All of these pictures are from July 11th - July 23rd (starting with the most recent ones). We are enjoying greens and herbs almost every night. We have more than we could ever imagine at the moment. Enough to feed us and our friends, without hesitation. The herbs, especially, are super productive at the moment. You can see the heart filling in nicely. Julia did some good work as well. We harvested a solid dozen, dozen and a half, garlic bulbs and shallots from the patch, not including a few here and there before this big harvest. We plan on filling the space again with rainbow beets, carrots, and onions for a fall harvest. Gone are the days that we eat lettuce for dinner. Enter an era of fresh herbs, chard, beets (oh my god beets! probably 20 or so harvested so far), and carrots (probably around 20 so far).
The rain: 16 out of 23 days this month it has official rained in Boulder, 1.56 inches (1.88 is avg for July). Last month: 2.10 inches (1.99 is avg for June). Next month: 1.63 inches is avg for August.
There is a 30% or greater chance of rain seven out of eight days left in July.
The weather: a dozen days over 90 degrees so far this month, including a 102 degree day that was in the middle of eight days in a row over 90. But, typical Colorado, five days before that streak began, we enjoyed a high of 64 degrees, and, we broke the streak while enjoying a 77 degree high.
Descriptions from some of the tomatoes we are growing this year in our front yard.
black cherry-perfectly round cherry with classic black tomato flavor, sweet yet rich and complex. fruit picks clean from the stem and is produced in abundance on viogorous, tall plants. indeterminate, 65 days.
black from tula-dark reddish-brown beefsteak tomato has a rich, sweet flavor that is delicious. fruit is smooth in texture and weighs from 8 to 12 ozs. very productive and seems to set well even when weather turns hot. russian, indeterminate, 75-80 days.
black krim-dark brown-red tomatoes are large, 10 to 12 ozs, very richly flavored and sweet, with just a hint of saltiness. color is darker in hot weather, and fruit seems to set well even in the heat. prone to cracking, but a very heavy producer. heirloom from the Black Sea of Russia. indeterminate, 75-90 days.
cherokee purple-very productive plants bear loads of 10 to 12 oz dusky rose/purple fruit with deep brick red interiors. absolutely delicious with a pleasantly sweet and rich flavor. with thin skin and soft flesh, the fruit is somewhat perishable, but they taste so good they will be eaten quickly anyhow. heirloom from tennessee, indeterminate, 80 days
isis candy-produces yellow-gold cherry tomatoes with red marbling, which varies from just a red blush to extensive streaking. what is consistent, however, is the sweet taste that is also rich and fruity, and very delicious. 3/4 inch across, very productive, bear throughout a long season. indeterminate, 67 days.
brandywine-legendary for its very exceptional rich, succulent flavor. large pink-red fruit can become 1-1/2 lbs with creamy flesh. vines grow quite tall and have potato-leaved foliage. amish heirloom since 1885, indeterminate 80 days.
stupice-from Czechosloakia, extremely early cold-tolerant tomato that bears an abundance of 2 oz flavorful and sweet tomatoes. a garden favorite for its earliness, productivity, and truly wonderful taste, indeterminate, 52 days.
The tomatoes are in and they are taking root. We started putting them in early May, a few a day whenever we had time. That is the beauty of having a garden in you front yard: it is right there- quick and easy power gardening sessions are possible. It doesn't seem like a daunting task as it does having a garden a mile away from where you sleep. No packing of the car of filling of water bottles necessary. Hell, in my garden, plenty a beer has been consumed.
Twenty tomatoes plants are now growing in our front in what we call 'the wave.' Check it: (from left to right) 1) isis candy, 2) black ethiopian, 3) yellow pear, 4) black cherry, 5) yellow pear, 6) ploe, 7) stupice, 8) black from tula, 9) golden sun ray, 10) black heart, 11-12 & 14) isis, 13 & 15) brandywine 16) Isis? 17) ? not sure... could be some kind of tomatillo 18) yellow pear, 19) tomatillo (grown wildly, reseeding themselves in Jesus' backyard 20)? no idea.
(Peppers: A-Tangerine Pimento, B-Golden California Wonder, C-Aji Amarillo, D-Habenero, E-Big Boy George (not it's scientific name))
A little bookkeeping in regards to the tomatoes. - Nine were bought at the Growing Gardens Plant Sale(1,2,4,8,9,11,12,14,16) - Eight were started by seed by me - Two were gifts (10,19) - One grew really fast for a few weeks thanks to a Cozy Coat (aka Wall O' Water) (13)
Big Boy George is more than a year old, huge, and came from Michael and Kristine's apartment. They gave it to us when they moved last week.
The lettuce, chard, kale are plentiful as we have enjoyed a green almost every day for the last month.
Julia planted the heart mound with herbs (basil, cilantro, lavender, parsley, mint, oregano, etc.) and they are all doing well.
We have snow and snap peas ready to pick off the plants (not many of course) and the garbanzo beans are about a foot tall.
Many of the carrots sprouted and are doing well. So are the beets. There is celery and artichoke in the ground as well. The onion/garlic patch is over grown with weeds and gigantic stocks (of garlic and onion...).
One of the surprises of the spring has been the rogue, wild garlic that has jumped three feet and gone through a concrete barrier to sprout on our side of the side yard. It came from Karen's side. Garlic scapes are everywhere and we have enjoyed perhaps 40 baby bulbs of garlic, with plenty left.
We planted eight rows of four different kind of corn in the Hawthorn garden. We have also planted a lettuce patch, cucumbers, a melon, some of the rogue garlic, and shallots. We picked four of the juiciest best tasting strawberries I have ever had a few days ago.
Now for some cool pictures, YEAH!
Notice how much the garden has grown in only ten days. The first picture was taken June 2nd, the last two pictures today. The radish came from Abbo. The rose bush does it's own thing. In the first picture, you can see green and purple basil growing in between the tomatoes. We have harvest some good leaves thus far.
I got fooled by warm weather and decided to put a few things in the ground, including the first crop of Spitfires. Reference the last post and see if you can figure out why they didn't do so well...
The second crop of nastys are looking nice, still in a warm, controlled atmosphere: my window sill. I put one seed in its own square inch cell. I think they liking living with each other as they tend to curve around, almost supporting each other. I believe the last frost for Boulder Colorado is mid May. I promise not to put them outside until then.
The third crop of nastys were direct sowed by Julia around our mail box. They are looking really nice: dark in color, low to the ground with promising growth.
All in all, I am pleased with the seeds. Easy and.... easy!
Almost all of the plants that are now outside have taken root and are thriving. The tulips are blooming, the eight month old lettuce is growing fast, and the chard is hardening and getting deeper in color.
Julia and I had a HUGE salad last night using nothing but our own lettuce. Five different kinds.
Notice the gigantic heart shaped mound on the left side of the front garden.
IN THE GROUND! Julia planted too rows of (Abbo) carrots and beet, direct sow. Today, I created the 'Pizza Pie,' planting a red cabbage (G.G. plant sale), Lucullus chard, two Bright Lights Swiss Chard, and three Renee's Garden Spitfire Nasturtiums (as well as four seeds, directly sowed).
Sappho has already figured out the fence. Kelsey's belly is just higher than the snow. She is investigating something hidden underneath the snow.
We had two snow storms that dumped about a foot each in late March. Check out how heavy the snow is. The fence around the garlic/shallot patch barely held up. That picture was taken on March 24th, the day after the second big snow. The picture of the plants (we bought them at the Growing Garden's Plant Sale) was taken four days later on the 28th. It was 63 degrees that day, 79 degrees the next day. How quickly the weather chances here in Colorado!
I bought the twine for $3 at McGuckins and the stacks at Resource for $2. We spent about $25 on starters, $10 on seeds at the Plant Sale.
Today was the first farmer's market of the year. We bought some beets, shallots, onions, eggs, starter's from Bunny ($3), and breakfast.
It's the beginning of April and the Nasturtiums are doing great. They are resilient and steadfast in their hopes of grabbing more sun. I am always amazed how fast nasturtiums grow. While some of my other plants haven't made it, the nasturtiums are thriving. They basically take care of themselves, curling around each other to support long (leggy) stems. I plan on starting some more outside and expect those to look very different than the ones I started inside (i.e. more bushy). I am growing the nasturtiums for three reasons: to be a part of this experiment, to eat the flowers in salads, and because I like growing plants that grow fast and spread. Julia, with her incredible and delicious cooking abilities, mentioned that she wants to candy edible flowers, nasturtiums included.
Like I posted before, I started four Renee's Garden Spitfire Nasturtiums on February 26th. I planted these in roughly 2 in. x 2 in. x 4 in. (depth) pots using a mixture of Black Gold potting soil and cheaper, sandy garden soil. I left two seeds alone while nicking the other two. The ones that I nicked have each come up while only one of the others is barely poking out of the soil. The first one germinated in about 8 days, which would beat what it says on the back of the seed packet by one day (it says '9-12 days').
To the right, I have created a quick and easy reference point to when I started the Spitfires. Time permitting, I will plant these in several different ways, times, locations, and perhaps even different soils.
More Starters! I went to work one day and came back to discover that Julia planted 7 (SEVEN!) egg cartons of seeds. This was probably two or three days ago.
Egg Carton #2 (as we already have a Egg Carton #1): Marigold, R.G. Rose Cosmos, Purple Dahlia Zinnia, Bright Lights Cosmos, Mixed Zinnia (two of each kind, four mixed zinnias)
Egg Carton #3: Cali Poppy Orange, Mikado Cali Poppy, Tall Shasta Daisy, Larkspur, Lobelia White Lady and Crystal Palace (two of each kind)
Egg Carton #4: Delphinium, Cosmos, Blue Love in a Mist, Snapdragons (multiples)
Egg Carton #5: Celeriac di Praga (celery root, the whole carton)
Some of the above seeds are from R.G., some from Abbo, and some (snaps, purple cherokee, some cosmos) were harvested by us.
The other egg carton (#1) is doing well. The snaps, basil, cosmos, blue love, morning glory, arugula, forellenschluss, swiss chard, and yellow pear are all coming up. The only ones not germinated yet are basil, lucullus chard, and aji amarillo. In the pots, everything is up except for one nasty, one chard, and the cilantro.
I have started to put the chard and some of the lettuce outside during the day to harden off. I would like to put these in the ground in a week or two. I know that I still will have to worry about a snow storm or two but perhaps I can figure out how to cover them quickly and easily if necessary. These plants should be okay outside in March in Colorado.
This is a blog that I started as a resource for my gardening adventures. I hope to add to this blog each year as I continue to garden and, hopefully, get better at it by utilizing the information here as well as learning from my past experiences. You will also find some writings in the earliest posts in regards to some of my beliefs in regards to how we, as people, should garden, farm, and eat. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to chat more about these topics. Thank you for stopping by!
I will try to keep a running total of all costs associated with gardening.
December 2009 - $17, cold frame January 2010 - $9, seeds, soil, small pots -$4, two herb starters, ($2 sunny $) -$3, soil February 2010 - $10, fence material -$11, huge bag of Black Gold soil March 2010 - $5, fence material