Updates from the concrete jungle

pano from above

Looking down at the parking spot jungle from the deck.

Every Saturday morning in the summer I find myself waking up at something like 6:30am, hopping out of bed, and making a beeline for the garden.  Weekdays I get to spend a bleary half hour in the morning or late evening making sure everything gets watered, but on Saturdays I’m dying to get my hands dirty and see what’s happened over the past week.

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I’ve been negligent on the blogging, so since the last post, the sugar snap peas have grown, been harvested, eaten, and as of this morning, cut down to make room for cucumbers!  I didn’t get a huge yield – 32 pods in total – but they were grown in a tiny tiny container and I only planted a few seeds. Next year I’ll do more – they were delicious!

 

In the meantime, 2 varieties of cucumbers have started growing out of this slightly less tiny, but still tiny, bucket container.

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2013-06-28 22.26.46So I cut down the dying snap pea vines and will train the cucumber vines up the same space. Since (breaking news) the garden and I will be moving *again* in a month, I stuck a portable trellis in the container instead of using the string trellis tied to the deck.  One of the vines must have grown 6 feet in the past week – it already reaches to the top of the trellis!

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Baby cucumber

In front of the cucumber plants are some Gazania flowers. I’d never seen these before this year, and I’m not sure what I think.  They’re finicky – they don’t like being planted with other plants, and the flowers won’t open unless there is really bright sun. When they do open it’s very briefly, and as soon as a cloud covers the sun they shut right back up again.  I think they are the indifferent, haughty, housecats of the plant world.  That said, when they do open up, they’re really pretty.

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The broccoli has also come and gone.  I got to eat some of it, but was too slow for a couple of heads and instead created giant broccoli flowers which were very interesting, but not overly edible. I also got a few tiny side shoots on those plants that I harvested the main shoots from, so I picked the last of those today and cut down all the plants.

….. 2013-06-21 21.40.30            2013-06-21 21.39.15

I also harvested the last of the spinach, which was a bit ragged, but when you blend it in a smoothie you can’t tell at all. 🙂

…..2013-06-21 20.15.15            2013-06-21 20.26.51

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The herbs are still doing well, and I’ve been harvesting enough basil this summer that the plants have become very strong and full.  They were starting to develop flowers, so this morning I cut the tops off them all, and I’ll have to do another good harvest later this weekend.  I also gave the chives a haircut, since they were getting pretty unruly (though honestly, unruly is kind of appealing, especially when it comes to hair.)

….2013-06-29 01.25.54

The zucchini plants all appear to be doing well, although it seems to me they are somewhat behind last year’s development.  But it looks like at least some of the flowers are getting pollinated, and small zucchinis are starting to appear.

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The cheater purple peppers are also doing well – that biggest one hasn’t been getting any bigger, so I might harvest it soon.  Whenever I’ve grown peppers in the past I always find the flesh is very thin compared to those you buy at the grocery store.  I’m curious to see how these supposedly magical peppers compare.

 

 

 


And last but not least, the many, many tomatoes. 🙂  All of the plants have fruited now, some quite heavily. They seem to be very happy in their little parking lot garden, despite that they don’t get as much direct sun as they should.  Most of them are taller than me, and some of them I can’t even reach the tops!  Moving them to the new apartment a few blocks away is going to be a very interesting challenge…

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Sungold cherries starting to ripen

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Purple Russian Plums

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Jaune Flamée

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Yellow Brandywine

Of course it wouldn’t be tomato season without the return of my second-favorite nemeses, the aphids. I’ve been keeping an eye on them, and so far it looks like they’re not getting too out of control, though I haven’t seen any ladybugs (aka aphid killers) yet, so I’m considering going and buying some.2013-06-20 20.21.05

It’s amazing how fast the garden has grown – 3 weeks ago it looked like this: 2013-06-08 10.32.14

And today, I basically need a machete to do the weeding. 2013-06-28 22.30.56

Basically, I believe the world is a jungle, and if it’s not a bit of a jungle in the home, a child cannot possibly be fit to enter the outside world.
~Bette Davis

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