Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21st update


My sweet 100 is almost 3 feet tall and has 14 little maters started as of yesterday. I can't believe how that thing took off. The celebrity tomatoes are starting to do well but nowhere near the 100.

Sugar snap peas are still producing but the older set is starting to brown. I planted some a couple weeks after the first set and those are going mad. Note to self, for a continued crop, plat sugar snap peas a week apart over a months time.

Spacemaster cucumbers are really starting to come alive. Although it's not a very big plant yet, the leaves are close to 8 or so inches in diameter. I wish I could say the same about my pickling cucumbers. They are only a few inches tall.

Squashes. The butternut is going ape and keeps growing in the wrong direction so I'm going to have to figure a way to make it grow in the direction I want. Zuchs are starting to come into their own. Still small plants but very nice and green. The yellow crookneck however are still yellowing and not looking great. I just worked in some fresh compost around those guys so we'll see what happens.

Bush beans grew like crazy till they hit about a foot tall then started to turn light green. They've put out some beans but they look to be struggling. I planted some more bush beans about two weeks ago in a container that I pulled my red norland potatoes out of and they have grown four inches in a week. We'll see if they produce.

Okra = sad. They turned yellow then died. So last night I turned em under and mixed in some fresh compost and replanted.

Peppers are looking good. Although they are not growing very tall, they are a nice dark green color. I've got bell and jalepenos and both have 3 to 4 fruits per plant with the jalepeno in the lead with the biggest at about an inch long.

Hops - A friend and I brew beer so we decided to try growing hops this year. I'm using a smallish container so I'm having to water every day. The chinook is about 3 feet tall with the cascades not far behind.

I intended to make more frequent updates to this blog but, well, life happens!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rainy Day Update

I braved the mist to check on the garden today to find the pink slime mold stuff mentioned earlier. Other than that, the peas, Roma II beans, yellow squash, butternut and peppers are all looking good. Speaking of peppers, a couple days ago I got a couple more bells so now I've got 3 bell peppers and one jalapeno. Oh speaking of the other day, I also planted some okra, zucchini and replanted my pickling cukes. For some reason the pickling cukes are not coming up, whereas my spacemaster slicing cukes are starting to go crazy... 3 inches tall crazy that is.

What else is new... Oh yes, yesterday I thawed out some cleaned catfish that were given to my in-laws for a fish fry that they'll never use. Anyways, I dug a hole beside the tomato plants down below the roots about arm size and shoved a fish down the hole. One per plant. I remember hearing that a fish carcass per tomato plant was beneficial to the plants when I was a kid so I'm going with it. We'll see what happens. Of course, I filled back in the hole.

Staying on the tomato topic, my tomatoes look like crap. They've been in the ground for just over a month now and they are turning brown. The lowest leaves started turning first and originally I thought it was because they were really close to the soil. Well, I snipped them off thinking that would fix the problem. It didn't. I did some research and there are a couple things I think could be wrong.

First, I thought maybe the soil was too acidic because I used a lot of peat for the soil mix in my raised beds. I was told to add some gypsum and maybe some limestone and I'll keep that in consideration.

Second, and the reason I added the fish, I think there may not be enough nutrients in the soil for the tomato plants. It sure is odd that the peppers, peas and beans are looking good when the tomatoes aren't. So I fertilized and gave em some fish to 'digest'.

Third, my raised beds are in an area of the yard that has standing water when it rains, thus the reason I decided to do the raised beds. Anyway, when I dug down to the bottom of the raised bed to insert the catfish carcass, it was wetter than wet. Granted, this about 8 inches down and it had been raining for at least a day. Could roots be too wet?

Last, the garden is on the North side of the house. The tomatoes may not be getting enough light. I have noticed however that the garden gets direct sunlight from about 9am to almost 3 pm and will only get better as the sun gets higher in the sky throughout the season.

It's probably a combination of all these factors... We'll see

On a totally unrelated note, my hops are starting to go nuts. The Chinook was the first to show and in less than a couple of weeks one vine is about 14" tall. The Cascade on the other hand are just starting to show. Both these hops are on the south side of the house in pots. I'm curious to see if they'll produce or if they'll get burned up by the Texas summer heat. Soon I have to run the twine so they can really get after it.

Pink Bubblegum Lookin Stuff...

Found this in the garden today. It's been raining fir the past couple days and after some research I would guess it's pink slime mold. Harmless?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Garden

I decided this would be an easy way for me to keep track of my own garden and perhaps give some insight to others in my area. I know I've looked for information in my area for quite some time and it seems everything is published by zones. Well, a zone 7/8 in Texas is probably a bit different than that same zone in California or Georgia or where ever else zone 7/8 lands.

I'm in Fort Worth, Texas which is right on the border of zones 7 and 8. So which one do I go by? Since this is my first garden, I guess I'll find out in time. This year is considered a trial year for me anyhow.

I'll have to look at my notes but sometime back in Feb, I think around Feb 17th or 22nd, I planted radishes, peas, Texas sweet onions, evergreen bunching onion seeds, carrot seeds, four kinds of lettuce and some other things I can't recall at the moment. Then, in to March I planted stuff like cukes, tomatoes and peppers. Again, I've got it all written down, somewhere...

Soon I will go back over my notes and detail when I planted what and how they are doing. Unfortunately I didn't write down when the little dudes sprouted but maybe I can make something up, but then again, that wouldn't be very informative so I guess I'll have to try to keep track from now on.