Thursday, May 31, 2018

This Was Going To Be Beans

January and August are the months when I plan out my garden. I draw a little schematic of the planter boxes and pots in the front yard, and know what I want to put in each one for the growing season.

This year, I got the tomatoes right, at least. I have nine Shady Lady tomato plants, four Early Girls; they are my workhorses in tomato production, and I'm aiming for 400 pounds this year. I made room for a pot with the two little nincompoop tomatoes that came up in September in among the kohlrabi and wintered over just fine on the front porch. (They actually gave me my first few tiny-but-tasty tomatoes this year.) The lady who runs the local hardware nursery talked me into a San Marzano again, and this year, the variety is doing well. Then I got crazed and put in a "Yugoslavian" plant and a German variety in other pots, just for a lark.

The rest of the plantings ... hmm. Two variables struck hard: the STUPID weather and the ACCURSED snails.

Our winter was dangerously mild, right up until almond blossom, and then we got slammed with some plunging temps. In fact, I was listening to a couple farmers talking in the hair salon, and one of them was recounting how badly hit some of the orchards had been at a crucial moment when a freeze occurred. Yeah, I know about that. My first planting of corn and beans rotted in the ground because the swelling seeds froze. The second one, ditto. Another freak frosty few days did it in.

The third try got me a nice germination rate, but then the little sprouts of corn began to disappear. And where my beans were planted, little holes appeared in the ground. Birds? No, I have everything netted in the spring. It was snails or slugs, creeping in and chowing down the little sprouts even into the dirt, roots and all. Bastards.

So my corn crop looks like a bad haircut; if I get any corn at all from this planting, I'll immediately plant another crop. Beans I'm starting in pots up off the ground on the sheltered north side of the house, to be planted as space becomes available.

Which brings me to the above photo: when the bok choi were harvested, the violas were supposed to be removed and beans planted. But then a poppy came up in the middle of them, and the violas themselves have grown to heights of color I never would have dreamed of.

Much as I love my wax beans, there was no way I had the heart to tear out that riotous party of color.

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