Monday, May 4, 2009

Braccias, eggplants and peppers

Well - our baby was finally harvested this weekend, so we welcome a new gardener to the family.

In the days leading up to the birth, we kept active in the garden a little bit. Yesterday I transplanted 5 eggplant, and 6 peppers into the cold frame. These were started as seeds in a six packs on or around 3/11. They had gotten to be about 4 inches high and I was afraid that their roots were going to get too bunched up in those six packs if I kept them confined much longer. I don't plan to plant them unprotected in the garden until June, so that is still a long time to wait. I prepared a small section in the cold frame and covered them with one layer of plastic. I plan to keep these covered in the evenings and on cloudy days. On sunny days I will open it up for ventilation.

I also did some various transplanting this weekend. I moved the cabbage and broccoli out of the cold frame and into their permanent homes in the sun garden. For the most part these seedlings have done quite well. Throughout the early spring I noticed that a few broccoli leaves had begun to be eaten by critters. I very liberally plucked these seedlings and tossed them in the compost pile. So the remaining seedlings (both broc and cabbage) are very healthy and big. I'd say they are between 6 and 8 inches high. There are 14 total (6 cabbage and 8 broccoli). I spaced them approx 12 inches apart. I composted the bottom of the planting hole and also side-dressed the seedlings with compost. This sun garden plot also has some spinach and green onions growing in between the braccias. The groundhog has not found the sun garden yet, so I am hoping that these veggies are safe. He ate all the braccias in the sq foot garden.

I weeded, respaced, and composted the cold frame lettuce and spinach. I could not be happier with the health and vibrancy of these. Not a bug hole in site, and big thick spinach leaves. These are much, much better than any spinach I have ever grown before. The romaine lettuce is also top notch. Some of those heads are approaching 1/2 size. One head now will give us a full family salad.

I dropped a few radish seeds in the corn row of the sun garden in order to keep the succession planting moving along. My radishes took a hit from the groundhog last week.

I hilled up the potatoes for the first time. They look wonderful and seem to grow 6 inches a day.

I planted some foxglove, delphinium, and rhubarb inside in homemade seed starter mix. I had previously started all these seeds inside in January and it is looking like that was way too early. The seedlings started strong and were ready to transplant long before the outside temps were ready. Then they just got weak and leggy inside. I doubt any of the transplants that we tried will survive. So we are trying again.

The harvest is up to 6.5 pounds for the season. Asapargus, spinach, lettuce and onion tops are being harvested daily. As you can see in the photo, we are also harvesting cut flowers including iris, lilac, azelea, and bleading heart

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