Redirecting

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Garden

I finished planting my garden this weekend.   Here's the broad view:


About 10 weeks ago, I started some Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, Anaheim peppers, and eggplants indoors from seed.  I didn't have enough light on them, and the project pretty much failed, save for a few hot pepper transplants which I got into the garden this weekend.  A month ago I planted broccoli and Brussels sprouts seedlings (bought from the nursery in 6 packs) - and they are looking good right now (that's Catnip in the bottom left corner - a perennial which was there already):



I haven't yet had to deal with large predators eating my plants - so far it's just small predators, as you can see by the holes in these Brussels sprout leaves:

But check this out - BROCCOLI! (baby broccoli, at least) :


Can you see the little crown down in the middle?  Hopefully I'll get to eat it before the worms, badgers, rabbits, or porcupines do.  Regarding insects:  I've been pondering using some sort of insecticide, but I decided that I'll probably wait and try to use nothing this year.  If my crop gets ravaged, I'll proceed to chemicals next year, but I'm going to try to avoid it for now.    The herbivorous animals will be another issue to deal with soon.

I also planted, from left to right below, cucumbers, eggplants, and green peppers from seedlings.  Yep - I put paper cups around the base to try to ward off cutworms:

And between the Brussels sprouts/broccoli patch and the cuke/eggplant/green pepper patch, I have peas:


It's kinda hard to distinguish the peas from the weeds I have in there.  There is a surface weed that is abundant in my garden.  It's tough to remove because it has very shallow roots, so if you try to pull it out, it just rips off and regrows.  On the other hand, perhaps this will mean that the weed won't be competing as much for nutrients and water since the plant roots are much deeper.  Who knows... Here is a picture of the weeds (it's not clover, although it may look like it in this picture):


Then, of course, we planted tomatoes.  Mrs. Dynamite read that asparagus and tomatoes have a symbiotic relationship where they keep each other's insect predators away, so we planted asparagus (which we eat a ton of) around the tomato patch.  If we're lucky, we'll be able to harvest asparagus next year - it's a perennial, but you can't eat it the first year (the stalks are too thin.)  Asparagus is amazing to watch grow though. It literally grows 3 inches or more per day.  I know this, because you plant it (root crowns) in a trench, and cover it with about an inch of dirt. As the stalks break through the surface, you cover them with more dirt until your trench is filled in.  It's easy to see that you can come out in the morning, cover a sprouting stalk with dirt, and then after lunch it's 3 inches higher.



The asparagus is on the top and right borders in the picture above. It looks like this:


I also planted basil and cilantro from seed, to compliment the basil seedlings I planted several weeks ago, which got thrashed by the cool weather. Basil is a total pussy - it can't take temps much below 50 degrees.  I planted one pot of sage, and some arugula, along with the hot pepper seedlings, in the same patch as the perennial lavendar and May Night Meadow Sage that was already in the garden when we arrived.  The Night Meadow Sage doesn't taste like regular sage - although it's supposedly edible - but it has big purple flowers, and attracts a ton of big furry bumblebees.  The arugula is immediately to the left of the purple sage, in the middle, with the traditional sage immediately further left of the arugula.  The pepper seedlings are below the traditional sage.  The big green patch above the plot, behind the metal sap bucket, is mint, which is also a perennial.

Finally, of course, there's the king of the garden - protector of the veggies, and He Who Pees on the herbs:  Oscar:

Oscar will make sure that there are no bunnies out munching on my stuff while he's out there.

-KD

20 comments:

Taylor said...

I know it's the way he's positioned, but Oscar's front right leg look unnaturally long!

Anonymous said...

I used to have a 15 x 30 veggie garden. Got old and tired of the critters and all the weeding. i now grow all my veggies in long containers. peas are up and flowering, radishes are up along with all the lettuces and spinach. I always plant the beans in late June so we can harvest in Sept. as we usually vacation in august. And i have 16 heirloom tomato plants in big planters. We are going to try 10 plants upside down this year. It is a lot of work but nothing beats eating your own grown food. good luck.

Joe said...

Fence! Fence!! Fence!!!

The critters can wipe that place out in no time - overnight - if they get access to it. Throw up a quickie fence and save yourself a lot of agita.

Garden looks great, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I searched and couldn't find anything in your archives about how you ended up here v. New York, is there a trip report somewhere?

Kid Dynamite said...

anon @ 5:01 - you're right - oscar's leg does look very long. he actually does have long legs, but not that freakishly long.

anon @ 6:05 - i quit my job in Nov 2007, and in Nov 2009 we moved up here. NYC was too expensive to be retired in, and my wife had had enough of the city.

joe: i hear you on the fence. i really do. my wife is anti-fence - doesn't like the aesthetics... we'll see what happens.

getyourselfconnected said...

Wow, that looks like a lot of hard work. It will be great to have the fresh stuff though. I wish you much luck!

Mark said...

Is asparagus hard to grow? I heard it takes three years to grow a good crop and that the plants have to be transplanted indoors (?) in the second year.

Oscar looks like he is just waiting for a bunny to come on to his turf.

Good luck with the garden!

Kid Dynamite said...

mark - all i can tell you is that asparagus grows very quickly. but we certainly couldn't eat these - they are way too thin. Yeah - 3rd year for full harvest, but i have never heard anything about transplanting them indoors.

oscar is a lethal bunny chaser. he's far too fat to ever catch one though, and not mean enough to know what to do if he did.

Transor Z said...

How about some predator urine?

http://www.predatorpee.com/

http://www.yardlover.com/urine-repellents

getyourselfconnected said...

how about GnR "The Garden"?

JCH said...

Green Giant.

Ann Flowers said...

Nice blog. being a great lover of garden art, I enjoyed going through your blog. keep on posting.

Ken said...

Damn KD,

I am almost embarrassed for you.

There are just certain things a man should never do.

Here is hoping you do not wear an apron, smock or bib while tending to your garden.

I am just going to pretend this post never actually existed and pray the next time I visit the site, the headlines have changed.

Frozen in the North said...

I hope that its your wife that did all the work, 'cause in a few days you will have to start all over again.

Your wife and deers have something in common: they are anti-fence. MY guess is your wife will break before the deers. On the bight side you provided the CT deer community with a diversified menu!.

Sorry man, but it's like watching Green Acres!

Kid Dynamite said...

FitN - i'm not sure the deer will be my biggest garden adversary. if you look behind the big evergreen tree in the top picture, i have an apple orchard there - that keeps the deer busy... i hope...

there are a plethora of other things that can eat my garden though.

the picture of the bug-eaten brussels sprout from a few days ago is out of date already - i just checked and bugs have eaten almost all of those giant leaves.

i also have little tiny green balls on my brocolli that i fear are butterfly eggs. or inchworm eggs... ugggh.

Anonymous said...

Re: insects. Try some Chinese herbicides. On sale at Home Depot. Cheap!

Kid Dynamite said...

yeah - exactly. i'm not a fan of chinese herbicides. on the seekingalpha version of that post, a guy was telling me i was worrying for no reason - at the same time he was telling me he wouldn't drink chinese milk! i just didn't get it so i stopped arguing with him... you won't use chinese milk, but you'll use chinese poison? no thanks...

rjs said...

well, to start seed indoors, use heavy lighting in a south window; you lose nothing because the heat generated keeps the plants warm, which they should be...and dont mess with cukes indoors, theyll mature from seed outoors in 50 days

for professional growing instructions for all types of plants, navigate to the product details on this site:
http://www.stokeseeds.com/home.aspx

your soil looks poor...come fall, till in whatever leaves or other organics you can collect...grass clippings supply nitrogen any time of year

the weed you have is chickweed...check out the 1/8 inch little white flowers...it grows all winter in ohio, but dies back in the dry heat of summer; its a moisture hog...

i hope you have snow peas or some edible pod variety...shucking peas is a thankless job...

green cabbage worms can come from eggs of either cabbage loopers, a brown moth, nocturnal, or white cabbage butterflies...they are the same color as the plants and hard to see...check the underside of the leaves

ive been doing this for 39 years, but its getting old...ive cut back considerably; less than a quarter acre this year...

Kid Dynamite said...

RJS - will tilling in old leaves or grass clippings result in more weeds?

rjs said...

certainly not the leaves, KD; i cover my garden with maple leaves six inches deep in the fall, then chop them with the mover to a peat like dust...i guess you'd want to think twice about tilling under grass clippings full of dandelion seeds or the like...typicaly, i use grass clippings as mulch, especially on potatoes, to hold the moisture in...and i get a lot of waste hay in this area (used to haul manure in too, but that got old)...what you learn over time is a strategy for weed control, without chinese herbicides; straight rows spaced far enough apart that you can get the tiller between the nearly mature rows...what you miss with the tiller you can catch with the hoe in a few minutes...