End of September

I watered the garden this morning and harvested 2 pounds of green beans and a handful of tomatoes.

The plot is looking pretty good. The beans are still growing strong, I have twelve butternut squashes going, and a jungle of Swiss chard. Still some tomatoes. Sadly, only one dahlia came up, and the leeks are still small for the most part (too much shade from the chard). The fall greens are being eaten by flea beetles, they have tons of tiny holes in the leaves.

Vandalism

Today’s harvest

Good news first: I harvested more green beans, which will be part of dinner tonight together with the ones I harvested a couple of days ago.

Bad news: our community garden was vandalized last night by a drunk/high person. I talked to neighbors from across the street who saw the man hurling the lids of our compost bins around, confronted him and called the police. The officers questioned him but let him go whereupon he continued to destroy our garden. Several plots were damaged, mostly by destroying trellises and tomato cages, tall plants were snapped, our (very heavy) table in the patio area was toppled as was the water barrel.

I filed a report with the police. They promised to send more patrols into the area over the next few days. I hope this was an isolated incident.

Destroyed tomato plants
More destruction
Destroyed tomato cage

Late August

This morning, I spent an hour in the garden weeding and harvesting. My plan was to harvest the potatoes but alas, I got only a handful of small fingerlings. Most of the potatoes I had planted never became a plant and I suspect those pill bugs that are so abundant in my soil are responsible :(. This is the second year of no potatoes and I think I will not plant any next year. Very sad as I was looking forward to some roasted fingerlings.

I did however harvest some huge cucumbers, a bunch of tomatoes and my golden beets.

Some things to look forward to:

My huge butternut squash patch …
… a lot of green beans, both bush and pole, and …
… purple cauliflower.

Summer Plot

The squash vine is everywhere. I will have at least five butternut squashes from what I can tell. The Swiss Chard is doing well (has some leafminer damage though), the cauliflower is “fruiting”, the tomatoes are blushing and the cucumber plants are providing . The beans came up nicely, I will need to stake the pole beans very soon. I planted the beans late because I wanted them to be ready for harvest after I come back from my trip in August. The first dahlias are starting to open.

Squash and Beans

Butternut squash

It has been warm and humid these past days and we are in the middle of a heat wave now (temperatures will be 100 tomorrow and Sunday), so things are progressing fast in the garden. The squash is growing very nicely and the beans I planted just five days ago all came up and are looking strong.

Kentucky Wonder pole bean, 5 days old

Summer Gardening

Baby butternut squash

This morning, I spent three hours weeding my garden plot. I also pulled up all the peas, spread compost, replanted pole beans (Kentucky Wonder) in their place and made a bean trellis. I also planted rainbow carrots, nasturtium and bush beans (Tendergreen). The bush beans were planted close to the asparagus. I noticed that most of my potatoes did not grow (only a handful of plants came up), so I filled the gap with bush beans. There is still some space between the beans and the potatoes, which I likely will fill with salad greens. I moved the pepper plant because it was shaded by the cucumber foliage. I sprinkled Epsom salt around my tomatoes and gave everything a good thorough watering.

Cucumber flowers

The garlic has started to yellow. I will probably pull it in a week or two and need to think what I will plant in its space, part of it is occupied by the butternut squash vine, which is taking over much of the plot. The dahlias are coming up – I saw the first flower buds today.

Spring Planting

Garden plot May 24
left side (from front): peas, spinach, onion, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, butternut squash, pepper, flowers
right side: radishes, Swiss Chard, head lettuce, cauliflower, beets, leeks, garlic, potatoes, onions, asparagus, rhubarb, flowers

Here are my actual spring planting dates for this season.

Indoors:

  • March 16: started eggplant (Fairy Tale) and hot Thai pepper from seed indoors
  • March 23: started eggplant (Ping Tung), tomatoes (Break O’Day, Paul Robeson, Dr. Wychee Yellow, Green Zebra, Baker Family Heirloom), curly kale (seeds from 2017) and head lettuce (Kagran Summer) from seed
  • March 30: basil (sweet Italian) – six compartments in egg carton from seed
  • April 8: shipment of seed potatoes arrived. I put them out to sprout.
  • April 20: repotted tomatoes and some of the lettuce
  • April 21: I lost most of my seedlings tonight. I still have some tomatoes (one each Break O’Day, Dr. Wychee, Green Zebra) and the basil. I re-sowed one pot each of pickling cucumber, and slicer cucumber as well as one Paul Robeson tomato. No home-grown eggplant or peppers this year. It is too late to reseed. I also still have some head lettuce and kale.
“Hot Thai” pepper and “Fairy Tale” eggplant seedlings, 2 weeks old (March 30)

Outdoors

  • March 19: started mâche in a big flat on our back porch
  • March 31: sowed two rows of sugar snap peas, one row of spinach in between in plot; also two rows of carrots (Bolero) and one row of radishes in between (French breakfast)
  • April 6: the mâche did not germinate. I sowed arugula and spring greens in the same big flat
  • April 28: resowed carrots (rainbow) and sowed lettuce (Kagran Summer and Bronze Beauty) and some more peas in plot
  • April 28: sowed Swiss chard and leaf lettuce “Great Salad Bowl” in two separate pots on the back porch
  • May 7: trip to Allendale Farm. I purchased herbs for the plot and the back porch (basil, parsley, sage, thyme), cauliflower, head lettuce, lavender, dahlias and Osteospermum plus fertilizer and other supplies. I potted up the flowers, sage, thyme, 2 lettuce plants, 1 parsley and two basil cells for the back porch. The rest will go in the plot in the next couple of days.
  • May 11: planted fingerling potatoes and sowed more carrots, Swiss chard and peas as well as sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos in plot. Also planted dahlia tubers (only 3, they were supposed to be two each, but one bag only had one bit tuber in it). Transplanted the 6 cauliflower plants, 4 lettuce plants and the parsley I bought a few days ago.
  • May 18: planted eggplant (Fairy Tale), one tomato (Paul Robeson) and hot pepper (Jedi Jalapeno) in pots on the back porch
  • May 23: planted potatoes in grow bags on the back porch
  • May 24: transplanted seedlings into the plot: 6 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 2 cucumbers (1 pickling, 1 slicer), 1 butternut squash and a six-pack each of golden beets and leeks
  • June 15: transplanted two cucumber plants (Marketmore, a slicer and Little Lemon, a pickling cucumber) into the plot
Tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, basil seedlings on April 20