Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remington Garden 2011

I've been talking a lot about the Boone Street urban farm and community garden that my friend Cheryl and I are starting. But to have a source of my own food near the house, Chicken Man and I are still gardening the small plot in the Remington community garden.

Here's a photo update!

While I was originally worried that the peas were spread way to thin, I think the plants are actually doing better with so much room between each plant. I think there was at least four to six inches between each sprout. Chicken Man put in wire tomato cages, and they do well with such a strong trellis.

For some reason there is one purple pea flower while all the other ones are white! A genetic anomaly, or do you think there is some other cross-bred pea in my garden?

One of the most vigorous plants is the potato plant in the foreground of the photo below. It actually was a volunteer from potatoes that I must have left in the ground from last year or the year before! I think they might even be purple potatoes but I'm not sure. I'm worried they will be tiny since they were last year, but the plants are looking good and so we'll see how they turn out.

Chicken-Man was sweet enough to find PVC pipe and bend it into a frame for the garden. We are tying strings to it to trellis peas and cucumbers, and in the fall I hope to drape clear plastic over it to make a mini-hoop house and grow greens, carrots, cabbage, and beets.

Some of the plants were seedlings, like the large heads of lettuce and broccoli. The plants in the middle are kale grown from seed. Swiss chard is also coming up in a few places:

Some of the areas look more sparse (the beets and carrots came in sort of sporadically.) But that's fine, since we put in tomato seedlings and those will grow in to fill the area. Cucumber seedlings are another plant that should take over once the weather heats up.

Luckily the rain has been absolutely perfect, and I haven't had to water or really do much of anything save thinning out some seedlings and doing a little bit of weeding. One of the main tasks with all of these greens is to check the underside of your leaves for insect egg sacs, which will help keep down the pests later on in the year.

I usually look for leaves that are slightly damaged, then look closely under the leaf for tiny little white specks. Just wipe off with a finger! I even found some kind of group of orange eggs on the underside of a potato leaf and took that leaf off as well.

Later on in the summer when harlequin bugs become a problem pest for greens, the eggs you find will be black and white.

Last year
I had more beets and carrots coming up, peas again, volunteer fennel (I'm ripping that out this year), and a bunch of baby bok choy gone to seed:

As you can see, it gets a little easier to care for gardens as the years go by, as plants begin to sprout on their own, the soil gets enriched if you properly care for it, and you learn more about pest control and planting a variety of what you like.

If you don't succeed the first time, learn from it and use the lessons next year!

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