Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 17, 2008

I don't mean to sound bitter. I'm not really I'm not.  My wife puts up with a ton surrounding my garden and gardening.  So this weekend she wanted to have a garage sale.  And thank goodness I got some work done on my to-do list yesterday because today was a no-go. 

The biggie on my list is the mowing. Of course my neighbor mowed late last week so it's a night and day difference despite the fact that my yard's not that bad. I mowed two weeks ago.  That and my compost pile's down to 100 degrees and there's not much to turn under.  I'm not saying it's done, but I don't know how to get it started again without more greens and browns.  Browns I'm pretty good on from the house, but without my grass clippings, I'm down to the odd banana peel and some veggie stems, which isn't enough. 

Back to this morning. Yesterday was supposed to be the hot day and today was supposed to be better.  Yesterday wasn't 90, it was 80ish.  So I figured today would be in the 70s.  We hit 85, and I was outside in the sun all day working the garage sale. Oh, and since the weather was what it was, barely anyone showed up.  All I kept thinking about was how much my garden was loving the sun and heat, and how I would have rather been putting up my trellis boards, or putting the door on my compost bin.  Thankfully I got my planting done yesterday. 

More good news, my father-in-law that is doing the garage sale with us (he sold tons of tools he doesn't need anymore).  He was very helpful on digging stuff out of what he didn't need anymore to use on my garden stuff.  He found lag bolts for my trellis to provide strength to the 1' of 2x4 that's connected to my bed before 7 feet towers above it.  He also found heavy duty hinges for my compost bin.  Most of what he told me I didn't understand. I just nodded and took what he handed me.  He'll show me what it's for later.  Hehe

After we wrapped up, we decided on take-out teriyaki from a local restaurant we like. Normally we get a side salad with it, which consists of iceburg lettuce and maybe a julian carrot if you're lucky.  Today, we just got the teriyaki because we had salad at home.  I just grabbed a reed basket I saved just for harvesting my garden, a pair of kitchen sheers and snipped off the biggest leaves and grabbed a few radishes. Here's what I harvested right today...

You can't see the spinach at the bottom but it's huge!  But I can pick out the salad bowl, italiansheir and red sails lettuce no problem.  Fresh crisp greens and spicy radishes makes an awesome salad!  And just to show you what four salads does to the look of my garden...

I've harvested almost entirely from this picture... can you tell?  I can't either.  I won't be able to have a salad every day, but we're not THAT healthy... yet. hehe

While I was taking these, I wanted to share a few more parts of my garden.  I must admit that I've always taken pictures of the best of my garden, and kinda ignored the parts that were not doing quite so well.  Well, that was before we had two days of sun and 80 degree temps... hehe.  I had been really worried about the lethargic looking tomatoes.  I now believe that shock was part of the problem (thanks Joe), but the crappy weather had something to do with it also.  The bottom leaves on one of my plants are still yellow, but look what two day's growth can look like...

It's a bad angle but there is a few inches of new growth in two days.  You don't believe me?  Well I didn't take a picture but the potato plants also had at least an inch of new growth since I covered them a few days ago.  Hehe maybe I can get my father-in-law to whip out the skill saw and cut several layers of boards for my bins.  I definetly need to put another on soon. 

Just to share what a little sun can do, here's a pic of my pole beans, that are sprouting up a storm (so are my bush beans) no wonder they're summer crops...

Eww, sorry to share my splintering garage door.  As I mentioned early on, the garden was a dog run in a former life with former owners.  Well you can see the doggie door in the side door to the garage. I don't believe we've opened it once in a decade since we bought the house.  On the to-do list this summer is to remove the door and wall up the hole.  But back to the garden, aren't those pole bean sprouts something?  I can't wait to see them climbing the trellis like Judy's are.  She did dozens of SF of pole beans, while I'm doing 3.  She "hopes" to freeze some. I fully expect to have extra to freeze, ROFL.  We like beans, but not THAT much. Plus we have 6-8 SF of bush beans to harvest.

And the last picture I took today is of my corn.  In the last 48 hours, I got 2 inch sprouts popping up all over.  Amazing!  Take a look...

Hehe, I like the side view shot. It gives some perspective to just how LONG that bed is. it's 11x4!  What you can also tell is that I can't plant in a straight line to save my soul.  hehe That's ok, it will work out or it won't.  I know I'm taking a risk with corn in the PNW (I know it can be done, but not sure if I can make it work) and I know I'm pushing the production at nearly 200 stalks in 44 SF.  Hehe, well it's not called intensive gardening for nothing.

Finally today, after letting dinner settle a bit, I raced out to mow my front yard at least.  I had checked and sunset was at 8:45.  I figured I could race and get the front done in 45 minutes.  Alas, I had forgotten that I was completely out of gas.  So all I got done was weed whacking.  I HOPE to get the front yard mowed before the garage sale starts.  I really shouldn't mow before 9 am, but that's the only time I've got tomorrow, so I'll give it a try.

Lastly, I wanted to share that Judy has successfully recreated her SWC instruction page.  YAY!  It's better than ever, so if you're interested in a great way to grow tomatoes in limited space without using up any of your garden area, check it out!  I may make another one for the other isle for growing more cukes.  The reason I say this is that I started 5 seeds in peat pucks this morning.  Of course that's before I noticed that both the middle cukes have sprouted.  So one of the pickling cukes sprouted great.  Unfortunately I don't know which.  I've got to label better.

Enjoy your garden! I know I hope to tomorrow!


  1. Ah, a garage sale! Man, those are tough and alot of work! But it's the best way to clear out stuff and make a couple of bucks.

    You're doing so much better than I am this weekend. I started on my TO DO LIST but didn't get to finish it -- DH and DD had other plans -- fishing....

    I'm thinking that to get your compost pile cooking again, it would be great if you added the grass clippings. That would defnitely heat it up again. DH has to mow the front yard today too and that's what we're going to do with ours. Our compost pile is still warm but not as hot as it was before. The rains that we've had this week have definitely cooled it off. I guess I should have covered it up.

    Oh my goodness -- I'm so jealous! Those salad fixings look amazing! I can just imagine how great the salad tasted with all that fresh lettuce. And isn'tfunny now -- you can identify the different varieties! I was the same way. Before, I didn't have a clue. But also the different varieties have different tastes and textures too and a salad with several varieties of lettuce all together, well the taste is amazing :-)

    Your garden doesn't look that much different after being harvested -- you'll be getting another salad for your family before you know it!

    Now that the weather is getting warmer, those tomatoes will be growing like weeds :-) You should be having some baby tomatoes pretty soon with both plants having all those blooms!

    Wow -- all the pole beans are sprouting and coming up. You are going to have a good time with these. They will come up and put on another set or two of leaves and then sit for a while. You'll wonder if they are growing or not. Then they will surprise you and put on their runners (vines). Then it will seem like they are growing almost fast enough that you can see LOL I think you'll be very happy you planted the pole beans.

    Cool -- all your corn is coming up!! Your corn bed is going to be awesome.... to me corn is one of the prettiest plants in the garden. Did you see that video of Patti harvesting an ear of corn and eating it raw in the garden? Ah, that's making me hungry just thinking about it and it's only 5:15 AM.

    Oh and on the SWC -- so far it's working out really well for my mom & dad's cucumbers..... I will go by there this week and take a pic of theirs and post for you to see. A SWC might be a good idea for your extra cuke seeds.

    Great post on your blog!!

  2. Don't worry about the corn, it will do fine in the PNW. It may take a bit longer but you've got yours in plenty early, and the long, long days of Summer are coming up and the corn will love that. It is not a risky crop. There are plenty of commercial corn growers in OR and WA west of the Cascades. It's as reliable of a crop as any.