck in.

BROCCOLI:
Fedco Broccoli Blend--record which varieties do best!--67-94 days--1.70 at Fedco
It is not possible to tell the varieties as seeds are not colored or anything. But in general all are growing very well and look healthy.

De Cicco--put a few in front from older seeds I had. Growing well. Have already harvested the main 3" head on a few. These are delicious, have been our favorite.

CABBAGE:

Golden Acre
Only one seedling/plant survived. It is growing very well but something has eaten many small holes throughout. Still edible though. Rather stinky plant.

CARROTS:
Danvers Half Long--75 days--1.30 at Fedco
Shin Koruda--68 days--1.00 at Fedco

Seeds are NOT coming up, have re-sown twice!! Birds???

CAULIFLOWER:

CHARD:  

Erbette--40-60 days--.90 at Fedco
??? Maybe I forgot to label where this was

Perpetual Spinach--50-60 days--.90 at Fedco  Can be perennial if good drainage
Growing super well. Tastes pretty good, similar to Spinach, not too strong like some chard. Taking the heat well. A KEEPER!!

CUCUMBER:  
National Picking--52 days--1.00 at Fedco
Poona Keera--53 days--1.60 at Fedco
     started mid-April, planted out mid-May

Both are growing well. I have sticks stuck in for them to be tied to, but something stronger to climb would be better.

EGGPLANT:
Diamond--78 days--1.40 at Fedco
Two nice strong plants growing well as of late June 2015

LETTUCE:
Jericho--
Growing very well as always!  My favorite. Started some early and seeded others direct in the ground. Do not see a huge difference by late June. Lettuce plants seem weak and spindly in the seedling tray, I don't think I will start them early again.

Summer lettuce mix and other lettuces--
The "freckles" type seems to dominate and grow out all the rest. It goes nuts and seems to take heat well. "Buttercrunch" always does pretty well too. It would be nice to have more red.

LEEK:
American Flag--100 days--Burpee/Walmart, because I forgot to order the ones I really wanted--
Seeds started later than they should have been, but seem to be doing OK. The direct seeded ones have not come up.

ONION:
New York Early--Fedco
Most of this does not seem to be doing well, but we will see. Direct seeded ones did not come up.

Red Long of Tropea--Fedco
This is doing well. Does need started ahead of time instead of direct seeding.

MELON:
Blacktail Mountain, Fedco
Planted in front of raspberries because this is a "heat pocket" with the concrete wall in back. Has not thrived. Plant is staying small and weak and looks like it won't make it. Maybe was eaten on by slugs or ??? Try another location, maybe on the hill?
Perked up a bit with fertilizer. It might need lots of heavy feeding, and I am out of fertilizer.

PEAS:
Cascadia Snap peas--Fedco
Some have survived despite very early heat. The few that made it were shaded by large broccoli leaves and are delicious. (7/1) Still producing a few pods in 100 degree heat! Cascadia may be a good variety for heat compared to others. In general it was not a good year for peas. Plant them out earlier!

Alderman Pole--Fedco
None of these made it, fried in the heat.

PEPPERS:
Chimayo (started later!)--from Bountiful Gardens
Reported to have a unique flavor for sauces. Plant was slow to start and to pick up growth, but beginning to grow better with the heat, though not gangbusters like tomatoes.

Black Hungarian (started later!)--from Baker Creek Creek, who lost both my seed and plant orders. They were nice about it but seeds arrived too late and I probably won't order from them again.
Plants are still very small in late June, needed starting earlier! Still, they do not seem to be growing as well as the others.

Early Jalapeno (started later!)--leftover seed from Sample Seed Shop
Looking good so far. This is generally reliable for me.

To try next year: Serrano and Lemon Drop.

RADISH:
Champion: from Fedco
Growing fine but very eaten on by bugs. No one really likes radishes so they languish unpicked.

TOMATOES:
Grandma Mary's paste--fedco

Jasper cherry--fedco
Extremely vigorous and early. Should be good! Give it lots of room!

Sungold--
Older leftover seed. Looking good so far

Glacier--
Started with others. Seems to be doing well. Not a huge plant but healthy, producing lots of early medium size tomatoes.

Polish Linguisa--Sample Seed Co
Started mid-March, planted out mid-May

Italian Heirloom--Bountiful Gardens
Started later, mid-April, planted out mid-May. None of these seem to have made it.

Park's Whopper--Parks
Had some leftover seeds so started them with others and put a few out. Doing very well.

Ida Yellow--fedco
Seems to have had a slow start but doing well now, and producing lots of early tomatoes.

Zucchini/Summer Squash:
Three plants on hill from leftover seeds. Not sure which varieties came up, but they are all doing very well. I did not expect them to do well on the un-amended thin hard soil.