Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31, 2009

Man, time flies when you're busy beyond belief, and this weekend was no exception.  We got a ton done over at the folks place, including painting most of two floors of the house, but I got squat done around the homestead.  Par for the course I guess.

I did of course water, since we had tons of sun and temperatures in the low 80s all weekend (horrible weather if your painting clothes happen to be sweats, hehe).  Most of my pics came from when I watered.  My garden has been on autopilot since I haven't had time to do much of anything to it.  However, Mother Nature has done me proud by setting a few broccoli heads growing this weekend.  Here is the farthest along.


I should remember to throw in something to give perspective, but I'd say this head is about a quarter diameter size.  I was excited so I looked and counted two more of my 8 or so plants with tiny heads forming.  Not long now and I should have fresh broccoli!

Yesterday after a long day working, we had plans to go over to our friends for a barbeque and Rock Band action.  I decided I should bring a salad, so I snipped 1/100th of my greens and four radishes.  I could do that every day for a month right now.  Judy, do you think it would ship Fed Ex well to you? hehe.

While I was out there my wife came to hurry me along (I always get carried away when I'm out there).  You see, my Aunt was robbing the old house of excess plants that she or we wanted at our homes.  My brother and I each snagged a Spanish Lavender plant.  We both wanted to put them into pots so they could be used to attract bees to our gardens.  Unfortunately I didn't have an ornamental pot to put it in and we were late for the dinner party, so when I got home with a bare root wilting plant, I threw it into the blueberry bed where my dead lavender was.  You should have seen me yanking that monster out of the ground with my bare hands, hehe.  Being later for a party will do wonders for your adrenaline. 

Anyway, after that I was harvestinga salad and my wife and I got to talking about tomatoes so I had to show her (and you) the progress babies.

If these are Bloody Butchers, they'll grow much bigger than that, but they could be some of my cherry varieties.  Not sure.  Regardless, these will have their seeds saved as the first to produce.  I understand that's a good way to get earlier maturing heirlooms.

Today's evening was spent with the whole family over at my folks so the boys wouldn't have to cook after a long hard day working at the old house.  After we got back both by brother and I needed showers to wash the paint off before dinner, and I HAD to get out and hill up my potato bins.  They've grown gangbusters in this great weather.  I swear you could watch them grow.  I didn't have time to take pictures of them, but safe to say I need to add one, maybe two more boards to each bin, I just didn't have time so they're hilled well above the board level.

When we got to my folks house, I took a moment to check in on my brother's garden progress, only to find he had the same idea I did.  Only he needed to plant some peppers and squash.

As you can see, he hadn't changed out of his paint clothes to garden either, you're just going to get dirty again, hehe.  Also, you can see some of his 10 plus tomat plants planted nearly as close as my SWCs.  Then come the newly planted peppers, followed by some really close zuchinni and other squash.  He says he'll thin them later, could you see how badly they take over that bed? 

While I was there I snapped a couple more pics of his garden. 

Here you can see part of his elaborate hoop house that he left up to provide support for his peas.  In the back of the bed he's got tons of cukes in a similar state as mine, so it looks like we may have a pickling party after all. Don't worry Jen, we can have one too.  Behind that bed you can see the explosion of mint that he can't kill. It just keeps coming back with a vengence.  He plans on harvesting it and making mint jelly and tea if his tea plant provides a harvest.  You can't see it well, but the tea plant is currently in a black pot between the cukes and the mint.

In the 4x4 bed, he's got 4 more tomato plants growing nicely.  And in case you're wondering, he's not going to do Mel's method and prune heavily.  We just let our tomatoes grow together.  However, he will use the spaces in between to grow carrots when he thins his carrot patch.  Like I try to do, he thins and transplants the rejects.  He's had better luck than I have, but I keep trying it.

The last pic I'll show you of his garden is a progress shot of his expansion beds.

As you can see in this picture, he dumped the rotting railroad ties that you can't buy anymore due to the chemicals used in water proofing them.  I think the bricks will look better myself anyway.  As you can see in the back of this photo, he's got two beds built just to make sure they were going to fit like he expected.  The back one is the 2x2 for the raspberries and the closer one is the first of three 4x4 beds.  He's chomping at the bit to get this project finished so he can plant beans and other summer crops.  Yep, he's a bit behind on planting them, but as you could see how crammed full his other beds are, he needs this space something fierce.  If only we had a weekend to ourselves, hehe.

Lastly, I'll share the cuttest pic I've taken in a long time.  We had corn on the cob and the boys had a blast shucking it (ours is 4 inches high right now).

I hope you had a great weekend and got to enjoy your garden!


  1. Your brothers garden is coming along nicely. The expansion project looks like a winner.

    Great looking cluster of green tomatoes Sinfonian! I think you have most of us beat on the early tomato race.

  2. engineeredgardenJune 1, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    I really like your brother's modified hoop house, especially since it serves double duty. The boys look like they enjoy preparing the corn for eating, and the little one looks like he's about to take a bite out right now! Ha!

  3. That's neat that your broccoli is setting. Your brother's garden looks awesome. I love how he built his hoop house. That thing looks very sturdy!

    Question for you since you live in the PNW... do you recognize the bugs on my blog? Are they beneficial bugs?

  4. That is one cool hoop house!