Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Garden Report: June 13, 2010

Wasn’t I just complaining about how cold it was? Wah wah wah, cold cold cold?

Yeah. Well, hi summer, because it was over 90 degrees all weekend, and the sun was blasting like a bread oven, and good grief, I think I lost fifteen pounds in sweat this weekend! (Alas, that is merely wishful thinking…I’ve gained over five pounds since I started back to work six months ago thanks to a combination of more sitting and too much eating.)

All this heat and the end of the rain means that it is time for this again.

gray water collection

I have the garden on pretty sparse rations, water-wise…I’m counting on the biweekly laundry water to provide the rest.

I’d managed to forget what a pain in the tush (and back, and elbows, and shoulders) it can be, though. I cannot tell a lie: I wasn’t too thrilled this weekend as I was toting the water hither and yon. I should have gotten out my sump pump and hose and blah blah blah, but I guess I was in one of those “no, I’d rather just sit here poking myself in the eye with this sharp stick, thanks all the same” kind of moods.

So it was lug with a bucket and pour by hand, all over the yard. Brightness of Idea: Negative twelve.

But at the end of the day, everything got a good long drink and friends…check it out.

Here is the butternut squash Friday evening.

butternut squash

Saturday morning, it (and its partner, who you’ll meet in a second here) were among the first to get a big drink of tasty laundry water (mmmmm, laundry water!).

This afternoon…


The one on the left there is the one seen above; that vine that is now reaching longingly for its little friend on the other side is actually being trained all the way around from the front (it wanted to fratnerize with the green beans at first). That is about 4” of stretching out it did, in just over 24 hours. Dang.

Everything (other than me) seems to really like our suddenly seasonal weather. The Christmas lima beans are shooting up…

Christmas limas

…and becoming quite the little social climbers…

climbing, climbing

One of the cherry tomatoes has the decency to be embarrassed by their constant demands for water and fertilizer.

blushing cherry tomato

Or perhaps it’s the fact that there’s a peeping Tom in the garden – a sneaky pea, that somehow seeded itself in the yellow-striped heirloom tomato container…

sneaky pea

The pinto beans are already jumping up all around the corn – I now see why it’s important to give the corn a bit of a head start on them!

This one cracked me up (possibly due to heat exhaustion) – doesn’t it look like it’s jumping out of the ground singing? LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


Tonight after I’ve recovered from the sweatiness a bit, I have to go back out there and get some green beans in…

green beans

And the definitely-ready-to-think-about-bolting spinach.


The romas are still a little sulky, I think; they’ve got a few flowers but not so much as a bump of fruit forming yet.

sulky roma

I’ve got an open spot again where there was lettuce (if only the initial planting of cucumbers had made it…sigh…). There’s almost always a patch like this out there, where something just came out and nothing has gone in yet; little bits of what looks like scorched earth, with growing things all around it.

scorched earth

The berries are starting to stir a little bit – especially the blackberries and raspberries. This one has finally gotten to my knee!


Meanwhile, my little apple tree is shooting up – it’s gained about six inches since March!!

granny smith apples

We’re going to have to be very careful not to get lazy with this tree – once it hits twenty feet, we want to start keeping it “capped” there. If left alone, it could get to forty feet tall and almost as big around!

The Bing cherry tree is also happy, growing and leafing out like it means business.

Bing cherries

The Ranier is coming along a lot more slowly. I was getting too hot and cranky by that time, so you’ll just have to imagine a kind of spindly tree with some new growth on it here. Like the Bing, only having a really bad hair day.

The five-in-one (which appears to have lost two of its grafts, so it’s actually a three-in-one now…unless those two thoroughly dry twigs suddenly go, “Oh yeah, we’re supposed to grow and some junk!” and leaf up…but I’m pretty sure they just didn’t ‘take’…) is responding really well to the deep-root water we finally noticed wasn’t actually turned on. (Sigh.) The peaches have grown from golf balls to about woman-fist sized. Yay! Although now we need to prop up the branch a bit…


I thinned these down, too, taking out about 30% of what was on there. I’d swear the tree responded by making more.

And…my red potatoes.

red potatoes with flash

I took that one with a flash – it was actually getting a little dark when I was stalking around Friday night checking for exposed potatoes. I’ve been doing that almost every day for weeks, but nary a potato have I seen. Which was good, actually; if potatoes sit on top of the soil, they turn green and bitter and are actually a bit toxic. That’s right. A potato can be poisonous. Yes way.

I used the “deep planting” method for my potatoes this year precisely because I didn’t want to be constantly having to hill up around them. I knew I was going to be crazy-busy with the work-thing and the commute-thing, so I’m trying to keep things as low-maintenance as I can. (Ha. Ha ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. *sniff* *sob* yeeeeeah…low…maintenance…)

This is a shot without the flash; it’s a lot truer to the actual color of the potatoes.

red potatoes

I’m in love. These are just so lovely, and so utterly unlike the supermarket potatoes; even unlike what I’ve gotten from the CSA. (Although in all fairness, there isn’t a whole lot that doesn’t benefit from being rushed straight from the garden into the oven, you know?)

I’m going to start pulling a few out of the ground each week, here and there. They’re too good not to just go ahead and eat, and I suspect we’re going to be up to our ears in them soon enough – the white Kennebec and the All Blue (I keep calling them ‘purple,’ but they’re actually a really dark blue).

Now, let’s see, did I get everybody…oh, wait.In the front boxes…baby lettuce.

baby lettuce

And baby pak choi…

baby pak choi


A lot of what I planted in there has a longer germination time; in fact, I think most of what I planted takes a whopping 21 days to poke up its head and say “howdy!”…which is why I also decided to put some lettuce and that delicious pak choi in there – it comes up satisfyingly fast, and quickly looks purty, too.

Which will match the boxes they’re in; the husband finished the pavers this weekend and folks…he does awfully nice work.


He has twelve band-aids on eight of his fingers right now. He was using a special wet saw thingee (you can see how technical I am here, right?) to do all his fancy cuts to make the curves and fill in the funky little angles and such, and it was exactly like spending two days in a swimming pool with rough stone edges.

I’m so impressed with this I could about bust. Is my man clever, or is my man clever?

And that is the garden report for the week. It’s starting to get downright exciting out there, isn’t it?! (Just agree with me. That’s what you’re supposed to do with crazy people, you know…)


marit said...

Yes, you have a clever man, and you're not doing so bad yourself eitehr;-)

I have to say- I almost envy you your weather! We are barely hitting 50 here...had one week with nice temperatures, but all nights have been in the lower 40ies...and there has been plenty of rain...

Science PhD Mom said...

YUM!! I love your garden reports! It's like a prequel (hopefully) of my garden in a month. Homegrown potatoes are the best--they are just mouthwateringly delicious. Enjoy!

Lydee said...

the gardens look scrumptious!