Monday, May 23, 2016

The Grow Journey season shifts at Chez 66


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?

12 comments:

  1. I put in three junipers (Juniperus chinensis) and a Distylium x hybrid on Thursday and then we got an inch of rain on Friday, and perhaps another last night. (It's too wet to get to the rain gauge this morning!) I fear they are merrily root-rotting in small ponds of water. Aargh! The raised veggie beds should be fine .... but, the "in ground" stuff must surely be suffering.

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    1. They should be happy with a nice soaking (...no?). As long as they are not planted too deep and their spot drains well.

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  2. We spent our Saturday "planting" a proper patio where previous owners had left rotten stones and moss (which was charming but not level and crumbling apart, sadly), and then Sunday took a walk to a place a few blocks away where a Vermont expat grows THOUSANDS of organic seedlings in his tiny urban backyard in a homemade greenhouse. And he charges a measly $3 for each plant! Came home with basil (genovese and thai), dill, mint, lemon balm, thyme, sage, garlic chives, a couple of tomatoes, a jalapeno and a pair of shasta daisies. The daisies are in the raised beds of questionable soil in the backyard near the patio, and the edibles are potted up on the sunny front porch. This is our first spring in our new place and I'm really enjoying the initial spruce-up! Looking forward to visiting my mom in a week and coming home with lots of things from her garden to plant in mine :)

    Also, I gotta say, finally being able to have a real garden after reading your blog for so long is incredibly satisfying. Thanks for writing :)

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    1. That sounds great, Adrienne :-) Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Have you ever tried Red Ace beets? They don't have a very big root, but they have lovely red veined, green leaves which are beautiful for salads. The roots are big enough to have a small meal from them. Do you have enough sun at the back of your garden to have a fig tree? I always think of you with a fig tree!

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    1. This is my first time with beets, Nancy, so no...just these. using them as greens.

      Not enough sun for a fig, no. I have moved on :-)

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  4. Ahhhhhhhh....chez 66....I like it!

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  5. It's wonderful to see how you transition between plants and seasons! We like to think of gardening as harvesting the sun's energy, and you seem to be more keenly aware of that magnificent nuclear fusion reactor in the sky than most, since it's changing positions directly affects what ends up on your dinner table. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Marie!

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  6. Love the name; it's cute, quick and catchy. And preserves the legacy of the original 66 square feet. Wonder how that nasty, notorious former landlord of yours there is doing? "May all his gardens turn to ash," old Greek curse -- that I just invented. :-)
    Cheers, Diane

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  7. Lovely update Marie. The wilted greens sound wonderful. Hope to hear from you. Best, Robin

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  8. I'm hoping to move my potted strawberries outside since it's warming up!

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  9. Squashes and Brussels sprouts among other things...

    My arugula is just starting to attempt flowering. Like you, I won't let it! We also have huge radishes.

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