Friday, July 24, 2015

Good News – Bad News

20150721 014I harvested the garlic a few days ago and it looks great – some of the largest heads I’ve ever grown! A big part of this success is due to the type of garlic I’ve planted. It does very well over cold winters, and we definitely had one of those! But I think cutting the scapes early also helped, and since I now have a wonderful garlic scape pesto recipe, I’m sure I’ll cut the scapes early next year too.

In other good news, the basil has finally started to perk up! In fact, I had to stake one of the basil plants last weekend to keep it from collapsing under the weight of all its new leaves. This is especially good news because Mr. Scoakat found a recipe for a basil potato salad several weeks ago; I’ve wanted to make it but the grocery store we usually shop at doesn’t keep a steady inventory of anything, and they don’t seem to know how to store produce, so we haven’t been able to buy any decent basil. Now, I’ll be able to use basil from the garden, and I’m sure the salad will taste so much better.

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The green onions and radishes are also doing well. I harvested some of both and all of the micro greens a few days ago. The carrots aren’t doing as well; only about half of the seeds sprouted.
In news neither good nor bad, I finally got around to removing the purple raspberries that were going nowhere. The red raspberry plants still look great.

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And now for the bad news – even the tomato plant in the bucket has blossom end rot. On the bright side, I’ve solved the “soil or roots” mystery. It can’t be the soil; the soil in the raised beds is top soil mixed with (many years of) compost, the soil in the bucket is a garden soil/potting soil mix. So, the problem must be the roots; something is preventing the roots from absorbing nutrients... I guess that’s another mystery to solve.
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Catching Up

In my last post I failed to mention the arugula and micro greens I planted behind the basil. Both have started to sprout, as have the radishes and carrots. There’s still no sign of the lettuce; I think I can safely throw the rest of those seeds in the trash.

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A couple days after my last post, we ate the peas I harvested a few weeks ago. There weren’t many, so I sautéed them in butter, added some left-over rice, and mixed in some parsley (also from the garden) at the very end. It was a nice side dish. The peas had that super-fresh taste you only get from your own garden.

I’ve partially solved the mystery of the failing tomatoes – its blossom end rot. But is it due to a natural lack of calcium in the soil or is something preventing the roots from absorbing calcium? My best guess is the latter, caused by inconsistent moisture levels in the soil.

I thinned out the radishes today and the green onions are coming along nicely.
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Something small stole the last few ripe strawberries. I’m not sure what (It definitely wasn’t a squirrel, they can’t get under the awesome cover Mr. Scoakat built!) but I suspect a field mouse. I haven’t seen any mice in the area, but the idea of a little mouse munching on a strawberry makes the loss easier to handle! On the bright side, the plants are doing very well. They’re producing so many runners, I might not need to buy more plants to fill the space currently occupied by the purple raspberries (which will be coming out very soon… maybe this weekend).
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So that just about covers everything that’s happened in the garden since my last post. I’ll try not to be away for so long again…