Monday, May 28, 2012


It was bean planting day today.  I have five different varieties to plant, and planted three of them today.  I put some garden inoculant in a dish, added a bit of water and then the beans, and then went outside to plant them.  Since we didn't have much room left in the garden beds at the moment, I planted Provider, a 50 day bush bean variety which will probably take 90 to 100 days here on the north coast, Fresh Pick, another bush variety scheduled to take 53 days (100 if I'm lucky), and Speedy, bush, and I'm not sure how long this will take.
Beans have a hard time here along the cool coast.  They look terrible every year for quite awhile until they finally start looking better after about 60 days of growth.  They usually produce pretty well for us once they get around to it.  I think the culprit is the lack of heat we have, and the cool, foggy weather.  It is rare for it to reach 70 degrees F here.  Germination is usually slow because soil temp is at the low end of possible germination temperatures.  I do love the fresh beans when we harvest them though.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dinner prep

I just love vegetables, growing them and eating them.  Last night I combined fresh broccoli, two kinds of kale, and garlic, all grown in our garden, into a lovely meal with sticky rice, tofu, and an alfredo sauce.  Yum.  Here is a pic of the ingredients:
Tonight, I've picked asparagus from both asparagus beds, three types of swiss chard, and some parsley to combine in a tomato sauce based baked ziti dish.  Yum again.  I have some Italian Dolcetto wine to go along with it.  Here is a pic of the just picked goodies.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moon in Cancer, waxing

One of the nice things about planting by the moon cycles is that when I notice a planting day, it pulls me out of procrastination mode (perhaps spending too much time with the computer), and into getting things done in the garden mode.  This was the case yesterday as the moon is waxing, it is in a water sign (Cancer), and so it is theoretically a good day to plant upward growing crops.  I took advantage and planted 3 types of spinach in the concrete bed I constructed last year (varieties planted: Corvair from Johnny's Seeds, Bordeaux, a red veined variety from Territorial, and Oriental Giant from Renee's Garden).
I also planted a tray of 6 packs (that is 8 of them).  I used mostly 3 cells in each 6 pack for each variety with one seed in each cell.  Lettuces planted included greenleaf Black Seeded Simpson, red butterhead Skyphos, green butterhead Dancine, red Grand Rapids type Vulcan, green butterhead Victoria, red loose leaf New Red Fire, and iceberg Summertime.  I also planted broccolis Belstar, Packman, and Apollo, pac choi Win-Win, and oriental green Tah Tsai.
I also weeded the asparagus bed which is still producing well, and weeded the tomato patch in the hothouse.  I pulled out a tomato that had overwintered but was not growing well, and left a volunteer Stupice tomato, a potato leaved variety in its place.  All in all a great non-procrastinating day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Busy bee

One of the Osmia Californica solitary bees has sprung from its tube and is somewhere (polinating we hope.)  Today was a busy garden day with weeding the main asparagus bed, emptying three compost tumblers of their finished compost and spreading it on the two asparagus beds and the apple/pear tree espalier.  We also rototilled the two upper beds in the main garden, weeded the "no till" bed, spread epsom salts under the roses,  and planted zucchini starts (golden and green), two different pumpkins, and four types of winter squash.  Tonight I went out and did slug patrol by the light of the moon - just kidding, the moon wasn't up yet, but I did kill slugs and snails.  All in all a very productive day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Full moon, red lettuce leaves, salad for lunch

     Since tonight is the Scorpio full moon I was spurred to get the planting of my next round of lettuce seeds done.  I planted 8 six packs full of lettuce seeds (12 different varieties.)  One of the things I like about lettuce is the amazing array of colors, textures, and types of lettuce.  Today for lunch we had a nine types of greens lunch salad including three distinct types of lettuce (green butterhead, green romaine, and red looseleaf).  Here is a picture of the washed greens before I assembled them into a salad. (Click to enlarge.)
I'm focusing this year partly on growing a wide variety of red leaf lettuces.  Here are photos of some of the types I've planted this year which are now growing in my garden.
Skyphos red butterhead
Yugoslavian red butterhead

Vulkan red Grand Rapids type

New Red Fire
red radicchio