|Alpine strawberry 'Pineapple'|
Sunday, March 30, 2014
|The main bulb was harvested a few weeks ago. Cut and come again fennel!|
|Asparagus shoots. Literally. They can grow 6-12" a day.|
|Kale side shoots after the growing tip was destroyed. Perfect for baby kale salad.|
|Purple peacock broccoli with Pumba onion transplants in the background.|
|Pickle worm damage on cucumber.|
|More pickle worm damage, entry hole with frass.|
|Bad picture of a great little vegetable, extra dwarf bok choy. Thirty days to maturity, fun to float in a hot bowl of ramen.|
|Another bad picture! This is a patch of Runway Arugula. Less bitter but retains a nice peppery bite.|
|More Romanesco, sporting a purple haze.|
|Here is a busy picture. Taiching 13 sugar pea climbing the trellis in the background. Jaune du Doubs and Purple Dragon carrots loom over a second planting of Atomic Red.|
|Golden Sweet Pea. A four foot planting (6' spacing) yields two generous pickings a week.|
|More Chard. Pink Lipstick mixed with Prima|
|Blush tomato on the left, Indigo Rose on the right. Blush is putting out a LOT of leaf in comparison to fruit. The Indigo Rose has less leaf, a good number of unripe fruit. Height is about the same, maybe 5', with the first fruits just ripening.|
|New lettuce planting from Wild Garden Seed, lost track of the variety.|
How's your garden coming along?
at 10:48 PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
MoH, one of my favorite blogistas, recently wrote about 'condiment gardening'. A little basil to sprinkle on your pasta, a green salad for dinner, a tomato slice on your sandwich. All very, very nice but not a significant contribution to your daily calorie needs.
Upon reading her post, i first thought i might be a 'condiment gardener with aspirations'. But now i have a new idea.
|Ethiopian Kale. Growing nicely, not much else to say right now.|
In Hawaii the growing season can be year round. There is no reason to plant large quantities of storage crops to tide us through the winter.
|Wild Red Kale from Wild Garden Seed catalog. I especially like this frilly leaved, pink stemmed one. It's Girlie Kale ; )|
|Fennel has been on my mind this spring. I somehow ordered fennel from three different vendors (blush).|
It's how i shop and how we eat. But it's better than shopping because some food stores best in the garden. And if it won't store on the vine, it will last longer in the crisper when it's picked fresh.
|Kale, beets, hot pepper, broccoli. A little kapakai to confuse the bugs.|
Kale keeps much longer in the garden than in the vegetable bin. And fresh from the garden lettuce lasts longer in the crisper than store bought.
|Indigo Rose tomato on the left, Blush on the right.|
|Weed? No. Rhubarb! Experimenting with growing it as an annual this year. It will not perennialize in Hawaii at my elevation because we do not get enough chill hours.|
|Alpine strawberry 'Pineapple' is a pale yellow when ripe. I hope the unusual color will fool the other critters long enough for me to taste a few.|
|More confusion planting. Nasturtium, asparagus, broccoli, kale, carrot, pepper, mustard.|
|Baby 'Golden Sweet ' snow pea. It takes me a few days to get the photos uploaded and posted which means that the pea in this picture was picked and eaten today!|
|Zucchini pulled out due to intense Pickle Worm pressure. I'll order some self pollinating Cavili and replant under a tunnel later this year.|
|This bed was in full sun when it was installed a few years ago. It's pretty shady these days. The 'Gator' chard has been growing beautifully here but the other greens are a little slow because of the reduced sunlight.|
at 11:57 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Have you tested your soil lately? These are the results from my latest test.
Three years ago the test results were very different. I lost the hard copy to a trade shower last spring so i don't have it to post as a comparison. The pH started out around 5.3-very acidic. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus were also very low. Potassium, interestingly enough, was sitting right about where it is now. I added lime, dolomite, gypsum and bone meal as directed in the 'fertilizer recommendations' section of the test when i completed the initial bed preparation. I have continued to add horse/rabbit/poultry manure and fish scraps during replanting. It's not a good idea to randomly add inputs without knowing what your baseline levels are but that's exactly what i did after the initial amendment, using azomite to add micro nutrients and/or a variant of Steve Solomon's complete organic fertilizer to replace outputs from time to time. I plan to do more extensive soil testing next year and hope that i haven't mucked things up too badly.
The big test surprise for me is the very high phosphorus result. It could mean that i went a little crazy with the bone meal, but it might also mean that a lot of phosphorus was bound up with aluminum at the lower pH. When the soil was limed, calcium replaced the aluminum creating calcium phosphates which are more water soluble and readily available. (I love that soil science is mostly chemistry but it does make my head spin a little.) So what to do about it? Many of my garden favorites are heavy phosphorus users so i expect the levels to correct themselves over time as long as i don't keep adding more. My main input this year will be nitrogen in the form of expensive blood and feather meal. There is a readily available and free source of nitrogen available to each of us but i'm just not ready to go there. Yet.
|An option to be aware of, just in case.|
at 11:53 PM