Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vegetable Gardens Update

It's been cool and rainy here, with a few days here and there warm and dry enough to get some work done.  It was supposed to rain this evening, so I went out and took photos of the veggie gardens to join Tina and others with an update, then got some gardening done.  I hope it does rain soon, so the new plants can get a nice drink.  Some of my pots are dry, too.  (I got all my photos put up last night, but didn't finish the post.  We are getting rain, and it could be up to 3/4 inch.)

Doing these updates helps me see things that need to be done, such as cleaning off the driveway.  I am not finished putting plants in pots.  I do plan on doing fewer of those this year.  We'll see if I follow through.  I do want to spend less time watering them.  If gas plants didn't mind being moved, I'd transplant it to the front garden bed.  The clematis behind it is blooming now.

I don't remember planting mint in the red tub, but it took over the flowers I had planted there a few years ago, so I just let it have the whole tub.  I had let violets take over the silver tub, but dug some out and planted snow in summer to battle with the rest of the violets for space.  I didn't realize how far and wide it spreads when I bought it at our community garden's plant sale.  I see I need to pull some lemon balm from the ground in front of the square tub so it doesn't take over the garden.

I don't think I posted any of my several lettuce thinnings this year.  I always scoff when I see stores selling lettuce plants, because they are so easy to grow from seed, plus, I start harvesting when the lettuce is smaller than the plants they are selling.  (This is facing mostly east.)

This is the view facing west.  This is the 3rd year for the kale in the front, the second year for it to bloom.  The kale in the background was planted last year, and is now blooming.   The buds tasted so good, but it just occurred to me that I should see how the flowers taste, too.  Unlike lettuce, which gets bitter when it blooms, the kale hasn't so far.

This is a close up of the area in the foreground of the previous photo.  Rabbits are eating the peas, and violets, moonflowers, and verbena b.  are getting ready to compete with each other to take over the space.  The helicopters would like to turn into trees, too.  I decided to do my weeding after taking the photos so that I would not run out of light.  I still haven't weeded, but I actually enjoy doing it, so not all of these seedlings will get to grow after all.

Just past the kale is a newly planted asparagus patch, with larkspur and such growing behind it.

A little row of lettuce is coming up next to the asparagus.

I have never bought garlic to plant.  My in-laws grew it, and I let it grow in the areas I want it to.  Some of it ends up on my compost pile.  I recently found out one can eat the garlic before it develops into bulbs, so will have to try that with some of these.  I have to keep the hollyhocks under control, too.

The last time I showed my compost pile, someone suggested painting the chair.  It's there because it's broken, and I saved it from Larry throwing it away.  We have one or two others in the yard that are safe to sit on.  The windows are from our kitchen before the remodel.  I wonder if I'll make some kind of cold frame with them.

I'm always too busy to pick rhubarb when it's at its prime.  Maybe I'll be able to do something with it today or tomorrow, since it's raining, and I can't be in the garden.  I planted a tall and a short green milkweed next to the compost pile, but they were quite small, and are not doing well.

Facing back east, I tried to transplant some of the garlic, but I don't know if all of them are going to make it.  I probably didn't get them deep enough, and they may have been too large to move well.

I planted spinach close to the onions, which don't like competition.  I figured  I would pick the spinach when it was small and then leave room for the onions.

I have a nice stand of volunteer cilantro in various stages  I used these until they started to bloom. There are some smaller plants nearby.

Here's a close up of cilantro blooms with an insect or 2 in the photo.

Did you ever eat the seed heads on the little yellow oxalis that we called clovers?  I still do on occasion, but I don't remember them being so sour when I was younger.  There are a variety of seedlings growing in and around the early season potatoes that actually came up before the other kinds of potatoes. Some of the seedlings will get to stay once I weed.  There are some small cilantro plants, and the fuzzy ones are borage volunteers.  Something has been eating them. 

If you're not sure what rabbit chew marks look like, here's an illustration on some Swiss chard.

I am continuing to garden across the street.  The bronze fennel plants came back from last year.

I took a series of photos facing north, walking east. The Freecycle irises I planted last year are blooming 2 different colors.  I like them both, and they smell good.

The kale I planted last year is blooming.  Can you tell I like kale?   I hope the birds, or whatever creature shredded the onions I planted last year, leave these onions alone.

These potatoes are either Kennebecs or Yukon Golds.  They are partly in an area where I had potatoes last year, so I'll need to remember not to plant any here next year.  The shelter that is supposed to be for butterflies has a rabbit family living in it.

I skipped over the 4 rows of peas that have been eaten down to nubs by the rabbits.  I really need to fence them in and see if they come back well enough to produce.  Part of the reason I planted them was to use the plants in my compost pile when they are finished, and to add nitrogen to the soil through their roots.

The onions here, in with the lettuce, radishes, and such are the ones that were shredded last year.  I thought they had died.  I keep thinking we should pick them to use for green onions.  They now have little flower buds on them.  I'm not sure what can be done with them at this point.  Do you know if they can be eaten?  Can I take the flower buds off?  Should I just let them bloom and enjoy the flowers?  I'm assuming they won't form a bulb at this point. 

These potatoes and row of newly planted Jersey Hybrid asparagus are planted where I had sunflowers, and a few pepper plants, and a couple tomatoes.

Last summer, I planted some viburnums, mock orange, and flowers in this area hoping to screen the garden from the not in good shape fence in the back.  The iris were the ones we rescued from a dumpster last summer, when a friend called to say they were there.

I was tickled to find a deutzia bush last year after enjoying them on blogs.  This is 'Chardonnay Pearls'.  It is growing behind where I was standing to take the previous photo.  Some critters have been breaking off small branches from the trees and throwing them down.

I didn't have anything growing in this area last summer.  I had Larry till it for me so the ground wouldn't be so hard.  We don't till every year, but I like to have a new area tilled.  It was full of violets.  I did keep some along the compost pile.  Last night, I went ahead and planted the poor scrawny tomato plants that I bought from a club at the school I work at a few weeks ago.  I managed to keep them alive in the garden window, but they dried up a few times, and one, I didn't plant because it looks like it probably won't make it.  The only hardening off they got was when I opened the window for the fresh air to come in.  I figured they weren't going to live much longer in the house, and with all the rain expected, I decided to get them in.  We'll see how they do.  I may have to get a few more plants.

I bought 4 Polano everbearing red raspberry plants from a local farmer's market.  They are planted at a diagonal between the tomato pepper bed and the compost pile, where I forgot that I was going to plant sweet potatoes.  I'm thinking I read that everbearing raspberries have 2 times they produce fruit.  They don't produce all summer.

I picked these radishes to make room for some sweet potatoes in my home garden.

These are probably too close together, but I figured they have more room than when I have them in pots.   I read that they should be 12 to 15 inches apart, with rows 3 feet apart. 

A moonflower plant survived the winter.  They do, occasionally.

Here are a couple seedlings.  I'm going to need to decide where I want moonflowers growing this year.

Yea, I finally finished this post!   If you're still reading,  have a great weekend, and I hope your vegetable gardens are doing well.


  1. Hi Sue, I hope some much needed rain comes your way. Those veggies love it for sure. I wish I could grow rhubarb and radishes. Yours look good! When my onions form flower heads I just leave them be and enjoy the flowers. They are very pretty. I've never been able to harvest onions:( I think you'll like that Chardonnay pearls. Deutzia are so easy to grow and one of my favorite shrubs. Bummer on the rabbits. We have them here but haven't had too many issues with them. Just voles and chipmunks. That's enough I think. And of course I don't mind you leave a link for us. It actually really helps me and saves time when I come and check your veggies. Can I ask you a question? How do you eat your kale? I planted some and am not sure how to eat it.

  2. neat radishes. I miss rhubarb so much - everything looks promising , bunnies stay away from the peas !!

  3. Wow Sue, you sure are one busy lady. How wonderful to grow your own veggies.

    Have a great weekend. FlowerLady

  4. Sue, you have a lot growing in that garden.

    Hope the rains give everything a good drink.

  5. It's good to know that lettuce is so easy to grow from seed. I will have to try it next year. That and spinach.

    Lemon Balm is trying to take over my vegetable garden too. Hard to be angry at it when the fragrance is so wonderful! I got some tagalong Spearmint from a trade that needs keeping on eye on as well. I really need to yank it.

    I love your new header shot.

  6. Your garden is doing great. The vegetables are growing very healthy. I find it enjoyable to hear about your gardening adventures.

  7. Your veggies really do look great! I am planting my garden this week. Love your blooms! Paula in IDaho

  8. you're really growing a lot!! Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labors


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