Summer Sprouts

We planted pole beans and cucumbers in the garden about 10 days ago and they recently sprouted!

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Pole beans planted around a wire cage and cucumbers planted under a trellis.

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Baby bean and cucumber sprouts.

The cucumber seeds were started under plastic bottles with the bottom removed to create a mini-greenhouse.  After the seeds had sprouted, we removed the bottles and replaced them with plastic rings cut from water bottles to keep the seedlings separated from the mulch.  This helps to keep the seedlings from staying too moist which can cause disease.

We have also been harvesting blueberries as they ripen.  Blueberries don’t ripen all at the same time so you should check every couple days and harvest the ripe ones.  It can be a little tricky to tell if blueberries are ripe, but look for berries that are completely blue/purple without any hint of green.  Blueberries can also be sweeter if left on the bush an extra day or two after they turn colors.  Just remember to pick them before the garden animals do.

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Blueberries.

Summer Seeds

Our summer seed order from Johnny’s Selected Seeds came in a few days ago!  Excited about all the different fruits and vegetables we have planned.  Click the links to read additional details.

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Seed packets from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Hybrid Diploid Watermelon – Little Baby Flower F1: Small 5.5 inch fruit with dark pink flesh that is sweet and crisp with high sugar content.

Hybrid Cantaloupe – Sarah’s Choice F1: Named “Most Flavorful” by Johnny’s.  Also has resistance to powdery mildew and fusarium wilt (races 0,1 and 2).

Hybrid Zucchini Squash – Dunja F1: Organic, early and powdery mildew resistant.  Yields dark green, straight zucchinis.  Also resistant to papaya ringspot virus, watermelon mosaic virus and zucchini mosaic virus.

Hybrid Winter Squash – JWS 6823 F1 PMR: Good tasting butternut with shorter vining and smaller fruits compared to Waltham Butternut.  Resistant to powdery mildew.

Slicing Cucumbers – Marketmore 76: Long, slender, dark green cucumbers.  Begins bearing late but picks for a relatively long time.  Resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, downy mildew (specific races), powdery mildew and scab.

Specialty Cucumber – Diva: Persian cucumber that produces distinctly tender, crisp, sweet, bitter-free, and seedless cukes.  Resistant to cucumber vein yellowing virus, downy mildew (specific races), powdery mildew and scab.

Sweet Peppers – Lunchbox Pepper Mix: Mix of yellow, orange and red snack peppers.  These mini-sized peppers are remarkably sweet and flavorful.

Soybean, Green – Butterbean: Sweet, buttery, and high yielding; Butterbeans are acclaimed as the finest in green vegetable soybeans.

We chose to grow a lot of hybrid varieties because there are a lot of gardens in close proximity in our community garden and diseases can spread quickly.  Also since we have limited space in our community garden, we chose hybrid varieties what were more compact.

Weekend Gardening

Busy weekend in the garden! We bought and planted 5 varieties of tomatoes during our community garden’s annual heirloom tomato sale.  The seedlings were grown by Windrose Farms in Paso Robles.  Descriptions below are from their plant tags.

  1. Japanese Black Trifele – Black Tomato, Indeterminate, 75-80 days.  Exceptional fruit with the shape & size of a pear with rich flavor.  Abundant producer of great purplish-black, smooth fruit.  A favorite! Good for coastal gardens.
  2. Cherokee Purple – Dark Purple Tomato, Indeterminate, 80 days.  A must-have in every garden.  Beautiful 12 oz dusky rose/purple heirloom beefsteak from Tennessee, with a sweet rich flavor.
  3. Isis Candy – Bi-Color Cherry, Indeterminate, 67 days.  Delightful medium sized yellow-gold cherry tomato with red marbling.  From just a blush of red to streaks , always a sweet delicious rich fruity taste.
  4. San Marzano – Roma Tomato, Indeterminate, 80 days.  Excellent for canning, paste, or puree.  Rectangular pear-shaped, 3-1/2 in. long bright red fruit with mild flavor & meaty texture.
  5. Cosmonaut Volkov – Indeterminate, 65 days.  This Russian heirloom, named form the Russian space explorer who fell through space is the quintessential eating tomato.  A juicy, sweet, rich full-bodied early slightly flattened 8-12 oz. tomato that will produce well in cold or coastal conditions.

We choose a good mix of colors, shapes and purposes to give us good variety all summer long.  Since we are growing our tomatoes on a trellis, we choose indeterminate tomatoes that will keep growing till they die.

We also built 2 trellises (72 inches tall by 96 inches long by 30 inches long) to support the tomatoes, cucumbers and butternut squash we have planned for the summer.

Garden Trellis via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7W Garden Overview via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7W
Trellises in the garden.

We also saw the first red strawberries from our strawberry tower!  Looking forward to many more.

Our First Strawberries via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7W
First strawberries from the tower.

{ jou farms & eats } field of greens

Wayne planted baby greens a couple months ago and we finally harvested some yesterday–so lush and plentiful! Within a few hours we made Easter dinner: Roasted organic herb chicken, baby multi-colored potatoes and the freshest of fresh, home-grown baby greens salad. Can’t wait to finish building our trellis so we can grow tomatoes and other summer goodies!

fresh baby greens in gardengreens for dinner{ Photos: Jennifer’s iPhone }