Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Garden on May 8, 2017

A hopefully fairly quick tour of the garden as it grows at the moment.

Bed #1 has looked like this since the end of April (that photo was taken on April 23) and will stay that way until the end of May or start of June when I'll dig in some amendments, set up a trellis for the tomatoes and set out the tomatoes and peppers.

Bed #2 is mostly full of favas (broad beans).

One side of the bed is mostly dedicated to Robin Hood favas. Those are growing unsupported and are falling over toward the main pathway. I sowed those back in October after clearing out most of the pepper plants earlier than usual because of rodent problems.

The other side of the bed is planted with Extra Precoce Violetto and Aquadulce favas. Those weren't sown until December 28, with replacements for non-performers sown a few weeks later.

The weather seems to have agreed with the Extra Precoce Violetto beans this year, they've set a lot of beans.

That's one of the shorter beans shown above.

One corner of the bed has a few overwintered pepper plants - Aji Amarillo, Aji Amarillo Grande, and Mareko Fana. The patch of Golden Corn Salad that I plan to save seed from has taken over a bit. There's some life left in the Aji Amarillo Grande plants and the Mareko Fana plant is putting out new growth. One of these days I need to try to move them...

It's a mixed bag over in Bed #3.

Batavia Broccoli
The winter sown Batavia Broccoli, actually now that I look at my records I see that I sowed the seeds on November 10 and set the plants out on December 7, so I should say winter grown I suppose. Anyway, the plants are still putting out side shoots. I'm hoping that they will continue to produce until the new broccoli plants start to produce.

New plantings in this bed are getting off to a good start, mostly.

I tried to get some fennel going, but had poor germination so I sowed some salad greens amongst the few plants that showed up. The rows of seedlings on the right include Speedy Arugula, Ruby Streaks Mizuna, and Tokyo Bekana Napa Cabbage. To the left are a couple of clumps of Red Butter Romaine lettuce.

Little Jade Napa Cabbage
Next down the line are a few napa cabbages which are growing quickly, as is usual for them.

One of the cabbages was attacked by something, I suspect earwigs but couldn't actually find the culprit(s). It seems to be recovering after I gave it and the rest of the brassicas in this bed a dose of Spinosad. I though it was strange that only one plant got hit, and hit hard.

Next down the line are 4 Fioretto Stick Cauliflower plants. This cauliflower variety is supposed to produce shoots rather than a big head. It will be interesting to see what it does. I've interplanted clumps of lettuce to be harvested as baby lettuce. Those are extra plants from what I started to grow as heading lettuces. Those are mostly Joker Crisphead.

These are Aspabroc (aka Broccolini) seedlings interplanted with Rosencrantz Crisphead lettuce.

And the last of the spring brassicas are the new Batavia Broccoli plants interplanted with Three Heart Butterhead lettuces.

And finally, the lettuces planted out to grow into full heads, the same varieties interplanted with the brassicas.

Not easy to see because they are so small are newly emerging seedlings of Coriander of Morocco.

Now for the icky stuff.

In the foreground are the sickly Zebrune shallots which are struggling to recover from repeated bouts of downy mildew. I should probably just pull them out. Beyond them is what was at one time a beautiful patch of I'itoi onions, decimated by downy mildew.

That's what is left of the I'itoi onions. Boo hoo...

And the struggling remains of the downy mildew blasted onion patch with a border of Cilician parsley. I pulled out one entire row onions so that I could expand the cage on the right, it seemed to be a better use of the space. Perhaps I'll get a few runty onions, that's Copra shown below making an attempt to bulb up.

Bed #4 is in transition from overwintered and a few quick spring veggies to what will be mostly curcurbits.

I'm experimenting with a quick cover crop where the Brussels sprouts used to grow. It's a mix of buckwheat, peas, and favas. I'll dig it in in a few weeks and plant cucumbers and squash.

The cage on the other side of the bed has mostly quick croppers. When those are finished I'm going to try growing some melons.

That's the last few Palla Rossa radicchio plants, a few Mini Purple Daikons that resisted bolting, and a small planting of Ho-Mi Z Dragon Tongue and Pink Lettucy mustards.

A jungle of carrots including Atomic Red, Purple Sun, Rotild, Short Stuff, and Starica. I had also sown Black Nebula carrots but they all bolted. These were sown back in February.

More recently sown is a patch of radishes and turnips including Helios, Malaga, Pink Punch, and Red Planet radishes, and Jaune Boule d’Or, Mikado, and Round Red turnips. All were sown on April 4. There's a number of radishes that need to be harvested, the turnips are slower.

More goodies direct sown on April 4 and shown after the first cutting are Apollo arugula and Ruby Streaks mizuna. On the right are a few Mizunarubasoi plants that I started on March 26 and set out on the 4th of April.

This corner of the bed is where the Tronchuda Beira cabbage was growing, you can see the stumps. And there's a blooming patch of Mizunarubasoi that's feeding the bees and other good bugs. One project for this week is to get this end of the bed cleared out so I can plant the Romanesco zucchini that I've got started in a pot.

And the bolting Pink Plume celery is also on the way out to make room for some basil plants that are on the verge of outgrowing their pots.

And the bolting chards are also slated for removal to make room for some Tromba D'Albenga squash that are growing in pots.

So enough of blogging for now, I've got some work to get done in the garden.

Oh, I almost forgot because they aren't actually growing in the garden - potatoes! I'm making another attempt at growing them in pots.

Yellow Finn Potatoes

I don't have room to grow them in the garden proper so I've got the pots up near the house. My experiments with growing potatoes in pots have been pretty unsuccessful so far. In the past I've tried using 10-gallon black plastic pots. I think those get too hot. This time they are growing in fabric pots. I bought mini tubers and put one tuber each into 5 gallon pots and 2 or 3 tubers into 10-gallon pots. They are planted in bagged organic potting soil with nothing else added. The area where they are growing only gets afternoon sun. I planted the potatoes into the half filled pots at the end of February. When I got home from vacation at the end of March there were shoots just starting to pop up through the soil. Over the course of a few weeks I kept adding soil to the pots until I couldn't add any more. Looking good so far!

Ok, now I really do have to get to work in the garden.


  1. Growing potatoes in pots! Much better way to go. I can't get the soil or mulch to stay up around the stem. It keeps falling away. Good idea I will try next time.

  2. I grew potatoes in the bag itself of the potting soil: emptied it half way or so then just kept filling as the plants grew. I leaned it again a handy "wall" in the garden and cut a couple holes in the bottom. Worked great, had to harvest them all at once but then tossed the soil into the garden for next year.....

  3. I'm so impressed by your broccoli - does that mean that you will be able to harvest it almost year round? Also, the favas are amazing - for some reason, my pods don't seem to get that long and many don't fill out well. I'm trying longer podded varieties this year and I probably need to add some flowers to that bed as well to attract the pollinators.

    Oh, potatoes! I would think that you should have quite good luck with potatoes in pots, esp. fabric pots, since it doesn't really get very hot there. Looking forward to seeing how your taters do :)


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