Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Hydroponic Garden Update - May 2022

 I'm getting more and more comfortable with maintaining the hydroponic set up. It's been so productive for us and I love having it right outside the back door. 

This is the original Red Russian kale and it's still providing plenty of kale for the two of us (John hates kale! ha!) I think I'll have to replace it soon, the stems are getting too tall for this particular set of tubes. Probably next month. I'll start the seeds in a few weeks.

I've replaced some of the lettuce with this Cosmic Mix from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We've used a few young leaves but it should be ready to start using soon for full sized leaves.

The Tiny Tim tomato is getting so much taller then I thought it was going to. It touches the grow light now. Sigh. Thankfully it's covered in blooms, too, hoping to see little tomatoes soon. There are smaller lettuce in the bottom two tubes (a mix of Solar Flare, Ice Queen, and Little Gem.)

I've started another tray of lettuce as I still have about 10 holes that are empty right now. 

John and I cleaned out the entire set up last weekend and put fresh water and nutrients. I can see that the hose draining the system will be continuing to grow algae as it's clear. We're looking into a black hose to replace it in the future.  Other then that, the system looked pretty clean with a minimum amount of algae in the bucket and tubes.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Spring and Summer Garden, 2022 - Bed D4

My problem bed.  There is okra and python beans at the back, and regular green beans in the rest of the bed. I had an insect problem (red ants) right after I planted and they took out quite a few of the green beans before I realized it. I've fixed (💀) the problem with the ants and have replanted, but as you can see it's still early for the beans. 


At the back by the fence there are my two "new to me" plants, and what I'm kind of excited about. Should be interesting! And the rest of the bed is bush beans.

Motherland Okra - from West Africa, pods and leaves are edible.

Chinese Python Snake Bean - an edible gourd, grows up to 60" long and 1-1/2" thick. Best eaten at about 12".

Prevail Bush Bean - another nice, straight green bean.

Friday, April 29, 2022

My Dollar Store Garden Tower

 Last year I bought a bunch of the 3 sided garden stackers that the Dollar Tree was selling.  My idea was to use them for the Micro Dwarf Tomatoes.  I grew a bunch and made a small stack for JR/Ashley/Max and for Jeff/Colleen/KT/Joss. Sadly they just aren't right for those tomatoes - they dried out quickly and I don't think the depth if enough for them.

So -- what to do with these stackers???  I had 5 left over and went and bought another 3, so my stack could be 8 total.  I thought I'd try greens and see if they'd grow better in the root space.

I transplanted a few Chinese cabbages, two types of spigariello, a collard, spinach and Novatina. I have it standing in between two peach trees in the potted garden and so far it's performed magnificently! I really could not have guessed how well all of these would do, some sun during the day and some shade in the late afternoon. 

I've cut greens twice now and we're using most of these for salads, except for the collards, which we'll eat with a meal. I'm continuing to fertilize it every two weeks and fully expect it to last until the real heat begins. 

Very pleased and I might add another stack in the fall!

After I wash these greens well in cold water, I use my salad spinner and then lay them out on paper towels, roll them up and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. They last a really long time this way.

Spring and Summer Garden, 2022 - Bed D3

 Cucumbers and onions in this bed, and yes! These are good garden companions. 

The onions are all purchased starts - there are yellow in the front, red and white in the back.  I've never learned the knack of growing onions - cannot seem to get it right. But, thankfully, I can buy starts locally and that works for me!

The cucumbers are:

Dragon Egg - cream colored round cucumber from Croatia

National Pickling - small cucumber used for pickling for decades

Monika - Polish slicer or can be used for pickles.

I need to thin these cucumbers some, but waiting to see which will be the hardiest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Spring and Summer Garden, 2022 - Bed D2

 Another bed of peppers and green beans. Once the beans are done for the season, I'm planning on putting in squash to replace them. 

Masai Beans - another beautiful slim and straight green bean

Brown Jalapeno - a milder, brown colored jalapeno. Supposed to be larger then a normal green one.

Manzano Peppers - I think these are the yellow version but I can't find the packet they came in. We'll find out. These are from central and South America and the name means apple. These are supposed to be around 30-50K on the Scoville scale. One characteristic of the manzano is that it has black seeds.

Spring and Summer Garden, 2022 - Bed D1

 Peppers and beans in this bed. I know that these two are not usually planted together and are considered bad companion plants, but I've never had any problem with bush beans near peppers. These bean plants will be gone before the peppers start to produce, in any case.

Serengeti Beans - a beautiful slim French filet bean - I grew these last year and they are truly gorgeous.

Numex Pumpkin Spice Jalapeno - developed by New Mexico State, a beautiful orange jalapeno. This is my first year to try these.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Spring and Summer Garden, 2022 - Bed B2

This smaller bed was planted in all bush type beans. I had several packages of only 10-15 beans in them, so I just put them all here together.  

Bush Beans:

Blue Jay - green snap bean

Earlie Serve - green snap bean

Red Swan - somewhat flat red snap bean that turns green when cooked

Brittle Wax - golden yellow snap bean

Triomphe de Farcy - slender green snap bean

Royal Burgandy - purple bush bean, turns green when cooked

Big Kahuna - green snap bean

Golden Wax - yellow snap bean

Cantare - green French snap bean

Strike - slim green snap bean

Galopka - slightly flattened yellow snap bean (only one plant came up of this variety out of 11 seeds)

Derby - green snap bean