Monday, June 27, 2016

Garden Update: Peppers, Potatoes, And Peanuts, Oh My!

Goodness I have been busy in the garden lately.  As happens every year, due to loss of original plants by pests, I had to plant a second round of some plants and seeds recently.  Thankfully {or not}, I am used to it so I am prepared with extra starts and just do my best to roll with the punches.

Peppers round two went in as almost all of the first round were nibbled to stubs.  I don't think I will start peppers from seed next year.  Which is hard for me to swallow given that I start everything from seed.  But my issue is that I only have one grow light and limited space currently so a second grow light isn't really possible.  What happens is that the grow light needs to be above whatever is the tallest plant.  So things that are shorter or take longer to germinate are stuck with a grow light that is too far away from them to provide ideal growing conditions.  So when I plant out my pepper starts, they are on the small side.  I think next year I need to be practical about my limitations.  Unless I can find a way to squeeze in more growing space and a second light, it's just a better use of my time and resources to buy a dozen pepper plants.

If I haven't lost you yet, I planted 12 more peppers: 3 Rose, 3 Purple, and 6 Yellow Banana.  All are sweet as the two surviving from the first round of planting are jalapeño.  

I planted peanuts on a lark last year, knowing full well that I was right on the edge of where they would be able to product.  I had a tough go of them germinating so I only harvested a handful. .  But I saved them and used them as seed this year.  Because I'm nothing if not determined and possible glutton for punishment.  But looky look at what is popping up already {it took weeks to see any sign of life last year so I have a bit more hope this go round}!  Tiny baby peanut plants- woot woot!

I finally planted out my winter squash.  Most are under the wire and tulle mesh hoops in hopes that I can keep the SVB {squash vine borers} at bay for as long as possible.  I then planted out a second round of summer squash as well as some direct seeds.  I don't typically have issues with summer squash so was bummed to see them all nibbled.

Weeks ago I planted a slew of pea and bean seeds but very few have come up.  I'm not sure if they died in the ground or if birds and squirrels ate them.  Likely a combo deal.  This is a first for me though.  So I planted round two, this time soaking all the seeds for 24 hours first in hope that it speeds up the germination process.  Fresh sugar snap peas and fresh strawberries are what I call garden candy so I am anxious for those peas to get a move on and give me little green treats!

My brassicas look so great this year!  They are the biggest draw for the damn woodchuck so I was clever to plant them in the very center of the garden plot this year with the vein hope of keeping him away from my crop.  So far, so good, so knocking on wood!  Crossing my fingers after losing every single plant last year in August to the damn woodchuck!  (That said, I filled in two more holes where he is getting into the garden.  He took out my neighbor's entire plot of brassicas as she doesn't have a fence around her space.  

I'm starting to see cherry tomatoes forming and it's thrilling.  However by far the most exciting discovery was my very first Beefsteak tomato!  Tomato sandwiches are just around the corner {OK...they're like an entire month away...I can't wait!}.

Dare I say my potatoes look amazing.  Yes, they are everywhere.  But I love me a tater so who cares!  Digging up fresh potatoes is such a thrill.  You just never know what you might find.  

And finally, the rhubarb is still going strong.  One of my favorite ways to use the entire plant is to make good use of the giant leaves as mulch to keep the weeds out.  They just compost in over time but they look pretty cool in the process.

What's growing in your garden right now?

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