Sunday, April 27, 2008

Warm-weather plantings

Today I finally planted our warm-weather veggies. It's supposed to cool off a bit this week, but I'm not too worried at this point. I'm so excited to get my first glimpse of what my summer garden will look like.

Yesterday we drove out to Granite Bay for a wedding. I've had no luck in Davis finding 6-packs of the vegetables I want to plant - I guess most people don't garden at that kind of volume. So we stopped at this wonderful nursery in Granite Bay and found an amazing variety of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and melons, as well as plenty of more standard varieties in 6-packs. I bought 24 roma tomatoes for sauce, and 5 heirlooms - Watermelon beefsteak, cherokee purple, black krim, black prince, and yellow brandywine. We also got 12 yellow bell pepper plants, 6 more green beans to replace the ones that don't look so good after the cold nights we had last week, one hot chili pepper for Loris, and two ambrosia melons. I bought 12 red pepper plants today, too.

Today was a big day, Loris helped me put the tomato stakes into the garden, and I planted all 30 tomato plants, plus all the peppers, melons, green beans, and two eggplants - black beauty and bianca rosa. I also finally got the watering system up and running without too much effort on my part. And what a hot day it was! But luckily, I've really done the majority of the work required to get the summer garden in. Now it's just a lot of maintenance - weeding, watering, and pruning the tomatoes. Until it's time for the garlic to come out, and then I can consider what to put there - another zucchini? Or a winter squash?

A few days ago I planted some more carrots and beets, even though I think it may be too warm for them now. I guess we'll see. I also put in some pickling cucumbers and Italian parsley. And in the backyard, I planted some yellow wax pole beans. I've never grown those before, and I have no idea how it'll work out. It's sort of an experiment.

And finally - we're starting to have peas! I've never grown peas or even eaten fresh peas as far as I know, so I'm a bit nervous and have no idea what I'm doing. I'm sure we won't have enough for them to be a main dish, but I'm excited that at least I'll learn for next year. Even though they're a bush variety and not vining plants, they're putting out little tendrils and trying to attach themselves to other nearby plants. I put one tomato cage on its side between two of the rows, and used a small trellis for the other ones. I tied some of the unruly plants up with string to keep them from clinging to the peppers.

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