Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Quads are Burning

Yes, that is a play on words which include both my aching legs and the re-energized garden quads. So, it should be no big surprise that I didn't accomplish everything on my list from last week, though I did get some of it done. It turns out that last week was even busier than I thought it would be, because of extra work and no babysitter.

However, we did make progress. First of all, Quad 2 is finally planted out. This what it looks like on paper:

I updated the spreadsheet with the fact that there is a potato wasteland at the end of one of the rows because the trench got flooded out and the taters died. We have since filled it in and I'm debating what will fill the space. This is what the quad actually looks like now:

Right to Left: Row 1: Broccoli/Onions/Radish/Swiss Chard. Row 2: Cauliflower/Radish/Potatoes/Beans. Row 3: Potatoes/Beans. Row 4: Corn.

I'll have to replant cauliflower in the fall because several of my seedlings have been eaten. We planted corn this weekend, and I'm not getting my hopes up because Oklahoma is tough on corn. If we harvest enough for 1 late summer meal, I'll be happy, even though I planted 16 rows of 5-6 seeds each.

Bill did the hard work of filling dirt in the potato trenches, and I planted green beans in a single row down the middle:

I actually found one sprouting just 24 hours after planting. I take that as a positive omen. I'm also please that some of the taters are blooming, which means we're getting ever closer to eating potatoes:

We're already enjoying the Swiss Chard, which was an experiment this year as I'd never cooked with it before. So far we've eaten it in salads, roasted with pork chops, and sauteed with spinach and garlic.

Quad 3 is a little over halfway planted, but it needs some work.

As you can see, there are a few rows in the middle that need to be planted. From left to right are 2 rows of peppers, nothing, a row of garlic, and 2 rows of tomatoes. There are herbs growing throughout and 4 eggplants in with the peppers.

The peppers seem to be doing well, but I can't say the same for the tomatoes. I did a poor job of hardening off the seedlings, and some of them succumbed to weather/pests. I'm going to pick up some replacement plants this week to fill empty spots. In the middle of Quad 3 will go okra, zucchini, yellow squash, and if there is room, purple hull peas. All of these things are normally planted later, which is why I've been lazy about getting them in.

Quad 4 presented a design challenge that I have finally worked out. This is where my winter squashes and remaining legumes are supposed to go, but I wasn't sure how I could lay out the space with enough room for the vining squashes to spread out while keeping them somewhat separated from each other in case we have another squash bug attack this year. What I came up with was alternating squash hills with bean sections.

It's kind of hard to see the mounds in this picture, but the beans are in the darker blocks and the squash mounds are in between. Each row will alternate so that the mounds will be little islands in the beans, and hopefully the beans will act as a barrier for squashbugs. Time will tell. I haven't finished prepping this quad because I ran out of bagged compost, but the blocks above are planted with beans.

Quad 1 is doing really well, and its success is keeping me sustained as I work through the other quads. Look how lush:

Okay, admittedly this picture is a little misleading because a lot of the green is weeds and grass. But the lettuces and spinach are doing very well, and I may be able to start freezing some spinach for later in the summer soon.

Carrots are coming up all over the place, and we probably could start digging up some to see if they are ready. The peas and snow peas blossomed late last week, so there are pods shooting out here and there. Tomorrow we will eat our first harvest of snow peas for dinner.

So there you have it. There is still a lot of work and planting left to be done, and I hope that I'm not too late.

No comments:

Post a Comment