Saturday, May 28, 2011

We return! Pittsburgh rain does a garden good.

I'm back! How sad is it that the first thing I wanted to do after being gone for three days was make sure the garden wasn't totally destroyed? I wasn't really worried about lacking water since it rained every day we were gone, but some of the newer beds have un-tested drainage (something to worry about with a small uneven yard) so there was always the possibility that we'd come home to pea-and-dirt soup instead of any lovely pea sprouts.

Turns out I had reason to worry, as there were several areas where it looked like beans floated too high to germinate, but overall it was SUPER AWESOME to see all the new plants. I went from a garden that was 95% store-bought transplants, to one that contained bed upon bed of stuff we had actually planted as SEED. Woot!

The coolest part is that we have 5 different types of bush bean planted in various beds. Two green, one purple, and two yellow. They all look very much the same in leaf shape and general design, but there are subtle differences in the little 4 inch plants.

I will say that the front yard looks like crap though. Over the next couple of days we'll be on a weeding, thinning, and tidying frenzy to get in back into shape. I guess that's what 3 days of absence during record thunderstorms will do.

Blue Lake Bush Bean sprouts.

The large pea/bean bed with one of the volunteer tomatoes against the wall. Our compost must be very tomatoe heavy because I've been pulling them like weeds. The ones in this bed made it pretty far so I will transplant them in a few days and grow them in pickle buckets. I wonder what type they are!

The pepper bed seems firmly established. I was worried about transplant shock because I shredded the roots on several of them.

The tomato and basil bed seems to be doing well, aside from the horrible straw placement. This is the result of both 6 year olds being in charge of straw placement, though the party line is that the storms must have blown it around. Fixing the straw mulch is priority number one for garden clean up day.

This is the beet patch pre-thinning. Look at the weird purple leaves on that one plant!

This bed has kohlrabi, bush wax beans, Arikara beans (yellow heirloom bush), and early/compact forms of Brocolli, purple cabbage and green cabbage. I planted the cabbage and broccoli from seed after the ones I started were eaten by the kitties during the hardening off phase. They are extremely short season versions (don't remember the type...) so hopefully we get some results before the slugs and bunnies team up against them.

The kohlrabi transplants.

The green cabbage before thinning (next year I have to perfect my small seed spreading technique).

The purple cabbage before thinning.

Tiny flower on a pepper plant (I think Gypsy).

The circle pea bed has sprouts!

Another green bush bean (forget the type, but not Blue Lake).

Pea shoots. Peas and Beans were the two big things we wish we'd had MUCH more of last year so we are trying to fit them in where ever we can.

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans.

More beans just sprouting now!

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