Monday, April 18, 2011

No Whine With This Garden!

OK, so I have to apologize for that last post. Frustration can inspire many things, including poor judgement when it comes to blogging. Let's just charge the last post to frustration and move on. I promise to be more positive in my posts from now on.

This past week has seen really strong growth in my portable sub-irrigated planters, also known as my 5-gallon tomato buckets. If you remember, I had some concerns regarding a few of them during the ridiculous wind storm we had two weeks ago. Gusts in the 50 to 60 mph range can do serious damage to tender plants. But I staked the ones which had gotten bent over and watered them a bit more than normal. They have responded quite nicely and are doing well. It seems that there should be no problems from the wind in these two.

All of them are quite strong and showing good color and good stem and branch development. Since I'm a little confused on the whole idea of which branches are good and which ones should be removed, I'm going to have to research that some before I go pinching back the suckers. I would rather be sure which ones are the suckers.

The very warm temperatures here have caused most of my lettuce to bolt. They just don't like temps in the upper 80's. I don't blame them, I like the lower 70's myself. Some of the loose leaf lettuce varieties are holding their own and continuing to produce new leaves, but I'm starting to notice a bit more of a bitter flavor rather than the sweet flavor they had before. It's not a bad taste, just different. But since this is my first effort at growing lettuce in the desert, I'm still going to call this a success.

Next year, I'm going to get an earlier start on the greens by using some cold frames in the beds. I think I can start them indoors again, that worked out quite nicely this year. There was no noticeable transplant shock and they took off right away when I put them out in the garden. But if I use the cold frames or even a mini-tunnel, I think I can get them in the ground nearly a month before I did, by January 15th at least. That will give me fresh greens by the end of February or the first of March.

The onions have recovered somewhat from the dogs in the garden. I didn't lose as many as I had initially expected. I don't know if the reduction in green tops will slow down the development of the onion bulbs, that kind of makes sense, but most of the damaged ones have begun sending up new leaves. They still taste good when pulled green and taste is important. I hope they get well developed before the really hot weather gets here. I'm not sure what they are going to do then.

Speaking of hot weather coming, I'm putting in my melons and squash plants this week. They love the heat we get and last year's cantaloupes were the best I think I've ever eaten. I loved having a half melon for breakfast, especially when I walked to the back yard and picked it fresh. I'm only using non-hybrid seeds on them this year, I don't want to buy seeds next year so the F1 hybrids are out.

Also, I'm only going to put in 2 plants of each squash type. I don't think I need quite as many gargantuan zucchini's as I got last year. It was disheartening to see so much go to waste because we didn't eat it all and didn't give it away fast enough.

The experimentation with the worms is quite interesting and I'll blog about that soon. I'll even add some photos to show what we're doing here. That should be interesting.

Late spring is an exciting time for me. With the early veggies to taste and the growth in the garden to get me excited about summer's possibilities, I find I want to spend much more time in the garden each day.

I should have been a farmer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts