Sunday, April 09, 2006

Garden Update. NOW! with a picture

More stuff in the ground. Plants growing. Very exciting.

The plants I put in in mid-March are growing well. The buttercrunch and romaine lettuce is starting to look like lettuce instead of seedlings. The buttercrunch heads are getting all wavy but rounded, and the romaine heads are starting to coalesce, too. Even the arugula that I planted from seed has progressed to the point where there are real arugula leaves visible, not just the seed leaves. I have tried watering those seedlings more regularly than I have in the past, in the hopes that they will take off. We shall see.

The bad news is that nasturtiums are not that cold-hardy, and a low temperature one night mostly did them in. Two pulled through, and have sent up new umbrella-like leaves, but the plants are way behind where they were when I planted them in March. Sigh.

On Friday as I was driving to work, I was think, "Hmmm. The last frost date for this zone is 15 April. The weather forecast looks clear of frost until then, though, so I should be getting some more things in the ground." Usually the PP and I drive out to Park Seed to buy tomato plants and herbs and random other things, but it is a bit of a haul: really the errand eats the whole day. And with planning to swim both days this weekend, I could not see how that was going to happen. But they have such good plants, so I was having a dilemma. But then, when I came out of my workshop, I found that the horticulture students were having a plant sale. Hooray! I buzzed over there and a few minutes later I had spent $18 for 18 plants: 8 tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 3 basil, 3 arugula (in case the seed-planted stuff doesn't work), and 2 cilantro.

Yesterday it rained like mad, so today I planted. All but 2 of the basil went in the raised bed, and it is now full for now (until the lettuce, cabbage and broccoli is harvested). There are 2 each of 4 kinds of tomato: Park Improved Whopper, Brandywine (the best tasting tomato ever, but an heirloom and a little vulnerable to South Carolina weather), Mr. Stripey (also an heirloom--I have never tried this kind before), and Carolina Gold (a yellow tomato). I'm interested to see how those all do.

Some of the plants are still a little tippy from the transplant + watering shock, but this gives you a sense of things:

(And that's not a bad looking white azalea back there either!)


Rebecca said...

If you come up north later this summer, you should bring up some of those vegetables. You have most of the fixings for a very good Israeli salad or some Mexican food there.

Isis said...

Will do! By then who knows what we'll be producing. I am not sure how I feel about the week or two when 6 broccoli plants will be ready to harvest. I suppose it will depend on whether it is the same week that the 6 cabbages are ready.

The big gap for Mexican food is hot peppers, which usually we grow.

Meanwhile, I would not mind directions for an Israeli salad....

Joe said...

Nice photo! Looks like you'll be having delicious salads soon. We're planting lettuce too but in our climate we usually can't harvest it until July.

It looks like you have a pretty decent sized lot, at least by the standards in my neck of the woods. Are you in a rural area? Must be nice and quiet.

Isis said...

Nice and quiet indeed. It's a .6 acre lot, if I recall correctly. Somewhat rural around here, but the strip malls are encroaching like crazy. After all, we don't believe in zoning, so, as Cole Porter would say, Anything Goes.

So my neighborhood is pretty quiet, except on Clemson football game days, when we can hear the stadium--even though we're in the next county.

Joe said...

Is that rosemary just behind the garden and in front of the tree?

Isis said...

YES! The rosemary plant is one of my great successes in the edible gardening arena: it really has done well, which is great because I love love love rosemary. But it is slowly but surely taking over the herb patch. So be it: enlarge the herb patch.

Joe said...

Yes, rosemary has a way of doing that. We planted a little tiny seedling a couple of years ago and now it is the size of a small tree. I have to keep trimming it back just so I can get to the garage.

Rosemary is so awesome on pork tenderloin!

Anonymous said...

Yo, this is M. What a gorgeous photo. You are back into growing food. So happy to hear you will have the time this year. The rosemary is WONDERFUL!!