For the most part. I have a few things that are doing… well… less than ideal. kohlrabi, or basically anything that I started indoors with care. The winter squash seeds that I put in wet paper towels and then forgot about for weeks on top of the fridge? Gangbusters. It figures.
The herbs are all doing beautifully…. Except for the thyme that I actually managed to kill by no watering. Yes, one of the only things that should be near impossible to kill through lack of water. That one… The thyme. It was in a strawberry pot. The same strawberry pot that it’s been in for the last 4 years, except somehow last year it was killed. Killed while both parsley and cilantro managed to survive, and even hang on through the winter. I don’t understand. But I will
rebuild replant! But I haven’t gotten around to that yet. Shocking, I know.
But now I have these great chive flowers to stare at. I see them as kind of a mixed blessing. They’re beautiful. Delicate, early, exciting, but I hate killing them when I go out to snip chives, and they don’t last all that long as cut flowers, so I have to choose a “blade” and then follow it up to the top prior to snipping to ensure that I’m not destroying the flowers. Do they taste good? Am I missing out on that? I bet they’d be pretty in a salad with some beets, baby kale, roasted butternut squash, and chevre.
This is one of my most problematic beds. I’m willing to bet you can tell what the shallot starts that I just jammed in the ground are, and what the special Pacific Pearl and Purplette onions that I lovingly started from seed inside the house are. Oh, and the 2 things towards the back that look like sad little weeds? Brussels sprouts that I ALSO started inside the house from seeds. When will I learn that starting things inside from seeds without grow lights always ends up in sadness and wonky plants!?
Luckily, my FAVORITE bed, the one that ALWAYS looks great in spring is doing quite well. The carrots look the best they’ve ever looked, the peas, while still a little short, are bushy and growing healthily. I have lettuce coming out my ears. I’m frantically trying to plan meals around using lots of lettuce and kale. Not exactly a bad thing, but very effective. I have to admit that these photos are about a week old. At this point, I have one row of lettuce that is 4 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and probably 9 inches tall. It’s crazy huge. I just brought a gallon-container that I had stuffed full of lettuce this morning to work for my coworkers and it didn’t even use up 1/3 of the row, which will grow back soon, in addition to the other variety of lettuce that is growing next to it and will be ready to eat late next week I’d assume. Plus the kale. The green kale is probably a foot tall by now (it was supposed to be a DWARF variety), and the red kale is growing a little slower (luckily) but is also starting to get quite large. Stir fry for dinner tonight. Last night we had chicken lettuce wraps, and the leftover chicken mixture went on a big salad for lunch today! The zucchini in this bed is taking it’s time, but finally appears to have started going and it’s probably only a matter of time before i have zucchini coming out of my ears.
The tomatoes are doing quite well. Like I said, these photos are a week old and everything has grown more since then. I installed my stringy thingies for trellising purposes on the tomatoes over the weekend. I also fashioned these subterranean watering devices that you can see here. People on pinterest and whatnot tend to use 2 liter bottles. I imagine they work just as well as these or better, but I was cleaning out the closet in our spare bedroom and found them. They’re leftover 2 foot sections of 4″ abs drain pipe that I used to mold soap like 4.5 years ago for Christmas presents. Basically, all you do is drill or poke some holes in them, cap off the end (i used the cheap “temporary” caps @ $.69/ea vs $2.99/ea for permanent caps) then sink them in up past the top hole. Then you fill them with water (or just put water in them… for me, the water leaks out about as fast as I put it in, so they don’t really hold any) and it waters the root systems of the plants without wetting the leaves or getting the surface of the soil wet (which is theoretically a waste of water). I’ve used them once, although I’m not sure how useful they are at this point in the growing season because a) it’s not very hot outside, thus less evaporation, and b)the roots of the tomatoes probably aren’t very deep either. Still hasn’t stopped me!
Here we are growing some green globe artichokes. The whole proposition makes me nervous as I have had terrible luck with them in the past, but Craig has recently taken an interest in growing our own food, and wanted to give them a try. So I changed plans a little and dedicated this whole bed to a perennial food crop. Hopefully they actually give us some flowers this year! Additionally, we have some of these crazy lumpy pumpkin seeds that my coworker saved last year for me. This bed shares a bamboo trellis bridge thing with the bed next to it, so next to it I planted Painted Lady runner beans, which have a pretty red bloom and should grow up the trellis nicely.
Here you can see the robust garlic sprouts going, plus butternut, spaghetti, and lumpy winter squash. Oh, and a couple really sad (started inside) brussels sprouts that really haven’t done much growing in the last month. I’m thinking it might be necessary to just start more from seed outside and wait for them to overtake the indoor-started ones, then kill those off. Jerks. And next to the trellis thing, I have some bush beans. They’re shelling beans and will be pretty.
Rhubarb has done well, as always. At this point, I’ve made decently sized harvests from it twice, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down one bit. I have more winter squash growing on each of the corners of the bed. The hope is that they will hang over and trail down onto the ground and do most of their squashing down there.
This is the saddest of my beds. I have kohlrabi and beets and some spinach in it. Everything looks like shit. Most of the kohlrabi has died, and for some reason there are random bits of kale popping up. I have no idea. I would LIKE to just turn everything under and plant a cover crop in the bed this year, which I may still do, but I’m holding out just a little hope for the beets still. If they don’t pick it up by mid-june, I’m planting bush beans and that’ll be that.
The strawberries are blooming. They’re lookin’ good, and at this point, I have several small green fruits that are taking their sweet time to start ripening.
Anyone else totally impatient in waiting for things to GROW? GHP is hosting a link-up, go check out her site to see the rest of the exciting spring festivities on the interweb!