Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8, 2009

Well, another weekend essentially gardenless for me.  Fortunately the folks place is coming along nicely such that it should be done by month-end.  Unfortunately that means my garden is getting farther behind.  Of particular concern is my rapidly growing potato bin potatoes.  I'm so behind on both hilling up and adding boards that they're just like last year where I swore I wouldn't let them become stems.  Drat. Come monday now I have time and I'm feeling so bummed about it that I'm almost tempted to just let them mature with the few boards I've got installed.  Grrr.  This season is all about letting the garden grow iteself.

I'm seeing stuff in the garden that I have no time to figure out what or why.  For instance, I came home the other day and was watering the broccoli and cauliflower (I'm watering them via side-dressing wand spraying the dirt next to the plants, keeping the leaves dry), only to find this.

I had been proping it up for days but for some reason it's toast.  Nothing else in the area has been touched.  No clue.  Looks like insect damage, but in the absense of any other damage I'm hesitant to nuke it or anything.

I'd admit that this next shot proves other damage, but it's on the complete other side of the garden area from the cauliflower, and this has been going on all season.

Oh, and I checked it this evening and it seems to have rebounded with new growth, so hopefully whatever's getting the cukes has missed it's chance with this one.  Of course I've got a half dozen new sprouts I would protect if I had time.

The good news is that despite my negligence, the broccoli seem to be maturing at a rapid pace.  Soon I will have fresh steamed broccoli.

Sorry for the dirty hands, I was at a loss for a unit of measurement for perspective, hehe.

About the only thing I've had time to do in the yard, other than water, has been to play with my kids... yep they mean more to me than my garden, go figure.  While I was out there, I saw some cool things that I thought I'd share, just to prove not everything in my garden is edible (despite my big plans to the contrary).

In the rose garden, my Dr. Huey's are blooming.  They're apparently any variety crossed with a red such that when it dies, it comes back to life as the red rose it started from, but it only blooms once a season.  Apparently the former owner planted several of them, and either they killed them, or I did from ignorance in my first decade in the house.  Either way, I wanted to take pictures of the beautiful red roses.

Note that the one on the left was moved 3 feet to plant my blueberries last October.  See, it's pretty indestructible, just blooms once a year.  Ain't it pretty.  Parton the ball, the kids live outside this summer.

I also saw something pretty amazing in the front of the rose garden where I have my irises.  I have blue and yellow.  So how did this get there?

They're gorgeous, but definitely not my brilliant yellow (they bloomed also).  Anyway, here are my favorite.

See Dan, I can take pictures of flowers also.  Of course mine have ugly walls, SWCs and extension ladders in the background, hehe.  /sigh.  I guess I'm not like Dan after all (he's a genius with the camera).

I sure hope you've had time to enjoy your garden!


  1. engineeredgardenJune 8, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    No need to be down on yourself, the family is what matters most. I think your cucumbers have experienced too much least that's what it looks like. My butternut plant may not make it, because of all the rain, too. Dude, your hands aren't should see mine at work! That broccoli looks really good!

  2. I'm betting that if you excavate that dying broccoli/cauliflower plant, you will find either a severed root, or a root system severely stunted by insect damage. I would take a trowel and scoop up the whole root system and check for root damage. Finding the culprit is also possible. I did that what a squash plant earlier this year and found 3 or 4 symphylans among the roots. When I do it with carrot seedlings, I generally find millipedes. I don't know if the millipedes were the real culprit, but I'm not pleased at all with the symphylans.

  3. I think the cucumber damage you are seeing is just early cold impacts. Cukes just do better if you wait until late May to get them in the ground. It may be frost free but it is too cold for them until then. The good news is, that now that it is warm they should just take off and do fine. No worries - just a delay in growth and some early leaf damage.

    The broccoli head is gorgeous. Good job!

  4. MMMM That broccoli looks delicious. We're back to store bought broccoli. Yuck.

  5. That broccoli head looks great and should be ready any day now. You have some nice blooms too, I really like that dark blue iris. Thanks for the link! Camera's can make all the different with photos. I use one of the cheapest digital slr's you can buy a Nikon D40. It fuzzes out the background and hides a multitude of sins in my yard :-)

  6. forgot to mention that the clipped off brassica is probably from root maggots. I had the same thing happen to one of my broccoli plants this year and last. Annoying little creatures.

  7. Hi again Sinfonian -

    An update on my potato bin. After speaking with you a few weeks ago, I decided to ensure that I covered the potatoes as much as I could after your information about the stems and such. Unfortunately, after I did this, the three potatoes that I covered up began to wither and wilt like they were dry and needing water. I watered everyday - by quite a bit. Finally, they just disappeared and no more potatoes! So, only one of the four potatoes survived the potato bin now.

    Lesson learned - do not cover the stems completely and leave just a few leaves above the surface. They don't like it.

  8. Dirty hands are a gardener's badge of pride.

    At least that's what I tell myself when I realize I can't get the dirt completely out of my fingerprints.