Tuesday, July 4, 2017

summertime garden

 photo summertime 2017_zpsekztmgyt.jpg

The tomato plants formed their own jungle biome. But then the pattypan squash plant has come along quite well in the last week and may dominate everything. I have lettuce and arugula on the edge. We will have an increase in temperatures later this week. I am predicting the squash plant will win this battle. The lettuce will most likely wilt.

I have Black Krim, Paul Robeson, Green Zebra and one Brandywine. The Brandywine is the one that struggles each year. The beach environment is just too chilly for Brandywine to flourish. The black Russian tomatoes invariably do well each year (that would be the Krim and Robeson). The green zebra likes it a bit warmer than the black Russians.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Boysenberries and blackberries

 photo June 10 2017 berries and sungold_zpswbhdfbte.jpg

I have been picking the berries since May 22 this year. I think I have one week more to go for a total of a three week window. I generally harvest the berries at least every other day. This year I have placed a netting around the boysenberries for the first time because the birds like them too. It seems the birds have figured out a way to get the topmost berries despite the netting.

I think this is a bigger crop of berries than in prior years. One likely factor was our very heavy winter rains of 2016-2017 because I do not generally water the berries. The plant seem to be fairly drought tolerant.

It is a real treat to have boysenberries. Mine are fragile and fall apart easily. I really have no idea how they would handle being picked, packaged, and then sold, even at a farmer's market.

The next task will be to target the vines which bore fruit and to cut those canes back completely. Berries develop on the second year canes so I try to make sure the first year canes stay intact.

The orange things are a few Sungold cherry tomatoes. The first Sungold I harvested this year was May 3. At this point of the year, we are still early in the season, and I have been getting 6-8 cherry tomatoes every two days, just enough for a tiny salad.

more on boysenberries here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

First Black Krim tomato of 2017

 photo black krim May 24 2017_zpsc1afwjxx.jpg

It's early to be harvesting tomatoes in this area, I know. Here's the back story.

This tomato plant overwintered on my balcony because I planted the seeds in 2016 a bit late. So it sat there through our torrential rains of 2016 and did not even try to bear fruit. Did I also say that the balcony in the winter also gets basically zero hours of direct sun? Definitely no incentive to do anything but survive. Nonetheless, I chose to keep it because I had read tomato plants, in its natural environs, could be perennial plants and just maybe I could get a head start on tomatoes in 2017. I got the poor plant into the ground March 16, a month after I started seeds for this year's tomato plants, and it did well, which is why I have a tomato to harvest so much earlier than normal for this garden plot.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March bouquet of freesias, fava bean tops and nettles

 photo March 8 2017_zpswgyqngxk.jpg
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. Anonymous

I've got freesias, fava bean tops and stinging nettles bouquet to take home from my garden. These are the first of the freesias. I sauté the fava bean tops in extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I make tea from the stinging nettles.

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