Worms and Flowers

Friday Garden Update # 1

Posted in Friday Garden Update by Lzyjo on May 22, 2009

It’s Friday and time for a Garden Update. As you can see, the sunflowers are getting big. Because of the angles of the buildings these sunflowers are the only thing in the garden that I can see from our backdoor.


The zucchinis are really sporting out. The yellow summer squash I planted suddenly died after looking vigorous only a day before. A careful investigation showed the the stem was damaged at the soil line. Possibly trampled. Maybe it was the same party responsible for eating all of the carrots (that managed to sprout in the hard clay soil, btw) Or the same party who ate my beans. Same. Same. That hill will need to be replanted.


The first-planted corn is limping along already fighting the extreme wet/dry, muddy/brick-like soil conditions. The subsequent plantings to fill in the failures are struggling also.


My blauschokkers are looking gorgeous! I just love how the purple pods pop out. I can see them way across the garden. Haven’t tasted them yet, but I already want to grow them again just for the novelty of the inedible purple shells.  Freshly shelled peas will be ready soon. I can see some of the pods are very plump.


We managed to finally get our first harvest, a few meager handfuls of Grey Sugar Snap peas. (more on them later.)


The tomatoes are coming along nicely. It’s hard to see in this photo, from the angles of the leaves, but the first tomatos flowers are on this plant. Woohooo!


Oh my potatoes! They look dead. The smallest plants really suffered from the reapeated floodings that plaugued them at the beginning of the month. I presume the desert like conditions are now hampering their growth also. I’m not too hopeful that they will grow back. Good thing the other rows are faring better!


My biggest potato plants are either just beginning to flower, or just finished flowering, which can mean only one thing, new potatoes and peas! This one just happens to be in the same row as the deadish ones, but it’s one of my healthiest plants!


Things are coming along nicely and as always, so are the weeds.

Happy Gardening!

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10 Responses

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  1. Jen said, on May 22, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    You’ve got some beautiful stuff growing there. The zucchini leaves are impressive.
    I love those purple podded peas – and your pea flowers are purple, too!. Sorry to hear about the trampling. I’m risking the same thing with a bunch of boys in the backyard playing flashlight tag. I’m biting my nails the whole time. (BTW, I’m gonna try to get to the Grey Iris Garden this weekend!)

  2. Faith said, on May 23, 2009 at 6:33 AM

    I’m having the same trouble with my garden soil. I just tilled horse pasture for the first time to make it. It is likely the best soil on the place, in a low spot, incorporated turf and horse manure, but it is still too highly proportioned in clay.

    I’m looking forward to using green manures over the fall and winter, if possible. The soil needs breaking up more deeply and lots more organic matter. There’s no way I can build a compost pile big enough to take care of getting this spot ready for next year.

    We are trying a multitude of fixes – mulching before the seeds sprout so the ground is softer at the crust, cultivating regularly. I put my potatoes in upright bins and have moved onto straw. Another experiment. We’ll see how that works.

    I’ve had to replant several things as the ground lack nitrogen as well. So things have got off to a slower start.


  3. Lzyjo said, on May 23, 2009 at 6:59 AM

    Thank you for the compliments! I’ve heard the Drawf grey has particularly showy flowers, but the purple podded are a close match. Oh cool! I hope you have a wonderful time at the iris garden!

    Flashlight tag! My dog just charges through the garden right over anything in his path. He also likes standing in the rows….GRRR!

  4. Lzyjo said, on May 23, 2009 at 7:01 AM

    You’re so right, the biggest compost pile would never solve our problems. My battle with the clay is continual. I planning on mulching the heck out of the garden. Don’t think it will do that much good, but it’s worth a try! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. ourfriendben said, on May 24, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Wow, your garden’s weeks ahead of mine, lzyjo! Love those purple pea pods! As for the trmapling, i noticed that the same thing had happened to one of my cuke plants when I was planting a few more cukes and squash yesterday. unfortunately, i’m not sure if a cat lay on it or if I actually stepped on it myself in my frantic attempts to get out all the poison ivy seedlings. Sigh…

  6. Lzyjo said, on May 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Well, it should be. PA is no Tennessee! I’m in love with the peas too, they’re so purple! I admit I may have stepped on it with my Sasquatch feet while weeding, but it’s easier to blame a wild animal who can’t retort.

  7. gail said, on May 25, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    Step away from the computer for a few days and you miss so much in your friend’s gardens! I love the colored peas! Do they stay purple when cooked; now that would be cool! After pounding rains all spring the soil in my yard is terribly compacted…so I am ordering a few cubic yards of organic compost from the compost farm. I can’t grow enough compost fast enough to deal with the clay. gail

  8. Lzyjo said, on May 25, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Ouuu! A compost delivery! That’s hot stuff. The peas are for shelling, so the purple part isn’t edible, perhaps they can be eaten whole with they are immature. Not sure. The garden is start to look more like a garden and with the rain in the forecast things should really get crazy.

  9. Gururaj said, on May 25, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    Just commenting on some differences – your sugar snap flower is definitely more colorful and better looking; I have white flowers on my sugar snaps. I had just one or two potato flowers, yet I think they are ready for harvest. We did a trial dig and got some great potatoes; some were still small though. The potato leaves take on red dots all over before turning yellow. Looks like your sunflower plants may grow up to 8 feet! Looking forward to seeing them in full bloom!

  10. Lzyjo said, on May 26, 2009 at 7:22 AM

    Hi Gururaj, Good to know that the flowers are indeed more colorful. The seed description for the sugar snaps claimed they had beautiful purple flowers, but my Blauschokkers had them also! Last summer when I grew potatoes they never flower, but I still harvested a lot. It sound like your vines maybe dying. After the plant dies, within a few weeks the potato skin thickens and you can harvest the mature potatoes. Enjoy the new potatoes while you have them. You’re right about the sunflowers, they are the cultivar Mammoth!

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