Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunflowers, Carrots, Potatoes...and round 2!


Above is a shot of the first sunflower in the garden to bloom. I had 3, 1 of which fell prey to the recent thunderstorm with strong winds. It snapped at its base. These things are amazing. They're strong, voracious little things. They grow fast and tall.  I'm completely addicted. :)  My friend from work started this particular flower from seed, and now when I stand next to it I feel like I'm standing next to some strange flower alien! :)

I have also been getting the garden ready for the second round. So in preparation, I have been harvesting the potatoes and carrots in order to plant more in their place!  Here are photos of the harvest. First, the carrots.

At first glance, you'd think ... oh! That doesn't look so bad. But it was. Of the nice thick row that I planted, only 4 were viable. All were forked below the 2" point and one (the cute guy in the middle) looks like he's really gotta go. Haha. All in all these were not a big success. I attribute this to a few things:

I didn't till up the soil very well below the 2" point. I'm assuming it was too compact for the carrots to grow easily in - they hit a bump and just forked off.... or just didn't grow at all.  Secondly, I didn't thin them out very well after seeding them. This is one of the crops I am going to re-plant for a fall harvest, so I have a second chance to give these a go.  More practice is not a bad thing. At least my cat Jet enjoyed the greens - as he always does. :)  Nom nom nom.


The potato harvest, I have to say, I was completely blown away by!  I had dug up the first potato plant a few weeks ago to see what I could expect. I came up with 1 decently sized tomato and a handful of puny spuds (shown here being well guarded by Kali, the guard kitty). Considering I didn't hill up the potato plants as well as I should have - and basically neglected the things the whole season, I wasn't expecting much. But to my surprise, I started pulling up the plants to make way for the next round of planting, and look what I found!!!

Spud central!  These are all a great size - 16 of them in total. That's an average of 4/plant. As with almost every other veggie, I have great plans for next year to improve on the harvest, but this is a win in my books! I was not expecting this at all. Completely made my day. :)

Add to this well over 200 green beans, and well over 200 tomatoes, some thriving herbs - we've had a pretty good turn out so far. I'm not done, though. As I said, all of this pulling was in preparation for a second go round before autumn. On the list are:

  • Green beans: I found out I have bush beans, not pole beans!  And here I am all summer trying to tie these crazy things to a stake!
  • Carrots: I am trying a wildly different planting method for this next round.
  • Broccoli:  Have had NO success with my first round because I planted them too late. They're massive trees at this point and little else. I started bouncing around when I read I could plant in late summer for a winter harvest. Hopefully better luck comes with the cooler weather. :)
And that is all for now. I will certainly post when round 2 is in place!

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