Saturday, January 9, 2010

January overview

I wish I could capture the whole garden effectively -- but I think I'd have to float over it to get a birds-eye view.

At any rate, I think of the backyard garden as a east-west split, with beds marching north, and then the original garden to the extreme east. That's how I'll deal with it in overviews, at least.

First shot -- east side, south looking north. The front two beds are lettuces and other greens, with a few napkin-spaced carrots overplanted with lettuces. That wasn't intentional. I'd given up on the carrots, or more likely, forgotten that they were there, and then they showed up. Late for the party, but all dressed up. What's a girl to do?

The front bed has been covered with Reemay (you can see it gathered up past it) and so has been very very moist. It's also getting lots of shade. At any rate, this fantastic orange fungus has grown on it. Every day it gets prettier.

The second bed has my pathetic Lacinato kale "crop." The birds have decimated it. Next year I must plant them earlier, and inside, and feed them well. They're going to have to be big boys and girls to make it through the winter, I'm afraid.

The shallots look wonderful. I hope they weren't all planted in clumps, as I see some of them. I know for a fact how many pounds I planted, so it will be easy to tell what the yield is.

And, continuing the "alliums on parade" theme, the garlic -- not as abundant as I'd hoped. I think it needs something.

Last, but not leeks -- I slay myself -- the keeper onions. These are an Italian variety on the left, and "Talon" on the right. We'll see how they go. I have a few more Talon to seed this week in the open spots.

On the left, to the east, are the hardest working girls in the garden. It wasn't sunny today, but apparently warm enough to fly. The left-hand hive was humming, literally. Bees flying in and out very quickly. The right had some activity, but not as much. There were more dead bees in front of that one. It will be interesting to get in there and see what's what on a really sunny day.

Other side!
Front is carrots and kale, then sweet peas, then asian greens, then a mix of all sorts.
On the right of that is what I call the "old garden." It's peas in the left and back bed, broccoli and shallots in the right side. I'm trying to rotate crops sanely. Those peas need strings. Hopefully tomorrow!

And the beds that were to be the kids' beds. Sometimes they announce that they're still in charge of this plot or that, and sometimes they plant things. The front right bed has an entire store-bought garlic bulb split and planted. It's doing pretty well!

In the third bed from the front is that vast planting of True Siberian kale from saved seed. It's going well, but is being visited by that scourge of the summer, powdery mildew. Instead of treating it, I'm feeding affected leaves to the chickens. They seem to be fans.

On the other end of that bed, I think this is some green mache. I've never grown it before and it's very very slow.

The Asian greens bed is doing well, but I'm still fighting weeds. I cleared out the eastern end of it but the tat soi is still awash in oxalis. Bleah.

At the far end of the last bed, here's some Green Beauty snow peas from Michelle. I thought the birds had gotten them, but they look like they'll do fine.

In the very back, the shelling peas are coming along. Here's how big the Alaskas are getting, podwise.

And here's the length of a typical Canoe pod. They're going to be fun.

A surprise in the rasperry bed, over by the chickens.

And this is making me actually pay attention. This tree, which we trimmed, still has a couple of vast branches way high up. They're high, but they are still over the back couple of beds. They're thick enough that they're making a rain shadow over the right part of the onions and some other stuff. I was amazed. I'd been counting on the rain to do all the work -- I'm going to have to monitor those beds and do some supplemental watering, I suppose. And yes, that ivy needs chopping back. The work never ends here at "yard in progress, inc."


Jeff Vandiver said...

Man, your garden is big.....I love how everything is filling out nicely. Gosh I want my own bee hive...Thankfully, they still turn out in nice numbers each year, though.

Charity said...

You are amazing!! We live on shale here and have gophers with teeth like jack hammers. They can get through anything! I admire your beautiful garden and your obviously productive urban farming techniques.

Heiko said...

This looks like some really efficient use of space, well done. And you have everything nice and flat, unlike us, who have to clamber up down our terraces. We're having horrible weather and not much gets done at all at the moment.

Ribbit said...

Fantastic! I don't remember seeing a whole post of all the beds before. I love seeing the progression of the crops. Resolution for this year...more bee posts! I'm just enthralled with how you beekeep.

Unknown said...

Wonderful overview of your gardens. I think you captured the garden perfectly. It's nice to see so much green. Beautiful!

Joan said...

Thanks so much for the photos. I've been wondering about how much space you have to get the yield you do. (I'm not very good with visualizing from numbers.)
Re your garlic and possibly wanting something more, do you worm compost? My garlic is happy with a little diluted "juice" every few weeks.

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness, you are going to have so much food for your family! I don't know how you keep on top of so many beds. Yes, I do. You just do it. Aren't you glad that we have the weather we do?

Mr. H. said...

I can't believe how big your garden has gotten. Your tat soi is huge, I have never been able to get it to grow for all.

I really like the way you have set up your irrigation system, I am hoping to use more soaker hoses and less overhead watering going forward. We were just looking at your prior post on that subject and have got a few good ideas for our next garden season.

Annie*s Granny said...

Oh, my. You actually have crops growing this winter, unlike my pitiful "salad garden". I use that term loosely, as it only provides one salad per week, if we're lucky.

I am another, like Mr. H., who is looking closely at your irrigation setup. In fact, I have a nice big photo of it as it was under construction, to refer to next spring. I hope my son feels like helping to install it, he did such a good job on the new garden shed last summer ;-)

kitsapFG said...

I love getting a walk through of gardens - even if it is a cyber one! The peas look great. One of my favorite crops and the season always feels far too short for them.

Stefaneener said...

EG, it sure is this year. I've been savoring planting stuff at recommended spacing, rather than cramming everything in. I also feel as though I can do a lot of amending.

Charity, thanks -- you'd have to have raised beds with hardware cloth bottoms to thwart the little boogers. Or a terrier, I suppose. This makes me happy in the face of no farm.

Heiko, I am daily grateful for my flat little island when I walk, run, or ride my bike. The yard needs some shovel work to even out some high and low spots. You're getting a workout, though. And right now I bet you should huddle by the fire and dream of summer.

Ribbit, I'm going to try to post some more "aerial" shots soon. Okay, I'll think of you when I post bees. It's soon going to be time for the first peek into the hives, should the weather cooperate.

Grafixmuse, enjoy our green. Winter is always the greenest time here because of the rain. In the summer, the hills get all brown and golden.

Joan, this is the first planting in this configuration. Last year all was from the "old beds" on the extreme east, plus some of the front yard. I'm planning on more this summer.

Kristin, you know how much I neglect. And the gardens do a lot all by themselves, really.

Mr. H., I was just thinking today that it's stir-fry time again. That tat soi is big, big, big. The next sowing is easily only 1/6th as big. I already have more komatsuna than I can eat. Eeek. Our watering system was really fun to do -- but we have very sandy soil and it's easy to dig.

Granny, I hope you do get it done by willing workers (want Caterina to come out and help glue?).

kitsapFG, you're right on the peas. This is a learning season -- next year they get the length of a whole bed, I think.

Michelle said...

You've put all your new beds to such good use! There's so much to see and you're going to be hauling in the harvests pretty soon. I have problems with the birds also. It seems that remay is really the only effective barrier, they peck right through bird netting unless it is suspended well above the foliage. It's such a pain, I've been letting them have their way, for the most part, this year. Fortunately, they don't seem to be quite as hungry this year as last.

Jackie said...

Wow, a rain shadow from that tree! Crazy. Good that you noticed it though. Sometimes I want to chop down all the trees that interfere with my vegetables. BUT I really like trees, so eventually I snap out of it!