Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain-soaked Garlic

As anyone who lives here is well aware, we have had a LOT of rain in 2009. Our unscientific rain count is up to almost 31 inches here at our office. We are ahead of the airport, who is officially about 7 inches above normal. WOW.

Every book/article/publication I read about garlic says 'Don't water up to 2 weeks before harvesting garlic'. Well, try doing that this year! Some of the garlic is 50-75% dead, so to me, it's harvesting time, regardless of whether or not we've had 2 weeks of dry. Here's what I pulled up today.

I took a picture of them uncleaned to show just how gobby and wet it was. This bed is still mostly clay, even though we add organic matter every year. The variety pictured is 'Belarus' I think. We had a lot of plant death due to onion maggots and bacterial soft rot which made my rows out of whack.

They've been hung up with the other 8 bulbs I harvested 3 days ago. Here's a weird thing, I planted some garlic at home about 2-3 weeks BEFORE this garlic and none of it is ready to harvest yet. Not sure what that tells me except different sites, same varieties, different harvest time -- it's all about your site, I reckon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Carrots in Containers

Yep, I'm a weirdo. When it comes to plants, I try things that sometimes aren't normal. Most of the time I fail , but every once in a while, well, I hit the jackpot.

Look at these carrots I grew in a half-gallon milk jug. I can't remember when I sowed the seeds exactly but it was in the late winter. I thought 'What the heck', see if I can get a few fresh carrots from a windowsill. Truthfully, they've been sitting outside for about a month, but the germination and early growth was on a south-facing windowsill.

You'll notice some black holes in the container where there's still one carrot left -- that's where I pulled them from. My 2 kids were amazed, but we ate them last night along with new potatoes harvested from our compost pile! ha

Friday, June 05, 2009

Square foot gardening

I'm doing a couple of 4 x 4 foot square foot gardens at home. It's been interesting, to say the least. I've planted carrots, spinach (which has already been eaten/yanked), and fingerling potatoes.

The potatoes have been interesting to watch -- the Square Foot Gardening book (by Mel Bartholomew) says to plant 4 potatoes per square (12" x 12"). I barely covered them at first, then as they grew, I piled more and more soil mix/compost around them.There are 3 different varieties of fingerlings in this 4 x 4. It's weird how different potato plants can look.