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Monday, August 3, 2015

SpaRRows & Fence veg - Early Aug Update

Things have come right along in the past 15 days.  I'm feeling more positive about the whole container garden idea.  I was angsting that the San Marzanos in pots wouldn't produce any fruit, that the SMs against the fence were just all leaves due to the application of Milorganite behind the fence last year (making them HUGE and DARK and leafy).  And I dispaired that since I didn't end up with any pole beans, that the bush beans wouldn't amount to much.

And then there were the 2 deck cukes - the Sweet Success there was a dud of some kind, stunted, cukes spare and only 6" long when ripe.  Then the much-touted lemon cuke grew like topsy, tons of fine, scads of blooms, lots of cukes and THEY WERE AWFUL.  The skin was terribly prickly and the insides were just wall-to-wall seeds.  A taste was just seeds and bitter skin.  A waste of space.  Still, the bees are enjoying the blooms and I'm liking the vines at that end of the deck.

But things are looking up.  You can see in the pics above, that the SMs in pots have really filled in, even showing a blushing fruit this morning.  The Red Robin toms are producing lots of fruit on such dwarf plants.  Good thing.  The "Rose Quartz" planted against the fence has turned out to be NOT rose quartz, but a Reisentraube.  A larger, sparser, muskier tasting fruit I grew back in 2009 when I decided I didn't like the heavier flavor over the brighter, more citrusy flavor of the Rose Quartz.  I toyed with taking down the plant when I figured that out this week, but decided maybe I'll just add those fruits to my San Marzano sauce, perhaps adding a low note to the mix.  

The other fence toms (Mtg Lifter, German Green, San Marzanos) are now filling well with fruit and I hope they can start ripening before the dreaded late blight mostly likely to come.

Under the pic of a bowl of Red Robins is a pic of the Bush Goliath fruit.  Not as large as last year's pot growth, but heartening none-the-less since they are growing in my experimental home-made potting mix.  

I've gotten about 2# of green beans so far - Contenders from the fence and Blue Lake from the in-ground row in SpaRRows.  The 2 pots of Contenders are growing crazy right now, over 2' tall and covered in blooms and bees.  Fingers crossed for a good crop there.

The sweet peppers are not doing well, nor are the 3 med hot block peppers.  The leaves turn yellow and fall.  Others I've spoken with say their peppers aren't doing well either this season.  Que sera sera.

Finally, the chives are outstanding but the 2 pots of onions are all green, no bulbs.  Most likely it's because I didn't get them into the pots until early June instead of April.  Both 'long day' varieties probably suffered.  Still, green onions are really tasty too!

I went through some old posts from 2009,10,11,12 ever 13 and saw that I was getting baskets of ripe tomatoes mid-to-late July.  2009 & 10 were really banner years.  Don't know why toms last year and this are so retarded in that regard.  All I can hope for is I'll get enough for veg stock and tom sauce before blight.  Keep your fingers crossed for me. X

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

SpaRRows & fence veg in mid-July

1. View from the deck this morning (brrrr - only 48F!)
Onions, beans (in 2 big pots: Contender bush), tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, chives, tomatoes & assorted flowers.

2.  San Marzano tomatoes

3. The cart pots: (big dipper peppers, chives, Red Robin tomaotes (dwarf) and Bush Goliath tomatoes. (Row of bush beans in ground behind: Blue Lake & French Filet)

4. Fence veg: 2 vines Sweet Success cukes; tomatoes: 2 San Marzanoes, Rose Quartz, German green & Mortgage Lifter

5.  View back towards the deck
Very curious to see what kind of harvest I'll get from this setup.

The biggest disappointment is that the Contender beans I bought (when I SWORE the pack said POLE beans) turned out to be BUSH beans.  The trellis I put up is pretty darn useless this year.

Well, No matter the harvest - it's all looking very attractive!

Stay tuned.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

More better.

Really been enjoying working in the container garden (spaRRows) this week.

The 3 big pots have been allocated.  This season I'll grow a Rose Quartz tomato in 1 of them and pole beans in the other 2.  (Reason is - I had 12 extra Contender climbing beans left and hey, what the heck, let's use them.)

Mom had given me 2 sets of wooden trellises a couple years ago ago ad they fit right over the pots.  I soaked the beans until they had some nice roots and planted them out a couple days ago.

This should be fun.  I have 12 of the same plants on the fence trellis.  Will be interesting to compare progress/harvest from both locations.  (Also used 2 different organic low-nitrogen fertilizers.)

Meanwhile, in the bean department, I soaked/rooted the few rest of my own saved blue lake bush beans and planted them in the vacant spaces in the bean border.  They were up in 3 days.  Now if I can only keep the bunnies away.  The netting does keep them from eating.  But it doesn't keep them from LAYING down on them.  *sheesh*

The 3 Hungarian hot wax peppers were never very robust and had been losing leaves daily.  So out it went and I replaced them with 3 med hot block peppers.  They seem to be settling in.

Finally, I was at Marc's yesterday and found they, too, had some of the fake grass carpet.  A piece 40"x60" for $8.  Picked one up, cut it in half length-wise and put it down along the bean border.

A bit of soft for the old knees and additional heat mitigation for the pots.

Today spaRRows enjoyed 1.5" of good rain.  All the plants look happy.

The bunny doesn't.  LOL

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