Monday, May 21, 2018

busy beds

there has been ample rain this week, with more on the way, so things are moving along in the beds...especially for the cool weather crops...
the spuds, onions, jerusalem artichokes, and wild strawberries are filling in the south bed...
you really don't have to look beyond a bed with strawberries in it for incessant activity...they are cooking berries and making daughters everywhere they are planted...
the ramps are confined to a limited area because of their need for a lot of shade...still, they are utilizing their space well...
there are strawberries and onions in this bed a s well...unsurprisingly, none of the zucchini i planted here has broken surface yet ( i do not understand how this "foolproof" squash and i manage to evade on another...perhaps i am not a fool ) hpowever there are radishes up and running..so, "half a loaf", correct?
all five varieties of wheat are filling in and gaining verticality...
the bed next to the wheat is alive with rhubarb and spuds that have found the sun...and...quietly, the sweet clover has begun to settle in as well...
the asparagus, onions, tomato, and, once again, strawberries, in this bed are all doing fine...the tomato and asparagus offer mutual support...the asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomatoes and the tomatoes repel asparagus beetles...something to keep in mind when planning beds...
the winter rye has, i believe, reached terminal height and has continued with its irruption ears...
the in ground teosinte continues to produce new leaves and begins to look more like itself...
and the potted teosinte, up from the basement continues to show surprisingly robust new growth...
and has begun to sprout silks to interact with the new flowers...more ears and seeds...it's what grasses do.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

waiting for maize

when i got to campus this morning i was greeted by some prostrate asparagus...
so i picked it up...and put in more support...while i was doing so i noticed the plants had begun to flower...that is fine...a bumper crop of asparagus seed would not be a bad thing to have...
i also noticed four volunteer potatoes up and running in the bed behind the asparagus...obviously some were missed in last autumn's harvest...these should be done by august if anyone is interested...
that done i moved over to my bed where i found a smattering of jerusalem artichokes up after last week's cull...
so i dug the whole bed ( ther will be no more digging after today...only yanking sunchokes out by the roots [if possible] ...the reasons will be obvious in just a minute ) where i found...
where i found a healthy population of earth worms ( always a happy event )...
and twenty-six more tubers ( numerologists stay tuned...there is significance in that number which will be revealed shortly...you need to know )
after i culled the bed i created a compost hill along the north side of the bed...
and i planted some corn seed i received from the usda and had soaked in water overnight spaced out along the hill about a foot apart...buffalo bird woman would have called foul and told me i was planting "smells itself' corn far too close together...this isn't buffalo bird woman's corn however...it is "improved hybrid" corn...i am not certain whether this is sweet or field corn ( i am inclined towards field since it's federal corn ) however we will judge by the squirrels..if they nail every ear you can be sure it was sweet corn...if they won't touch it it will be all starch field corn..call it a wildlife experiment...
i did also plant some heirloom flint corn...a couple of reds and a couple of blues...these i spread out as buffalo bird woman would have it because they are not "improved" and they want their space...
i also planted a bell pepper and an heirloom tomato...and called it a day on my bed...when the corn gets to be around ten or twelve inches tall i will be planting pole beans at the base of the stalks to allow the beans to vine on the corn...two thirds of the "three sisters"...
when i got to the corner bed it evinced a much smaller irruption of jerusalem artichokes than last week and a dig produced only fifty-two tubers ( fifty-two...twenty-six...exactly double the number of tubers that i found in my bed? omens? foreshadowings? or just numbers? ) ...doubtless i will find more later this week
on a final, climate change, note...the solanum family brute carolina horse nettle has cropped its spiky head up in the garden again...it is a non-native perennial native to the southeastern states ( hence the carolina ) which should not have overwintered here...it has however and it is deeply rooted and probably here to stay...i wonder how bad the japanese beetles will be this year...stock up on neem oil.

Friday, May 18, 2018

it's pretty much the same...only more

early this morning i found a quiet spot ( disregard the camera strap..it is not part of the scenery ) to finish rewilding the last of the jerusalem artichokes that i removed from the community garden last week...several hundred have gone in and will start some new native colonies around the area...
i already have a healthy colony in my yard and more in containers...rewilding was the only use for the excess tubers...
the winter rye continues to mature with more ears emerging from the stalks...another month and a half and it should be ready to harvest...
the potted teosinte from the basement continues to produce new growth...
new flowers...
and today i noticed the first silks...this plant had a long time to finish its season in...i am hopeful of multiple ears...
my asparagus continues to "fern" and i do believe i have my first asparagus from the seed i planted earlier in the season up and running...
spuds continue to pop up in the bed with the rhubarb...
and the volunteers keep showing up too...these are in the wheat bed..which was a potato bed last season...so with the fifteen volunteers in the south bed, these, plus the ones in the bed with the rhubarb and in the containers there are forty-seven potato plants up and running and i have planted another twenty-seven in the past few days..and is till have more to go...we will be alive with spuds this year... the new york imported wild strawberries are still blooming and cooking up berries... they are also producing stolons and daughter plants that are taking root..head over tot he berry blog to have a look at the frenzy in the beds...
the grape vines on the trellis and in the catalpa tree ( and, by inference, the fir trees ) are coming into fuller leaf...
the egyptian walking onions are preparing to go for a stroll...they are taking the first steps towards forming the aerial bulbs that will weigh the stalks down to the ground away from the parent plant..another colonizer, these are onions that overwintered in the ground and will continue to expand their range as long as i let them...they are surrounded by winter vetch which should be doing the good work of setting nitrogen in the soil to feed the onions...there is a limit to the space thay can take so i foresee a harvest this coming summer...of at least some...
and while we are with the allium family lets just say the ramp bed is...well...ramped up and booming away...garlic may be absent, however, we will be cooking with leeks and onions from the yard before long.