Saturday, May 30, 2009

Onion crop failure

Very Pretty...not so good to eat tho.  

You can see the lack of bulb growth on our 'should have been huge by now' red onions.  These have been in the ground for 7 months and because they decided to bolt, should have been pulled the minute they started producing flowers.   They would have been at least slightly edible.  I believe I mentioned that this was only the second time I had tried growing onions and there were plenty of mistakes to be made.  Tho I'm not actually the cause of the flowering..
...that can be blamed on the weather. 

When the onions flower 
the core hardens to an unappetizing log, 
only the  outer few layers are edible. 

From the Plant Answers website.....

Most folks want to grow onion bulbs NOT onion flowers! What causes bulb onions to send up flower stalks? Flowering of onions can be caused by several things but usually the most prevalent is temperature fluctuation. An onion is classed as a biennial which means it normally takes 2 years to go from seed to seed. Temperature is the controlling or triggering factor in this process. If an onion plant is exposed to alternating cold and warm temperatures resulting in the onion plant going dormant, resuming growth, going dormant and then resuming growth again, the onion bulbs prematurely flower or bolt. The onion is deceived into believing it has completed two growth cycles or years of growth in its biennial life cycle so it finalizes the cycle by blooming. Flowering can be controlled by planting the right variety at the right time.

 Ultimately,  I'm guessing that our unusually warm Feb. was responsible for 'fooling' the onion into repeat dormancy.  Now I just need to find the right variety for our area, or plant later so there will be less chance of severe temperature flucuations.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Time For Everything Under the Sun

It's hard to get a true idea of what we are doing from these pictures.  Maureen is fastidious about taking photos from a variety of angles, and at different times of the day, but as with many things the experience in person is better than Technicolor, Panavision or any such technology.

Above is most of the garden we are working across the street.  Squash/pumpkin/watermelon in front and beans, peppers, and tomatoes everywhere else.  I hope you get the idea I'm not always the "specifics" guy.  My point though is if you were to set foot in the garden at this moment it would look different in many ways.  There are weeds, though we are working our way through them.  The puncture vines especially are being quarantined and carried away.  This picture was taken only a few days ago, but most of the plants are much bigger.  We have peppers on some and tomatoes on some also.  Some of the plants are being eaten by critters of various types.  You can even get different ideas of the garden during different times of the day.  I have been over watering this weekend mid-day and in the morning, and visited during the evening to show J, A and their lovely smaller versions the garden.  A different look each time.

For me at this time I am having my eyes opened to the process of farming and the daily changes in the plants.  A fellow worker years ago told a story of watching silage corn grow.  He said it was a miracle to go into a field and watch the corn literally grow taller before you eyes.  I haven't had that pleasure with beans, peppers and tomatoes; but I sure am enjoying coming back each day to something new.  I suppose that is why men and women spend their lives digging in dirt.

The poet's wisdom of Ecclesiastes says there is a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted.  I know I will enjoy the plucking and eating.  I now am enjoying the planting and weeding and watering and growing.  That is what time it is now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here's what's in the Garden

...'cause Garrett and Becka asked :)

Provider green beans

Rattlesnake Pole beans

Vermont Cranberry beans

Our oops for this year....I originally planted corn, then decided we could buy it local (and cheap and delicious) so I dug in the same spot and planted Lima beans.  The plan was to pull up the corn as it came up and trellis the beans.  Well, the beans came up and were immediately attacked by some bug, many are dead (or dying) so we decided to let the corn stick around for awhile and see what happens.  Many people grow pole beans next to corn specifically to use the corn stalks as support for the vines.  I have a feeling tho, if that were what we had set out to do we should have left a bit more room for both crops to intermingle.  Oh well, live and learn.

Red Kidney beans

Midnight Black Turtle bean (soup)

Cantelope - Amish, Ambrosia, and Pride of Wisconsin

Black Valentine green bean

Kentucky Wonder Pole bean

Watermelon - Picnic and Chris Cross

Zucchini - Black Beauty and Golden

Cucumbers - Bantam, Lemon and Armenian Long

Pumpkin - New England Pie, BIg Max and Long Pie

Winter Squash - Uncle David's, Candy Roaster and Waltham Butternut

Tomatoes - LOTS!

Peppers - Red, Orange, Purple and Green sweet peppers plus several hot peppers for salsa

About the only thing not growing in this garden is standard basil which we planted in ours.  I only need a couple plants and it likes a bit of shade in the afternoon so it was better suited to our home garden. 

Just for reference for those of you gardening in HOT (that's me yelling) summer zones, we can't grow certain things that many people consider summer crops (but we CAN grow all year long).  Things on our Fall planting list include - 


Herbs and flowers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Planting Day!

Tomatoes and Peppers go in the ground.

Also, there are pole beans behind the peppers to climb up the shed wall.

Friday, May 1, 2009