Garden update, it is starting to really look great

Well first off, we had a visitor enter one of our garden beds this last week, leave some tracks as evidence and cause us to wonder what animal it was. The animal must of been a good size as it left a deeper imprint than a large 15 pound rabbit would. I mention rabbits as I see them all the time around here. The imprint itself was 1 1/2 inches deep. In addition, the spacing between the tracks was about 2 feet, measured by having one square with the track the next square not having any tracks and the square after that having the next track. The animal didn’t bother any of the plants, however it did dig up some of the dirt in a square we had already harvested from. I personally think it was a possum as I had found one hit by a car on the side of the road about half a mile from our place. It could also be a raccoon  of which there are a lot around here. Unfortunately this track was the end for the life of a daisy that had spent its life battling slugs, rabbits and every other type of herbivore. The animal stepped right were the daisy plant was and smashed into the ground. However this print does show off the fluffiness of the dirt. As the square foot garden method instructs we will not step on it and with the rotation of crops we add a scoop of compost into the dirt when we plant a new plant which really helps keep the dirt loose all the time.

In the greenhouse recently we have our plants really taking off. It has been pretty humid in the greenhouse and my camera decided the lens needed to fog up a bit, sorry about that. Anyway the pepper plants are on the left side and on the right side I have the bear spots from which I had transplanted the tomato plants. However, before I transplanted them this greenhouse was starting to look pretty green with all the foliage. I had a problem with the string dividers I was using to separate the squares when they got loose from the staples and fell out so now I am looking for some plastic  dividers that should hold together a little better and not go slack. Now for the plants if we start on the left and go around the greenhouse we have: lemon basil in the clay pot, Serrano Peppers in the first square, an unknown pepper plant in the black pot, Cayenne Peppers in the next square, Bell Peppers, Anaheim Peppers and Jalapeno Peppers. The Serrano Pepper plant from last year it in the big pot seems to be battling some type of disease so it most likely will not survive through the year. Returning to the plants in the right starting in the back we have a celery plant to the left and the lima bean plants at the corner. Coming up we have maybe another pepper plant, however the tag said it was a tomato plant even though the leaves really look like the leaves of a pepper plant. Then we have an indoor plant in the pink pot, Butter nut squash in the next square and 2 pepper plants in the black pots and another one of Kerstin’s indoor plants in the clay pot. All the pepper plants in the pots are in their second year but with the moving in and out of the house during the spring I forgot which pepper plants were of which type (Cayenne, Jalapeno, and Bell or Anaheim).

Our back porch has a ton of coneflowers growing, which to me look like thistle plants, and also two heads of lettuce. The lettuce shows that you can grow lettuce on the north side of the house in shade. However, the lettuce is still pretty small and you would need to harvest both heads to get a salad but you should never let sun placement stop you from having a vegetable garden, you just might need to grow even more then someone with perfect sunlight. Now seeing that we have plenty of room in the front garden area you might ask why did we plant lettuce here? Well we didn’t actually I threw a lettuce seed head into this bed last fall and left it over the winter and finally watered it in spring with the coneflowers and now we have some lettuce.

In the main garden area the first picture is of the upper northwest bed with the transplanted squashes, the transplanted tomato plant, chives, fennel, carrots, burgundy bush beans, a head of lettuce, artichokes, daisies and a Brussels Sprouts plant. Hopefully the weather will finally turn into summer and we will get above 70° during the day for a prolonged period of time and the plants will start growing vigorously again. On the lower portion we have our two carrot boxes (Atomic Red and Cosmic Purple) which just are showing the new sprouts of another carrot crop that replaces the ones devoured earlier by the local wildlife. The Pole peas like climbing but they do not want to be directed and instead find that climbing west is preferable to taking the north trellis, thus I placed the bamboo sticks creating an “after-the-fact” trellis to give the peas support, while to try to direct them northwards. The two squares of celery are finally growing some good stalks. We do have one celery plant from last year and it is trying to go to seed which makes us harvest the stocks as they start flowering. The dill plants are also starting to take off, they just need more sunlight like the rest of the garden, so hopefully July and August will bring the warm, sunny days of Western Washington. The south boxes are actually the worst looking ones right now, the southwest (on the right) contains cilantro, strawberries (on the sides), cherry tomatoes, atomic red carrots, corn, collards, broccoli, and Denver half long carrots. However for some reason they are not doing very well which could range anything from fertilizer to pH to insect control, but hopefully things will pull through on their own. The corn I might have planted too late and so might not get anything in time for a fall harvest. Another bad event that happened recently was that something came and nibbled a bit off of the tomato plant’s top. I though this was interesting because the plant itself is poisonous, which might be why it only topped the plant instead of devouring the plant. On the other hand the southeast box seems to be doing a better job and the onions at least seem to be growing pretty well. I am hoping this year to get a good crop of the Egyptian walking top set onions and we will be able to use them in a lot more of our dishes we prepare. This year I have 24 times as many Egyptian onion plants as I did last year so That should provide me with more than 200 bulbs for planting and 24-75 full ready to eat bulbs. We find that a full size bulb is a great addition to stews and sautéed vegetables and they have really good flavor.

Anyway the garden is coming along, but between work, helping my father with his kitchen cabinetry, working around my house trying to tackle a mountain of papers on my desk and overall life in general I haven’t been as dedicated as I should. With a resolve to spend a little more time in the garden caring for it and getting down to the reason why the south boxes are having so much trouble hopefully in a month I’ll have better pictures to post.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jackie on June 21, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Come do my garden already! AND, maybe it was a person! lol It looks like a shoe imprint.

  2. Posted by David on June 21, 2010 at 8:16 am

    That would be a small foot (about Isabelle with shoe size). Also you notice how there are toe print, that usually indicates a possum or raccoon since their feet look like hands.

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