Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 24, 2008

Short post tonight, as I'm having computer issues.  Seems Judy's problems are wearing off on me.  Maybe it was something in the seeds... naw, can't be that, they're growing so well. The marigolds are nearly blossoming and the cantaloupes sprouted in a few days.  Very cool, Thanks Judy!

Naw, my computer problems are centered in my router.  Seems they never last more than two years. I guess it makes sense, they're always on and transmitting.  Funny though, the modem hasn't gone out ever (knock on wood) and it's always on too.  Netgear seems to breed too much obsolesence into their products.  And they're oh so recyclable.  So this time when I rushed out to the computer store right at closing and grabbed whatever they had on the shelf (a wireless version of what broke, great), I bought the two year warranty. The don't last two years.  In fact, the one I bought doesn't seem to work well already.  The internet is snail like when I'm hooked up to it.  Grrr, I hate being computer ignorant these days.  But who has time to keep up when Moore's Law is going warp speed ahead.  Maybe I need to go into that secret place and drop my connection and reconnect.  Rebooting the computer, modem and router isn't working.  So to post this I'm hooked up directly to the modem and my wife's watching TV.  Grrr.

Anyway, today I got excited to garden when I got home and I worked on my compost.  I had been throwing a ton of bolted and trimmed plants on top and I hadn't fluffed and layered it in a while.

So I fluffed it and broke up the clumps and moved it to the side, then threw the stalks in, and a bag of coffee grounds, wetted it down and added more compost on top.  It took me three times repeating that to get to this...

I know, it doesn't look that different, but it is, hehe it's moist throughout and has layers of goodness decomposing.  Unfortunately I totally forgot to gather the inside compost materials which has a great amount of tissues and paper products that could have helped. I'm hoping that the stalks are browns to offset the green grounds. Who knows. I'll check the temp tomorrow and if it's not hot I'll dig a hole and dump my house compost.  Easy.

Then while giving the kids just a bit more play time out back, I checked out the blueberry bushes, and low and behold, the big cluster is already ripening!

The middle left is almost a true blueberry now!  And you can't see it but they're HUGE!  I've got to keep an eye on them to make sure the birds don't beat me to it (or coons, but I think they're sufficiently deterred).  But even more cool than the blueberries turning is the growth I've gotten this year.  Look at the new growth!

I can only hope the root system is spreading out tons.  I also hope the deep watering I've done has resulted in semi-deep roots because I want to use the sides and center this fall to plant garlic.  We'll see.

Oh yeah, for dinner we decided to be healthy for a change and we had chicken and rice.  With it I cooked up (only slightly) some broccoli and cauliflower for me and carrots for my wife and kids... ALL FROM MY GARDEN! YAY!!!!!

I must say, the broccoli wasn't what I'm used to. It was ok, but didn't have that broccoli taste.  It was a bit too muted.  It didn't appeal to me. I'll eat the rest of that head and the one I've got developing, but the two incredibily leggy ones that haven't started a head and likely couldn't support one are going to be pulled.  I'd rather plant more cauliflower.  The cauliflower on the other hand was INCREDIBLE!  I just couldn't get enough of it.  Only I was eating it, but I had placed two tiny floretts on my kids plates for them to try.  They wouldn't of course, but I really wanted them to, I just know they'll love it.  Anyway, during the process of trying to get them to eat it, my wife had a piece.  WHOOOT I got one convert out of it. She actually asked if we could plant more next year.  She was ever so excited when i told her I could plant some now for fall and winter harvest.  Hehe. 

Speaking of fall and winter harvesting, I'm really getting excited about it now that my garden is emptying out. So after talking at length with my brother I opened up my garden plan and wiped it to start over for fall.  First I put back in what's staying for the mean-time... that is, my warm weather crops.  Then I added more carrots and a row of succession greens.  Radishes went in the front as they're the lowest besides carrots of any of my veggies (root crops, go figure). I'm thinking that I'll cover three beds (all but the corn bed, which I'll compost my bean stalks in to fix the nitrogen).  The small bed is half full of onions and cucumbers so I'll plant the entire bed of cauliflower in succession.  Not the perfect system as the front is empty and the back is full for now, so the cauliflower will shade the seedlings until they grow big enough to hold their own. At least I hope they do.  I can also put cauliflower in the back row of bed 1 where the pole beans are. I am planning on using my first 2x2 trellis with my hoop cover and grow fall snap peas. 

As you can see, I'm really getting the fall planting bug.  I'm excited to grow salads year round, even though I'm not eating them often enough.  Gotta find some great tasting greens.  Hope to find some mustard greens that I like to add variety.  Also varrying my salads could help. /shrug

Anyway, I had already published this when I remembered I'd taken a few more pics that were still on my camera.  When I was watering my corn I found a stalk that had split out at the bottom and is looking strong from both stalks.  Is that a mutant or how you get more than one ear per stalk?

Oh, and I'm excited to say that I also got a silk from the slow corn!  Not bad.

And finally, how I missed it, I have no idea, but my scant few bush bean plants are producing!!!

Beans! They're pencil thin but they'll grow I'm sure!  Now I just hope that the seeds I planted come up and produce. 

Enjoy your garden!


  1. The new stalks sprouting from the base of your corn plants I believe are called "suckers". They're completely normal but do not produce ears of corn. They do sometimes produce tassels though. Some people cut them off to save energy for the main plant. The large consensus though is that it makes no difference if you cut them off or not. Ears of corn are produced only where silks pop out at leaf axils.

  2. Try mashing some of that cauliflower with potatoes, using a bit of milk and butter. I'll bet the kids won't even know it unless they see you do it! It has to be cooked quite soft so you don't get lumps.