Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 5/13/13

We’re finally drying out a bit here, and it got quite hot (high 80s) for a few days. I’m battling new bugs (aphids on the snow peas and whiteflies on a couple tomato plants), but the neem oil seems to be working, thankfully. In preparing for this week’s update, I was amazed at the amount of growth in my plants just since last week. (The above picture is a view of most of my beds.) Green and growing? Then all is well!

SOON READY TO HARVEST

My potato plants are starting to die back. Once the tops are “dead,” I can harvest the potatoes two weeks later. (The two weeks gives the potato skins time to “harden” so the potatoes will keep longer.)

Potatoes dying back

Potatoes dying back

Purple potato dying back

Purple potato dying back

My white Texas Granex onions are also starting to die back, so the onion harvest is around the corner.

Texas Granex onions dying back

Texas Granex onions dying back

Now that the rains have eased up, my strawberries are no longer rotting on the vine and they are much sweeter.

Ripening strawberry

Ripening strawberry

My lettuce is growing well. The seed I sowed beginning of April has grown almost to the point of harvest now. My little experiment of planting them between the pepper plants seems to be working so far.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce in May ~ 5 weeks post planting

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce in May ~ 5 weeks post planting

Tom Thumb Lettuce in May ~ 5 weeks post planting

Tom Thumb Lettuce in May ~ 5 weeks post planting

As much as I would love to harvest my icicle radishes, I have to watch them plump up but leave them alone. They’re supposed to help the squash by fighting off the squash bugs. Hope my self-control is worth it!

Icicle Radish ~ 5 weeks post planting

Icicle Radish ~ 5 weeks post planting

FRUITING

Yes, my tomato plants are starting to set fruit!

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes

Roma tomato

Roma tomato

FLOWERING

Remember my celery forest in the compost bin? It regrew from the roots I threw away last fall. Well, it’s flowering!

Celery flowering on second year plant

Celery flowering on second year plant

My squash, zucchini, and pumpkin are all starting to bud.

Zucchini babies ~  5 weeks post planting

Zucchini babies ~ 5 weeks post planting

Spaghetti squash buds

Spaghetti squash buds

Pumpkin buds

Pumpkin buds

My peppers are flowering like crazy now.

Green bell pepper flower

Green bell pepper flower

My snap beans and my lima beans are close to getting flowers.

Green snap beans ~ 5 weeks post planting

Green snap beans ~ 5 weeks post planting

Lima beans ~ 5 weeks post planting

Lima beans ~ 5 weeks post planting

GROWTH:

My pickling cucumbers are throwing tendrils towards the trellis. My green and white cucumbers should be doing that soon. They’re so much bigger than 2 weeks ago!

Pickling cucumber ~ 5 weeks post planting

Pickling cucumber ~ 5 weeks post planting

I planted Red Sails lettuce two weeks after my other lettuce, and it germinated and is growing well.

Red Sails lettuce in May ~ 3 weeks post planting

Red Sails lettuce in May ~ 3 weeks post planting

My watermelons and melons haven’t grown much, but they’re starting to grow now. Must be because it’s getting hot.

Malali watermelon ~ 5 weeks post planting

Malali watermelon ~ 5 weeks post planting

My tomatillos are growing like wildfire! Unfortunately, what I thought was a baby tomatillo inside the flower didn’t make it. Maybe it wasn’t fertilized. There are bees around now, so I’m hoping to see tomatillos growing soon.

Tomatillo plant

Tomatillo plant

My artichokes are getting large already! I wish I could get artichokes from them this year, but I’ll have to wait until next season for that.

Artichoke bed

Artichoke bed

My berry bed is overflowing! The strawberries are almost a foot tall, loaded with flowers and ripening strawberries (the bottom half of the bed in the picture below). I have so many raspberry canes now – leaves and flowers on old and new canes – that I don’t know how I’m going to find all the berries to harvest them! (Raspberry canes are on the top of the bed.) See how much the raspberries have grown in the past four weeks.

Raspberry canes & strawberry plants ~ 2nd year

Raspberry canes & strawberry plants ~ 2nd year

Gardening is a lot of work and requires much patience, but the rewards of harvest are well worth it. My mouth is salivating already!

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