Monday, June 15, 2015

Another delayed entry....  i started this 2 weeks ago.


Last week, i finally got the rows dug (5/27), the plastic laid out and over 50 new bricks to hold it down.  Then planted the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  The day before,  i got the potatoes planted in the back row. I also installed a 15' soaker hose under the strawberry bed.  Last Sunday i direct sowed the carrots, parsnip, beets, turnip and daikon radish in just before 3 whole days of steady soaking rain.

I don't remember what day (maybe 3 days prior), but i did start seeds of melons, squash, cukes, sunflowers,  kale, chard and broccoli.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ______________________________________                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So,  to continue...

I finally got those cukes, melons and squash planted Saturday 6/13.  Well,  except for the two winter squash types- butternut and Red Kuri squash. Those are going in the row next to the potatoes,  but i didn't have time for it.  I just finished a 6 days stretch of work and have my first day off today and it is raining.

I've gotten things in pretty late but at the same time,  we have had such cool weather it wouldn't have done much good to get things in much earlier.  It only just started to get warm enough for melons.  Of course,  while planting the cukes and melons i realised that i had never started seeds for summer squash and zucchini.  The zucchini i wasn't really suprised by because i remember noticing that i thought i had ordered a packet of seeds for a type called Greyzini but actually hadn't. It looks like it never made it on my online order form somehow.... though a type of tomato i don't remember being particularly interested in was there.  I think i simply got interrupted somewhere during order selection and placement and mixed it up.  

Anyhow,  i started "49'r" yellow summer squash seeds yesterday.  It shouldn't be too late for a prolific and heat loving plant that gets buggy and overgrown before August.

I'm not seeing good results from my direct-seeded plots. I did Red Cored Chantenay and Cosmic Purple carrots, Hollow Crown Parsnip, Cylindra, Boltardy and Golden beets, Hinona Kabu and Shogoin Japanese turnips, the Minowase Daikon radish are the only ones doing well.
I don't think i'll bother trying to grow root vegetables again without making seed sheets (tape) out of them first. I think the 3 days of rain just washed them away or floated them into crevices. What does come come up is in clusters and is a waste from thinning and poor use of space.  Seed sheets at least hold the seeds down and they germinate in a predictable grid pattern which is easier to weed and thin properly.  Is pretty much a whole row of wasted seeds now. I'd try transplanting but i have seen it not work very well for others.

I'm trying melon again.  (Trying Minnesota Midget for the second year, last year they got eaten by a woodchuck shortly after planting).  A sweet melon called Sakatas. It has smallish fruit that can almost be eaten rind and all,  Tom Watson watermelon also.  I think i tried this my first year in the big garden- the year the birdhouse gourd tried to take over my hemisphere.  Tom Watson and all the other melons did not work out at all. I reconsidered watermelon one more time because of the success with black plastic and my sweet pepper yields.  Ogen melon is the next completely new try this year.  The description was so enticing i had to try it.   I have the seedlings pretty close together.  The seedlings may need warmer germinating temps because these smaller melons did not germinate well and look kinda pathetic.  Planting them close hopefully will let the remaining plants utilize space if half of them quit.

The seeds for the Mexican Sour Gherkin didn't come up well either.  I planted 6 cells with 2 seeds each and i think only 3 cells came up with only 4 total seeds germinating.   I may start some more of those seeds,  i really want to get plenty of these. One of my favorite summer beverages the last 2 years has been sliced cucumber and  sliced lemon steeped in water with some crushed mint.  It is incredibly refreshing.  These are described as tasting like a fava-beany cucumber with a lemon-lime hint.  (o-O)    They may make a nice drink when steeped in water.  They tell you to pick them when they are grape sized but they didn't say how prolific the plants are.  Even if they don't make a good fruit/veggie tea,  i still want to try them.

Uggh,  just remembered i forgot to start mint seeds.  lol

The cucumbers i planted are the pickling and slicing type.

For slicing i have Summer Dance and Diva. I planted more picklers since i prefer the flavor and actually don't mind the texture of the seeds and pulp at all.   Those are Boston Pickling, General Lee, and National Pickling.

I'm trying Black Futsu and Red Kuri winter squashes this year. The Red Kuri remind me of one of the first large winter squashes i ever grew called Red Eye.  Red Eye has been discontinued from my usual seed place for quite some time and no seeds remain. Not sure if they are related in any breeding aspect but if they have a similar flavor i want to have that again.   The black Futsu is supposed to have a rich flavor,  nutty like hazelnuts and has remarkable storage qualities.   I have no idea if these plants will take over my garden (i barely have the space for 3 "compact" butternut squash vines)but i'm giving them what extra space i can spare.  The Futsu is supposed to be very prolific and the Kuri on the prolific side but not as explosive sounding as Futsu.

I'm trying edamame soybeans again too. I had tried a type called Beer Friend a few years ago,  but i got the seeds late in the season and planted them the following year. None came up. These  are called Butterbeans and sprouted pretty quickly.  I will probably forget to sow a few every couple of weeks so we don't end up with one bunch and then that's it.

I finally managed to get ahold of some Schizandra plants, aka 5 flavor berry.  I tried growing them from seed a couple years ago and got nothing and then Oikos Treecrops didn't have any left and none available this spring,  but the blog i follow about Sea Buckthorn-- their company does sell schizaqndra pl;ants for a reasonable price,  so i got 3.  I think they came in on May 23 or so.  One looked great, one was so-so and i don't have much hope for the third one but i'll give it some time before i ask for a do-over or something.

This is the good one:

The one on the left is the ok one (there's a tiny green bud just above the farther rim of the pot) and the one on the right, i don't think is alive at all:

i also got these hazelnuts from Burpee this year,  they came along with the 5 Darrow blackberry plants i ordered.

They are Jefferson and Theta. ...and.... my 6-year-old for scale.  They were planted almost immediately May 21, 2014.

These are the Darrow blackberries:

Lots of potential plums on Stanley this year.  I'm using Surround for spray this year with a few other things.  Application scheduling is always a challenge due to weather, time and proper applicator availability. I might go into that more later.

Stanley still has galls despite my attempt to remove them as instructed,  they are extraordinarily numerous this year and i'm rather irked by that.  After pruning 4 feet off the top of it this spring and its still about 12-14 feet tall,  i'm doubting that i got a dwarf plant and really suspecting that i paid for a dwarf and got a slightly cheaper semi-dwarf.  I really need to find out what to do about the galls.  All Starks advised me was to remove them and disinfect between cuts,  which i did only to be rewarded with a bumper crop of fresh ones.

The blueberry plants are finally starting to pick up size.  This one has had the greatest increase.

Here's the bigger Carmine Jewel cherry tree with unripe cherries.  Hopefully some will ripen fully and we can have our first taste.

Yes!  I can finally see the beginning of sea buckthorn berries:

I got some Moonflower seeds for my oldest daughter to plant in her designated pot.  We planted these about a month ago now.  They came up then it got cold and they haven't moved much since.

There's 4 O'clocks in there too.

The garden this morning

And the seedlings waiting to be planted or given away

And a small project i'm working on.  Labeling all my perennial plants with some more permanent markers than my feeble memory. :0)  There's some botanical name info,  the date i got them and the suppliers' name.