Friday, September 24, 2010

Chard, Beets, Basil, and Garlic

It's been over 2 weeks since my last post, and note the progress in the garden.

Basil (top left), Swiss chard (center), and beets (bottom).
The swiss chard has been growing like a weed, I still have loads of basil, and the beets are starting to thrive.  Carrots are growing well too, but have been more problematic because apparently they are so darn tasty for a variety of worms.  I think they are from butterflies and moths.  Means I have to keep an eye open for those buggers.  I pick 'em and squash 'em when I can find 'em.

It's been very hot here lately (80s and 90s during the day) so I've added a thick layer of straw mulch to the beds.  I think it's helped to keep the soil cool and retain moisture that otherwise would evaporate.  Straw mulch is the best mulch because it's very effective and very affordable.

My garlic also just arrived in the mail!  Nice big bulbs of Inchellium Red, a softneck variety that I've grown with good results for the past 2 years.

Inchellium Red garlic bulbs, before being broken into individual cloves for planting.

I ordered from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a great outfit from Mineral, VA.  They grow and sell things well-suited to the Mid-Atlantic.  Hope to plant the individual cloves in October.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September in the Garden

The weather is changing.  Don't get me wrong -- it's still ridiculously warm, but the humidity is starting to break and the weather is now in the 60s at night.  I snapped a few pics this evening because I recently started transitioning the raised beds to fall production by planting seeds.  Carrots, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, onions.  Many seeds have already germinated!  But still no luck with the lettuce.  I think the recent temps in the upper 80s and low 90s combined with very little rain may be the problem(s).

Swiss chard seedlings.  This is my first year growing chard.  Got my fingers crossed.
Kale.  Perfect greens for soup and holds up well even in frost.
Carrots.  I planted six different varieties.  This is only my second attempt at carrots.  I failed two winters ago for a variety of reasons.  Not this year!

While these pictures suggest fall, the figs and basil are still producing as if it is mid- to late-summer.  This will be my second huge harvest of basil (I've got pesto coming out of my ears) and I'm pretty sure these figs will ripen before it's too late.  The Heritage raspberries have also done pretty well despite my neglect, and of course those tasty gems get eaten well before any thought of a picture.

I planted basil down the sides of my tomato beds for a companion crop.  Still going strong.
Peter's Honey figs peaking out from the dark green foliage.