Monday, June 11, 2012

Time to pull garlic and take names

The roof farm has been been frustratingly uncooperative this season. Gardening is the great equalizer, beating egos into pulp. Or...ploughshares??? I mean, swords are nothing but ego made manifest, aren't they?

But I digress.

I spent several hours yesterday addressing Issues:

The north side of the "farm" is perfect, lush and green (there was no north side, last year): The potatoes are huge, the raspberries and currants are ripe, the tomato plants big, green and healthy, the Cape gooseberry (ground cherry) is beginning to look like it will actually become big enough to bear fruit.

The south side, on the other side of the silvertop, on the other hand...

There are leaf hoppers on the scarlet runner beans, the cucumbers are stunted, the Brandywines are pale yellow and something is eating my Black Krim tomatoes. ARGH! Poor drainage is to blame for some yellowed squash and it seems I mixed up my Thai and long purple eggplant seedlings.

There is some good stuff: I pulled my garlic, which is beautiful. 

After I had repotted some plants, punched extra drainage holes in buckets, removed some suspect soil (I have a medley of Organic Mechanics - excellent pedigree, but I am not a fan: results count, and my plants don't like it; Fafard Complete Planting Mix; and...Scott's Miracle Gro Moisture Control Potting Soil...I know, I know: I needed soil for new pots and that's all that was available) and cleaned up,  I climbed back down the ladder, showered, scrubbed my finger nails,  inspected some sunburn where the Factor 80 had not reached, mixed some gins and bitter lemon, we both went back up to look at the harbor from our deck chairs. On cue, a cruise ship glided by: the Disney Magic, 85,000 tons.

(That's a long sentence.)

We ate the the first head of young, juicy garlic rubbed onto toasted ciabatta last night, to accompany a Nicoise salad. As we sat on the terrace a cloud splattered some rain on us,  but we ate on.

The rain stopped, the scent of the tilia blossoms on the street rose, the robin across the road began to sing.


  1. I loved this post. I cackled when I read the teeny tiny print for Scott's Miracle Gro.

  2. I'd love to see some pictures of your roof farm progress. Last year we had a roof with full sun and 100% success; this year we have a ground floor patio and things are growing but not flourishing - somewhat expected because of less sun, but I am curious as to what other plants in the area (subject to the same temps/rain levels) are up to. Not that there is much we can do at this point, but if we're seriously far behind at least we can readjust our expectations now ;)

  3. I loved the post, too, especially the long sentence, and you have made me hungry.

  4. Your garlic looks familiar, and young. I must become a little devil on your shoulder nagging you not to put those cukes in too soon. Why is the south side so different? A little detective work is in order.

  5. Ah Frank - so that's it? Too early for the cucumbers? Yes, the garlic is young, but I like it uncloved, as it were - and I need its pot :-)

  6. The answer is yes and no. Had it not been so wet, you'd be okay. I have yet to plant the cukes, but they take off so fast when its HOT, that it matters not.

    Remember, the curcubits and melons are pretty much desert plants, giving cool and wet where there's none.

  7. Frank -'re saying day length is the most important thing, with higher temps? Cos, it's wet in summer. I want a do over with my cucumbers. Now that you have nagged me, I remember that my best cuke crop was planted in...July. Humph.


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