Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gardening photos and commentary

The blue container in the foreground with the small green leafy plants are a red-stemmed variety of spinach I planted over the Winter. They took a bit of a beating from the heavy thunderstorms we had this past weekend, but that's okay, I'm intending on picking them tomorrow anyway so I can prepare the soil to plant some more eggplant plants. There is actually a second blue box in the far background with more of the same, and again, I'll be putting new eggplant transplants in it too. And speaking of eggplants... that chaotic mess of a bush in the background is actually four eggplant plants I planted in the middle two blue containers last year. They never completely stopped producing fruit, so I never pulled them up. There are two Ichiban eggplant plants that have about a half dozen baby eggplants between them right now, a white ghost eggplant (literally the size and shape and color of an egg) that has one baby fruit and a bunch of flowers, and a Black Beauty plant with a bunch of flowers. The fruits haven't gone bitter yet, I had some with supper Sunday night, and after talking with a couple other gardeners, I was told to leave them be and let them keep on keeping on! Apparently in our climate, where we really don't get much of a Winter, they can go for at least a couple of years before the fruit gets bitter and they slow production to the point where thery're not worth dealing with anymore.

Above are the four new eggplant plants I got to plant alongside the established ones. Two more Ichiban, since they did so well for me and I liked the flavor so much. And two "Fairy Tale" eggplant plants, for something new and different. They make clusters of tiny fruit that supposedly have a nice mild flavor. Eggplant seem to like the spot I've planted them in, so might as well put a few more in and see what happens, right?

This is "Pepper Lane" so to speak. The containers are about 6-7 gallons each, which seems perfect for container peppers I've found. I've got a basic jalapeno, a poblano, and three bell peppers. A green, a brown, and an orange. In the foreground is a happy little chive plant that has literally been growing in the same pot for at least four years now. I pluck out any yellow leaves when I see them, and give it a nice little trim now and then for the kitchen and it just keeps on going and going and going.

Above are my tomato plants for Spring 2012. I planted quite a few less than I have in the past couple of years. But, this is the only really sunny spot I have for them right now and I didn't want to crowd them. If I had more sunny space, I'd plant more. I considered putting some in the front yard, the bushy patio variety, but we never really got around to the landscaping we had hoped to get done. It'll have to wait another year. I have space for maybe two out front, if I can find some good sized established container plants that don't cost a fortune. Maybe a couple of cherry tomatoes.

Above are seeds I want to get planted this weekend. Lemon cucumber, Japanese cucumber, green beans, purple beans, Italian style beans, baby round zucchini, strange little striped melons, basil, dill, and cilantro. It's a little late for the herb seeds, but we'll see what I get this season. I may buy some transplants if I can find them cheap enough.

 And lastly, above is a baby Meyer lemon. Because we had such a warm Fall and Winter, I had a bloom and fruit set towards the end of last year, and that's when this lemon started to develop. I'm just finishing a second bloom and fruit set and can already see the tiniest beginnings of fruits. I guess I'll be getting two harvests this year? No complaints from me, I love lemons!

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