Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Warm enough for beans (I hope!)

I planted my bush beans today! I didn't check the soil temp at the garden, but it's 58º at the house, which gets a lot less sun. That is at the bottom end of the range for beans, but I've got a big package of seed if these don't come up. I'm afraid they're a little late to be much good as companion plants for the potatoes; I would have to plant the potatoes a month later for them to be growing together.

Here's what the spread looks like now:

The new little collards at the far left are unfortunately bolting already; I'll let them flower until I get some kale started. I won't bother with store-bought collard plants again, but I may try starting some seed again, around August, for the fall season.

Everything else is growing pretty well. The broccoli twins aren't showing any sign of heading yet. The one that went early is blooming nicely now.

The kohlrabis are big, but not showing any sign of forming bulbs yet. Wonder when that's supposed to start happening.

The peas are taller than the 39" fence, and I saw one flower bud today.

Five of the seven fennels I planted are still alive and seem to be growing well enough. I'm looking forward to harvesting them this fall.

The daikons were a bust! They're already flowering so today I dug up 4 of the biggest ones, and the only "radish" was an inch and a half long and no thicker than a pencil. Oh well. More flowers. Right above the radishes on the left you can see my baby zucchini clump. It's definitely growing like a zuke.

I put more hay up around all the taters—it's 10-12" now. I'm really not sure how well hay is going to work for keeping the spuds in the dark, but I'll know in a month or two. Front to back, these are the Rose Finn Apples, the All Blues, and the short row of Pontiacs. Took this before I planted the beans.

I saw how much bigger the Pontiacs were than either of the other two, and I thought, Wow! They must be a lot more vigorous!

Then I remembered that they're the only ones planted in the old manure pile soil—the other two are in the dusty sand of the corral. The All Blues still look pretty good, but the Rose Finn Apples look like they're struggling by comparison. They sprouted so much later than the others, maybe there's hope for them to catch up, they really are delicious little babies.

The hardy golden oregano I planted on two sides to block weeds is just wonderful—what a great, bright ground cover!

The big lupine is really showing off. Later I'll move him out to the orchard where he can have a permanent spot. At one point this was a single plant, and yet it now has three different kinds of flowers. Both it and the smaller one in its shadow were both volunteers.

As far as my hay mulch, I love it more than ever. I pulled apart several of the old soggy flakes today and this time I didn't find a single slug. Maybe the sluggo got a lot of them, but it's also obvious that even the formerly soggy flakes are now starting to dry out, and dry hay is no place for a slug. In contrast to the occasional spindly weed I'm finding now in the hay, they just keep sprouting all around outside, in the bare dirt.

This is the 4th crop of weeds in this spot just this year, I keep whacking and they keep coming. These guys' days are numbered. The hoe is coming! Beware the hoe!

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