Urban Homesteading on a Small City Lot: garlic
Showing posts with label garlic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garlic. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Planted Leafy Greens Today In Perfect Spring Weather

It is 63 degrees outside right now.  I can't believe I am inside typing this blog instead of sitting outside.  I think I got enough sun on my face earlier, though, while I planted the leafy greens and fava beans.

I have never grown fava beans before, so I tried a little experiment.  Last week I planted four of them in toilet paper roll seed starters.  Today I noticed that they were all growing.  They are so huge when they sprout that I was instantly scared that they would be harmed by being in those small tubes.  I planted them outside in a pot. You can see three of them in this picture if you look very close.

Here is an up close look at one of them.  This sprout is as big as a nickle.  They each had a huge thick root sticking out the bottom. as well.  The seed packet says you can plant them the same time as peas outside so I went ahead and planted the rest of the seeds directly outside.  They should be done in time to pull them out to make room for the warm weather crops.

This bed received a bunch of new seeds today.  On the right, I planted three types of kale.  Since kale grows very huge I planted three to four seeds in three different spots for each variety.  I will thin them to just one plant each. I hope they do well.  I love kale.  The far right corner was planted with two small squares of greens. One square is arugula and the other a mix of romaines.  The far left corner is a mesclun mix that looks really tasty on the package.  I also added a very small rectangle of sparkle radishes right behind the cherry belle radishes that have started sprouting.

Here are those radishes. I planted them a week and a half ago.  You can see the rows now.  They each have their seed leaves out now

This is a close up of one of them.

When they first push their little leaves through they look like this.

The spinach is just starting to poke out.  This is a close up of one of them. You can only see three or four so far.

The garlic is growing very tall and green.  I think it is the prettiest thing in the garden so far.

The peas are getting loads of leaves, but up until today they had kept them folded up pretty tight.  This warm sun must be coaxing them out because they are starting to open up.

Close up.  I love peas.

The onions I planted from bulbs are looking really strong.  After this year I might decide that this is the way to go.  Only the harvest will tell.

I planted my potatoes outside today.  I didn't have room for them all in this one bed, so I didn't plant all of the russets.  You may recall that I wasn't that excited about them to start with, so it isn't that sad.  The potatoes are in the ground in the trench. As they sprout, I will keep taking dirt from the hills and piling it around them so they have to grow higher and higher.  This encourages them to make more tuber producing stems.  I learned this from my good friend, the potato guy.  He had to figure out how to grow potatoes in every season and condition for his master's degree in entomology.  He did his research on a potato pest, the potato psillid.

Here is a look at my rhubarb plant.  I planted it from a sickly looking start I bought at Bimart a few weeks ago.  At first I wasn't even sure it was alive, but then it started growing inside so I planted it outdoors.  It is actually looking pretty good.  I bought a package that said it had two rhubarb starts in it, and it had only one very sickly one.  If this guy makes it through the winter this year to next year I think I will be happy enough, though. I really only wanted one plant.

Here is a look at one of the leafy green patches.  This is the spicy mesclun salad mix.  I put seeding potting soil on top of the seeds to keep it from crusting over them.

I used the pots from the pansies and violas to start some more eggplants and some bell peppers.  I keep saying I won't waste any more space on growing bell peppers, because I never get enough peppers to make it worth it, but I can never resist planting them in the spring.  Here goes.  Hopefully, I will discover the secret to making them productive this year.

Yay! Surprise! The grass we panted in the front yard is finally coming up.  From far off you can't really see it very well yet, but especially in the warmer, sunnier spots it is coming up pretty strong.  Suddenly, all the time we have spent watering it feels a little less wasted.  I am still a bit disappointed that I gave in and agreed to plant any lawn at all, but it is always exciting to see things sprouting and growing when you plant them.  The yard that we planted is very small and won't take too much water, because it is a drought tolerant fescue.

Things are getting exciting out in the garden.  I can't wait to see what is sprouting next week.  I am scheduled to plant another biweekly row of peas on Thursday.  I have also been transplanting some of the seedling I planted indoors, tomatoes, peppers, collards and celery.  They have been a bit disappointing so far.  It seams like I have one strong sprout for each variety.  I planted between six and 18 of each so that is not good odds.  I dug up one of the peat pellets to see what was going on inside there and I found seeds with roots, but no shoots so they will probably come up eventually as long as they don't get sick.  The seedling trays have not been keeping as warm as they should.  I added my reptile heat mat to the bottom of one of the trays.  I will see if that helps.  I think I will build a heated seed starting table for next year.

Happy planting to you all.  Hope you get out and enjoy this weather.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cold and Rainy Weather Can't Stop These Peas

I mentioned in my organization post last time that I had a mystery pea variety. Well, so far, the half of the row that I know the variety of is out performing the mystery one.  These are the Burpee Dark Seeded Early Perfection.  The package says that they are a particularly early and drought tolerant.  I can't wait to taste and see if they are also delicious.

This picture is looking down the row of peas from the middle showing all of the Dark Seeded Early Perfection peas that are coming up. The other half of the row has about three sprouts barely showing.

The yellow onions that I planted from "bulbs" are finally showing signs of life.  About 1/4 of them are sprouting up.

My uncle will be very excited about this discovery I made today.  There are about five radish sprouts poking their little seed leaves out of the ground.  Radishes are so rewarding to grow.  They grow very fast and you can eat every inch of them, but I still don't get very excited about planting them until my uncle Kevin reminds me.  Last time I planted radishes I gave him almost every one of them that I pulled up.  I do plan on eating some this time.  I bought three varieties of seeds: Cherry Belle (shown above), Easter Egg II Mix, and Sparkler. I have not planted the Easter Egg Mix or Sparkler yet.

The garlic is continuing to grow and look very good.

These are the onions that I planted from little sets in a bundle, Walla Walla Sweets.

We planted our lawn about three weeks ago.  We are getting discouraged by the fact that it hasn't been sprouting.  I noticed these small sprouts this morning.  Not nearly enough to make a lawn, but maybe it is just the cold weather holding them back after all.  I hope that when it warms up it takes off and fills in. 

One problem I have noticed is that there are loads of volunteer sunflowers sprouting up already.  Since we won't be able to mow the lawn for some weeks, if ever, these may cause some problems.  We didn't do anything with the yard last year and we had these weedy, branchy sunflowers everywhere.  I tried to pull them out before they spread seeds everywhere, but was not very successful.

At first I had doubts that these little guys were sunflowers, because they were sprouting so early.  It is still freezing at night here. After I saw this guy my doubts disappeared.  See the sunflower seed shell stuck on the leaf?
  
We are also having quite a few maple trees sprouting up everywhere.  I don't know what to do about this besides pulling them out whenever we see them.  I don't want maple trees everywhere.


We have loads of these beautiful violets growing in nooks and crannies, especially on the shady side of the house. I love them.  I don't want to get rid of them, but they are being infiltrated by a few weeds and grass, so I will have to at least try to do something about that.  Hopefully, they will reseed and spread all over again.

Speaking of spreading, I bought some starts of my favorite ground cover on Monday: creeping thyme.  My grandmother always used it in her gardens.  I went to her house to see if I could steel some starts a week ago, but saw that it had a lot of grass in it, so I opted to by some nursery starts. These ones had some Vinca minor growing in them.  I tried to pull them all out. The reasons I love this ground cover are that is it beautifully fragrant, step-able, flowers and attracts pollinators and looks very pretty. It is also very drought tolerant.  My grandmothers garden is in sandstone soil on the sunny side of a hill and she doesn't have to water hers at all. I am hoping it will just take off and fill in the spaces between my raised beds. I plan on adding stepping stones later to have places to step without stepping on bees.

The catnip my cousin dug up for me last year is coming back up.  I am debating weather I want to keep this or not.  It might be good in the shade garden on the shady side of the house.  I don't want to attract the neighbors cats to my yard.

These are all of my containers.  They are ready for plants.  I will grow some lettuces in them until it is time to plant the warm weather crops like eggplants.

The strawberries that I transplanted are greening up very quickly.  I hope to get a small crop this year and a big one next year.

The volunteer flowers in the mini irises are starting to bloom.

I have so many grape hyacinths that I am getting rid of a lot, but I am sure there will always be a few coming up here and there.

The tulips that I planted from bulbs in the fall are looking good.

I am getting a bit worried about whether or not I will get the pergola up in time for the hops.  They are already growing like crazy.  I think they have discovered that they have been freed from the pot and are really taking off.

I hope you enjoyed my update on the garden.  It is still very cold at night here, so things are still going slowly, but in a few weeks things are really going to start getting exciting.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Garden is Coming Along, Slowly but Surely

These are the first peas to sprout.  The first one showed up barely on Tuesday (two days ago). Now there are four.

You can tell where they are going to show up by the cracks.  The soils gets surprisingly hard and crusty after you water it.  I think I will need to add seedling mixture on tome of some of my seeds later.

The garlic cloves I buried are growing strong.  I hope I got them in early enough that they will set head of garlic. Fingers crossed.
 
These are the onions that I planted from the Bimart sets.  The bulb ones haven't started coming up yet. I hope they do.  These ones are the Walla Walla sweets, which I love, but the others yellow onions that are good for storing and everything.
 

I wove this trellis for the peas from prunings from my parents plum tree. It didn't turn out as good as the one my mom made last year, but I think it will work.
 
Two of the beds are covered securely with black weed block fabric.  It will keep the weeds down and heat up the soil so that I can plant warm soil loving crops sooner.  I am trying this as an experiment.  I have tones of this fabric and I can reuse it later.
 
This bed is the front one closest to the front yard and road. I planted buckwheat over this this morning.  This bed has a horrible crust on top.  When I was trying to break it up to sow in the  buckwheat it sounded like I was picking through bedrock.  Yikes.  I hope the cover crop helps a bit.

I also planted this bed with buckwheat.  This bed has a layer of used potting soil on top, but underneath is is pretty horrible dirt.  Heath and I were out of what looked like the good stuff when we filled this one.  It was the last one to get finished. In the bed behind is where I planted most of the strawberries from the pots on the porch.
 
There is already loads of new growth on them.

When I was replanting the strawberries I found this tiny raspberry plant.  I planted it with the strawberries, but will need to find it a better home.


We still have the large pile of dirt and debris in the back yard, but it is getting smaller.  Once we get rid of this we will have room for another fruit tree and possibly a raised bed or two. We shall see.  I think that will be a project for this coming fall.
 
I put all of these bulbs and rhizomes in buckets last year when I was digging up the yard.  I still have not figured out where to plant them and they are starting to grow in there.  There are tulips, irises, lilies, and some other random stuff.

I got the hops planted in the ground next to where the pergola will be going.  We will need to build that soon, judging by the amount of growth you can see here.
 
Look at the stakes and string I marked the location with.  I don't want anyone to step on it and/or dig it up if they don't notice it.
 
I think I will save the front yard grass, bulbs and tree for another post this one is already pretty long.  I hope everyone is outside enjoying this wonderful weather.  Have a great day.  I am going to go check on my new chicks.