Saturday, July 21

Saturday, July 7

Wednesday, July 4

garden update: community plot, june 2012

The community plot is doing well, despite several incidences, and is filling out nicely. Summer has not quite arrived in Vancouver; we've had a few days of sun but the past weeks were damp and I haven't had a need to put away my cardigan sweaters.

We've been planting seeds and seedlings since April. We've also been harvesting cool season crops, including chard, perpetual spinach, lettuce, radish, turnips, and arugula. There are no more empty spots and everything is growing to be harvested in the next few weeks.

The tomatoes are starting to flower! We've been vigilant in pruning the tomatoes to try maximize the harvest. We snap off all the suckers so energy is spent on growing and fruiting. We also trim stems at the bottom foot of the plant to make way for the basil planted around each plant, but also to ensure no stems touch the ground and remain wet for too long (it's been very damp).

We're just harvesting the last of the quick growing spring crops, including the turnips which our rabbit, Beans, love so much. The turnips germinate easily and grow quickly, so it'll always find a home in this garden.

The purple and yellow onions we bought as seedlings from Tim Chiang's Garden are all doing well in their neat rows. We had several wind storms in spring so their leaves are all bent and whacky looking. They also have a "gangster lean" to the south since the northwest, north, and northeast are shadey. I was initially worried that we won't have a means to distinguish which are purple and and which are yellow onions, but the purple tinge on their stems are very telling!

By far, the star of this garden are the nasturtiums. I planted several varieties, but put off labelling them...then I had forgotten which is which. I love all nasturtiums equally so it's not much of a bother. Some are easily identifiable, but I cannot distinguish between "Peach Melba" and "Vanilla Berry". My plan is simply to collect the seeds and have a grab bag of nasturtiums.

The Green Arrow peas are almost ready for picking! We staggered planting this row to ensure a steady harvest. Each week we filled egg cartons with seed starting soil and seeds (three cartons per week with 6 slots each). Once all seedlings are at least 8cm (3") tall, the entire cartons are buried to soil level. This ensures the seeds are still perfectly spaced and there is less transplant shock. It's being held up (barely) by bamboo sticks fashioned into some semblance of a trellis.

Above is the photo of the transplated Red Noodle Beans. They were originally planted in the back of the plot where their tall trellis will not shade any other plant. Unfortunately, they weren't doing very well and were days away from completely withered. Meanwhile, there was a spot where the lima beans were planted but had very poor germination. (Note to self: Nature cares not how much you love them, it's too cold for lima beans!) The Red Noodle bean seedlings were moved, and just in case they don't make it I've direct-seeded more seeds beside each plant. They went in the ground really late so I'm expecting the worst, but am hoping for the best case scenario!

The sun should be coming out in July so I'm hoping for a sudden growth spurt and a basket full of harvest.

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