Saturday, August 30, 2008

More fall transplants

Got the last of the fall transplants in today. I had started some Red Russian Kale and Silver Chard for fall, but they didn't make it through my last vacation away from home. A windstorm blew the 3 week old seedlings off the deck to the grass, where slugs ate them up. Oh well.

Lettuce mix called "The redder the better".

I interplanted the lettuce in the cabbage and broccoli rows, basically so I could use only two of the many raised beds in our plots for fall/winter crops and green manure all the others.

Hopefully the close planting here will form a dense canopy of leaves and a deep root system below that will help protect the soil and its' nutrients from leaching away in fall and winter rains, just as the cover crop will do in other beds.

Speaking of cover crops, here is crimson clover germinated and beginning to fill in around kohlrabi transplants from a week ago.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vegetable Review

Vegetable: Cabbage
Variety: Derby Day Cabbage
Seed Co: Territorial Seed Co.
Description: "Grows very rapidly in the chill of spring, and can hold up to 5 weeks without bolting if the weather is right. The early maturing, round, blue-green heads weigh in at 3-5 pounds and measure 5-7 inches in diameter. The dense interior is extremely sweet and tender and makes great slaw, both cold and hot".
Sown: March 15, 2008
Transplanted: May 3
Germination: good
First Harvest: about July 3
Days to maturity: Stated: 58 Actual: 60
Held in field/length of harvest: 4 weeks
Problems: The usual slugs, cabbage worms, and blue aphids, easily removed or washed out with water.
Results: Easily grown, tasty cabbage. Picked the first after 60 days at 4-5" diameter. Later plants matured to large and dense heads of 6-8".

Just at the first harvest, after about 2 months in the ground.

Last one was very large, no splitting either.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall transplants

Got pretty much everything in the ground now. Realistically, I'm a few weeks too late. It's possible that a frost or even a freeze can roll in by the middle of September, or it may be sunny and frost free till mid October. So I'm hoping for a mild fall and planting like crazy. The last lettuce will go in this weekend.

Cabbage in front and Broccoli in the back. This bed was in such bad shape I have not used it this year till now.

Kohlrabi. I sowed crimson clover in this bed as well to see how well kohlrabi can be interplanted.

Monumental Chinese cabbage goes in a bed with other winter tough veggies, leeks and carrots.

I've sown crimson clover as a cover crop and green manure in all bare areas at the garden plots. As soon as the tomatoes and peppers are done (as well as any other lingering crops), they'll be pulled and crimson clover will go in there as well. I'm hoping to have a dense cover over everything as soon as the winter rains start coming in.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm back after a nice week long vacation. The garden went along nicely without me, even making it through a nasty thunderstorm with rain and wind. 3/4 " of rain kept everything happy.

Hot weather veggies are ripening up and starting to roll in. This sure was a bad summer for them - cooler than normal temps and many gray days in May and June really set things back. Nothing will be producing to its' full potential this year, but we'll certainly have plenty.

Tomatoes, Sungold here, are finally ripening.

Eggplant is a prayer in Bellingham, but even with this cold year I'll get a few.

Lots of hops maturing - I've got 5 varieties.

Here's the haul for today. Not too fantastic, but I'm happy with it.

Clockwise from the lower left: Sungold toms with Miniature Chocolate Bell peppers behind; Early Jalapenos; 2 heirloom Cherokee Purple toms; Italian pepperoncini peppers; Super Marzano Roma toms; a few Stupice toms and some FIrst Lady II toms.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Went down to the garden a few days ago and surprised some wildlife in one of the plots at the community garden.

They ate about 8 feet of a row of runner beans, stripping off all the leaves. I'm glad I've got a 6 foot fence!

My fall brassicas are coming along nicely. Instead of thinning 3 or 4 plants down to 1 per cell, as I did in spring with my early brassicas, I ended up pricking out these seedlings and potting them up to individual 2" pots or into a cell tray with 2" cells. I'm planting more of each vegetable than I did this spring.

That's cabbage in the front 2 rows and broccoli in the back 2 rows. These were sown about 25 days ago and should be transplanted some time next week.

Chinese cabbage in front and kohlrabi in back sown 2 weeks ago. Hopefully these will be out in the garden in 2 weeks. That's about 2 weeks later than they should have been out, but I'm hoping for a long, cool fall with no early frosts.

I sowed a few more fall veggies a couple days ago:
- one 4-pack Italian Silver Chard
- one 4-pack Red Russian Kale
Both frost hardy varieties that should stand through the winter.