Monday, September 8, 2014

Green Bean City

Solved a minor green bean mystery the other day. One of the plants on a pole had snuck up and over the neighbor's fence. When I noticed it and pulled it back over, I found some monsters on it - obviously inedible, obviously been growing for some time. When I plucked them off and redirected the plant, I hoped/feared it would spur more growth and in fact that seems to be happening. I'm getting a large handful a day now. The cherry tomatoes are all continuing their party too. My basil sadly just can't hack our crazy weather (cold and chilly until 1 or 2, when it might reach 70). None of my lettuce seeds have come up! Cilantro coming along, at least.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Zealous Zinnia

I am not a flower gardener, but the kids always pester me to put in some seeds, and I must admit, my son's zinnia is doing its darnedest to brighten up his dark little corner of the garden. It makes him happy, and that makes me happy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


We are still going strong with four varieties of tomatoes (insert bad word here vis a vis Green Zebra). Kids won't eat the Indigo Blueberries, and unfortunately it does look funny mixed in other dishes, like my homemade salsa, so it's one for the grownups to gobble out of hand. I sent one kid to school today with a tub of cherry tomatoes as a side dish for lunch - wonder if the other kids will make fun of him!  The other kid will only eat cherry tomatoes outside, straight off the plant.

Sadly, I'm seeing only minimal shoots from my two discrete sowings of lettuce, cilantro, and carrots over the past few weeks. I'll have to sow again this week. I need my cilantro!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's Pumpkin Season!

My pumpkin is still doing fine, although growing slowly - see the adjacent cherry tomatoes for comparison. I thought it was going to be Cinderella's Coach; now I'm thinking it's the Sugar Pie ones that have taken off for both me and my son. No matter, they will be gorgeous on our porch next month regardless of size.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Indigo Blueberry Cherry Tomato - Short Version: Don't Do It!

I've yanked out onions and sugar snap peas in the last week, and need to do the same with two out of my three pots of basil. ("Mommy, why do we have three basil plants?" "Bad planning, honey.") I have to wait a bit for the tomatoes to wrap up before taking them out, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be a long wait. Last year I was harvesting until November; this year, thanks to the nonperformance of the Green Zebra - exactly ONE fruit to date - and the lackluster performance of the Indigo Blueberry, we are under-tomato'ed.

The Indigo Blueberry grew to a respectable height quickly after it was in the ground, then spent wasted lots of time spreading and blossoming. Now, not only is it taking up too much space outside its cage (crowding is a possible factor in the Zebra's problems) it's very hard to tell if it's ripe. The fruits have to be pink ON THE BOTTOM. Hence, you have to CROUCH DOWN and squint UNDERNEATH at each individual fruit. Just because one of any given cluster is pink doesn't mean they all are. You have to look at them ALL. What a pain. You can see how many fruits there are on the bush... Who has the time for this kind of minute examination? Nothing special about the flavor, either. I am mad at myself for succumbing to the lure of the well-named tomato.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fall Planting

"Can I do the carrots, Mommy?"
Today is the first sunny day this week - and ironically enough, it's time for fall planting. "Assisted" by my three year old, I cleared a spot that hasn't been planted in a couple seasons (due to the previous bamboo problems). I dug in some new soil additives. My kid enjoyed mixing the two kinds of dirt together. Then we sowed beet, carrot, lettuce, and cilantro seeds. I'd like to do favas, but I don't have the space right now.

I haven't found a good plant marker I like. Or should I say, one I can put in the ground that my kids won't move. So today I just scribbled in chalk on the fence what was in each row. My daughter added some art to my notes. That should get us over the forgetfulness hump until (if) the rainy season, by which time something identifiable had better be coming up there!