Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Greetings! It has been about a month since the last update regarding my p-patch plot. The weather these last few weeks has been less than stellar, with few days getting above 60 degrees. Also, it has been raining a lot. So, let's start with the good. As the above picture shows nearly everything is growing with great fervor. The spinach is steadily producing more than I can consume so everyone whose path I cross gets some. The peas have finally begun their vertical climb and I have tied them up so they will climb the trellis instead of clinging to nearby plants. Both types of campanula (Birch's Hybrid is shown in photo) have bloomed a collection of attractive violet flowers. The celery is coming along nicely. And, the carrot starts I acquired at the South Seattle Community College Horticultural Center plant sale are doing well. In order to deter carrot rust flies I have covered the carrots with Reemay. I do not know how effective it will be but I'm hoping it at least helps.

On to the broccoli is, once more, struggling with Clubroot. Fortunately, I have only needed to dispose of a couple plants. The rest of the broccoli is coming along well and I'm looking to begin harvesting next month. Also, the corn starts in the plot are just hanging on. And, the ugly...the corn starts I planted in the newly cleared space (see above) are pretty much gone. They weren't the best starts I've acquired, and the weather (rain, wind, cold) has been hard on them. I'll be removing them and continue to clear the space of grass and roots shortly. I'm planning on planting some healthier corn stock in another week or two, assuming the weather begins to warm.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Visiting Swansons Nursery

I stopped by Swansons Nursery this weekend and was amazed at how many folks were shopping for plants on an overcast day. I'm guessing that the place will be even more insane Mother's Day weekend. Anyway, for those of you folks unfamiliar with Swansons, this popular North Seattle nursery is open daily year-round and offers an excellent selection of perennials, shrubbery, trees, vegetable starts, seasonal plants and more. More than once I have found plants at Swansons that few other local nurseries carried (i.e., Cyclamen Purpurascens, "Birch's Hybrid" campanula, Scilla Tubergeniana). The nursery also features seasonal events, a cafe, frequent sales and promotions. Unfortunately, their prices are the steepest I've seen for nursery plants anywhere in the Seattle area (Molbak's in Woodinville is a close second). Many veggie starts and Spring flower packs are typically "3 for $15". Thus, it's good to follow sales, belong to a local p-patch (p-patch gardeners get 10% off) or be a senior citizen (they get discounts too).

P-Patch Plot Update: Nothing much to report on my plot other than everything is slowly growing. I think most of the plants are waiting for the temperature to raise a few more degrees. The peas haven't taken off yet, but the potatoes are a minor jungle. One new development though...I learned that the space bordering the top of the south property embankment is up for grabs (aka Interbay Land Rush). I managed to claim a 60sf stretch. An hour of back breaking labor digging out a major infestation of crab grass has resulted in some excellent soil. I plan on adding two bags of compost I got from the city (residents received coupons) to start amending the soil. I don't know what I will plant here, but it will probably be corn or pumpkins, anything that likes a lot of sun.