Fall Planting

While I was working in the garden this morning, a fellow gardener told me that today was National Sunflower Day. So, here is my contribution. I love sunflowers. This one is ten feet tall, so I can’t even pick them to bring home. It is all good as now the entire neighborhood gets to enjoy them this way.

I did some weeding and clearing today and transplanted a scraggly looking Kagran Summer head lettuce and some basil seedlings. I also sowed more fall greens, radishes and more pole beans.

The glass gem corn is flowering and looking great. The squash vines are all over the place and there are many flowers, but so far, I have not seen a fruit. The cucumbers are winding down, I pulled the vines from the pickling cukes, there is only the slicer left and I might get a few more fruit from the plant. I harvested a few carrots as well.

The tomatoes are still going very strong. The chard and kale are very short for some reason. Not sure whether they are shaded too much by the corn and tomatoes or whether they just had a slow start. I pulled the parsley as it was dying. Again.

Mid-July

Dahlias, zinnias and asparagus

I spent some time in the garden today weeding the spot where I pulled the garlic a few days ago. I planted carrots and beets there and saved some space for fall greens that will go in the ground in a few weeks. I also sowed more pole beans, as some of the plants had been chewed down to their little stems by, I suspect, a rabbit. My harvest: a couple of pickling cucumbers and flowers.

Softneck garlic

I also cleaned the garlic today and hung it in our back stairwell to cure. In about two to three weeks, I will braid the softnecks and destem the hardnecks and store them for the long-term.

Softnecks on the bottom, hardnecks on the top behind

Peas and Carrots

This afternoon, I thinned my carrots (they are supposed to be rainbow carrots, but so far no deep red ones yet) and harvested my last handful of peas. I also took out the pea plants, weeded the plot (we had a lot of rain these past few days) and planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the spot where the peas used to be. I also planted nasturtium, which I somehow had forgotten to do earlier this season.

Carrot thinnings against a green backdrop of zucchini, cucumber, kale, Zinnias, onions, Chard, more carrots, beets, garlic and borage.

The garlic is starting to get ready, which is early. I typically harvest at the end of the month. But we had two heat waves, the last one just last week. With the heat and the rain, everything is speeding up this season. I also sprinkled Epsom salt around the base of the tomatoes to fertilize. Over the next few weeks, I will give all plants a nice seaweed/fish emulsion treatment. I have a few “naked” spots in my plot and plant to fill them with beets, carrots and lettuce.

Plot July 5, 2021

Porch Succession Planting

Before
After
… and in between (four glass gem corn seedlings)

We are having a heat wave here in Boston this weekend. It is supposed to last three days, and I decided to pull all the lettuce on my porch this morning. I had underplanted the lettuce in two containers with glass gem corn, and all eight seeds germinated. One of the containers (not pictured) currently only has four corn seedlings, and the bigger one (pictured here) was replanted with pickling cucumber today. Hopefully the cucumber and the corn will get along.

Porch lettuce harvest

Fully Planted

Today, I planted the remaining seedlings. I meant to do it last weekend (Memorial Day Weekend), but it was so rainy and cold (in the 40s at night) that it seemed wise to wait. In order to make space, I had to take out most of the walking onions and six humongous leeks. I planted 2 eggplants (Fairy Tale and Ping Tung), 1 pepper (the mystery one), 1 more tomato (Striped Roman), 3 kale seedlings, 3 Swiss chard plugs, 3 cucumbers (pickling, Dekah and Tokiwa), 3 winter squash (Butternut, Delicata and Lakota), 1 zucchini and 1 watermelon. I also interplanted the tomatoes with marigold, planted camomile and sowed glass gem corn among the squash and Zinnias with the Swiss chard. I don’t think I can fit anything else in my plot.

Seedlings before they went into the ground

The only thing not in the ground yet are green beans. I will plant some with the corn and squash once the corn has a good height and will plant a lot of beans after I harvest the garlic. Last year, I planted beans late in July and it was very successful.

Peas (and weeds), lettuce (and mint), tomatoes and Lakota squash
Cucumbers, lettuce, and squash (and a giant borage)
Parsley, baby lettuce mix, eggplant, camomile, tomatoes, kale, bok choi

Glass Gem Corn

Picture from Baker Creek catalog

Today I planted the glass gem corn seeds my neighbor had given me. First time growing glass gem corn. It is so pretty! I planted four seeds each in two wide containers on my back porch and will plant the rest (maybe ten seeds) in my plot, although I do not have much hope for those because of the rampant rodent problem in our city. I am hoping the seeds will germinate and the corn on my porch will be protected from the birds.

Planting Tomatoes and Dahlias

I spent a good three hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading compost and planting tomatoes, basil, parsley and dahlias. I planted a total of ten tomatoes: one each Striped Roman, Paul Robson, Black Krim, Valencia, Break O’ Day, Poll Robson Angolan and two each Green Zebra and Baker Family Heirloom. That’s a lot of tomatoes. I was going to go for eight, but alas ended up planting ten … I used the central stake method this time, which will be a first for me. I am just so tired of these flimsy cages. They will serve me well for growing cucumbers though.

I also planted dahlias in the back of the plot near the fence, where I usually put my flowers. No edibles there because dogs like to raise their legs on the other side of the fence. I planted two dahlias each of: Arabian Night, Lakeland Autumn, Park Princess (Cactus) and Star Elite (Cactus). I ordered three each from Holland Bulb Farms and all except one are looking healthy and have new growth. Very excited about the flowers. The remaining four (or three) dahlias will be planted in my front or side yard. Need to find a full-sun spot.

Tomorrow, I will go back to the garden and tie the tomato stems with garden velcro. I also will sow Zinnias and sunflowers (and harvest some leeks and lettuce).

Porch Planting

It has been (and will be) really warm these days and I could not wait any longer and planted my porch containers today: hot peppers (Early Jalapeno and Thai), Thai basil, Green Zebra tomato (with the parsley, and I am planning on using string to trellis it), Fairy Tale eggplant. I had fertilized the soil a few days ago.

Top: lettuces // tomato, parsley, Bottom: head lettuce // Fairy Tale eggplant

Thai hot pepper and lettuces // Jalapeno and Thai basil

Hardening off Seedlings

I have been hardening off my seedlings for about five days now, last night was the first night they spent outside. The nights are now consistently above 50 degrees, so I am planning to transplant them into the plot next weekend.

I have a ton of seedlings: 12 tomato seedlings (one each Striped Roman, Paul Robson, Valencia, Black Krim [all of those are from the Neighborhood Farm], 1 Break O’Day; 2 each Beaker Family Heirloom, Poll Robson Angolan (according to Sand Hill Preservation Center it is not entirely clear what variety this is, but I grew it last year and it was not a true Paul Robson) and 3 Green Zebra). I also have 3 peppers (one each Early Jalapeno, Thai and Chico Invite), 3 eggplants (2 Fairy Tale and 1 Ping Tung), 2 each Butternut Squash and Honeyboat Delicata, 3 each Tokiwa cucumber, Dekah cucumber (a pickling cucumber), National Pickling cucumber, 3 watermelon, 1 Lakota winter squash (a gift from a neighbor) and 1 Zucchini (all cukes, squash and melons have three plants per cell), 2 Thai Basil, 3 Genovese basil, 1 cilantro. I also started new head lettuce for succession planting.

On my porch, I will plant two peppers (Early Jalapeno and Thai), 1 eggplant (Fairy Tale), 1 tomato (either Green Zebra or Poll Robson Angolan) and maybe 1 cucumber (likely National Pickling or Dekah). Also the basil, Thai basil, cilantro. The rest of the seedlings will go in the plot and I will give some away.

Early May Planting

I spent a few hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading manure and planting. I sowed a few more peas (to fill in the gaps), rainbow carrots and beets (Chiogga and Burpee Golden). I also planted lettuce mix, head lettuce, flat leaf parsley, one curly kale plant and some Bok choi. (The Bok choi and lettuce mix came from Neighborhood Farm).

The overwintered leeks are looking nice and strong. I will pull them in the next few weeks. The arugula and spring greens and overwintered lettuces are looking good as well. And I have peas this year! So far they have not been destroyed by rabbits or birds.

Peas
My tiny purple asparagus patch