Right in My Own Backyard - I’m seeing red

There are a few things coming to bear in the garden now.  The beets are getting deeper red stems and leaf veins, the strawberries are ripening and the radishes are showing little red tops.  As happy as I am to see all this progress, I can’t help thinking it’s all still a little slow going.  Is it me, or are things on schedule and as they should be?  I’m not sure about when to actually pick things either.  I ate a strawberry a couple of Saturdays ago that looked absolutely perfect, but was actually quite sour when I bit into it.  A couple of days ago I saw two more that looked perfectly ripe, but again turned out to be really sour.  I left the other one on the plant and by the next day it was rotting.  Any suggestions about harvesting strawberries?  I only had two plants, so I’m a little bit disappointed with the amount of berries too.  I’d like to try to get seeds from the strawberries I do have and try to get more next year.  If anyone knows how to do that, I’d sure appreciate some pointers.

I’m wondering the radishes too; when to pick them that is.  I had a peek at one and it was still very tiny, so I pushed it back into the ground.  Last year I did the same and it seems all I did was blink and it was too late.  They dried up and got woody.  Same for the peas;  not ready one minute, too late the next.  How do you tell when stuff’s ready to harvest?  It seems I’m only able to know it’s picking time with the tomatoes and the cucumbers.

I did a few things to tidy up the garden last week. I cleared away most of the weeds that come through my neighbour’s fence and put up some weed block that I bought at the dollar store.  So far it seems to be working although, I think I need to put some bricks down along the bottom edge of it.  I had some marigold squares that had too many plants in them, so I pulled out the extras and spread them around the garden.  I found out that I’m allowed only four per square, so I put some where I was supposed to have peas and some in the empty onion squares.

I wish I had known flowers take so long to get blooms.  I’m really hoping that my idea for using my planter boxes as a cold frame works next year.  I’ll be able to start all my flowers and a lot more veggies too.I did my second round of planting last Thursday and I’ll do another round next Thursday.   I also found when I fluffed up the garden that some of my bean seeds were missing, so I’ll be replacing those in the next planting round.   Oh, and I took away some of the bricks and replaced it with black plastic edging, and I started to lift some of the other bricks too.  I’m still getting a lot of water pooling in them, so I’m trying to even them out as much as possible.  Lifting the bricks also gives each plot a more “boxed” effect.

I planted my cucumber seedlings on June 12.  I should have chequed the calendar because I thought it was actually June 13 which is supposed to be the magic date for planting cucumbers.  But they seem to be doing alright even though the ones I put in the bucket are trailing behind the ones in the ground, they are at least advancing.  I imagine I should have waited until the plants were bigger before putting them in the buckets.  I also transplanted some herbs into my hanging basket which I put up on the west fence with my dollar store hanger.  I thought for a minute the tarragon wasn’t going to make it, but it seems to have picked up well.   

I’ve been asking around about my pear tomato, and someone told me it probably has a virus.  The main stem is all bumpy and looks pretty nasty.  Luckily, I didn’t have it in the ground with the other stuff, or it might have infected my whole garden.  Seeing as it’s in a bucket though, I decided to hold off getting rid of it.  I made a soup from the sheep manure and added it last week.  It doesn’t look as bad as it did before and I’m starting to actually get tomatoes; I have two little ones now.  Do plant viruses make people sick too?  I’m wondering if the tomatoes from that plant will be any good to eat.

My backyard ashtrays seem to be quite popular.  I really didn’t think I would have made as many as I did, but since people seem to like them so much, I’ve decided to start making them to sell.  I’ve done an ebay listing ** and I’m going to see about getting a market stall at one of the farmer’s markets here in town.  Wish me luck!

**Note:  I have since removed my ebay listing, and I am putting sale of my backyard ashtray on hold, as I'm applying for a business programme that prohibits any sales prior to completing the course.
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  1. Anonymous24/6/11 21:11

    A great job on the garden looks great, also the garden video looks good, so dose the back yard. Keep up the good work.......

  2. Thank you for your support; I really appreciate it