Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spring Garden Tour By Elsa!

Spring is nearly over and the warm hot weather this week may be with us for keeps. That's great news for the cucumbers, tomatoes and melons but not so much for the CAPUCIJNERS BLUE POD HEIRLOOM PEAS -aka POIS A CROSSE VIOLETTE (scroll down). Today, as I promised over the weekend, the peas have surpassed Elsa in height. They should grow over the top of the trellis which is only 5 feet, to be 6-8 ft high. It's a dutch variety that should have blue or purple flowers and pods, depending on your point of view.

The Cucumbers ("Bushy") also appeared today for the first time. You can see some tiny cukes forming behind the flower. This variety is good for both slicing and pickling. I would love to start pickling this year but I have a feeling my heart won't be in it once strawberries are in season and I will be canning jar after jar of jam. Elsa and her sister blew through about 25 pints of it since last fall. Go figure.

Garlic is doing very well but I just read a scary story via Seacoast Eat Local that garlic bloat nematode has been shipped to Exeter NH which is only 3 towns over from Newington.... It sounds like a dreadful pest that will destroy tomatoes, alliums and other plants, overwintering for up to four years.

Speaking of strawberry jam though, things are looking really good for the strawberries I got from Agway last year and planted in one of my raised beds. I normally shy away from anything that is not a local heirloom but I have been impressed that Agway sells many of the same varieties that respected organic growers sell. I don't know what their policy on GMO is and should ask the next time I go there. It will be exciting to have our own strawberries for Josie's birthday in a couple of weeks however. That will be a first for me.
Above you can see the fenced in bed where I put all of the woodchuck's favorites.... Detroit red beets (nearest), parsley, Spinach, and Bietola a costa fine chard (back). The supplier of the chard is Adaptive Seeds. I also got Ildkongen Marigolds from them, which can be seen in the front. They are a great company, shipped exactly what I ordered in one or two days... answered questions almost immediately. Not all seed suppliers do that. They are also one of the organic farms brought suit against Monsanto over its use of GMOs.

Elsa is not a fan of GMOs, I am sure. It will be interesting to see where she goes with her beliefs. Here she is in any case, standing in front of the Stupice and Peche Jaune tomatoes. The Stupice started flowering last week but I have not checked to see if any flowers have set.

It is hard to believe that I have a six year old that knows more about the cretaceous than I do.

The last photo below, was taken along Mountain Dream, the fanciful phrase the kids use to describe my neighbors driveway after I planted wildflowers there a few years ago. The idea was to move away from the green wasteland of lawn and actually support wildlife and conserve water. It has been a great success. Here, you can see the wildflowers are playing host to a horde of caterpillars that will then be consumed by the bluebirds or bats. As long as they don't eat tomatoes or melons, I am fine with that.

Enjoy your spring! It will be over too soon.