Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's Growin' On: 5/11/06

Realization Of The Day:
I started tomatillo seeds back on March 8th. And haven't done anything except water them since. Crap.

From Garden To Table:
I did it again last night. There was just no way I was going to get to sleep without one, so I harvested another late night lettuce salad in the pouring rain. No thunder this time at least.

--Another inch of rain yesterday.
--Caught a few strawberries blushing.
--Spied some flower buds on the raspberry canes.
--A couple of the basil seeds I sowed on May 4th have sprouted.
--Lots of little Fordhook Giant Chard seedlings poking up between the two varieties of beans planted on May 1st. (Only one row of beans has sprouted so far.)
--Still unrelocated spiderwort in mini greenhouse raised bed has busted through top wire cover and is threatening to burst into bloom.
--Entire arugula patch in greenhouse is about five seconds from bolting.

Need To. . .
--Make more arugula pesto (and fast), post recipe, plus write about everything I've been doing with this scrumptious stuff.
--Replace tomato plants and pepper plant that have had tops broken (?) off. Little tomato plant even had a cage on it.
--Start summer squash seeds today (directly in the ground--where? where?):
-Early Prolific Straightneck (AAS Winner from 1938)
-Black Zucchini (Pinetree says "Yields aren't as large as with the hybrids, but still provide plenty of squash for the average family. Flavor is unsurpassed. This variety was originally listed by the Jerome B. Rice Seed Company in 1932.)
-Golden Zucchini (oh I really hope I get some of this to grow--they look gorgeous and Baker Creek says the slender, bright golden-yellow fruits "are as delicious as they are attractive."
Will be trying my planting in sawdust experiment--and anything else I can come up with to beat the squash bugs to my bounty.
--Weed the other half of the garlic bed. Weeds are taller than the garlic. Gosh they love manure.
--Thin out entire purple kohlrabi plants--just nabbing the leaves for salads is not giving the the crowded little seedlings any more room to grow.
--Decide whether I should murder these tomatillo seedlings and start over direct seeding, or snip off the flowers and hope they don't think they're some obscure, 6-inch high dwarf variety and refuse to grow any taller.
--Remember to check previous Need To lists because I still need to do almost everything on some of them. (Oh, wait. I originally said this was "A Partial, Ongoing, Never-Ever-Going-To-Be-Completed List." Maybe I should just ignore the old ones then? I think this particular part of my online garden journal definitely needs some re-thinking--or years from now I am going to look back and see the thousands of things I never got around to doing in the garden. Oh, wait. I decided back on April 10th that didn't matter. So maybe I should skip the lists altogether.)
--Check the e-weather because the sun has just vanished, the wind is blowing like mad, and it looks like it's going to start raining again.
--Get off the computer and out into the garden!


  1. On average how many potatoes do you get per plant?

  2. Isn't arugula pesto great? My friends in Italy turned me onto it when my arugula was out of control last year.
    I see trouble on the horizon for all my greens and crucifers this season..I'm already seeing flea beetle damage and its too windy for diatomaceous earth and too wet to spray neem oil. rats.

  3. Please do post the arugula pesto recipe! I just came across your site on the gardenblogs site - how fun! I also start seedlings and have no idea where they'll actually go - it's a planting obsession I think. Not such a bad obsession though.

  4. I’m very intrigued with the arugula pesto!

  5. Yes please post the recipie! I planted arugula especially because of this site. I think it should be good up here in the cool summers we have. (Colorado) Your potato planting reminds me of the Ruth Stoat gardening video, (I hope that is spelled right)who plants her potatoes by throwing them on the ground and putting spoiled hay on top of them. No digging!

  6. "I started tomatillo seeds back on March 8th. And haven't done anything except water them since. Crap."

    Me too. I mean, I'm not sure if it was March 8th, but, um, yeah. Me too. I keep meaning to do something about that.

  7. Hi Angel,
    I'd say I get anwhere from 4 to 8 potatoes per plant, in varying sizes. I don't get huge yields, and this may be because I plant my potatoes closer together than you're supposed to (mine are about 1 foot apart at most and then three 8-foot long rows in a 4-foot wide bed--I know you're supposed to leave like 3 or 4 feet between rows, but I just don't see why, and that isn't possible in 4'x8' raised beds). Also, I stopped cutting the potatoes apart and setting them in the sun to cure before planting--I just put them whole into the ground. But I'm happy with my harvest.

    Anybody else want to share how many potoates they average per plant? I have no idea what a "perfect" harvest would be.

    Hi Steven,
    Ah, flea beetles! My arugula is full of tiny holes (and I'm pretty sure it's the flea beetles). The problem with them is that they don't usually make stuff inedible--just ugly. I generally end up just gritting my teeth and waiting for them to go away.

    I'm definitely getting lazier in the garden as the years go by (like with the potato planting thing I mentioned above). But I still plant and harvest more than we can eat, so I suppose it's okay, LOL.

    Hi Pam,
    Welcome to my kitchen garden! Thanks for taking the time to write and say hello. Good for you for starting some seedlings. And yes, it's definitely an obsession--and not such a bad one (well, most of the time). : )

    Arugula pesto recipe should be up in a day or two.

    Hi Yellow Dog,
    Nice to see you over here. Arugula pesto coming soon. : )

    Hi Paintbrushpoet,
    Nice to see you here, too. Now I remember why I didn't get around to responding to these comments earlier--I felt bad that I didn't have the arugula pesto post ready.

    So glad to hear you are growing some arugula. Yes, it definitely likes cool weather. Oh, I envy your cool summers! The baby leaves make the best pesto, so hopefully yours won't be too mature by the time I get the recipe up.

    Also, you can do succession plantings--a row or two (or small patch) every week or two for, well, for all summer if it's cool enough.

    Ha, I like Ruth's potato planting method. I kinda copied her without realizing it with my second potato plot I planted this year. Another article I need to get written and posted!

    Hi Jamie,
    I still haven't done anything with those poor tomatillo seedlings. I think it may just be time for an early death in the compost pile. If I direct seeded some now, the plants would probably be bigger and healthier than if I transplanted those stunted seedlings.

    Of course they aren't the only thing I never got around to planting. Double crap! : )

  8. Do you have any suggestions for starting tomatillos from seed? I live in the southwest area of Missouri. I don't have a greenhouse but I have a growlamp. Last year I tried starting tomatillos from seed and the stems kept falling over and rotting before they ever got true leaves on them. Do you use a special seed starting soil? How much light do they need to start? So many questions!


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!