Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4, 2008

Man something is going sssslllloooooowwww tonight.  Thankfully my posts autosave every twenty seconds so I won't lose much.  And tonight is pic heavy.  Let's see how this goes.

Today was one of the best weather days of the year, so we decided to go for a walk after work.  I finally snapped a pic of the neighbor's garden.  I was really excited when they started building the raised beds against their neighbor's fence.  You see, their front yard is immaculate!  It's very bonzai with beauty bark all around and little islands of beautiful flowers.  They did that first.  It's a nice retired couple and they spent a ton of time in their front yard.  So I was excited to see what they'd do with the raised beds.  I figured good idea, they were going to grow some veggies.  But everytime I pass by, it looks like they're growing flowers and bushes.  Odd, but to each their own.  Guess I don't have a local gardening buddy.

I wanted to thank Angie for the wonderful comments.  Trust me, I really am just learning.  If you read the comments, I mentioned that I'm flying by the seat of my pants, especially with my corn.  Right now I'm waiting for the 10-12 day period when the silks will produce pollen and I can snip an end off and hand pollinate.  Every night I flick the silks to see if I can see pollen floating in the air around it.  Still nada. But tonight I found some are starting to get hard and shrivelly.  I sure hope I didn't miss the opportunity to pollinate and get nada for corn kernals.

And the tassels are spreading out and getting seed-like things that are flapping in the wind.  If I didn't know better I'd say they were corn seeds, but as I planted the kernals I wonder what these do?

And speaking of dilemmas, my potatoes are confusing me.  As you know I've been complaining about my russets flowering for months and my yukon golds haven't so much as thought of flowers.  Then I find out that potatoes don't start growing until the flowers die.  So what do I see today... new buds on the russet.  Grrrr, can you use Round Up to help it along? hehe. Don't worry, I don't support Monsanto and it's quest to rule the world through it's food. 

I've been told we here in the PNW have the perfect weather for growing poatoes, and that Washington is the second largest producer of potatoes in the U.S. (behind Idaho).  But does it have to take this long?  I'm so tempted to unscrew a board to see what's going on, but I decided early on that I wouldn't do that this year, just let them run their course.  Now I'm changing my mind, hehe.

And stretching for segways, speaking of blooms, here is a pick of Judy's marigolds. Thanks again Judy, hope you're garden is doing well!

I really think they're doing their job, because I had not hand-pollinated the cukes behind the marigolds (because I couldn't see them under all the tomato and bean foliage), but when I digged around under there tonight, I found cukes growing.  As for the cukes, they're great, but I sure hope the prickleys go away before I pick them.  I'm guessing it's a defense mechanism to ward off raccoons (good idea), but I would hate to make pickles out of them and then cut our tongues. hehe.

And here is a pic of my cuke bed.  I still have to find homes for all those green onions. I like them but don't cook with onions much.  But you can see behind the fence of onions that the cukes have taken well to being trellised but to-date are still growing all the fruit along the ground under the leaves.  I've got flowers out on the trellis so I'm hopeful that I'll get cukes there too.  Oh yeah, and I've got cauliflower sprouts in front of the onions.  I want to get the onions out of there to start more cauliflower soon so they don't get shaded from the ones to the south of it.  Anyone need onions?

And lastly, since Angie talked about how wonderful my garden looked (btw, she hasn't seen the bad parts, which I conveniently don't capture on film), but take a look at how well my lettuce is growing in the heat of the Seattle summer.  Remember that this is 8 Salad Bowl plants... Insane!

Thankfully the Salad Bowl is not showing any signs of bolting here (not so in Bed #1 where I have yet to remove the bolting lettuce), but the Italiensheir may be and the Red Sails definitely is starting.  I hope it all holds out for the company picnic.  Every time I bring a caesar salad so I will eat the salad, but this time I'd hoped to share my garden with the office again.  Not so much if it's all bolted.  And so far no signs of sprouts from the first fall lettuce square and for some reason the tons of fall spinach I planted (early per Territorials chart, but I planted it before I saw the chart) is doing nothing.  Odd.  I even planted them in never-been-planted squares.  Ah well, wait and see.

As for research, I've been looking at GW and EngineerGardener's fencing solution to help with the raccoon problem I have.  He confirmed what the materials were for me (Thanks Jeff!), but he said that he grinded the bottom plate off the fence posts. Not sure I can accomplish that easily.  Grrr. Do I do a ton of work to protect my corn for a month or two or hope my predator urine holds up for another month or two.  Decisions decisions...  Ah well, it's midnight and I've got work in the morning. I'm not as young as I use to be.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. HI Sin, I have been reading about your adventures and have enjoyed them. In this post you said you were " flicking the silks to see if there was pollen was floating around it" It is not the silks that make the pollen it is the tassels. the silks are the recievers. flick the tassel and you may see pollen floating around. good luck with the coons .

  2. Joe is right. The tassel is what you will sneak a "little branch" from to wipe over your silks. Also, try a hot dry morning to check for pollen. The tassels will not shed when it is cloudy, rainy, or really humid. You will be able to shake it or blow it and you will see a little cloud of pollen dust fly into the air. All those little "seeds" on the tassel are anthers and filaments which are male and female flower parts. :) (I'm a dork and I read too much.)

  3. As for the cukes, the spines don't go away by themselves, but they do come off very easily. Before you pick, just take a paper towel (or a gloved hand) and run it up and down the cucumber. All the spines will fall off effortlessly. So no worries about pricking yourself with pickles!

  4. Hey Guy! Good luck with the coons. We were out in the hot tub last night and saw a couple playing around on the forest side of our back fence. Hope they don't get smart enough to climb over! Would you believe my last trellis of snap peas is still producing and blooming? It's bizzare. We just had our first ripe cherry tomatoes yesterday. Mmm, like candy. Lots of green ones hanging like grapes; I can't wait for them to get the show on the road!