Wednesday, July 26, 2006
the garden report
It has been foggy in the low areas the last couple of mornings, even though low temperatures have been warmer lately, 50's and 60's. The fog makes me think of September, when it more typically occurs. Despite the apparent abundance of moisture in the air, we could still use more of it on the ground. There was a brief but drenching rain last night; we received a quarter inch. On the surface everything was wet but an inch into the raised beds it was still bone dry.
I've been picking pickling cucumbers, hoping to get to them before they get too big. I have maybe enough for a quart of pickles so far, but there are lots of flowers. Bring 'em on, I have plenty of dill and garlic this year!
I'm thinking maybe it's time to give up on the sugar snap peas; a week ago when nighttime temperatures dipped into the low 40's they responded by sending out new leaves and flowers at the tips of the yellowing vines, but I don't know if that will amount to anything. Perhaps I could get a fall crop in if I plant new seeds now; the hottest part of the summer should (I hope) soon be behind us.
My pepper and eggplant bed has made an amazing turn for the better. Just a week or so ago most of the plants were looking sickly. Many of the peppers lost almost all of their leaves in a late frost in June, but I kept them in the garden partly as an experiment to see if they would recover. It took some time, but now the stems are covered with shiny green leaves. They are loving the heat and apparently not minding the drought.
Tomatilloes are looking wonderful as well. The two I planted from large transplants would be about four feet high if they cooperated and stood up, and I have about eight of them from tiny transplants or seeds that are about two feet high. All are blooming.
Tomatoes are covered with flowers and green tomatoes. Now is the annual time of anticipation; it seems to take forever for tiny green tomatoes to turn into red, or pink, or yellow, ripe ones. My earliest varieties said 55 days; it's been almost that long since they were planted. The trick with tomatoes is to keep them evenly watered, and not overwater them. Not a problem this year.
I need to get out some evening and rejuvenate my greens bed; spinach and cilantro have bolted, the second planting of lettuce is looking tired, the mizuna is getting more bitter and tough, and the rabbits nibbled off the beet greens. Funny; I see rabbits furtively hopping from the garden as I approach, but they don't seem to eat enough to be a problem.
Note to self: Daikon radishes are easy to grow, they get large, and they taste better than red radishes. That said, you really don't enjoy radishes enough to plant 3 or 4 rows of them!
Enough said for now; gotta go start doing.