This morning, after I watered my garden and locked the garden gate, I ran into a neighbor who asked me what I was growing in my plot. He also has a community plot nearby and mainly grows tomatoes and flowers. Time to take stock. Currently growing in my garden are: garlic, potatoes, leeks, carrots, beets, tomatoes, basil, cucumber, eggplant, butternut squash (I saw a tiny plant poking its first leaves out this morning, yeah!), Brussels sprouts, hot peppers, Swiss Chard, lettuce, kale (tiny seedlings are appearing), mixed greens (freshly sowed and just sprouting), radishes (just sprouting), pole beans, bush beans, peas, parsley, sage. Also dahlias, nasturtiums and borage. And mint and lemon balm, which keep creeping up in some spots. This morning I harvested garlic scapes, two big heads of lettuce and a lot of peas. I am done harvesting the first round of radishes and the rhubarb. When I looked at my plot while watering, not all that much seemed to be going on in my plot, but going through that list of plants makes me think otherwise.
The potatoes are flowering! The yellow potatoes have purple flowers and the purple potatoes (first time I am growing purples) have white flowers, a surprise.
Today, I spent a couple of hours in my plot weeding (in particular the Yellow Nutsedge), spreading the hay I got last week and thinning the butterhead salad. I harvested the remaining radishes and sowed new ones. I also sowed more kale, carrots (Bolero), butternut squash (might be too late, but the first time around nothing came up), golden beets, mixed greens and nasturtiums.
I love using hay in the garden. It smells good, looks pretty and does a great job suppressing weeds and retaining moisture. I still had a thin layer from the winter but used up about half the bale to fortify it. Where I had freshly sowed seeds, I did not mulch with the hay but will do so once the seedlings appear. That’s why you see those thin lines of soil in the picture below.
I spent some time in the garden today weeding and planting. The cucumbers I had direct-sowed a few weeks ago have not made an appearance (it worked last year) so I planted some seedlings in their spot, a cucumber “Gateway” and an eggplant “Calliope”. I also planted a hot Thai pepper next to the pole beans, which are starting to poke through the soil. I got those three plants from Whole Foods, a new (last minute) source of seedlings for me. Three of the four overwintered dahlias came in nicely. I also sowed more cosmos (with the dahlias) and kale (next to the Swiss Chard) and walked over to Agricultural Hall and got some hay from Bill. I plan to add a heavy layer of hay to suppress the weeds in my plot – yellow nutsedge and bindweed seem to be out of control.
Our community garden is right along the Southwest Corridor Park and tomorrow morning, hundreds of bike riders will be starting (and finishing) their annual Bike-A-Thon rides right across from our garden. Our family has been supporting Bikes Not Bombs for years, both by fundraising and riding the Bike-A-Thon and by volunteering. My husband and 12 year-old son volunteered last night. They prepped food for the riders and got to take some of it home. So tonight for dinner, we will have Bike-A-Thon pasta and a side salad with lettuce (Butterhead “Kagraner Sommer” from Renee’s Garden) and breakfast radishes from the garden.
Today, I spent 3,5 hours in the garden weeding and planting (bush beans, pole beans and carrots). I had neglected a large section of my plot that had not been planted yet (basically the entire right side of the plot starting at the pea trellis all the way to the fence) and it was overgrown with all kinds of weeds of the worst kind, including bindweed and yellow nutsedge. I have so much nutsedge in my plot, it is almost tragic. All of it was still small and growing and had not flowered or gone to seed. I used to use the compost from our community garden bins in past years and must have introduced the invasive weed this way. I got it all out (for now) and I feel very accomplished. The plot looks nice and clean. I also laid a new brick/paver path down the middle. Now I need to get more hay or straw to mulch the garden as the salt marsh hay cover is getting thin in some spots. No sign of the squash or cucumbers yet. I hope my direct sowing method worked. The nasturtiums I planted the same day are coming up, they are still tiny, I did not see them two days ago. I also hilled my potatoes today and they are now at ground-level. I took out the kale I direct-sowed a while ago. The plants were scrawny and chewed up. I will try to get some transplants. I also harvested some radishes and rhubarb.