UPDATE – Veggies

Ugh!  Its been a long couple days here at the Hotel Amoroso.  The Olive trees have been in overdrive, producing all of that sweet gold (pollen) that makes the circle of life continue and me want to end my own (life).  Okay maybe I’m not THAT dramatic, but when the choice is between gardening with my eyes swelled shut or living the life of a shut in… only seeing my plants from the window, it feels like I could be.

My Birthday on Sunday was awesome.  We partied, bbq’d, drank and enjoyed life in the backyard.

As promised… here is an update on all things veggie!

TOMATOES:  They’re growing fast and most plants have small tomatoes on them.  Even the Roma, which was broken in half by the hound dog the week it was planted.  As you can tell from the photo below, the cherry tomatoes are taller than the great Gadzuki (and he’s only 2 years old).

4/26/11

3/6/11

Peppers, Zucchini & Cucumbers:  A lot has changed in just 17 days since I planted.  The Zucchini are already really big, the Cucumbers are climbing up and out of the planter and the Yellow Bell even has a small bell pepper!!

4/26/11

4/9/11

Small Bell

Eggplant, Onion & Garlic:  Not a lot has changed… I’m almost wondering if the area might be too shady?

4/26/11

4/3/11

Carrots:  They’re getting bigger everyday, but still not large enough to even get a baby carrot.

4/26/11

4/3/11

Radishes:  The foliage is getting very large on these… unfortunately almost half our crop was wiped out by the birds.  I can’t wait to harvest these and plant another round before it gets too hot.  This time I think I’ll try a bird net over the top.

4/26/11

4/3/11

Next:  I’m excited to show you how good the compost looks after just a month and a half!  

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She who walks between the rows…

LEFT: Radishes - RIGHT: Carrots

So here’s the verdict on the watering by osmosis vs. watering overhead experiment.

Before Thinning

Watering by osmosis (i.e the carrot seeds) didn’t work for me.  The seeds never came up.  Its because either the seeds dried out, were planted too deep, or blew away (we did have some heavy winds).  In any case, we will have radishes and LOTS of them!
The radishes sprouted exactly as the package said, about 5 days after they were planted.  I put them in the ground, created shallow trenches on either side and watered them with a fine mist overhead everyday until they came up.
(see photo at LEFT).

 

TOOL

On the 9th day they were 1/2″ -1″ tall and it was definitely time to “thin” the rows… But I just couldn’t see the point in aborting all of those “would be” radishes so I got creative.  These were the tools I set out with:  One little Rake, My trusty gardening gloves and a pencil (see photo at RIGHT).

Originally I intended on maybe planting them where the carrot seeds had been (Right Side), but after getting down and dirty I decided to take advantage of the rows in between.  Since watering by osmosis clearly wasn’t something I was going to continue doing.

 

SPROUT

When I put the seeds in the ground I basically just drew a line in the soil and sprinkled the seeds along that line.  BOY was that the WRONG thing to do.  When the sprouts came up they were only about an 1/8 of an inch apart at best.  I needed to thin them to roughly 1″ apart.

To do this I had to be careful to pull up each sprout individually by one of the 4 little leaves.  Easier than is sounds, but still time consuming, all the while being careful not to touch the trunk.  Then with my pencil I created shallow holes all along the little trenches on either side of the row.  I then transplanted as many seedlings as I could.

AFTER

 

If things go well we should get 300 radishes all together from this modest 3’x3′ planting area.  Not bad!  Considering we’re about 10 days from when they went in the ground we should be feasting like rabbits in about 15 more days!

So we’ll see in a few days if the “trench seedlings” live through the water collecting in them.  But if it works, it’ll be a great way of taking advantage of a small space.

Next:  We’ll explore propagating some Ivy for my friend Hank’s yard!