Friday, July 21, 2006

Report from the Vegetable Garden

Over the past 2 days, we've worked quite a bit in the vegetable garden. The weather has been hot, clear, and dry perfect for working outside mornings and late afternoons. We pulled out the peas which, between the wet spring and our vegetarian dog, were a bust this year. The pole beans are going great guns, so I've been training them up the poles. The zuchinni and summer squash were looking a bit peaked, but a couple of fish-emulsion foliar feedings seem to have put them right, and sent the squash bugs packing.

Now that most of the garden is surrounded by fence, we decided to remove
the row covers on the Swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower. Slugs have made some inroads on a few of the broccoli and cauliflower plants, but they are recovering nicely from their earlier groundhog damage. A little Sluggo will solve the slug problem.

The cucumbers are doing well in their new spot this year. We caged them yesterday in a tomato cage to give them some support and protection from the chickens. We can see some baby cukes, so we'll be eating cucumbers soon, mmm. The tomatoes look great, we pruned off more suckers and continue to train them up the spiral stakes. We have green tomatoes now on every plant, the Rose de Berne, yellow pear, snd sun sugar.

We planted a second crop of scallions, broccoli, cauliflower,
carrots, radish, and added Brussells sprouts, cilantro, dill, and more parsley. Still to plant -- a yellow summer squash, delicata squash, sugar pie pumpkin. It's late, but I think we'll get some, as the soil is good and warm so they'll take right off, and I can provide frost protection with row covers. With the carrots, scallions, and crucifers, I experimented again with making seed tape from lengths of toilet paper. I really like the concept of this method, so I hope it works -- the spacing will be neat and tidy, with minimal thinning. I hate thinning -- I know it is good for the surviving plants, but when you work so hard to get seeds planted it is counterintuitive to rip the tiny new seedlings from the ground -- which we did in the lettuce bed.

We thinned and did some badly needed weeding in the lettuce bed, and I tried transplanting some of the thinnned lettuce plants to a new row. I finished up with a side dressing of organic fertilizer, and a good watering. Mother Nature pitched in with an early morning rain shower, and overcast day, and more rain tonight (Friday) and in the forecast for the weekend. The transplants look pretty good, I think we'll enjoy some success there.

We harvested Swiss chard for dinner. Originally I was going to make a white pizza, but when I finally got into the kitchen, it was nearly 6:30 so instead I opted for pasta with chard and chicken. It was yummy, and plated beautifully. I've been looking at recipes for Swiss chard ravioli and based on last night's dinner, think it will be worth the effort.

We ended the day with a heavenly lie in the hammock. We were hot, sweaty, and dirty, and swaying gently in the hammock was bliss. I can't imagine a better summer's day.


weezer said...

Hi guys, I agree that it's always a good feeling to be sweaty & dirty when your weeding is done or doing any gardening chore. Ahh, but the rest, that too is the good feeling of gardinging!

Lynne said...

a well deserved kick back I'm sure!