Posts tagged ‘marigolds’

Weeds o’ Glorious Weeds! Gardeners Journal 7/11/11

I was away for a couple of weeks and even with the help of a super house/garden sitter – the weeds had taken a hold over some of the beds!  It took me all last week (and a lot of sweat) to get it under control, but now I’m back on schedule – I have started to implement the fall/winter vegetable plan.

I sowed some brassicae in the cold frame (and covered it with burlap for shade).  I need to dig up some potatoes to make room for the transplants in three weeks or so.  After doing the Weed Management part of the County Extension’s course in Organic Vegetable Production, I know that I should prepare the beds two weeks in advance, then slice off any pesky weeds that sprout just before I transplant or sow more seeds.

I emptied a small bed of strawberries since they didn’t produce very well and were infected with a fungal disease – I am going to use it for carrots.  My best carrot crop ever was from the cold frame this year, sown in February and picked in June – the rest of my attempts this season have proved fruitless (or carrotless), however I am determined to work out the best way to grow them in the main garden, and I want to try them after the frost – they are supposed to be really sweet then.  Here is my plan – I will build up the sides of this small square bed and fill it with composted leaves and bought compost.  Then sow the carrots and leave them under a board or burlap for a couple of weeks – then flame weed the bed just before the carrot seedlings come up… we’ll see!

On the harvesting front – we have enjoyed an abundance of blueberries – so juicy and nice, raspberries (don’t know if they are good, since I don’t eat them) and green beans have been particularly good – I read in the Victory Garden cookbook that after steaming, you should dry them out in a dry saucepan before adding butter or whatever else – it works!  They are delicious!

I’m a bit worried about the tomatoes – they look OK but they do have signs of some disease at the bottom – unfortunately due to a bad reaction to a wasp sting, I wasn’t able to attend the Disease Management part of the Organic Vegetable Production course, so I’m not sure what it is – I’m hoping it is not Early or Late Blight.  What I did learn from reading the literature though was that once a plant shows signs of disease, it is generally too late to do anything about it by spraying, so I have been removing infected leaves (in dry weather) and putting them under plastic to kill them (spores cannot live on dead plant tissue).  My Early Girl tomatoes are not living up to their “before July 4th” expectation – still green.. I guess you have to have a greenhouse to get them that early.  The trellising technique seems to keeping the growth of the tomatoes under control, the real test is when the plants are full of fruit and it rains like crazy – then we’ll see if they are still standing (unlike the cages that normally fall down).

I’m very happy with all my companion planting – the borage, marigolds, catnip, alyssum and many others are all attracting the good bugs – I haven’t seen that many “bad bugs” so far.  An interesting development, whilst I was away, the radishes I planted around the squash and the cucumber went to flower and the honey bees love them!  I have left them in place, they even have seed pods on them, so I might save the seed (have to check they are not hybrids first).

July 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm 1 comment

Gardener’s Journal – 3/1/11

Well miracles do happen!  The marigolds I sowed only 3 days ago have germinated already!  I didn’t use any heat under them – only a fluorescent shop lamp over the top.  Once they come through, if they have any signs of fungus (damping off), I sprinkle a little peat on them and that seems to do the trick.

The warmer temperatures also have kicked things off in the Cold Frame – I checked in there today and the kale was poking its little head through and some other seedlings (but I didn’t have my book with me so I’d forgotten what I sowed there – really should get some markers!

In the garden itself, I covered the area where I will plant peas in a couple of weeks with black plastic and a spare window I had lying around!  Hopefully that will warm the soil up so that the pea seeds don’t rot.  I may try germinating them in the house before setting them out – I heard that tip on Mike McGrath’s radio program this week I think.

March 2, 2011 at 4:17 am Leave a comment


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