Monday, May 23, 2016
Here we are, in May's final stretch. The 10 x 10 vegetable plot in the middle of Chez 66 is producing daily salads. The Grow Journey spinach 'Verdil' - such a baby just the other day, is now sending up flower heads. When I bump one, an eruption of improbable pollen rises several inches and drifts away. I pick the bolting stalks as fast as I can, and we eat them in nightly salads. They are also very good wilted quickly in a hot pan and used as a bed for a poached egg. The leaves are still lush and upright, and just a few have been bothered by leaf miners (I pick those leaves and throw them far, far away, where the sun don't shine).
Nearby, the first sowing of arugula is trying very hard to flower and I won't let it. The upright budding stems are very peppery and good, raw.
The last of the garden cress has been eaten and the remnants tilled into the soil as a very light green manure - any organic matter helps, here. I have to re-water our abused soil often, as it loses moisture fast. And what about fertilizer? I have not used any, unless you count the many pounds of crushed oyster shell to raise pH. Last fall's soil test revealed high phosphorus levels, so someone before me fertilized a lot. And I am discovering that the use of fertilizer should never be automatic: This blogpost from Grow Journey is enlightening.
Now the upland cress is flourishing and I mix it with the pretty beet greens ('Early Wonder Tall Top') for bagel toppings and stuffing for breakfast omlets/omelettes.
What's next? I have sown the Seeds-of-the-Month dill 'Goldkrone' and it has risen in a spiny little row. Thai basil and garden huckleberry (actually a variety of Solanum nigrum) are in a seed tray and soon I must transplant them. The basil will go into pots as I do not trust the European starlings to leave it alone, but the Solanum must go in-ground into the sunniest part of the plot, where it will be joined by some cherry tomatoes from Grow Journey as well as their beautiful 'Painted Pony' beans. When the arugula comes out.
Sun. I have to make myself remember The Dark of Winter. Because right now the whole garden is in sunlight as the rising Northern sun clears the tall townhouse. Closest to the house the shade begins again by late morning, while the back stays in sun more or less all day. In late fall, winter and early spring, not a ray of sun pierces our gloom.
It is challenging to choose the right plans for this space. But now I pretend that we are Alaska. Night, and then day, and then the longest night, again.
What did you plant today?