One day these heirlooms will turn red. One day
It’s been over a month since the last update. The garden was moving along quite well despite the weird weather we’ve been having. It’s been a weird mix of a little too hot or a little too cold for the squash, basil and beans. There’s also been a problem with white flies… But those were nothing compared to the problem we had when we forgot to put up the gate that keeps the dogs away from the garden during the day when we’re both at work.
The dogs, and I suspect the puppy, Millie, more so than Jake, got into the garden and tore out the melon, the okra, and the peppers. One of the okra plants and all the peppers were salvageable - though all in some state of disrepair. This came at the worse time as these plants were just starting to produce and the stress of being dug up could only have retarded that… But, not much you can do! We replanted what we could and carried on. The jalapenos and tomatoes have been the best producers this year and D has even had enough peppers left over to make jalapeno jelly, spicy hummus, etc.
They taste good in hummus, jellies, and sauces.
Right now we’re in that odd phase between summer and fall. The days are still hot but the nights are cooling down. Half the leaves on the trees are browning. One day it’s cloudy and cool and you want to have tea in the morning and the next you need to have something cold to stay cool in the heat. For the garden this translates into our okra and squash being pretty much done but the tomatoes, basil, peppers, and eggplant still being happy enough to keep producing fruit. So, we’ve taken out what hasn’t been working and put in some cabbage and cauliflower. I’m a little worried that it’s still to hot for them and we’ll lose them but all the guides say the best time to plant is “August/September.” Continue reading
Everything is looking good!
It’s been a few weeks since the garden went in, and a few since the heat wave that nearly killed it all. With everything thriving it seemed like a good idea to post an update.
Do you know what type of peppers these are? If so please let me know in the comments!
After the heatwave things actually cooled down quite a bit. Maybe too cool as out tomatoes stopped flowering and the green tomatoes just seem to be hanging out. The weather has started to warm up a little though and the two plants now seem to be budding again. Our jalapeno peppers are producing slowly as well, I think this is related to the weather as well. Our little red pepper plant is quite happy! The plant hasn’t grown any but it continues to pump out peppers at a rate of 4 or 5 a week! Everything else is slowly coming along. Beans are starting to vine, squash and eggplant are blooming, okra is doing its thing… We also planted some oregano and basil today (you can see them in the very first image.)
These tomatoes have been green for too long! I’m hoping the rising temperature turns them red!
Before we could garden we had to clean up…
Our new place has its problems, we’ll talk about those some other time, but it does have a nice backyard with multiple garden beds. But before the backyard was nice we had to clean it up. I think the previous tenants only used the backyard for drinking booze and the beds for ashtrays. So, nature had been allowed to do its own thing. Meaning the beds were full of weeds as was most of the landscaping… It took a good 12 to 20 hours cleaning up the yard before we could begin planting grass and vegetables.
Just a small sample of the weeds that had to be pulled and dug up before we could get started.
This garden is almost solely the work of D. She has spent the past week working on the yard and beds while I was at work. But, the work has really paid off the backyard looks amazing and the beds look great as well. (Thanks D!)
Turning over and working in new soil in the one bed
The bed with vegetables planted
The other bed with vegetables planted. Also note along the fence more vegetables
We’ve got banana peppers, jalapenos, summer squash, eggplants, green beans, melon, tomatoes, and okra. We’re hoping to get some pumpkin in as well. Our big worry right now is that this week it’s supposed to get up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit this week. That is not typical for this time of year in Davis and our transplants might not survive the heat… We’re doing everything we can to try and mitigate the heat. Including watering up to three times a day and covering the beds in straw to reduce evaporation.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed!
Look at all those greens!
A few more weeks have passed and the greens in the garden continue to thrive. What we first believed were slugs preying on the greens we now think it is birds. Tiny thrushes, if you can believe it! The pallet is below a towering bougainvillea plant that is home to, what sounds like, dozens of the little things. On numerous occasions we’ve seen them hopping around on the pallet tearing at the greens! When I catch them I go out and shoo them off. But, their home is right there and they and I know that they’re safe in there.
Despite the little things predations we have more lettuce and cabbage than we know what to do with. I see a lot of salads in our future! D started picking leaves off of a Chinese cabbage and some of the green leaf lettuce. Neither one of them has a lot to recommend in the taste department, they are leafy greens after all, the cabbage has a little spice and a little bitterness to it.
I wish these kale had a little more leaf on them… I also wish it wasn’t so blurry!
We never harvest a whole head of anything. With just the two of us things often end up wilting or spoiling before we get through all of it. By just tearing off the leaves we will use for each meal the plants keep living and we don’t have to worry about spoilage. I think now that we’re harvesting and eating the veggies that we can call the pallet garden a success. I’m tempted to try and grow more appealing vegetables during the second half of the summer. Maybe we can get some tomatoes or squashes out of this as well?
That Chinese cabbage I was writing about.
I’ll have to remember to take pictures of the food we use the vegetables in next time!