Friday, May 29, 2009

Overrun by weeds

I'm struggling with the weeds this year, more than ever before, it seems. Bermuda grass, in particular, is a scourge I wish I could eliminate entirely from the garden. It's driving me nuts, and I don't think I'll be able to dig it out this summer for fear of damaging the roots of my tomatoes. I might settle with getting out as much as possible, then putting down a nice layer of mulch. If only I can figure out what kind of mulch to use.

I still have to plant zucchini, eggplant, winter squash, and melon. I'm hoping to do it tomorrow, after a big session of weeding and mulching.

I finally built my little tomato watering system, although I'm not sure how great it works. I did get a T-joint, found my old tubing and cut it in half, and ran a line into each channel. It seems to water a little slowly - to get a good deep watering, I think I'll have to let it run several hours, which isn't always possible. The tomato plants are looking fantastic, though - some already have some small green tomatoes! I'm busy pruning and staking and tying the vines, and Loris even said that they don't look completely out of control yet, which is always a good thing =)

Everything else is doing great:

1.We've picked most of the lettuce because of the hot temps.
2. The peas didn't produce because I planted them too late.
3. The peppers are mostly doing extremely well, except one or two that didn't pull through the heat.
4. The green beans look fantastic.
5. Radishes are almost done, and the flavor is getting too strong because of the heat.
6. Carrots are coming along well, and I'm harvesting regularly, although a few have developed hard, woody centers.
7. The leeks mostly went to seed, so I pulled them and will make do with the edible parts.
8. Spinach bolted - I have no luck with spinach.
9. The basil suffered from the heat, but is now rallying well.
10. Ditto for the cukes - I might replace one of them.
11. Onions - yum! They're still not really drying out, and a few have put up seed stalks, but we picked one and are slowly eating it fresh in salads.
12. Garlic - looks good, but I haven't dug it up yet to see. It's probably ready any day now.

One exception - shallots. I pulled a few, and the bulbs were all mushy. Not sure what's wrong, but it makes me very sad. =(

Next time: Decisions on mulch, garden update, and hopefully some pics

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Over the month of April, I gradually planted my tomato seedlings. They're in a sort of weird two-and-a-half row area that I'm still trying to work out a watering system for. You can see where they fit in the garden in my garden plan.

The varieties I have are:

1 x Juliet
1 x Cherokee purple
1 x Valencia
1 x Big rainbow
1 x Pineapple (yellow)
1 x Lillian's yellow heirloom
1 x Amana orange
1 x White Tomesol
4 x Italian super paste
6 x Brandywine
12 x Roma

Total: 30 tomato plants, with a wide variety for making plain sauce, fancy heirloom sauce, and some just for eating raw. Yum.

All heirlooms will be staked individually. Romas have stakes placed every three plants, and I'll tie string between the stakes to support them. I'll also prune them less aggressively, since they are a determinate variety.

The issue I'm having is that with my tomatoes in three side by side rows, with two channels, it's hard to water them together, even with the channels being connected. I've been using two hoses, but with rising temperature in the summer, other gardeners will need to use their hoses more often and I don't want to be using them more than I should.

Right now I'm trying to figure out a way to essentially make a "hose splitter". I was considering doing it with some tubing and a T-joint. I was also considering doing the same thing, but keeping the two resulting mini-hoses a bit longer and punching holes in them, so I can run them in the bottom of the channels and water a bit more evenly and hopefully prevent erosion. I'll probably experiment a bit and see what happens.

So far, despite a few plants being slightly droopy-looking at the beginning, everything is looking fantastic.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I have been wanting to plant a certain light green variety of zucchini that my father-in-law grows, and I while I haven't been able to find it anywhere, I finally found the seeds two weeks ago at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. Actually, I'm still not sure it's the right variety, but I guess we'll see when the little guys start producing!

The variety is called zucchini genovese. I planted 6 seeds in a little starter container around May 3, and I think I saw them come up around May 9 or so. I'm about ready to transplant them into their own containers for another week or two to see how they do, and I'm guessing they'll be ready for the garden by June.

I'm not keeping them all for myself. My sister's getting one, and my friends with a garden are getting a couple, too. I think I'm going to plant 1-3, but I'm not sure yet - we'll see!