Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 4/8/13

It’s been a whirlwind four-day weekend for me, and I’m not finished yet! I harvested, cleaned, and put up purple top and golden globe turnips, turnip greens, beet greens, kale, spinach, watermelon and daikon radishes, two beds of carrots, and over 90 heads of lettuce! Then, with the help of my Garden Wilson (oh, yard boy!), I added mushroom compost into my beds; and we put up the trellises. The above picture shows 12 of my beds, ready for planting. (Garlic in the foreground and onions in the background aren’t ready for harvest yet.) I spent the rest of the weekend planting – but I still have more to do.

THE NEW:

My Garden Wilson built me a new raised bed, so now I have 15! Didn’t he do a nice job?

My new, 15th bed!

My new, 15th bed!

My hydrangea bushes are popping leaves and growing new branches (from the bottom), so I was able to prune out the dead branches. Here’s a pic of one of them. Great sign of spring!

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Finally, one of my pomegranate trees has new growth after all the leaves had been killed in a frost a while back.

Pomegranate new growth

Pomegranate new growth

Just before harvesting my watermelon radishes, I noticed a couple of them had started bolting. Here’s a picture of what it looks like. Reminds me of broccoli!

Radish bolting

Radish bolting

MOST CHANGED:

I have to give it to my potatoes this week. They have grown so much in the past week or so. The buckets were originally half full of soil when I planted them. Once the plants reached above the tops of the buckets, it was time to fill the buckets with soil (hilling them up). This weekend, we mixed soil with sand for a loose mix and topped the buckets. Even with hilling them up, they are still reaching for the sky!

Potatoes hilled up

Potatoes hilled up

SEEDLINGS:

Almost all the seedlings were transplanted yesterday. What a job! I also planted French marigolds among my peppers and tomatoes to protect against nematodes.

I transplanted two of my own seedlings of Listada di Gandia eggplant, a Black Beauty eggplant that I bought at Lowes, and two celery plants into my bed of kale. I decided to keep the kale going for a while – until it gets too hot and I have more celery to plant. The eggplant is in the back, celery in the front.

Eggplant & Celery among the kale

Eggplant & Celery among the kale

Sweet Peppers: I transplanted two mini red heart, three mini red bell, and 15 green bell peppers. This picture was taken right after transplant and initial watering. Fortunately, they looked much perkier a few hours later. In between the pepper plants, I planted Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seed. It’s a variety that is supposed to grow longer into the spring than others. I figured, with the space between the pepper plants and the shade the plants will give once they grow, lettuce might do well until it gets too hot. We’ll see.

Sweet peppers

Sweet peppers

Hot peppers: I transplanted six fish peppers, five jalapeno, three cubanelle, and ten pepperoncini in the bed. In between the hot peppers, I planted Tom Thumb lettuce, a small buttercrunch type that handles heat better than most. I have six Peruvian peppers I still need to transplant today. I’ll put three Peruvian rocoto peppers around my patio; the ones from last year did NOT come back as they should have. Then I’ll put three Peruvian lemon drop peppers into pots.

Hot peppers

Hot peppers

I grew five purple artichokes from seed, but decided to also purchase a pot of four green artichokes at Lowes. I put the purple ones in the back of the bed and the green ones in the front. It’s surely noticeable which seedlings are mine, eh? Well, I’m hoping they spread out their roots and look just as pretty as the store-bought ones soon.

Purple & Green artichokes

Purple & Green artichokes

Paste tomatoes: I transplanted eight Amish paste, four Mama Leone, and four Roma tomatoes. The Roma were given to me in my grafting class, so we’ll see if they “take.” I planted them in front of the bed, in case I have to replace them with store-bought Roma. In between the tomato plants, I planted Scarlet Nantes carrot seed. Carrots and tomatoes like to follow each other when rotating planting, but I read that they also make good companion plants. I figured, why not utilize the space between tomato plants while allowing the plants to help each other?

Paste tomatoes

Paste tomatoes

Slicing tomatoes: I bought a tomatillo at Lowes and planted that with the tomatoes. I also purchased a Black Krim tomato and a mortgage lifter tomato at Lowes. I transplanted my two best mortgage lifter tomatoes; they were extremely leggy so I had to lay them sideways to plant. My other seedlings in the bed are two blue tomatoes, six Riesentraube (cherry size), and two Purple Cherokee tomatoes that survived my grafting. I planted Scarlet Nantes carrot seed among these tomatoes, too. Between the two beds, I should have a full bed’s worth of carrots in a few months!

Slicing Tomatoes

Slicing Tomatoes

OUT IN THE GARDEN:

Besides transplanting my seedlings, I created my herb garden. My transplants didn’t make it, so I replanted seeds directly into the pots. I also purchased some herbs. Besides the four rosemary bushes I planted last year along my fence, I have pots with flat and curly parsley, cilantro, two types of dill, Greek oregano, Genovese basil, summer savory, German thyme, and sage. The pots are around my patio, within reach of my Italian kitchen!

Herb Garden

Herb Garden

My fig tree is growing more and more leaves! Wish I could say the same for my almond tree; still no signs of life.

Fig tree

Fig tree

I fertilized my garlic and onions with inorganic nitrogen this weekend, but my seedling transplants got the first batch of brewed compost tea! (Click here for my recipe.)

Spring has surely arrived at my Sanctuary Garden!

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