Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm sick and tired of rain

I remember the sun.  It was a bright orb of light in the sky.  It may appear again.  One hopes. 
Harvest for the week:  Bok Choi 9 oz.  Spinach 9 oz.  Lettuce 4 oz.  Soon I’ll have to give some spinach away, for now I’m staying out of the beds and wet grass.  The bok choi was forming a small floret in the center.  I guess it was bolting.  Actually the floret was very tasty, like broccoli.  Which led me to speculate, a dangerous activity – is it a bad thing for cole crops to bolt?  It’s not like spinach, where the flavor goes south.
The brassica bed has two sets of crops 12 days apart.  The broccoli is at the top (north side) of the picture, as it gets taller than the others.  There’s room in the bed for a third set which is ready to go in whenever the weather permits.  Before the fourth set goes in some plants will have to come out.  I expect the kohlrabi and bok choi will do the right thing and mature in two weeks and cede their space to the newcomers. 

I planted potatoes – Pontiac Red and Yukon Gold –last Thursday.  In recent years I also tried out Kennebec and Irish Cobbler, but they don’t do as well as the Reds and Golds.  The three cages shown are 28” diameter.  The bed is 44” wide.  I placed the cages on the north edge of the bed and  planted four reds to a cage about 6” in from the edge.  In the remaining space in front of the cages (south) I planted six Yukon Gold pieces.  That should give easy access to the earlier Yukon Golds, in case I want to filch a few potatoes.  Next year I plan to try some new varieties but this year I’m going to see how the cages work out with varieties I’m familiar with.

Before planting the potatoes they were dusted with sulfur (fungicide).  If the squirrels dig and find a tater the sulfur will likely deter them (it would deter me).  After the potatoes were planted I gave the soil surface a light dusting with sulfur as an additional squirrel deterrent.   I haven’t asked the squirrel how it feels about sulfur dust.  I noticed that it dug in the bed next to where the potatoes were planted but not where the bed was dusted with sulfur, so maybe it stopped the little demon.
Since bed space is limited I use a lot of vertical structure.   Today I put up the cucumber trellis.  It’s one of those duct tape and baling wire contrivances made from the folding tomato trellises that are useless for that purpose.  They were repurposed  for cukes and are near the end of their useful life.  When it comes to functional items I tend to use something until it just can’t be made to work anymore, then I replace it.  I pieced together two sections about 5’ long and 4’ high, hammered in two 8’ fenceposts at the north side of the onion bed and wired the two trellises stacked one above the other to the post for a 5’ wide 7’high trellis.
It's shaping up!


Daphne Gould said...

I still haven't made up my mind about how to build the cucumber trellis. I'll probably just do the same as I do for my beans though. I do have a few metal posts left though and I might use them. I'll have to see what I have to use in the basement.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

We just got back from the southern highlands and are potatoed out :) Such beautiful creamy mash :)

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