Sunday, March 26, 2006

More Doing Than Writing!

I've had 'update garden blog' on my to-do list for a while now, and can't believe it's been almost a month. I've been out in the garden several times each week, though, so at least I have a good excuse. I now have a few dozen assorted tomatoes and peppers and an eggplant or two that I started last month, all transplanted to 4-inch pots (and in some cases, 2-liter soda bottle 'pots', to build a nice deep root structure). I have space for maybe 9 tomato plants, of course, and possibly a dozen pepper plants (or 10 and a couple of eggplants), so this will be entertaining. I've already given away my first tomato seedling, a tiny Tigerella destined for a container on a sunny patio. My seedlings are now on a plastic shelf with copper tape around the shelf legs, as That Which Chomps in the Night has topped off two Super Shepherd Frying Pepper seedlings and a Jimmy Nardello. Curses!

Radishes are coming up, early peas are blooming and second set of peas are about a foot high. I've got some scarlet runner beans starting in six-packs in the greenhouse, but I'm worried that they haven't sprouted yet and it's been over a week. Tiny, hair-thin scallion and carrot leaves are up in the salad bed, as well as cute dime-sized mesclun leaves and the beginnings of beets and chard. We're getting broccoli side-shoots from the de Cicco broccoli, but had only one small head from the lone romanesco broccoli. I'm thinking of sowing a second broccoli crop, but need to check into the temperatures first-- will it stay cool enough long enough? What *is* cool enough? This is the first time I've grown broccoli.

The garden to-do list is *enormous*-- will try to take some pix and post them soon, in between all the other stuff. Need to start my leeks, cucumbers (mini-pickle and mediterranean), some basil (lemon and genovese), daikon, shiso, start melons in the greenhouse, get kabocha and summer squash started in the greenhouse, transplant the cukes and the spaghetti squash that I purchased in a weak moment :-) and pot the new rose geranium that I found amidst all the boring unscented geraniums. I also need to transplant a 6-pak of alyssum, transplant what's LEFT of the two delphiniums in 4-inch pots (snail victims), etc. I transplanted all the big self-seeded zinnias from the corner of the garden where we're moving the greenhouse onto, only to find this week that the snails have eaten them down to leaf ribs. I will have to start making flashlight rounds vs the snails.


Blogger farmgirl said...

Hi there,
I linked here from the nice comment you left on my new gardening blog. Thanks for all your kind words. Glad you're enjoying your e-visits to my farm and garden. Interesting--I had originally planned to move to Vermont or Maine but ended up in Missori. Hopefully you'll get back to the country soon. In the meantime, it looks like you're doing great things in Urban Heck (ha ha, love that term). I look forward to reading more of your posts and watching your garden grow.

As far as RSS feed on my blogs, um, I'm embarrassed to admit I still haven't figured out how to set it up. I do know people subscribe to Farmgirl Fare via Bloglines, if that helps at all.

Best to you,

11:40 AM PST  
Blogger CoastalCAGardener said...

Pam Peirce's entry re: broccoli says that seeds can be started indoors from December through July. Although, having lived in the area that you garden, I suspect you can squeeze plants in until April. But I would guess they would want to be short-season (90 days or less) varieties. Edward C. Smith suggests that the growing soil temperature be 60-65 degrees. I've looked for my planting calendar from Common Ground without success. They publish a nice planting calendar for that area and it's inexpensive.

I enjoy your blog. I especially liked the articles about Urban Gardening, but all your posts are interesting.

Best Regards.

12:21 AM PST  
Blogger Strata said...

Thanks much, CC. It gets pretty hot here in Sunnyale, and things start bolting about now. I might try growing some broccoli in the summertime along the fence where it stays shady part of the day, but I'm just not sure how it will work out. This was my first time growing it-- I'll do some things differently next time, like using floating row cover to keep off the 'grey plague' and also planting in a shadier area. Would like to freeze some next year for later use.

10:02 PM PDT  
Blogger CoastalCAGardener said...

I hate the "grey plague". That's exactly what it is, too. I'm using compost tea on my just-beginning-to-marble brussels sprouts. This is a first time experiment, I'm seeing if that helps keep them away, but I may have to get rid of the plant before I get a crop. Sigh.

Next year, I too may try using row covers. I may also use a different bed than the one they are in; it didn't get sufficient sun during the winter and slowed their growth. I think in the winter, the cruciferous veggies want lots of sun.

4:19 PM PDT  

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