Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is It Food Yet?

I thought for once instead of concentrating on my flowers, I would document my two raised veggie beds, and what I have growing in them. Most of my veggies are doing ok, but with this cold, wet Spring they are growing slowly, even the peas, and at the moment I am rather despairing of ever getting any food out of them.
It was almost too pretty to eat.

Although I do have quite a bit of lettuce, and we have had a few lovely salads already this Spring. But that's it.

 All the pretty lettuces

With the sun we had last week, the peas have shot up, but there is still no sign of flowers. I gave them all a sprinkling of kelp meal. I've heard that encourages flowers.

The little plant in the square pot is a ginger mint -- don't want to put that in the bed

Next to the lettuce is Brussels sprouts. And interplanted between them are some rainbow chard. I don't know how workable that is, but I hope they don't interfere with each other. Also, I think my timing is off. The chard should be bigger by now (I just transplanted it from the little cups it had sprouted in), and if the Brussels sprouts ripen before Fall, they might not be as tasty as they should have been. I've heard that if you can set them up to ripen just as you get your first frost, they turn much sweeter. I've never grown either Brussels sprouts or Swiss chard before. The garden is always a learning experience.

Next to the Brussels sprouts is the herb section. Clockwise, starting with the chives at 3 o'clock -- French tarragon, Borage, Genovese basil, wedding lavender, and flat leaf parsley.

I bet you want to know what wedding lavender is. When my son and his wife got married in 2009, this was the wedding favor.

Last year I sowed the lavender seeds, and the clump is bigger this year. There were also basil and parsley seeds. The basil of course was an annual, and grew last year, but the parsley seeds never germinated.

Next to those herbs are fava beans. If you look closely, you'll see that to the left of the fava beans are three little clumps of lemon basil, grown from seeds that came all the way from Australia, from Diana, who writes the blog Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls.

There are flower buds on the fava beans, but they are taking their time opening up.

In my second raised bed are the indeterminate tomatoes under the hoophouse (posted about here) but at the end where the plastic wasn't long enough to reach, are two rows, one of Walla Walla onions, and one of leeks.
My three (count em) Walla Walla onions

I don't know why, but I have a devil of a time getting onion seeds to sprout, and once they sprout and are transplanted, they won't thrive. These three have been in the ground since last November, and are still tiny.

I have much better luck with leeks.

Most of these leeks will stay in the ground till next winter, some will be harvested late in the fall/early winter, and some will actually overwinter, and be harvested early next year.

A couple of weeks ago I potted up my determinate tomatoes, and planted them under Walls-o-Water. I'm hoping the WoWs will help them grow faster and bigger.
The one on the end is a Sun Gold (I ran out of WoWs). The Sun Gold is the only one that I didn't grow from seed, I bought it at Fred Meyer. I've heard such good things about it, I wanted to give it a try.

Some of the toms have already reached the opening at the top.

I have four more determinate tomatoes growing in pots and WoWs in the front garden, on the South Side of the house, on top of river rocks. I'm trying them in two different locations, to see if one is better than another. They definitely get more sun here. And I'm counting on that river rock to reflect some heat.

A couple of days ago, I transplanted some peppers (Early Jalapeno and Poblano) into one-gallon nursery pots. I've run out of room in the raised beds, so I'm trying them in pots. I've never grown peppers in pots before, so I don't know if one-gallon pots are big enough. We'll see. I do know that they like even hotter temps than tomatoes, so I've enclosed each of the plants in a little plastic tent.

Back by the raised beds, I have four more peppers, as well as two Partenon zucchini plants, and a pot of Greek oregano, all started from seed.

Well, except for some blueberry and gooseberry bushes (hopefully not planted just for the wildlife), and the rhubarb plants mentioned in my last post, that is all my food plants.

Oh, I have some potatoes that aren't planted yet. That's this weekend's chore. I hope I'm not too late.

Geez! Spring always makes me feel like a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.