Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cleaning Up, Still and Again

Saturday: In between rainstorms, we pulled up drip tape from last year, removed all the twist ties from the tomato plants, yanked the tomato plants, disconnected the hog panels, and dragged them over to an out of the way pile.  I pulled a few of the fence posts, but my back said to call it quits.

Partly cleaned up.
Left to do: pull up the rest of the drip tape, pull out the pepper plants, pull up the corn stalks, and grab the tiny pile of gourds that didn't get picked up in the fall.  There are also some cauliflower skeletons that need to be removed, and an area of poorly harvested garlic.  I'm not sure what the plan for that is.  I think we should dig them up.
The herbs in the tiny cells were transplanted.  Some went into little 4-inch pots.  Others I decided should go straight into the ground.  Things like fennel, which are all about the root anyway, seem to me like they shouldn't spend much time in a pot.  So I thought I'd just put the fennel, dill, parsley, and cilantro into the ground.  Each is tough enough to handle the temperatures I think.
The results of the science experiment are in: windows win by a mile.  Most of what was under the ground cover is dead.  The window area suffers from want of water, a problem likely to be solved this weekend--the failure from last fall has been repaired.  Now the problem is a missing faucet on one of our many new places we can get water.  Anyway, the plants under the windows look great.  Plus, when I stick my hand in there it's so warm I'm tempted to crawl in with them and take a nap.

Windows in the foreground, row cover in the background.
Zucchini under the windows.
Zucchini under the row cover.

However, in the name of science, the experiment goes on.  Helpful reader Scott has loaned us little temperature data collection devices.  Shawn has installed them in various places in the window area and under the ground cover, but seems to be lacking a control.
I think last week I suggested that we had some germination in the radish, lettuce, pea, etc. department.  That continues and they are starting to seem like rows of plants.
Sunday was full of rain, snow, hail, and finally sunshine.  We planted more onions (I think I said last week they were all done, but I lied.  They still aren't, but are close).  The experiment on the extra space for germinating onions was a success, sort of.  We had a huge and never before seen die off, but those that survived are certainly bigger than usual.  With the leeks, it was unmitigated success.  Best looking leeks we've ever transplanted.  Shawn encountered a gopher run while planting the leeks.  He took the hose and stuck it down the hole.  Several gourd seeds popped up.  The water ran for a good 5-10 minutes.  Never came out the hole, never emerged anywhere else.  How big is the gopher world down there?
Leeks ready to be planted.
The leeks and the gopher hole with hose.

As planned, I got the fennel, dill, cilantro, and parsley into the ground.  They took the transplant well, but I didn't check them after they were poured on.  I also put in additional fennel, dill, and cilantro seeds.  I put them all down by the deer entry point--I'm hoping they won't like the strong taste.  This year, if we don't have dill, it won't be because we forgot to plant it.
I had hoped to get the carrots planted.  Unfortunately didn't get it done.  All the drip tape is out of the garden and the tomatoes are all clear as of today.  Certainly there's always more to do, but all in all, I feel like we did pretty well given the conditions.

The garlic is growing

Garlic detail
The great horned family overlooks the garlic.
The culprit in last year's water failure.  Having water in our garden sure is nice!
Greenhouse is pretty full.

The first tomatoes are big.

Everything else is growing.  They ALL recovered remarkably well from being transplanted.  Blows my mind, because for some doubles I just ripped one out and there was only one tiny root.

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