Catching My Breath

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on July 8, 2014 · 2 comments

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It has been a very busy week! So busy in fact that I was too exhausted to send out our weekly newsletter on Saturday. Life is good here at Luna Hill, with animals growing strong, and the gardening exploding with new fruits.

Monsoon season is in full swing, and almost everyday we’ve gotten hammered by driving winds and strong rain. I’m not complaining, that’s for sure!

I’m trying to catch my breath and take a little rest before we start fall planting. I’ve been working on the planting schedule,IMG_1726 and finding new areas to create planting beds. Right now, I feel that our cabbages take up prime real estate in the Quadrant garden, and if they were tucked away in another area of the property, the garden beds could be used for quicker growing vegetables with multiple harvests possible.

Cabbage just, you know, sits there. You can’t do much with it while it’s forming its head, except to grow other faster growing things around it, but when they reach maximum density, nothing can really grow properly in its shade. Yes, I could grow lettuce in the shade of the large cabbage leaves (they may not make the best companions), but the leaves get in the way of fast efficient harvesting. So I’ve found other areas for growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, and in the next few months they’ll be planted in their new beds. In between each row of brassicas, will be onions and/or leeks, celery and celeriac.

Dom is almost finished with the spiral lettuce bed. This bed is naturally shaded by pine trees and will be the home to all our micro-greens, spring mix, and other lettuces that don’t grow well in our summer sun and heat.

And finally when the spiral bed is complete, the rest of the market garden will be finished.

Here are some photos from this past week:

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Dom was calculating in his head where the new cucumber trellis would be fastened.

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Arugula is coming up

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Simmi stole Waffles baby pool

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Cucumber trellis is complete

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Waffles, after a period of time listening to Simmi try to explain her chalk game, gave up and walked way. I think he was a little confused as to whether Simmi actually wanted him to skip over certain circles. He was frustrated nonetheless!

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Eggplant showed up after a major rain storm

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Cabbages are looking glorious

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Saturday we had our next harvest and delivery to Shareholders

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Dom confessed to me in the garden that he loves harvesting

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Broccoli heads are forming

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Kale was ready to be harvested

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The green tops from the onions were clipped. Clipping the tops provides green onions, and leaves the onion bulb to grow larger

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Hoops were added to the cabbage beds to provide more space for them to grow since they reached the top of the metal hoops.

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Tomatoes were pruned and tied to the trellis. Marigolds, beans and purple basil are all coming up now.

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The cucumbers should develop their tendrils in the next few days and start climbing up the trellis.

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Beautiful fernbush is in bloom.

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Squash bed was thinned

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Eggplant is making a slow recovery from whatever was eating it. Something was snacking on the stem, and the ants would follow close behind hollowing out the main stalk. Amazingly, after three treatments of neem oil, the plant seems to be coming back strong. I decided not to plant anything in this bed because I couldn’t identify what was killing the eggplant. Since it’s making a comeback, I’ll go ahead and plant it with herbs and other companions, and do a deep mulching.

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The zucchini and summer squash bed is growing and filling out.

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Borage is about to bloom, beans are blossoming, cilantro is growing tall, marigolds are making themselves known, and the sweetest little jalapeños are fruiting.

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Giant pumpkin leaves suffered some tearing in the wind, but are doing well and growing strong.

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Close up of the cucumber and spinach plants.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Long July 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

What do you use to cover your cabbage beds and where do you get it? I need to find something to cover my tomato plants. We have a serious problem with curly top virus. It’s too late to save anything this year, but I’m thinking of next year.

Reply

Angela aka Farmer Jane July 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Hi Ken,

We get our netting from this place:

http://www.tulleshop.com/108-Inch-Tulle-Fabric-Bolt-s/72.htm

And we get the metal to make hoops from this place:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-5997-coiled-row-cover-9-wire-550.aspx

Sorry to hear about your tomato plants. We suffered some loss of tomato plants from curly top virus as well. I removed about 12 so far, but there are others that are showing signs. I’m hesitant to pull those out, however, because with all the rain, tomato plants can have leaf curl due to too much water.

How long would you keep the cover on your tomato plants? You could use white sheer curtains to shade them slightly, which could also deter the beet leaf hopper, since they don’t like shade, and that way the blossoms can still be visited by pollinators.

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