May 17, 2017

Spring Vegetables Planted May 11th

After being delayed for more than a month, the spring vegetables like kohlrabi, bulb fennel, spinach, mizuna, and tatsoi seedlings were planted out in the garden on May 11th. It's already pretty warm in Western Kentucky so who knows how well they'll do, but we shall see what we shall see.
Tatsoi. Slugs have been nibbling on a couple of the plants. I've looked to make sure its not cabbage caterpillars since the moths are definitely around.
 Lots of sad little bulb fennel seedlings.
 Mizuna.
 Kolibri (F1) and Winner (F1) kohlrabi.
And a couple lonely lonely spinach plants which will likely go to seed in the very near future.
Carentan leeks.

The leeks were planted using the trench method. I also dug down a couple inches with my fingers while planting each individual leek. There's about 100 seedlings spaced maybe 4 inches apart, as they gain some size we'll start thinning the rows.

May 16, 2017

Peppers and Eggplants Planted on May 10th

The pepper bed.
Aji Lemon pepper
Jalapeno pepper.
Three Violetta eggplants sharing a bed with tatsoi and Di Parma bulb fennel. At the end of the bed will be 3 tetra-pods of pole beans.
Three Tonda eggplants sharing a bed with mizuna, Mantovano bulb fennel, Winner (F1) kohlrabi, and Kolibri (F1) kohlrabi. And a row of cucumbers will also be planted along half of the fence line.

The peppers and eggplants were all planted out on the May 10th in the garden. I was out at the garden center looking for some Hungarian Hot Wax peppers since I only had one seedling of that variety germinate, but since they didn't have the Hungarians I ended up picking up some Hot Banana peppers instead. Hopefully they're good in salsa. Here's the list of peppers I grew from seed.

Only 6 eggplants were planted in the garden and there's definitely a few flea beetles around. I'm treating the soil with beneficial nematodes again this spring. I've only seen one grub in the garden this year, after watering in the little creatures last spring. Either way, the nematodes really seem to help because we were infested with flea beetles before. You used to be able see them just teeming in the soil.

May 14, 2017

Tomatoes Were Finally Planted on May 10th

Yay! Planting the garden has finally commenced. Wednesday, May 10th was a nice cloudy day with rain predicted in the next day or so. Perfect time to start putting plants in the ground. That morning my husband tilled the garden again to work in the rabbit manure and azomite rock dust we just spread out over the whole area.

First up. Tomatoes and more tomatoes were planted out 2 feet apart. I started out planting deep and amending each planting hole with crushed eggshells, used coffee grounds, and a handful of worm castings. But that was taking too long considering rain was in the forecast, so with my husbands help we just started putting them in as fast as possible.
The 2 beds in the front contain Brandywine, Black Brandywine, Dark Brandywine, and Yellow Brandywine. Brandywine usually does very well in our hot sticky climate ripening before the end of July.

You can see we have already started putting up the tomato cages. The galvanized steel cages are 54 inches tall which will be staked with 6-feet-tall bamboo poles held on by zip ties.
The powder coated cages in the back are 42 inches tall and were purchased off of a friend. There's a path down the middle of the garden leading to the greenhouse so each long bed was split into two.
Fat Cherry forming tomatoes.
Black Cherry also blossoming and forming fruit.
Sungold hybrid with little itty bitty cherry tomatoes forming.

 Brandywine with its distinctive potato leaves flowering.
Granny Cantrell's German Red tomato.

Tomato plants were started from seed March 12th. Normally they would have gone in the ground at the end of April but the wet rainy weather was against us this year. So they are much larger than usual, which means I won't have to worry about bird predation. Woohoo! I can usually count on birds destroying half the tomato plants that are set out in the garden, instead there are now lots and lots of extra tomato plants... My husband says he'll visit some neighbors tomorrow and see if they want any.

Just about every variety has blossoms or tomatoes forming. I really think the greenhouse has hastened the growth and maturity of the plants. Since this is our first year with a greenhouse, we'll find out at the end of the season if that will affect overall yield.

May 2, 2017

Greenhouse Update

Tomato plants in the greenhouse are really tall, the ones in the quart yogurt containers are between 18 and 24 inches tall. It must be the greenhouse making them grow like this, they look leggy to me.
More weirdly tall tomato plants. It's been a warm and very very windy last couple of days so hopefully the ground will dry out soon and I can get some planting done.
Can you see the blossoms forming on the tall one in the middle? Yeah, they're everywhere. Almost all the tomato plants have flowers.
Nice fluffy leaved eggplants. I've killed 3 flea beetles and there doesn't seem to be anymore damage so far.
And the pepper seedlings are still doing ok. Most of the plants are of the Numex anaheim types like Big Jim and Joe E. Parker, but I also got Jalafuego hybrid and Aji Lemon to germinate as well as Early Jalapeno.
And the Mizuna and Tatsoi are out of control. There's 6 Mizuna plants in styrofoam cups under that mess of leaves, I've been picking off outer leaves lately and they actually seem happier for it.

It's probably a good thing I wasn't able to get anything planted before the rain. By Sunday our entire backyard was underwater. My husband said a couple of roads were still washed out on Monday when he went to pick up some rabbit manure for the garden. But luckily a couple of really windy warmish days have dried out a lot of it.

In other news, my partner built a deck in our backyard in April which has been inspiring him to do some grilling. Today he grilled steaks, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and pineapple. So good. It's going to be a wonderful summer of grilling.