Awoke to some drizzle, and had a an opportunity to reset the energy button to a slower pace; to actually sit in the garden (as the skies cleared), rather than tend to it. Listening to the breeze, the little birds, the newly-hatched grasshopper, the bees. Watching the cabbage white loopers darting around, and the juba skippers snapping and courting in their little aerial spirals. Smelling the lavender, sages, bee balm, corn, nasturtiums, squash; summer in general. Feeling like a sleeping cat.
I noticed a feeling of early fall precisely on Aug. 1. The days started feeling noticeably shorter at the same time; there is a tinge of color on sporadic trees. All this seems a couple of weeks earlier than “normal”. We’re most definitely on the downside of summer, with very few tomatoes set. I’ve never had this many tomato plants grow over 5-feet tall before setting fruit! But, we’re not alone in this predicament. Our day and night temps are so variable, slow to warm and very quick to cool in late afternoon. More heat needed!
Fortunately, the squash have kicked in, though more sporadic than last year, especially for their mammoth sizes. The spaghetti squash is out of hand, while little acorn and delicata fruit are just getting started. The cucumbers are developing nicely, as are the margarita and charantai melons. Corn ears are nicely elongated, waiting to fill out the kernels.
Lavender and nasturtiums cushion a spaghetti squah
It was time for the lettuce to be harvested completely, or be overrun by squash and melons, besides being a little bit bitter. Kale and chard are still vigorous, and the bush beans are still producing well. Harvested over 5 pounds this last week on the oldest row. Basil has been sheared back for a second round of bushy growth. Lots of pesto being made!
- Beet tops and roots: 11.75 pounds
- Basil: 6.25
- Kale: 3.5
- Lettuce blends: 16.5
- Scallions: 0.75
- Spinach: 2
- Swiss chard: 4.75
- Sugar Snap peas: 0.25
- Summer squash: 8.75
Month’s total: 53 pounds
Thank you all participants and garden devas!
Lushness galore! August 8
Posted in Community garden, Harvest tally, Summer, Uncategorized
Tagged basil, beans, beets, buttercup squash, chard, Community garden, corn, cucumber, delicata squash, kale, lettuce, melons, nasturtiums, spaghetti squash, summer squash, tomato
While fall enters its zenith and fall colors are ubiquitous, whether static, or as falling gems of gold and burgundy, a killing frost has yet to manifest, allowing cleome, sages, zinnia, and nasturtiums to show off for a longer spell.
Fall flowers still dancing: cleome, pineapple sage, lavender, Japanese anemone
The nasturtium flowers at the front of the community bed are in full throttle, and their mild spiciness is being enjoyed in salads (akin to very mild arugula).
Nasturtiums deciding to show off
The first leeks have been picked, with a verdict of “very tasty” even if not mature, and harvested tomatoes keep ripening enough to keep our salads colorful, while still giving some away.
Garden cleanup and winter preparation continue at a leisurely pace, along with playing “musical plants” to make way for new arrivals. After a fatiguing day at work last week I relished the task of transplanting my ‘Puget Gold’ apricot from a pot to its permanent ground residence inside the house yard. That felt more productive than the entire workday!
Two days ago I set an oscillating sprinkler on for 2 sets of 1-hour duration, separated by 1-hour breaks, to dampen down the upper 4 to 5 inches of soil. We’ve had a stretch of unusually warm weather during the week; moisture setting in nicely after the second day of soaking.
I spent most of today in the new garden spot, beginning at 8:00 a.m., contemplating and editing my layout while soaking the soil for another couple of hours. The Ferti-loam mix is wonderful; not a weed has shown up yet. With our spell of hot weather, the raised soil bed is wonderfully warm, perfect for planting corn and other warmth-lovers. Lettuce won’t be done until later summer.
Participating neighbors dropped by to help spread organic fertilizer on the beds and rake it in. Soaker hoses appeared, and I started configuring the hose systems, not that they’d be used right away.
Planting proceeded quickly after 5:00 pm., when westerly breezes arose; stores ran low on various plants, so not everything planned was planted. More bell peppers and tomatoes are still needed.
The morning after.....planting that is. Where's Juniper?
The overall planting includes:
5 tomato plant varieties
6 yellow bell pepper plants
3 summer squash (seeded): patty-pan (or scallop), round zucchini, yellow straight-neck
3 winter squash (seeded): delicata, spaghetti, buttercup
3 cucumber plants: lemon, sweet-slice long, bush crop
2 Japanese purple eggplants
1 chives plant
1 parsley (seeded)
16 ft. of green bush beans (seed)
8 ft. of rainbow Swiss chard (seed)
8 ft. scallions (bunching onions) (seed)
4 rows (@ 6 ft.) white corn (seed) to yield 24 plants total
6 kale plants
8 sunflowers (seeded among the squash plants)
6 vine-type nasturtiums to climb bamboo teepee (seed)
15 bush nasturtiums to stabilize and color the front edge of the bed (seed)
8 basil (seeded)
3 lavender plants (move in fall)
Amendments and supplies:
firstname.lastname@example.org of E.B. Stone Organics All Purpose Plant Food (5-5-5); raked into top 3 inches of soil; furrowed under corn rows.
250 ft. of soaker hoses
150 ft. of solid hose (3@50 ft) to connect soakers to house faucets
Brass or plastic multi-channel hose-connectors
Many large cardboard boxes to cover the entire 600 sq. ft. of lawn
Posted in Community garden, Developing & Planting, Spring
Tagged basil, beans, chard, cucumber, eggplant, kale, nasturtiums, peppers, summer squash, tomato