Monday, 20 June 2011

How Our Garden Grows

The garden continues to be a major consumer of our time. Mr. Ferdzy has started making trellises for the tomatoes. We are trying something a little different this year, since last years technique was not entirely satisfactory. This year we are trying posts strung with meshing set at the ends of the beds and between every four tomato plants, which are to be tied and woven through the meshing. We`ll see how this works. I have some doubts, but who knows.

I have been busy working on the weeding. One of the things that this has shown is that we continue to have a lot of trouble with cutworms, hence the large bald spots throughout the carrots, beets, turnips and even one of the onions. They mostly don`t care for onions, but the hybrid onion we planted by popular demand for a mild, sweet onion that could be eaten raw obviously suits the cut worms as well. Bah.

We are seeing if we can control them with parasitizing nematodes. This is somewhat expensive - it will cost about $100 all together - and not a quick fix either, as three applications must be made. We have made the first application, and there will be another in the fall and next spring.

Quite a contrast between the snowpeas, which are starting to form and will be ready to start picking this week, and the latest planted bean bed, which is still in the process of germination.

The leaf beds, mostly brassicas, are not doing to badly although they still look somewhat sparse, expecially now that they have been weeded. However, thing are growing along on schedule.

This is Purple Peacock broccoli, a cross made by vegetable breeder Frank Morton between broccoli and several varieties of kale. It looks a lot like kale, and the leaves can be eaten like kale, but it also produces heads of broccoli! How cool is that! We haven`t tried any yet but this is a vegetable I am very excited about this year. It`s an easy grower like kale too, and that`s a nice bonus.

Swiss chard was such a success last year that we planted more this year. It`s starting to be large enough to pick and sure enough, the birds are picking it. We do expect there to be enough for us too.

Our experiment growing potatoes in a box continues. We have decided that this is as high as we will pile the bin of dirt this year, and see how they do. The potatoes on the right were planted a week later than the ones on the left, and we will add soil on that side until it reaches the top of the sides. After that we will leave them to grow potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes, we hope. We won`t know until the fall how it has worked and whether it was worth all the effort and huge amounts of dirt that it took. There will be somewhere between 4 and 5 cubic metres of soil in there when all is said and done!


Jerry said...

Ferdzy, I was just about to send you email and ask about your big garden. Wow, that is a lot of work!!! I can imagine that you will not be able to stray too far from now on!
Week ago I got my first snow peas and first tomatoes will be ready by end of week for sure. Tobacco Belt, besides the fact I started seeds early March. But, I’m learning, thanks in part to your blog.

Ferdzy said...

First tomatoes! Holy sh*t! Ours haven't even started to form yet. I don't think we even have flowers. We are getting some peppers and tomatillos forming though. We started ours in March too, but we abuse them I would say - no fertilizer, little pots, not the greatest light even. Oh well. They survive and there should be plenty of tomatoes if the blight doesn't get them.

Snow peas will be this week I think, and garlic scapes for sure.

spencer said...

that is a huge potato box!

i hope your experiment works out, im doing a similar one except with straw, but just not piling it up as high.

if in the fall it turned out, it worked you might want to look up straw potatoes, could save some heavy lifting

Twwly said...

We straw mulch our potatoes instead of using dirt. No digging!

Ferdzy said...

Twwly, how deep do you put it? And do you get potatoes forming right in it?

We've been mulching our potatoes with lawn clippings to keep the weeds down, but not piling it too deep.

Ferdzy said...

And Spencer too. Sorry, missed that comment somehow.