Saturday, May 19, 2018

waiting for maize

when i got to campus this morning i was greeted by some prostrate asparagus...
so i picked it up...and put in more support...while i was doing so i noticed the plants had begun to flower...that is fine...a bumper crop of asparagus seed would not be a bad thing to have...
i also noticed four volunteer potatoes up and running in the bed behind the asparagus...obviously some were missed in last autumn's harvest...these should be done by august if anyone is interested...
that done i moved over to my bed where i found a smattering of jerusalem artichokes up after last week's cull...
so i dug the whole bed ( ther will be no more digging after today...only yanking sunchokes out by the roots [if possible] ...the reasons will be obvious in just a minute ) where i found...
where i found a healthy population of earth worms ( always a happy event )...
and twenty-six more tubers ( numerologists stay tuned...there is significance in that number which will be revealed shortly...you need to know )
after i culled the bed i created a compost hill along the north side of the bed...
and i planted some corn seed i received from the usda and had soaked in water overnight spaced out along the hill about a foot apart...buffalo bird woman would have called foul and told me i was planting "smells itself' corn far too close together...this isn't buffalo bird woman's corn however...it is "improved hybrid" corn...i am not certain whether this is sweet or field corn ( i am inclined towards field since it's federal corn ) however we will judge by the squirrels..if they nail every ear you can be sure it was sweet corn...if they won't touch it it will be all starch field corn..call it a wildlife experiment...
i did also plant some heirloom flint corn...a couple of reds and a couple of blues...these i spread out as buffalo bird woman would have it because they are not "improved" and they want their space...
i also planted a bell pepper and an heirloom tomato...and called it a day on my bed...when the corn gets to be around ten or twelve inches tall i will be planting pole beans at the base of the stalks to allow the beans to vine on the corn...two thirds of the "three sisters"...
when i got to the corner bed it evinced a much smaller irruption of jerusalem artichokes than last week and a dig produced only fifty-two tubers ( fifty-two...twenty-six...exactly double the number of tubers that i found in my bed? omens? foreshadowings? or just numbers? ) ...doubtless i will find more later this week
on a final, climate change, note...the solanum family brute carolina horse nettle has cropped its spiky head up in the garden again...it is a non-native perennial native to the southeastern states ( hence the carolina ) which should not have overwintered here...it has however and it is deeply rooted and probably here to stay...i wonder how bad the japanese beetles will be this year...stock up on neem oil.

Friday, May 18, 2018

it's pretty much the same...only more

early this morning i found a quiet spot ( disregard the camera strap..it is not part of the scenery ) to finish rewilding the last of the jerusalem artichokes that i removed from the community garden last week...several hundred have gone in and will start some new native colonies around the area...
i already have a healthy colony in my yard and more in containers...rewilding was the only use for the excess tubers...
the winter rye continues to mature with more ears emerging from the stalks...another month and a half and it should be ready to harvest...
the potted teosinte from the basement continues to produce new growth...
new flowers...
and today i noticed the first silks...this plant had a long time to finish its season in...i am hopeful of multiple ears...
my asparagus continues to "fern" and i do believe i have my first asparagus from the seed i planted earlier in the season up and running...
spuds continue to pop up in the bed with the rhubarb...
and the volunteers keep showing up too...these are in the wheat bed..which was a potato bed last season...so with the fifteen volunteers in the south bed, these, plus the ones in the bed with the rhubarb and in the containers there are forty-seven potato plants up and running and i have planted another twenty-seven in the past few days..and is till have more to go...we will be alive with spuds this year... the new york imported wild strawberries are still blooming and cooking up berries... they are also producing stolons and daughter plants that are taking root..head over tot he berry blog to have a look at the frenzy in the beds...
the grape vines on the trellis and in the catalpa tree ( and, by inference, the fir trees ) are coming into fuller leaf...
the egyptian walking onions are preparing to go for a stroll...they are taking the first steps towards forming the aerial bulbs that will weigh the stalks down to the ground away from the parent plant..another colonizer, these are onions that overwintered in the ground and will continue to expand their range as long as i let them...they are surrounded by winter vetch which should be doing the good work of setting nitrogen in the soil to feed the onions...there is a limit to the space thay can take so i foresee a harvest this coming summer...of at least some...
and while we are with the allium family lets just say the ramp bed is...well...ramped up and booming away...garlic may be absent, however, we will be cooking with leeks and onions from the yard before long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

an afternoon with some andean tubers

the largest of the basement mashua plants has died back and it has decided to leave me with three healthy sized tubers from a season in great indoors...i am inordinately pleased...
yesterday i acquired some half barrels so i took two of them out to the east side of the yard and drilled drainage holes in them...
one i filled almost to the top with a mixture of compost and soil...and a few earth worms i found along the way...
and i planted all three tubers as deep as they are long in it and now we will see if this has the desired effect...
the other barrel i filled less than a third of the way and planted a mix of german butterball, all blue, and elmer's blue potatoes...we will continuously back fill this and see just haw many spuds are in a barrel...
some of the government spuds had started to chit and so i placed a shallow layer of soil in two of the infamous blue buckets and planted the two bison potatoes each in their very own habitat...another back fill to the top experiment...if fact all the newly planted outdoor spuds ( there are many yet to do ) will be of this ilk...
for the DTO-2 ( i have no idea what that designation means...names like viking and barbara are given by the breeders who "develop" the variety from the potato's genetic diversity...grow some from seed sometime and you will be surprised by what comes up...i promise ) i did the same shallow layer in a ten gallon pot and planted both...so...andean tubers in the soil a long way from home...they have done well in the past ( even if last season's mashua was a disappointment...too much shade where they were planted i think...they will have more sun this year )...there is a zea day coming soon enough...japanese beetles too i'l wager..all in a season.