Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Deck Garden - June

I've been remiss about posting our deck garden updates - even though Gordon has done a great job gathering the photographic evidence! So the photos here were all taken sometime in the month of June, but not all at the same time.

First we've got Gordon's awesome tomatoes. So far the Earthboxes seem to be delivering as promised. The plants are growing wonderfully and pretty much all have flowers. Some even have little green fruit already. Gordon planted 6 different varieties this year, so we'll have a contest to see which ones do best.

Then there's my "whiskey barrel succession garden". This one has been largely successful, but I have learned a few lessons. In the first picture you can see the bok choy coming up in the middle as well as the peas going nuts around the edges. I had a really really hard time bringing myself to thin the bok choy - so I didn't. I just couldn't bear to pull up any of it and lose the plants (see, I'm greedy - ask Gordon, he'll tell you). As a result the bok choy was pretty crowded and only some of it came out yummy. We did end up eating all of it - but I also think we left it in the ground a little too long. Some flowered and were really just one long stalk instead of the leafy yummy baby bok choy.

The peas are another story altogether. I wanted to plant bush peas here so that I wouldn't have to worry about a trellis. But when I shopped for my seeds online I couldn't find any. So I went with "dwarf" peas - hoping that they'd be the same thing. Well not so much, dwarf peas are shorter than normal pea plants, but they still send out tendrils and need a trellis. Well instead of putting a trellis in when I first spotted this problem I just let it go and procrastinated. By the time I DID put the trellis the peas plants had wrapped themselves around each other pretty well. Below you can see me trying to work them loose. We did get a bunch of peas from them - which we ate tonight yum - but I think they would have done even better if treated nicely from the start. Turns out the string trellis was pretty easy to put together too - silly me.

There's also Lily's toddler garden. It started out with pansies, easter egg radishes and thumbelina carrots. Sadly, the carrots and radishes suffered the same fate from desperate need of thinning. The radish were quick out of the gate and easily took over the pot. I didn't thin them and so they stayed relatively small and completely crowded out the carrots. Poor carrots never had a shot. We've picked and eaten the radishes already, so I may try putting some more carrots in there. Funny thing is that we got radishes in our first farm share and I was shocked at the size of them. Now I know what they're supposed to look like!

Lily has really taken to watering all the plants with us -she's pretty good at it too. For some reason her favorite is the mint plant - the picture below shows her watering that one. Grandma was genius to buy her this watering can for Easter -she loves it. Now she points to the back deck and says "cat" and "wawa". Since Gordon does most of the watering chores she'll often point out the window of her room during the day and say "dada wawa?".

And of course, the flourishing herb box. There's really not much we do wrong with this one now. The plants from last year: chives, tarragon, oregano and thyme, have come back in full force. Gordon added some sage, basil and rosemary transplants that are all doing great now as well. The sage is the winner there, but the basil is quickly catching up. We were worried about the basil at first, but now that the weather is getting warm they are doing great. I also planted some cilantro from seed and that's fighting its way up as well. In the picture on the right you can see our budding gardener surveying the scene outside her window.

The newest project are pole beans. Gordon built this awesome trellis for me out of bamboo. We went to Mahoney's looking for a trellis and were amazed that it cost nearly $100 for some pine boards clumsily nailed together. Gordon claimed he could build a better one. I was skeptical, but obviously had no reason to be. I love my bean trellis. I planted four "hills" of beans about 1.5 weeks ago and we've got four plants sprouting. Go beans Go!

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