It's time for what's turning out to be the monthly tour of the garden.
Let's start with the tomato and pepper bed. There are 11 tomato plants along the back of the bed, all of them under wraps in an effort to get some tomatoes to set before July. Our night time temperatures tend to get below 50F most nights until mid to late June so in the past I haven't harvested an appreciable amount of tomatoes until September. Last year my tomato harvest peaked during the last week of September and the first week of October. I draped 9' X 12' plastic painters drop cloths over the 5' tall cages and clipped them on with binder clips. I let the cover gape open at the top at each end and there's a gap halfway down the run for ventilation. The good bugs seem to have found their way inside also. I set the peppers out almost 2 weeks ago. If you're curious about what varieties of tomatoes and peppers I'm growing they are listed on my side bar.
Here's a peek looking into the tomato tunnel from either end. The plants are growing quite nicely, they've at least doubled in size since I set them out about a month ago.
Most of the plants are blooming already.
There's already a tomato set on the Gigantesque plant! This variety was one of the earliest, most productive, healthiest, and tastiest of the tomatoes that I grew last year. If it performs that way again this year it could earn a yearly spot in the garden.
The spring planted brassicas are thriving. I've started to harvest some small Piracicaba broccoli shoots and the Romanesco looks like it's developing some small heads as well.
Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage. I looks like it could be starting to make a head.
Further down in that bed, Devoy beets have quite a bit of variation in their leaf colors, they are in the row on the left. To the right are Chioggias.
This Devoy beet has beautiful red and orange stems. These beets don't seem to be developing bulbous roots yet though.
Renee's Golden beets have been struggling a bit, some of them were hit with powdery mildew or some other fungus. The ones that weren't affected are developing some nice roots.
The Pimento de Padron pepper plants left from last year aren't leafing out very well. I'll give them a bit more time before I yank them. I've got five new plants going which will produce plenty of peppers, but I was hoping that last year's plants would give me an early crop. There's lot's of tiny leaves and buds, but they just aren't growing.
The Golden Corn Salad behind the beets is in absolute full bloom, I'll have plenty of seeds to share this year.
Monticello poppies are about to burst into bloom. I'll be making all sorts of things with poppy seeds this year . . .
Across the main path, lettuce, ready to harvest. Salad anyone?
And there's enough Gala mache for at least one salad.
Azur Star kohlrabi. The seeds for these plants were about 10 years old, amazing.
A volunteer poppy (Shirley?). It's also about to burst into full bloom. I remember when I grew them in the garden at my last house that the beneficials loved it.
The favas from the first planting are sprawling all over the place. Every year I know that I should fence them in a bit to keep them from taking over the paths, but I never get around to it. You can see the yellow blossoms of the kale in the next bed beyond.
Here's something totally new in the garden, a purple snap pea, this is one of the first to set.
Sugar Magnolia purple snap peas have beautiful flowers also.
I also have some Green Beauty snow peas and Yellow Giant snow peas growing, but they won't start blooming for a few weeks yet. The Green Beauty snow peas produced lots of huge delicious peas for me last year. The Yellow Giant are another new variety for me.
The Golden Chard and Gigante kohlrabi that I transplanted from the tomato and pepper bed are hanging in there. There's a couple of Senposai plants just beyond the chard on the right, they aren't very vigorous this year. I don't really mind, I've got more than enough vegetables coming out of the garden right now.
Alyssum, sweet alyssum, a favorite of the good bugs, is trying to take over the path on this side of the bed. Fine by me.
Here's the blooming Portuguese Dairyman's Kale again. There are a lot of seed pods maturing.
I mentioned in my bug post that the cabbage aphid population is thriving on these plants, blech!
Garlic, garlic, garlic . . .
Scapes are forming, I know I should cut these off but I'm wondering when I should do it. They are supposed to be good cooked, what the best time to cut them off if you want to eat them? Should they fatten up a bit? I am going to let a few of them grow to maturity, they are pretty.
There's a pot with some potatoes growing in it between two of the beds. Most of my pot grown potato experiments have been quite disappointing, but there's at least one spud growing in this pot.
The pot was overshadowed by the leaning fava plants and that seems to have prompted this odd growth on one of the stems. Funny how those little spudlets are purple. I decided to continue the experiment and added more soil to the pot to cover those little things. If they grow or don't, whatever, I'm curious.
Outside the gate, the volunteer squash plant is now confined to a spare tomato cage. It will have to grow up and over rather than sprawl all over the place. It continues to bloom, first a female blossom, then a male blossom, then a female, but not the two together. So, no squash have set yet, it's still the mystery squash.