Today, I planted garlic and shallots. First, I cleaned out the tomato, marigold, squash and basil plants and weeded the plot (or three quarters of it before it got too dark). I scaled down my garlic amount (to 12 hardnecks and 15 softnecks) because as an empty-nester, I sadly don’t need 60 heads a year anymore. I am also trying my luck with shallots for the first time. I planted 12 shallots, each of them should yield 4 to 12 shallots. I mulched with the last mini straw bale Allendale Farm had for sale. There are quite a few seed heads in the straw (I think it was from the Halloween decor section), so I am bracing myself for some intense weeding next year.
Today, I spent a few hours in the garden weeding (in particular mint and those pesky Jerusalem artichokes that have been taking over the fence area of my plot). I filled two lawn bags with mostly Jerusalem artichokes, yikes! I also planted four basil seedlings that I had rooted from cuttings a couple weeks before and sowed cilantro and two rows of beets (Chiogga and Golden). I had to take out the bush beans as they were completely destroyed by the resident rabbit and planted cilantro in their place. Oh well.
I harvested my first eggplant today. Yay! There are quite a few more on my two Asian Eggplant plants. This is very exciting, as I usually don’t have much luck with eggplant. I also planted beans this morning, two rows of Slenderette bush beans where the garlic used to be and two rows of Kentucky Wonder pole beans where the peas used to be. The plot is pretty much fully planted right now. There is still a little space for fall greens and radishes to be planted in about a month. And enough space for the squash to spread out. Fingers crossed.
Today is the first day of July. Things are coming along nicely in the garden. The cold spring caused some delays, but made the peas and lettuce greens very happy. It now seems to be summer here and the cucumbers, tomatoes and squash plants have been taking off. I can see the first baby eggplants emerging. I planted the last two (extremely sad looking) winter squash seedlings (butternut and delicata) and fertilized them with Tomato-tone. I had fertilized all other seedlings about ten days ago and together with the rain we have had this past week it made a huge difference. Here is hoping for a bountiful harvest.
Today, I gave half of my cilantro seedlings a “haircut”. They will regrow, and this way, I get two harvests from my one row. I plan to cut the other half in a few days. I also sowed a new row of slo-bolt cilantro right next to it.
A couple of weeks ago I purchased some lemongrass at Whole Foods. There were four stalks in the package, but only two of them still had some of the stem intact. It was completely cut off at the other two. I placed the stalks that had stems in water and watched them develop nice roots. They also started to sprout new leaves. Yesterday I planted them (about an inch deep) in a container on my back porch. Lemongrass likes it hot and moist. The weather has been pretty cold these past days, but I am sure that will change. I am looking forward to see how this experiment will turn out.
Well almost fully planted. Today I put in the cucumbers (two Tokiwa slicers, three Pickling cucumbers), squash (one each Zucchini, Honeynut, Butternut and Delicata), two Asian eggplant seedlings, four Italian basil and three Tulsi sacred basil plants. Against the fence, I sowed Zinnias (Queen Lime Red, Large Mixed), cosmos (Sulferous, Rubenza), and I also planted nasturtium in between the tomatoes. I then covered everything with hay. I also harvested two heads of head lettuce.
I have been traveling for the past two weeks and during my absence my plot turned into a weed fest. This morning, I spent three hours weeding before I planted my tomatoes that had been hardening off on my porch these past two weeks. I put 8 in the ground today (I started out with 9, but one Ananas Noire sadly broke. I will plant a Paul Robson instead), and sprinkled some Tomato-tone around each plant. I also planted marigolds. The tomatoes will be interplanted with basil, and I will also plant some squash, eggplant, and nasturtiums in that area.
Still waiting to be transplanted are the cucumber and squash seedlings, eggplant and basil. My hot peppers never really grew despite having started them back in February. They stayed too small to transplant. So, I ordered a Thai hot pepper plant from Neighborhood Farms. I also ordered a delicata squash seedling, Thai basil and regular basil (I lost some of both while I was gone), Tulsi (sacred basil), another Asian eggplant, rainbow Swiss chard for my porch, and the Paul Robson tomato seedling.
I also harvested radishes, the overwintered leeks, and one (overwintered) head lettuce that was in the way of the tomatoes. The first big harvest of the season.
Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours in the garden weeding and planting. We have water in the garden now and it was time to transplant my four kale seedlings, six head lettuce seedlings, Swiss chard and leeks. I covered the lettuces and kale with row cover hoping it will deter the rabbits or other interested creatures. I also purchased three flat parsley plants, one spilanthes, one Orient Express eggplant, camomile, and a six-pack of marigolds from the Neighborhood Farm stand at the Wake up the Earth festival. I planted the spilanthes and one parsley in the plot and also sowed some cilantro next to the Swiss chard. I ripped out some mint and put it in a pot on my back porch. I planted two parsley plants and the camomile in containers on my porch. The marigold and eggplant will be transplanted into the plot together with the tomatoes and peppers at the end of May when I return from my travels.
My tomato and basil seedlings have been living on my kitchen table for the past few weeks. I rotate the tray so they grow evenly. The tomatoes are getting a bit leggy, but everything looks good. I have 9 tomatoes, 4 regular basil and 2 Thai basil cells.
I have a few of the seedlings outside on the back porch now to harden. I will transplant them into my plot in the next couple of days. We still don’t have water in the community garden, so I want to wait until it is turned on. I have a bunch of leeks and Swiss Chard, 4 kale plants and 8 head lettuces. I will transplant some of the head lettuce into containers on my porch and the rest will go into the community plot.
Today, I started my cucumbers and squash. Each in triplet, I planted two pots Tokiwa, three plots pickling cucumber and two pots Mexican sour gherkins (cucamelons). I also planted one pot of Delicata squash (I sadly only had three seeds left), two each Butternut and Honeynut, and one zucchini.