Saturday, June 23, 2012

How's the Garden?

The community garden plot
June is a precarious time in the garden.  There's a lot of empty space around plants that aren't yet fully established - prime weed-growing real estate.  There's also (in my area) not a whole lot of rain falling, so many of the newly planted summer crops need water.  Add that to the relatively little harvesting and planting to be done and the human tendency to steer clear of heat and burning-bright sunshine and you have a real recipe for disaster.  This is when we lose a lot of the new gardeners at the community garden.

Luckily, I am behind schedule this year, so I have plenty of reasons to crawl out of bed and go take care of things.  Here's a rundown of the crops currently in the community garden plot:
  • Potatoes - seem to have some sort of fungus or disease causing the outside edges of the leaves to blacken, but I think it won't seriously harm the yield.  At any rate there will certainly be plenty of potatoes this year.
  • Tomatoes - Both rows are setting fruit, but the ones in the back row are larger.  Both rows also seem to have the fungal problem I was worried about in the spring, which I think is gray mold.  The back row really needs to be tied and pruned - I'll have to get to that this week.
  • Garlic - some if not all of the garlic is probably ready to be picked.  The plants are browning and seem to be shrinking before my eyes as the energy from the plant slowly goes into storage in the bulb.
  • Carrots - there are three rounds in the ground right now, with the oldest ones ready to pick and the smallest ones barely out of the ground.  I really should have put more compost into the carrot bed before I planted it - the carrots I'm harvesting are pretty stubby and crooked and split from the hard clay soil.
  • The back peas aren't really producing much anymore, thanks to the heat, I just haven't gotten around to pulling them out yet.  I'll plant some beans there soon.
  • The onions are so exciting right now.  It's my first year growing bulbing onions, so I'm trying not to get too excited, but it's really hard when they are clearly making onions!  I don't know when they'll be done, but I'm thinking at least another month.
  • The asparagus seem to be loving life.  They could use some light weeding, and maybe some fertilizer soon, but mostly they seem to take care of themselves.
  • The back pepper plants are starting to produce lots of peppers (bell and chili), while the front ones are still getting over being trasplanted.  Also I think the front ones are a little chlorotic.  I think the wood chips I added were not sufficiently rotted and now I'm worried there's not enough nitrogen in those two beds.  I watered them with some fish emulsion, and threw some more coffee grounds over the soil, so hopefully they will start to look better soon.
  • The celeriac is bushy and I think I can see the tops of the thick roots widening below the soil.  I'm continuing to weed the bed, but other than that I leave them alone.
  • There are little cucumber starts tucked between some of my pepper plants that look like they're starting to take off.  It's good because I'm almost out of pickles!
  • The eggplants are all growing, although they're still getting torn up pretty badly by flea beetles.  The ones I started at home, which were horribly ragged when I planted them, are starting to close the gap with the nursery-bought transplant.
  • The bed that used to have the broccoli in it is full of new little things whose outcome is far from certain.  There are two watermelon starts, a butternut squash start, a spare bell pepper plant and marigold that look pretty happy, and lots of little carrot and basil sprouts.
  • The front bed is newly planted with summer squash: zucchini, yellow squash, and tromboncino (seeds).  There's also an extra 6-8 feet of space in there that I think I may use for beans.   I definitely don't want to plant extra summer squash!
  • I haven't seen much action where I planted the parsley seeds.  I wonder if those seeds are no good any more.  I'll give them a little more time and then try some other seeds.
Whew!   The little bit of extra planning I've done this year has made a tremendous difference in how efficiently I'm using the garden space.  Can you tell I'm really proud of the garden?  Cause I am.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be proud too! That's a long list of vegetables you're tending.