Monday, May 29, 2006

What's Growin' On: 5/29/06

Realization Of The Day:
Something has been munching on the Straight 'N' Narrow beans. Bummer.

Been getting a fair amount accomplished in the garden despite the oppressive heat and humidity (summer is here!):

--That storm back on the 24th was mostly for show--and what a show. When they say 'cloud to ground lightning,' they aren't kidding. And it was literally in the backyard. But for all that flash (ha ha, weather humor) we only got a half inch of rain. No rain since then, so I've been watering every day as temps have been in the upper 80s and low 90s in the shade.

--Weeding, weeding, weeding.

--Did a major clean-up in the greenhouse, including folding up and putting away the huge pile of sheets and blankets used to cover plants over the winter and tidying up various containers, etc. Gosh did that feel good. Moved several of the potted herbs and flowers back outside for the summer. Also made a few decisions about the future use of the greenhouse, including:

--Deciding to turn that beautiful patch of volunteer arugula into a permanent arugula bed. I will simply let it all go to seed and re-seed itself. I may be able to get several crops a year. Once this batch goes to seed, though, I will probably not water the plot until late summer, as arugula does not like to grow in hot weather.

--Deciding to bite the bullet and make a permanent herb bed across from the arugula. Although some of my herbs (like the lemon balm and Greek oregano and sage) are thriving in pots, others (like the rosemary and thyme) are not. It's a risk, especially with the rosemary, but what's the worst that will happen? The stuff dies next winter. I'm excited.

--Put cages around many of the tomato plants.

--Trimmed off 'useless' leaves on most of the tomato plants so energy will be focused on producing fruit.

Realization #2:
Using a pocketknife to trim tomato leaves is so much easier and neater than trying to snip them off with your fingers! I won't admit how many years it took me to figure that out, especially since I am rarely without a knife in my pocket.

Minding The Moonsigns:
Tomorrow and Wwednesday are fertile days in the first quarter. These are the best days to plant nearly all seeds except those in the tomato/pepper/squash families. I'll be planting a few varieties of bush beans to replace the ones I planted last month that never sprouted, plus extras in case the midnight muncher returns to polish off the rest of the row. If your weather is still cool, consider planting more lettuce, arugula, or other salad greens.


  1. The weather here has gone into the 80's and things that were chugging along nicely like the spinach and the radishes are suddenly going into use it or lose it overdrive.

    The tomatoes are in and since I planted the San Marzanos in one long row this year I think I'm going to try the "Florida Weave" trellis method.

    The bean damage looks like a rabbit or that deer has been at it.

  2. I was guessing the same as Steven on the bean damage - deer? Do rabbits nibble out the tops? (I lost all my broccoli tops my first year to deer...)

    Got the peppers, onions and some bean seeds in yesterday. Dropped 2/3 of the cages, all of the stakes, and the wall-o-cage-material for the cuke trellis off at the garden plot on the way to friends' for Memorial Day cookout. Hoping to get more planting done tomorrow after work. So envious of you guys with your backyard gardens.

    FG - how close is your garden to your backdoor? I know out at my grandparents farm, even with all their field and garden space, it was like a 5-10 minute walk from the door, through the yard, around part of the shelterbelt, etc to get to the gardening area.

    Same here with the weather - incredibly hot and muggy today. Granted, I'm saying that now as we're just hitting the upper 80s...I still haven't switched over to summer-weather-tolerance mode. Before too long these temps will feel nice!

    BTW - Somehow I blacked out at a garden center recently and picked up a pack of lemon cuke seeds Susan. I blame you. I don't plan to start TOO many, since I recall your horror stories of them taking over an area of your garden! ;-) But I'll give 'em a try at least... Still need to plant the Dragon Tongue beans as well.

    Happy gardening!

  3. I agree with the gentlemen. Looks like deer.

  4. hey, at least you still have bean plants!!! mine have been eaten by some bugs and the leaves are just lacey versions of their former selves. i need to dust with de i suppose. the poor things keep putting on new leaves to no avail.

    last fall, i transplanted my rosemary in the cold frame AND. IT. LIVED!!!! i transplanted it back into my kitchen garden this spring and it's growing like crazy. i'm doing that from now on!

    we have gotten practically NO rain here. i think this month, it rained once? maybe not even. last month, we got 2 rains. that's it.

    i've decided our location sends out negative influences that bounce the rain clouds away as all the other communities that surround us get rain a lot. watering takes me about 2 hours a day. i told greg last night it's time to invest in drip irrigation or soaker hoses.

  5. Hiya,

    Would you mind explaining the importance of minding the moon for planting?


  6. Hi Steven,
    I've decided that ultimately I would like to plant my tomatoes in long single rows. I love my raised beds, but they're really not set up size-wise, etc. for big plants like tomatoes, so I tend to really cram them in, and harvesting is sort of difficult. Don't know the Florida Weave trellis method. Looking forward to reading about it on your blog.

    Re bean damage: Well, I saw that deer inspecting the garden just the other evening, and the last several mornings I have seen some sort of hoof/paw prints in several of the beds. I also busted a rabbit in the garden yesterday. This is SO embarrassing because my beagle, Robin, is an ace rabbit catcher! If the prints in the beds were from the rabbit, though, that is one big bunny. I'm actually surprised (knock on wood) that the whole garden hasn't been munched down.

    Hi Jeph,
    Great to hear from you. Oh, losing all your broccoli tops is just plain depressing. How awful.

    Sounds like your garden is in full swing--yippee!

    The entrance to my garden is probably 40 feet (at the most--I'm bad judging distances outside) from the backdoor--very handy.

    Um, "before long these temps will feel nice?" PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share the secret of how you "switch over to summer-weather-tolerance mode!"

    Oh no. Here comes more blame again. You blacked out at a garden center? Blacked out? I sure hope you didn't go there alone--gardeners like us should ALWAYS be supervised in places like garden centers. : )

    P.S. You're gonna love the lemon cucumbers. And if whoever asked what lemon cucumbers are recently (Beverley maybe?) happens to be reading this, they taste like cucumbers but got their name because they are the size, shape, and color of lemons. They have a nice mild flavor and are fabulous in salads. They are also easy to grow. I've found they do better here than many other varieties of cucumbers. I think in other countries they are also known as 'apple cucumbers,' but I'm not positive they're the same thing.

    Hi Just Jonna,
    You'd think with a couple thousand acres full of delicious woodland yummies to choose from, the deer would overlook my tiny patch of cultivated people food! : )

    Hi Stella,
    Oh no. Your poor beans. I used to grow all kinds of beans year in and year out with nary a problem--I'd put dozens of packets of blanched and 'suck-sealed' beans (I use a FoodSaver) in the freezer each summer. Now it seems like every time I turn around something else is attacking the harvest in some way--or the beans aren't even sprouting. Hmmmm.

    There are many years when it seems like we are in one of those "no rain" holes, too. Everybody around gets 2 inches and we get zip.

    Well, you've convinced me. Into the ground in the greenhouse the rosemary goes! Thanks!

    Hi Hitchhiker72,
    I just emailed you, but I'll welcome you again to the farm and garden. So glad you're enjoying your visits and that I've already got you hooked! Pizza---yummmmm! Hope it came out tasty. Thanks for taking the time to write. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    P.S. I bet you'll have great success with your salad and tomatoes. Lots of organic fertilizer for those tomatoes in pots!

    Hi Karen,
    I wouldn't mind at all explaining more about the moonsign planting thing. In fact I've been meaning to for weeks and weeks (along with about 16 other things I've been wanting to write about--where does the time go?). I'm hoping to put something about the moonsigns up either tonight or tomorrow. If not, then later in the week. But I'll definitely get something up soon. Thanks for your patience--and for asking.

  7. Hi Farmgirl,

    Summer is definitely here in Missouri! I miss those cool Spring nights already, but love the extra long days for pulling weeds and enjoying my garden... grillin' and sippin' on something cool!!


  8. FG -

    I had some help in the garden for a couple hrs yesterday. The neighbor lady and her 6yr old, 4yr old, and 1ish yr old came out to have some fun planting potatoes. Oh, and make mud. LOTS of mud.

    I found it's really hard to instruct and supervise the kids and sound like I know what I'm doing when they're off in all those different directions and I'm changing the rules as we go.

    "Mr Jeph - how far apart do we plant the potatoes?"

    "Um. Two feet?"

    "We're running out of room! You have too many!"

    "Ok, 4 inches should be good - just pack 'em in there. I know some will make it and some won't...we'll find out later this summer!"

    Now we got the purple dragon tongue seeds spaced just fine, right along the edge of the potato area, but then they ran back and forth down that path so many times, hosing everything, that I'm hoping the seeds didn't get packing in too deep. Eh - this is part of the fun - we'll find out how well they do if they sprout, right?


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!