Displaced Geek

Just a city geek and father coming to terms with being replanted in farm country

Garden Log

(Feb – Mar – Apr – May – Jun – Jul – Aug – Sep – Oct)
(FebMarAprMay – Jun – Jul – Aug – Sep – Oct)

Or just jump straight to the most recent update
05/22:Okay, last shot at this logging thing before I just give it up as a waste of time.

05/22 - In the last week, we've planted beets, radishes, carrots, corn, beans, other beans, & lettuce. We transplanted 5 tomatoes, & ~30 peppers, & an absurd amount of squash was also planted in tiny pots to allow us to work on the back without trampling on seedlings.


02/22 - Surprise! 60ᵒ and sunny in February! Started cleaning up the abandoned "back garden".
02/23 - Another bonus 60ᵒ prep day? Transplanted a bunch of black raspberries into their new home down the center of the back garden; weeded / tilled roughly 1/3 of the planting area; got the lighting fixture for the germination stand - needs wiring & placement
02/28 - Suffered through the use of Jiffy's Organic Seed Starting mix, and got the peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant started in 1 72cell flat.
02/29 - second heat mat arrived; planted squash in 38cell tray.
03/04 - As of this morning, 14 squash, and 5 tomatoes were fully sprouted through the soil
03/05 - 17 Squash: all varieties represented except Earlichamp; 8 tomatoes; 3 "Turkish Orange" eggplant; 4 peppers;
The soil temperature in the tomato/pepper/eggplant flat was reaching dangerous levels, so the heating mat was off for part of the day, and a cloth diffuser, additional water in the tray, and a rotation scheme were all implemented to reduce the heat;
both flats have already had their covers removed to prevent the seedlings from growing against the wet plastic; the entire stand is enclosed in 3.5mil plastic sheeting;
03/13 - Squash are ready to thin & transplant, possibly later today (there's a bug and everyone feels like crap); several peppers haven't come up yet at all, I'm wondering a bit about seed viability - but first Bhut Jolokia today!!!
03/17 (n+18) - transplanted all squash into individual 4" pots; 28/36 popped up, 41 got potted, with 5 or so qualifying for "TLC" status;
04/20 - Peas roughly 3" tall; planted carrots in tomato bed & covered with plastic; groundhog continues to feast on the asparagus;
04/27 - Set up a crappy diy "scare-groundhog" as a test. If it works, we'll make a more permanent one.
05/23 - This week has seen all the seedlings and transplants put into the ground.
07/04 - Not so great with the updates, huh? ~30 pearl sized tomatoes on 7 plants, and tiny peppers galore.

Inspired by a few “what would you do differently” discussions over the winter, I decided to keep a log of all things garden related this year. The goal was originally to monitor what went right, and what didn’t, in order to adjust next year.

I started off pretty well:

02/18 - last germination supplies arrived
02/18 - determined minimum seed count & distribution
02/19 - made seed tags
02/26 - processed dirt & filled trays
02/27 - planted seeds
03/03(n+4) AM - first significant sprouts: 3 broccoli & 1 yellow mystery
03/17(n+16) sowed all cold veggies (peas, carrots, radishes, spinach, lettuce, beets, kohlrabi)
03/19(n+18) AM - tomatoes almost all have 2nd or 3rd leaves. No opalka, peppers disappointing germination rate - (no vermiculite = poor soil aeration?) Yellow Mystery and Green Zebra ready to transplant
03/25(n+24) transplanted sprouts; replanted failed seeds; planted squash in remaining unused spots
03/27(n+26, t+2) 7 broken through squash sprouts
04/07(n+37, t+13) 4/5 red rocoto; 2/3 heaven hybrid - Finally!
04/09(n+39, t+15) transplanted stronger plants into plastic & fiber pots; moved TLC plants into 24 cell tray with lid.
04/14(n+44, t+20) sat ALL plants out in sun; ~90f in lidded tray

Then a little later I noticed I had forgotten to update the log and added this:

05/22 all plants in ground ~1wk - 1 casualty (earlichamp melon), 1 wounded (opalka)

Today I went to update it and realized it’s been almost two months. Bad Farmer!
Maybe I’ll keep up with it more regularly if I post the updates here instead of to a random textfile.

Let’s see… Tomatoes first:
The opalka recovered, but not before I got concerned and planted a second one right next to it. They’re both absurdly small, but healthy.
The winner of last year’s “be the best cherry tomato you can be” contest is not just surviving, it’s thriving and has multiple open flowers. But that’s to be expected, since last year it grew so fast an tall that it shaded all the other tomatoes in the bed. As Emma ‘s so fond of saying, it’s not really a tomato, it’s a weed.
The remaining tomatoes are all just past the bottom support of the tomato support, or roughly 1ft.

As for the peppers, in my infinite wisdom, I decided not to tag the peppers when I planted them. Now while it’s true I’ll be able to tell which is which based on flower and fruit once they have them, right now most of them look pretty much the same. Because of that this will be lacking in some detail.

The Thai Dragon and one of the red rocotos went out too early – they’re alive but practically not worth wasting a pot on. Aside from those two however, all are doing well, especially the 7pot and the red rocoto put out last.

All in all there’s a feeling of a slow but strong start.

06/20: First tomatoes visible on Matt’s Wild Cherry; pest control measures for the squash are proving ineffective; first significantly sized hubbard squash
06/21: first broccoli flowers; 1 or 2 full sized kohlrabi
06/22: harvested first full-size kohlrabi; another bunch of green tomatoes on the weed; trimmed some broccoli leaves to help the brussels sprouts;

First Pepper

Now if I only remembered which plant that was...

06/23: First Pepper!
Additionally, we have squash on the Hubbard, Green Zucchini, Earlichamp Melon, and Butternut.
06/24: First bunch of ripe wild raspberries! (~3oz)
06/27: First real (read: non- Matt’s)tomato! Volunteer in pepper pot; probably either an opalka or a plum/roma.
06/28: Squash doing uniformly poorly – looks to be lack of good soil, must amend; F4 Brandy Boy has two fruit set; several large northeaster snap beans.
06/30: Visible improvement in squash after a tiny fertilizer application and soak; 4/6 tomato plants have fruit (no opalka); peppers starting to come to life; reprioritized brussels sprouts over broccoli, cut broccoli leaves accordingly.
07/08: Opalka flowers! Chopped down one broccoli; several earlichamp melons and butternut squash established; first open rocoto flower; volunteer tomato is plum/roma not opalka; 7pot, budai, Jamaican Hot Chocolate and others have set peppers.
07/10: Sacrificed volunteer tomato to salvage pepper plant.
07/11: Viva Opalka! All tomato plants now have fruit.
07/13: Buds visible on several Brussels sprouts plants.
07/15: TLC pepper dead; First tomatoes turning red! ( Matt’s of course.)
07/18: Two days of red cherry tomatoes; almost ripe melon and several new squash; first eggplant flower.
07/19: At least two almost-ripe squash ruined by wild animal bites.
07/24: Squash patch officially abandoned until next year; harvested the dried peas for next year’s planting.
08/01: peppers starting to ripen, used 3 jalapenos foor salsa last night; lost 2 7pots to stinkbug bites; 1 Brandy Boy tomato turning early, possibly due to bites, can’t tell yet; 1 black krim starting to turn.
08/03: picked/tossed 3 ripe volunteers due to bursting, either Anna Aasa or Taupo;
08/05: First real tomato! 270g Black Krim
08/09: Planted fall spinach, peas, and beets; averaging 3 tomatoes a day;
08/15: first ripe chile (excepting jalapenos) – Jamaican Hot Chocolate; succession planted peas, beets, and spinach all breaking through; peas germination rate ~95%!
08/20: Decisions – F4 Brandy Boy and Green Zebra not worth the space they take up, find new varieties for next year;
09/06: Chiles coming into their own, everything else obviously winding down; very bad tomato year comparatively;
09/21: Last official harvest, one frosty night already, several close calls; surprise pie pumpkin and spaghetti squash in the abandoned back garden; harvested and hung all chiles except the Ndungu and one Red Rocoto which I’m going to overwinter; Quick summary of this year’s total haul… bleh.
10/17: Finally closed up the garden;


Written by Peter

June 22, 2011 at 1330

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