Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Death, life, and other surprises in the garden

The garlic plants are keeling over, as is the season. If you took one from me in May or acquired one otherwise, you might want to check its status. I try to dig them while there is still some green leaves that I can use to tie the clove up to dry. I have a convenient place in my kitchen, but the standard advice is to dry them in your attic.

Less cheerfully, most of my nasturtiums are succumbing to black aphids. We bought some lady bugs from Home Depot last week, but they don't seem to have done their job. Most of the pea plants are just plain dying, due to the woodchuck's assault. We do each get 2 or 3 peas each evening for dinner, but other years we have been eating and freezing abundant peas at this time of year.

On the happy side, the raspberries and blueberries are delicious -- and not illegal, immoral, or fattening. We get a few little tomatoes each for dinner. This is a big treat in June! I heard on NPR this evening that there is a Florida regulation that registered tomato packers may not pack any tomato less than 2 and 9/32 inches in diameter. How sad! (and odd)

I've been cleaning out the volunteers next to the fence, which went wild. Their chopped stems were unexpectedly tasty in last evening's stir fry. I thought they might be dying, but after editing them, I now I believe there will be many more good meals from there. Meanwhile, I sowed more lettuce and collards seeds.

We had for dinner this evening the 15th (!!!) zucchini that I've harvested
in 2009. Guessing that these five plants will die in another month or so (at which time I'll put collard plants where they are now), I have sowed some zucchini seeds where the Sugar Ann peas were in front of the grape vines. I want five new plants, so I sowed ten seeds in pairs. Nine germinated, and I dug out four today.

I put two each in two containers that are now on the right side of my steps, available for taking. Zucchini is not to be entered into lightly. The plants are BIG, at least a yard in diameter, and they need lots of sunlight. If you have that kind of space, the first two to get them are welcome to them. This crop may bear until frost.

There is also still one container of two tomato plants waiting patiently for a new home on the left of the steps at 56 Gordonhurst.

I have far more baby arugula than I need. Is it worth my time potting them up and putting them on the steps? Or do they go to the compost pile?


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