I waited and waited to plant this year. It was too cold for a long time. Then there was a sunny Saturday and it went up to 95 degrees. Then it got cold again, down into the 40s at night. Finally this week I had some time and it was only expected to get into the 50s at night, so I jumped at the chance.
Well, I planted the sugar snap peas at the far right of this shot a few days earlier because they’re supposed to like the cool. Then yesterday I planted two Persian cucumbers, a Sugar Baby watermelon, a crook-neck yellow squash (back row) and a straight-neck yellow squash (front row.)
AND the temps rose into the mid-nineties again today. The cukes look pretty unhappy, but the squash is looking all right.
You will note the absence of zucchini. Three years of massive zucchini crops and I just don’t have an appetite for them any more. I thought it couldn’t happen to me.
This garden plot has been well prepped– compost dug in a foot or more deep, new chicken wire fence, and Sluggo (not toxic to critters other than snails or slugs!) to ward off the obnoxious snails. I put the squash plant out in a planter over night to harden it off and the snails ate right through the stalks of 2 of the 3 plants in the four inch pot! The last one, they ate half way through the stalk, but it seems to have responded well to my planting the chomped part beneath the soil.
Well, these guys on the front porch, in my new Earthbox, which rests inside the cool planter box Hydra made for me are doing all right. The back of the planter sits on the foundation of the house so it takes up less room on the front walk! Planted here: back row : basil, dill, parsley; front row: cilantro, Thai basil, and a red bell pepper.
This red bell pepper is the ONLY survivor from all those lovely seeds I sprouted or tried to sprout this spring. I guess I just don’t get sprouting. The larger plants, like the muskmelon and acorn squash broke when I tried to transplant them. The other little ones just shriveled up.
New spearmint plant seems happy on the front porch, where it gets afternoon sun.
There’s lemon thyme in the chicken planter by the front door. I’m not sure how I’ll use it–any suggestions?–but I find all types of thyme attractive, and they like our hot dry climate so much that some are like shrubs now.
The rest of the Earthbox garden! Left to right : 1) two Juliet grape tomatoes, 2) yellow bell pepper, Shishedo pepper (Japanese), orange bell pepper, 3) Juliet grape tomato and Paul Robeson tomato. Juliets have produced wonderfully for us in the past. Maybe will three I will actually be able to share some. I am so stingy with my home grown tomatoes…unless you come to dinner and then they are all yours! I’ve heard good things about the Paul Robeson but didn’t think I’d have the chance to grow one myself. Thanks to Sego Nursery, I will! (Also found the coveted Shishedo pepper there… will I be able to grill them like they do at Yamato??)
And I apologize to the two tiny bell peppers I put in yesterday, that were burnt to a crisp yesterday. I replaced them with the yellow and the orange today. I haven’t had any luck with peppers in the general garden, so I’m hoping these will do well in the box. I could put 2-3 more small plants in there. More bell peppers? I”m not used to having extra space.
Hydra worked and worked on prepping this space, which was where the evil ground squirrels had dug so much dirt out from under the deck that it was bowing out the fence behind it. Thanks, Hydra. I will always share my tomatoes with you first!
The whiskey barrel is a culinary mash-up. At the back is an extra sugar snap pea from a six-pack of them. Then the surprise resurrected rhubarb in the middle, the big thing is French thyme from last year, and there are also small Thai basils in here, from a six-pack. I love this stuff.
The first rhubarb leaves were eaten down to the veins by the snails until they met Sluggo. I pinched those off once these new leaves got started. The plant bolted, but I cut that off. Does anyone know about rhubarb out there? Will the remaining stalks be flavorful at all?
I dug some of the French thyme up and transplanted it to the rock/flower garden on the street side of the house. I love it when I can transplant things from one place to another and it works!!
Last but not least, to the herbs I kicked out of the garden plot, which was a smaller herb-centric garden for many years, I owe a great debt of gratitude for your perseverance! One of those clumps of chives has actually been moved several times. More thyme, flowering in the foreground, then sage behind it, then yet another Thai basil (may as well see how it does in the different microclimates around the yard), and a fennel bulb. I’ve been wanting to try fennel for a long time, too, and finally got around to it. Partly because I finally started cooking with it this year.
Did I mention that the nice woman at Sego told me to plant the fennel and the dill far from each other, or I’d end up with them tasting like each other? They do more than look alike, they’re actually related. I have high hopes for this since Cyclrey told me that she’s seen it growing wild in SoCal!
So, um, thanks for helping me inventory my garden. Now when I need to figure out just what is succeeding and what is not having such a good life in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to come back here and be sure what I’m looking at.