Friday, April 27, 2012

It's a'growing...

Well, we have had an unusual spring this year. We've had it all - the hot and the cold days, the beautiful summery evenings and the near freezing temperatures as late as just a few days ago. I don't remember it ever getting that cold so late in the spring, but then again - I have not been around here all that long:)

The gardens are growing:) The CSA is starting up next week. As always I am starting the season off stressed - will I have enough variety and volume to get through this year's CSA?!?! All I know is - it always works out some way or the other. Where one crop fails - another will produce double, and we just have to go with the flow. The hardest thing is to plot the timing and order of plantings. I'm not very good at it, but have gotten better over the last few years.
We're starting the season with Pac Choi, Swiss Chard, some salad greens and herbs. Hopefully there will be some Kale to harvest as well.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of the garden, but here are some flowers in a bouquet, that are blooming now.
This particular orange "Knock-out" rose is my absolute favorite! I bought it, a distressed plant - way past it's planting time, 3 years ago, on sale. It looked so sad I did not think it would make it. Plus, I'd always heard how hard it is to grow roses... Well, let me tell you - it is a monster now - I prune it back severely each February, and it comes back more ferocious than ever and blooms from mid April through November, granted we don't have bad frosts. It smells heavenly and the color is the most cheerful range of sunshine! I don't do anything special for it, other than put some banana peels by it's roots every now and then. The Japanese Beetles do a job on it too every summer, but it just keeps coming back happy and thankful:)
The russian sage in the forefront is also a favorite, and the snap dragons keep coming back each year:) I think those were planted with some of the first kids that took a workshop with me.

The "Annex" is looking good! It is full now, potatoes are about to bloom, and I've already had to snap back the first garlic scapes. It takes a lot of cardboard to keep it mulched...
Phil and Anna built a compost bin for the garden a few weeks ago, so it's starting to look good:)
So far (knock on wood) the fencing has been helpful and has kept the deer out. Flea beetles are quite rampant - they love potato leaves. Maybe I will go and sprinkle some Diatomaceous Earth on them next week. I planted some Butternut, Banana and Spaghetti Squash and a variety of small melons there last week also. Keep your fingers crossed:)

Some on the things that have been planted in the original garden include: Cucumbers (White Wonder, Harmonie and a Lithuanian variety, forgot the name) Squash (Flying saucer, Patty Pan, Costata Romanesco), Lettuces (Wild Garden Mix), Carrots (White Satin, Atomic Red, Sugarsnax) Beets (Cylindra, Merlin), Radishes...
I'm probably forgetting something.
Tomatoes will go in in the next few weeks, the peppers and eggplants will follow.
Some of the Tomato varieties include: 
Dad's Sunset, Dad's Sunset

Pineapple Tomato 
DefiantDefiant PhR (F1)

Cherokee Purple
Japanese Truféle or Triféle Japanese Black Trifele (OG)
Speckled Roman Speckled Roman (OG)
And a new variety I'm very curious about: Indigo Rose Indigo Rose (OG)

There are many more varieties. Most of the seeds I have saved from previous years, but always try something new. The "Indigo Rose"  and "Defiant" are the trial ones this year. Indigo Rose is supposed to be open pollinated, so should be able to save seed for next year. Defiant is the only Hybrid this year, and will not produce offspring true to the mother plant as far as I know...

Another new this year is a ground or husk cherry or tomatillo: Variety Goldie:
Goldie (OG)
Small orange berry with a husk.
A conversation piece at markets, well liked by children. This old-fashioned tomato family member bears 1/2- 3/4" sweet golden berries inside papery husks, resembling small, straw-colored Japanese lanterns. Another name is "Cape Gooseberry," and the flavor is similar: quite sweet and a bit wild. Plants are profusely branching, prolific, and drop ripe fruits. Fruits can be eaten raw, dried like raisins, frozen, canned, or made into preserves, cooked pies, and desserts. 

Thanks to Johnny's Seeds for the seeds, and images!


Anonymous said...

Hey Anne,

I'd like to get a couple of the Goldie plants from you if you have extras.

Michèle Hastings said...

it's so exciting to see what surprises we will get each week!

kriips said...

Hugh, I will try to remember to bring them next time to the market!