Tag Archives: lettuce

Bumbling Gardener Update

Garden Jul19I am pleased as punch. My backyard garden on borrowed land — whether because of, or in spite of my attempts — looks awesome. I’ve been eating cabbage, kale, broccoli, snow peas, regular peas, and even the occasional yellow wax bean, with no end of tasty produce in sight.

I suspect that the soil, though clay-ish in some places and low lying (and therefore prone to pooling water) in others, is pretty darn good quality. That, or the manure and bone meal added in at the beginning has made a big difference. (Its nutrients certainly haven’t been depleted by anything other than weeds in the past 10+ years, so maybe it’s been stock piling!)

With all the other plant life in the area, the garden is prone to a multitude of weeds, but many of the crops do not seem to be affected. Plus, the straw mulch is doing its work rather handily in many spots.

There is a surge in clover growth along the edges of the garden, which I understand indicates good nitrogen content in the soil. This may also be why the peas are growing like crazy — they can’t get enough of the stuff. Clover was not in evidence in the yard at the beginning of this gardening experiment, so I’d be curious to know if it needed the cleared space that the walkways provide, or whether the improved soil conditions are to blame.

First StrawberriesI haven’t had much success with some veggies, such as carrots and radishes, but I’ve discovered in recent weeks that’s due to my own ignorance and lack of attention to detail — when they first sprout, you’re supposed to thin them out. Some of my seed packets said not to, but the successful radish grower at the local farmers market set me straight. Better late than never? Maybe I’ll try some in my box garden, which is closer to home where I can keep a closer eye on things.

The spinach and all lettuce seeds have had a zero yield, despite a second planting at the height of warm weather — I have no idea what’s up with that. There is an ant nest in the area where most of the salad greens were planted and I do wonder if they wandered off with the seeds.

There are lots of tomatoes on the vine, but none have turned red yet. They are getting very plump, though!

Aside from 3 that reached maturity, the strawberries are a complete loss. There were about 8 little berries that something (Mr. Squirrel, me thinks) got a hold of and munched at the beginning of the season. This prompted the construction of a sophisticated mesh covering, but no further berries, or flowers for that matter, have appeared.Strawberry Safety Net

The weird thing is, the stuff that’s supposed to be the easiest hasn’t grown for me and the “difficult” plants like broccoli and cabbage, are coming along nicely. But, despite some challenges and no baby spinach in sight, I am inordinately pleased each time I am able to harvest and eat something out of the garden.

Mid-July Seeding

SeedingDespite the late start in the season and with some encouragement from my fellow community gardeners, I’ve decided to try seeding a few things in the newly launched plot.

I tried radishes, beets, carrots, spinach, lettuce, and a number of other items in my temporary garden earlier this year (when I didn’t think I’d be getting a spot at 16 Oaks Community Garden), but they just never took off, for whatever reason. Or, as in the case of the radishes, they took off running and completely bolted!

I’m hoping to have better luck this time. It will help that the community garden is in close proximity to where I live so I can check on it more regularly — in contrast to my first garden attempt, which is located in a friend’s backyard a half hour’s drive away.

When transplanting the nursery seedlings I bought, I left 2 open spots for seeding, one on either side of the box. This time I’ve seeded 2 kinds of radishes, 2 kinds of beets, some lettuce and some spinach.

Gotta go, it’s time to water my seeds again…

Fresh, Gabriola Lettuce

Fresh LettuceCheck out the pics my friend Peggy sent from the Gabriola Island weekend Farmers Market.

“Check out this lettuce I bought this AM at the farmer’s market: the blackest I’ve ever seen! It’s not really red on the outer edges – it truly is black, and neon green at the center.”

Thanks for the delicious pics!

Check out your local farmers market for funky food that tastes amazing.