Saturday, September 7, 2013

Early September in the Garden

Things are looking pretty good. I planted three pumpkin plants and have one pumpkin to show for it - but it's like a magazine-quality pumpkin. A nice high-end magazine, like Martha Stewart Living.

Elsewhere, the prolific mini-Romas are slowing down, but still coming, as are the golden cherry tomatoes (two of those, and that wasn't too many). Since we have a long, strong Indian summer, I should probably be more patient and plant my tomato plants after the traditional Mother's Day date. I bet I'd get more, longer. Hmm. I just can't wait... the sight of all my neat little tomato plants lined up in the ground makes me happy!

A benefit of our generally mild-to-cool climate close to the bay is that lettuce and cilantro are - theoretically - year-round crops. This is the first year I've tried cilantro. The photo shows my 5th sowing ready for picking, and my 6th sowing coming in. I cook with cilantro frequently so I'm motivated to figure out this fussy-ish crop. It didn't like my pot or some other locations in earlier sowings, but so far so good in the lettuce zone. You don't get a ton of seeds in each pack, and my "helpers" always scatter the seeds like crazy, so this is probably my third or fourth pack.

Lettuce is a finicky crop for me. I had wild beginner's luck with it in 2010, our first year in this house. We ate salads straight from the garden for a couple months straight. My husband was in awe. And then... and then... virtually no luck in 2011. 2012 was a rebuilding year. And now in 2013, I've been doing monthly sowing and getting small heads fairly regularly, as you can see in the photo. We like Salad Bowl and butter varieties. I've also done okay with microgreens in a pot. I have a feeling that lettuce might be one of those crops that would prefer being in a planting box instead of directly in the ground. There's also a watering conflict with the tomatoes, in terms of the frequency they want it. I do hand or sprinkler watering instead of drip irrigation - I am interested in drip but haven't gotten around to educating myself enough to implement a system. Maybe I also think it's overkill on my small plot - about 6x15. But clearly over/under-watering is the #2 issue in my vegetable garden.

The #1 issue ... bamboo. Grrr.  Photo shows uninvited guests coming in from neighbor's yard.

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