Friday, June 1, 2012

Pea Season: Edibles in Progress

"Super Sugar Snap" Pea flower

Several 3-4 day bouts of rain this past month have made the ground soggy. The plants, for the most part, are loving it, though.  Especially the weeds!  This is always a tough time of year because signs of bounty are visible but not yet harvestable.  What can you do? Wait, pace, ponder and pinch the bugs off.

Asian Pear (3-in-one)
In March I planted 4 fruit trees in the backyard plot:  Lapin Cherry, Sunhaven Peach, Stanley Plum and a 3-in-1 grafted Asian Pear, an “orchard starter” pack from Miller Nurseries.   All seem to be leafing out just fine, but a couple of them aren’t getting as much sun as I’d like.  Time to think about clearing some trees, I'm afraid.

I’m so excited to finally be getting some grapes on my 4 year old concord grape vine!  It was not happy in a container on the deck but seems to be thriving planted up against my chainlink fence on the side of the house. 

They're flowering now and I see a lot of grape leaf moth larvae(?) on them.  I tried to spray them off with the hose, but they're destroying the leaves.   And I may have to deal with birds at some point.  
These are wild “wineberry” raspberries that grow like crazy in every untamed area near here. 

Whenever I find one in my yard, I plant it along the side fence.  They’re doing much better than the “Carolina” raspberries that I got at the plant sale last year. 

In my backyard raised beds I have “Super Sugar Snap” and “Blauschokker Blue” purple-podded peas, spinach, garlic and arugula. 

Sweet peas for the sweet

In the wine bottle bed, chives, lemon balm, mint, and oregano.   
I've started harvesting strawberries, too. 

"Blauschokker Blue" pea flower

On the deck I planted an old BBQ grill with lettuce and kale.  I pick a few leaves from here daily for sandwiches.  I have mostly flowers up here, but horseradish and Anise Hyssop and two kinds of thyme are growing in containers here, too. 

I planted "Bluecrop" and "Misty" blueberries in the barrell planter on the deck.  It's a small but nice-looking crop this year.

Almost forgot the figs.  Both “Brown Turkeys” are leafing out and I see a few baby figs on the way – not as many as I’d hoped for, though.

In the community plot I also have some very peppery “rocket” arugula, “Bright Lights” swiss chard, “North Pole” lettuce, mesclun mix, “Purple Dragon” and “Scarlet Nantes” carrots, “French Breakfast” and “Rattail” radishes, Lilac, Orange, Red and Green peppers.  My pepper plants looked like they were going to succumb to a fungus last week, but I pruned them pretty ruthlessly and sprayed them with an organic fungicide and they seem to have recovered.

Some of my tomato varieties this year are “Ramapo” “Rutgers” "Big Beef" “Beefsteak” “Early Girl” and “Best Boy” .  

I have zucchini, “Bush Delicata” , “Buttercup” squash, “Minnesota Midget” cantaloupe, “Banana Melon” and “Miniature Watermelon” started.   The “Banana Melon” seeds are not germinating well at all, and both the melon and cantaloupe seeds have been eaten by slugs(?) I'm guessing.  If anyone has any tips for getting these up and running, please pass them on!

“Japanese Long” and “American Slicing” and “Lemon” cucumbers are ready to climb up an old baby gate. 

Herbs in the community plot so far this year are cilantro, “Pineapple” mint and lemon thyme.  More blue peas and some “Scarlet Runner” beans climbing up the little teepee.  
Leah, sunbathing
The weeds were completely out of control so I put a weed block down on the paths and am slowly adding more mulch from the chicken coops.  Unfortunately, the girls can only produce it so fast...and then it has to compost.  So I'm supplementing with bag mulch too.

It's always exciting to see all the plots come together in the community garden.  Fun to see (and envy!) all the different designs and techniques.  Visit my neighbor Dr. Duncan Bell's blog, and check out his cool auto-gardens, too!  


k said...

I can only plant up next to the house (rented), and the "dirt" there is just backfill. I'm up to grass now, from the horrible "weeds hardly even grow" condition it was in. I'm thinking I'll start investing in long frames, one at a time as I can afford it.
I did get a cherry tomato planted, and my morning glories are coming. Even the daylilies are getting ready to bloom (after my daughter accidentally whacked them down.
I think a greenhouse run is going to happen tomorrow.

Ashling said...

Wow....your plant bounty makes me weary; I thought we'd planted alot, but we can't hold a candle to your abundance! I currently have kale gone wild, snow peas that apparently opted to vine & then die, and a question: I have snap pea plants growing, but is it too late to hope for actual peas at this point?

JGH said...

K, are longframes raised beds? If so I think that's a great idea -- then you can build the soil and put all kinds of good stuff in it. Looking forward to seeing what you plant!

Ashling, do you have any pea flowers yet? If so, you'll probably see the peas in a week or so! I'd give them til the end of June, especially since it's still pretty cool right now. My vines are already spent. I'm guessing it's because I didn't stake them properly and the leaves were gobbled by slugs.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

So many fresh picking on your way.

David said...

You have a lot going on and it all looks fantastic. Your chicken in the sun made me smile. Mine do that as well, but prefer a dust bath over anything else.