Friday, May 27, 2011

Garden Update

It's been in the nineties this week, and accordingly, the summer tomatoes and bell peppers are growing strong while the spring lettuces and greens are on their way out. Remember the tiny tomato plants that went in the ground on May 1st? They're getting HUGE!

And there's more and more tiny tomato buds showing up every day. They're so cute!

The mysterious Chinese broccoli is actually starting to look like something edible now. For a while it was just a strange lanky stalk, but now its true broccoli nature is showing through. It still needs a few weeks to fully mature. And check out the huge lacinato kale in the background! I love this plant - it's easy to clean since the leaves are large and mostly flat, the stem is simple to remove, and it keeps some heft during cooking, unlike spinach and other greens that lose most of their weight under the heat.

Here's another view of the kale, as well as the purple lettuce and one of the newer Pink Girl tomato plants that went in the ground two or so weeks ago. Almost time to put tomato cages on them, too!

The arugula is seriously bolting, and despite my efforts to cut back the flowers over the last week or so, the heat is making it impossible to keep up. The buttercrunch lettuce is still growing strong though some of the outside leaves are getting a bit crispy. Eating salad every day isn't enough to keep these plants in check! The bell peppers are getting bigger, as you can see towards the right of the photo, with tiny blossoms in the center of the plant that turn into new leaves.

The basil is getting really big. I transplanted a bit to a glass jar inside a few days ago to see if it will root. The cabbages have gotten massive, too, but they've been getting attacked by some sort of bug. The ones all the way on the left side of this photo are mostly eaten through, and will probably be removed from the garden soon as I don't think they can recover. But the ones on the right side are still growing, though I'm not sure how long they'll outlast the bugs. They were an experiment anyway from seedlings our neighbor Elizabeth had leftover, so if they don't make it, I won't be heartbroken.

The fig tree was looking rough a few weeks ago, and also seemed to be fighting off some sort of buggy or fungal predator. I brought a hole-ridden leaf to the market to show Rob of Whitted Bowers Farm, who diagnosed the tree with thrips, a difficult to control bug. He recommended that I power-wash the undersides of the leaves with water, and prune any branches that were done for. I did both, and the tree seems to have recovered pretty well. It's continuing to grow and the new leaves seem hearty and strong.

Best of all, you can start to see some fig buds on the branches. I cannot WAIT for the figs to ripen, though I've still got to figure out a way to protect them from hungry animals.

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