Tuesday, June 8, 2010

shoots and leaves

The Three Sister garden was a total fail. Out of a packet of 75 corn seeds, I have exactly two (count 'em, two) corn sprouts. I did plant them a touch early, and some of them could have rotted in the ground, but I still suspect squirrels or starlings ransacking the plot, since the next day my mounds were rather flattened and there was a large amount of bean seeds tossed aside. So the beans themselves have a less-than-ideal germination rate, and, surprisingly, the kidney beans from the pantry were more successful than the Kentucky Wonder Pole beans. (The navy beans also sprouted, but rather sporadically.) I have no idea if kidney beans are a bush or pole bean, but I guess I'll find out. And now I'm going to have to go buy stakes or something for my Kentucky Wonder Poles.

Just about everything else is doing smashingly well. The basil was a little slow to germinate, but it's filling in now, and the other herbs are also coming in very slowly and maybe kind of thinly, but that's my fault for not weeding as well as I should have. The beets are currently gorgeous (see photo above) and getting big enough that I can thin the rows and eat the baby greens. The lettuce (see photo below) is equally gorgeous, and I picked this variety specifically because it is so pretty (the name, Forellenschluss, means "speckled like a trout"). The spinach is already bolting, so I guess they really weren't kidding when they named it Gigante d' Inverno (Giant of Winter). The weather has not been seriously hot (we had a few days in the 70s) but perhaps that is still too hot for the spinach, and I will have to wait until fall for a second planting.

Kale and chard are coming in, although the chard seems a little slow and spotty, which is disappointing because it's my favorite green. I've been pulling up a handful of radishes every day recently--thumb sized at best, but crisp and juicy--and the carrots are coming in nicely behind them. Pea vines are flinging tendrils out around each other and the sticks I put out for them to climb up. The transplants are all doing what they're doing. Transplants are kind of boring this time of year.

And look: I have wild strawberries. There are many plants throughout the yard (I wanted to try to mow around them all, but it's hard to keep track of them; I need to weed out the turf and dandelions and plantain and etc.) but, coincidentally, the biggest patches of strawberries are on either side of my garden gate. And, not so coincidentally, the biggest, most robust strawberries are on the inside of the gate, where they've benefited from a dose of Hobbes' compost.

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