Here’s what the bean sprouts look like this morning. They’ve grown an inch in two days. Amazing.
This didn’t take long….the white things that look a little like maggots in the dirt are bean sprouts.
I have seeds! Now that vacation is over and fall is nearly here, it’s time to start thinking about planting. I have to get the beds ready – I need compost and new soil. And I have to cut back the overgrowth of the lawn that is creeping up the sides of the raised beds. I’m going to put the cherry tomatoes in a container and hope for the best.
Every time I come to the UK (this is my fourth trip) I’m dazzled by the beautiful gardens that people here create around their homes. They all have flowers galore, and here on Orkney I’ve seen some really nice vegetable gardens too. A lot of the homes seem to have small greenhouses in their back yards as well. I’m sure that would be necessary to prolong the growing season here.
Yesterday we were in Stromness, and walked past a beautiful veggie garden tucked into a tiny back yard. Someone had really put a lot of work into it. It’s very inspiring. And it has inspired me. I missed a whole spring season of gardening this year, and I have a lot of catching up to do. I want to get serious about cleaning up the front yard and getting flowers planted. I want to eventually have edibles in front too, but for now flowers are quicker and easier and prettier.
I already have some seeds at hand at home. I know I have a packet of yellow carrot seeds and there are three others – probably some lettuce and cabbage. I ordered Chinese long beans and more lettuce just the other day and the seeds will be waiting for me when I get home. I’m going to get in all my supplies first then have a big planting day when I’ve got all my soil improved. And I’m going to get pots of flowers for the front yard first, then start digging out the weeds and planting things in the ground.
I have a dead bay tree to get taken down, and I want to plant a couple of live oaks to give the house more shade and protection.
There’s a lot to do! But first I have another week of vacation. 🙂
Now, bring on the rain!
There’s a 70% chance of rain this afternoon, so I rushed to get these planted today. I used both raised beds, and added a new bag of organic soil and half a bag of manure to each bed. Since I had trouble with blossom end rot the last time I grew squash, I added calcium in the form of crushed eggshells from the organic eggs that I got from the CSA farm a couple of years ago.These seeds were packaged for 2010. So I don’t know if there will be any problems as a result. I’ve kept them indoors in the a/c, in a dry place. Maybe that will have been enough.I’ll find out soon!
I cut down the “rogue” tomato patch last night. It had gotten so thick that I couldn’t reach any of the tomatoes inside the tangle of vines. Ralph was determined to get to them, and I had to pull him out of there with every trip outside for him. And, for the most part, the tomatoes were kind of weird.
They were supposed to be plum tomatoes, but most of them never got close to that size. Most of them, also, were kind of “spotted” with yellow. The yellow patches were internal, though. They really looked odd. And they weren’t anything I really wanted to eat. I got a few good ones at the beginning, but the rest seemed to be sort of defective. I’ve had four of them sitting on my kitchen windowsill for a week now, and they haven’t changed a bit. The yellow isn’t going away, so it doesn’t seem to be a ripening issue.
The plum tomatoes that I got last year from the farm were fine; this year’s “rogue” tomatoes were their descendants. So it looks like the farm was using hybrid seeds rather than heirloom.
All of the seeds that I’ve started are heirlooms. If I ever get any tomatoes from them, I’ll be sure to save the seeds.
Now that the heat of summer is here, my garden production has slowed waaaay down. The lettuce, potatoes and carrots did great, as well as I could have expected. Everything else, not so much. The bell pepper transplants that I got are producing, but so far I haven’t been able to harvest any of them. The one that got big enough had some kind of damage and I had to toss it.
The tomatoes got very tall very fast, and very slender, and now forward (rather, upward) progress has nearly stopped. They’ve all bloomed, but not much. I have a suspicion that they don’t like being in pots. Even though the pots are plenty big, the difference between those and the “volunteer” tomatoes that came up out of the compost pile is striking. Maybe they’re holding too much water?? Maybe there’s not enough room for the root systems, even with the large pot size??
The bell peppers and eggplant that I started from seed are growing very slowly. They are now at about the size that the transplants were when I got them. Again, pot size should be big enough, but maybe it’s not.
I want to spend part of this weekend digging a bed in the back yard. I may try to transplant a couple of those potted peppers. I want to have a good-sized bed going by mid-August, when it will be time to start planting fall veggies. I’ll stick with containers for potatoes and lettuce, and last year the broccoli did very well in the container too. Plants that get big, though, are going in the ground. It’s too much work to not get any results!