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How does your garden grow

Not very well if it's not planted, that is for sure.

We had actually started planting back in, um, February, I think, but it was a bit here and there as we tried to build up enough compost to do a "lasagna bed."  Given that we don't receive much sunlight in our garden, our first efforts have left us a bit ho-hum and unmotivated.  But after I read barbarienne's post about what all she has been doing in the garden, I decided it was time we got serious.

So, we've bought planting soil to finish off the bed and we put in lots of seeds (even though I think you are supposed to use seedlings/transplants:

3 types of radishes
Russian kale (we prefer Tuscan but don't have any more seeds. I have some growing already and plan to let at least one plant bolt)
lemon balm
bell peppers

We also planted 3 pots of tomatoes, 2 of tomatillos, and 1 of basil to grow on the front balcony, and 8 pots of okra to transplant out front once they are big enough not to be mistaken for weeds by the gardener who sees to the communal area in front of our flat.

I didn't have a great success rate with corn and a zero success rate with jalapeños and chilis at our other place, so I'm going to germinate the corn first and use improvised seed trays for peppers tomorrow.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 19th, 2016 11:36 pm (UTC)
I don't think corn likes to be transplanted. Just noting that.

Did you hand-pollinate your corn last time? Unless you're growing fields of the stuff, you have to do the pollinating yourself. Bees don't do it.

And will kale germinate in hot weather? Most greens need cool weather to even bother waking up, but I've never grown kale so I don't know.

I'm glad you're planting! That's a lot of okra; I assume it's a favorite?
Apr. 20th, 2016 01:08 pm (UTC)
I don't think corn likes to be transplanted. Just noting that.

Yeah, I would have done a direct sow, but given where we have to plant it to have the slightest hope of success, I can't risk that. The first problem being the "gardener" who takes care of the front for our landlady and the second the street cats and dogs who would just love to wallow or defecate in newly prepped soil. Already the bed in our yard and the larger pots look like hedgehogs with all the pickets we put in them to keep the strays (and our own cat out. :-/

Did you hand-pollinate your corn last time?

Yes, the plants that did come up just didn't get enough sun. They got a few ears and developed some kernels, but everything--from the (short!) stalks to the leaves to the ears--was spindly.

And will kale germinate in hot weather?

This is a gamble. Kind of like "great if it works; oh well if it doesn't" because, as I said, we don't care that much for this variety (it is also prone to pests) and we've had the seeds for a couple of years now. Also, we had a bit of space left over. I'll think of something else to put there if I don't see any action in couple of weeks.

And, yes, we really like okra! I hope to have enough to pickle/ferment. And my family loves gumbo. :D We can buy okra here, but it is sad stuff: only slightly over an inch long, yet frequently woody, and often unpleasantly hairy/poky. We are planting a variety I picked up in the States that is really good, what little of it we were able to harvest with our tricky growing conditions. Planting it out front, I'm a little bit worried about people helping themselves... to get a hold of some better seed stock!
Apr. 22nd, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
If you started your corn in plantable decomposing pots, I bet those could safely transplant.

Argh on the street cats and dogs. At least we don't have those here. Only rabbits. (I'm lucky not to have deer either! There are plenty about, but I live in a small zone bordered by larger roads. Several local golf courses seem to be home to deer who are disinclined to venture across the roads.)

My corn has been short too. It's been in a spot that gets about 6-8 hours of sun, which isn't enough, but the best I can do. It's enough to get decent ears, though.
Apr. 20th, 2016 05:43 pm (UTC)
Very impressive!
Apr. 21st, 2016 02:17 pm (UTC)
I would love it if the yields were impressive. :P
Apr. 21st, 2016 05:01 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that be nice!
Apr. 21st, 2016 03:30 am (UTC)

I have tomatoes on my window sill meant for the greenhouse in Pärnu. With climate here they can go out there in end of May and must have first flowers on them by then. I was a bit late putting the seeds in turf, so we will see.

My father has lots of land in Pärnu, but he loves his big trees, so there is still problem of finding sunny spot there, as the grass is also forbidden territory for potential vegetable beds.
Apr. 21st, 2016 06:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! Can't wait until I have some seedlings!
Apr. 21st, 2016 04:35 pm (UTC)
I bet your okra will do magnificently. It likes a long, hot growing season.
Apr. 22nd, 2016 09:53 am (UTC)
I do hope so. :D I want to be able to eat lots and save seed, too.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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