May 7th, 2011 by Marc Opperman
It may be a little late for such things, so we’ll see. Planted okra and jalapeño transplants this week, as well as bush and vine green bean seeds, sweet corn seed, and summer squash seed. The bush beans are already past seed-leaf stage, while the other stuff seems to be biding its time. In a year with actual rainfall, the lateness might not matter much. But I think the drought may impact my success. We’ll see.
However, to help with all this, I am still letting tap water outgas its chlorine, and I have used parts of a bag of Revitalizer Compost from The Natural Gardener to make two 5-gallon buckets of compost tea. I was inspired to do this because I had potted a passionvine cutting directly in Revitalizer. Every time I went to water the sprout, the water in the saucer below was a rich dark-chocolate color. I could hear my other plants begging for it.
Today I need to strain that into storage jugs so it doesn’t become a haven for the blood squad. Though, a b. thuringiensis dunk would probably help that, and not hurt the compost tea.
A limitation I ran into this year is not having enough open planting space to plant certain crops on time. Basically, I’d love to have the corn where the potatoes are, but the potatoes have yet to vacate the space (but they are seeming close to digging time). The strawberry bed would make a good spot for squash, but they still seem happy…even if my total berry output this year could be measured in the single ounces column.
I’m reading reports of ripe tomatoes all over the Central Texas blogosphere, and my garden is not one to be out-performed in this regard. So far I’ve picked several handfuls of a small cherry tomato (don’t know the variety, but they are about the size of small marbles and VERY sweet.) I’ve also plucked the first two Viva Italias. Basically very much like Romas, these are a paste tomato that should be good for sauces and cooking. Verdict on taste is not in (I had a lot of tasteless tomatoes last year), but they are gorgeous, unblemished and heavy.
Also, we had one blackberry. Jenna reported it to be delicious. She got it since she requested the blackberry brambles back in January. We may get one more ripe berry. This is only notable since one shouldn’t actually get berries on first-year brambles. Berries develop on last-year’s canes.
I was supposed to be going to the Wildflower Center’s Gardens on Tour today, but the boy is still sick, and would probably be pretty fussy. Momma and boy are sleeping right now, so plans are up in the air.