Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring into summer

It's definitely spring.  Most days it's pleasant to be outdoors, and things are greening up rapidly.  Last week I re-stained the deck after applying a bleach cleaner to remove the mildew.  I knew there was a short window before the trees began dropping loads of pollen and catkins everywhere, and I just got it done in time.  Now the pond is covered with an oily sheen from all the tree 'crud' falling into the water.

The Paw Paw trees that I wrote a post about last fall are blooming now.  The flowers are pollinated by flies, not bees, and have no odor that I can detect.  From what I've read, a low percentage of flowers are successfully pollinated.  Some commercial growers hang pieces of rotting meat in their groves to attract flies.  There are hundreds of flowers, maybe I'll get a few ripe paw paw fruits.

What's this?  Could it be, is it, asparagus? Yes, it is.  I've already picked a few spears, which went into a salad. 

Potatoes were planted in burlap bags, Kennebec and Yukon Gold.  The growing medium is a mix of soil and rabbit poop compost.  I have some doubts about this system, mainly that it will dry out too quickly.  There is a plan B:  put both bags in a plastic tub.  That system may rot the burlap very quickly.  For now I'll monitor the moisture levels and see how long it takes for the potting mix to dry out.

May's greenhouse finally got its peppers out on the racks.  From what I can gather from a conversation with an employee, there was a mechanical problem in one of their greenhouses that caused the loss of a lot of peppers.  I seed a few varieties myself and buy the rest at May's, since they sell them for a dollar a pot and grow nearly 60 varieties.  The seedlings were brought home, repotted into larger Jiffy cup pots and put in the coldframe.

This year I'll be growing:
  • Jalapeno.  It may seem like a pedestrian hot pepper, but there's a reason for its popularity:  it's an excellent pepper with thick walls.  Just right for an egg dish, or in salsa. 
  • Fish pepper.  This will be a new one for me.   I'm not growing Serrano this year (too small, difficult to cut up) and Fish is supposed to be about as hot, but larger.  It's also a very striking pepper, starts out pale green when it's used in fish dishes then takes on various hues and stripes as it ripens. 
  • Bulgarian carrot.  After reading some reviews and watching some taste tests on YouTube I decided to try this.  Apparently it can be much hotter than the ratings.  It's supposed to have a fruity, tangy flavor with a slow developing heat. 
  • Bastan ancho, from Johnny's.  Dave at Our Happy Acres grew this last year.  I'm hoping it will mature a little earlier than the ancho I've been growing:
  • Mosquitero ancho.  This is an excellent ancho, but last year it produced a lot of peppers too late to avoid the frost. 
  • Magyar paprika.  I got this from Renee's.  Can't wait to try it.
  • Carmen.  Wonderful tangy sweet pepper.
  • Mama Mia Giallo.  An orange sweet pepper with a bright flavor.
  • Jimmy Nardello.  For snacking and pizza topping. 

A 4' x 12' bed is now fully planted in cole crops.  It looks like the first kohlrabi will be ready in about a week.  There's still one more set of cole crops in the cold frame that will go into another bed. 

Tomato and okra seedlings are growing indoors under the lights.  Cucumbers, Vertina for pickling and Diva for slicing, were seeded two days ago.  All of the hot weather plants that are seeded indoors have been started now.  Squash and beans remain, which will be seeded directly into the beds in mid-May.   What's the state of your garden?

1 comment:

Margaret said...

That's a wonderful assortment of peppers - there are just so many varieties out there, just like tomatoes, choosing can be difficult.

I've never seen paw paw flowers before - they're lovely! Wouldn't it be wonderful to get some paw paws this year? I'm hoping this will be the year that I finally get a taste of my nectarine and apples - waiting is not easy!

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