Something Joseph posted in another thread
made me realize that I haven't been posting growing updates.
Let's start with what I consider the worst, first. My crimson favas look like they're not going to produce any seed at all. They were set back first by the frosts (worse than the white flowering varieties) and then all spring have been the most plagued by insects. Now they've stopped flowering altogether and I don't see any pods going. Right now the most productive have been the Broad Windsor, but they are definitely in a distinctive micro climate. I've only been getting any harvestable favas for a couple weeks, so this is still an ongoing experiment. For some reason, all the favas seem to be a favorite with the stink bugs
If I don't get a good harvest I may still look to them as a nitrogen fixing trap crop that can keep stink bugs distracted from the seedlings of other plants.
Next year I'm going to have to start a spraying schedule if I want peaches. Despite clearing all peaches as they fell last year, every peach this year has been bored into by something that leaves a clear gelatin extruding from the hole. I know organic is possible, but I was really hoping for no spray at all.
I presprouted some parsnip seeds that Joseph sent me and planted the first half in the best spot in the yard with the plans
to use these to produce seed. I had an animal dig up a couple plants and a couple just disappeared but the last loss was more than a month ago. They're all still small but clearly healthy and putting on size. I know it's a two year long experiment, but I'm happy with where it's at. I had the best survival in this first half only three of the second half have reached this point. I think this supports Joseph's statements that the plants that are early vigorous growers remain the most vigorous.
I started harvesting a few golf ball sized turnips. I didn't like them sauted. It worked well when I used some in soup this winter, so I think we need to experiment with more low temperature cooking methods. We may mix the left overs with mashed potatoes so they're more palatable. They were a very low effort crop that is perfectly timed to succession plant with the warm season crops, so I definitely want to make them a bigger part of our diets.
The squash experiment is going nearly as well as I hoped. It's mostly failing where I expected it to. Tomorrow I'm probably going to be replanting a few spots with the one species that didn't have a single survivor (the summer snake squash). Maybe they just need warmer temperatures than the rest of the squash. All the seeds placed in unprepared soil didn't make it. Most of those planted in the wicking beds died and the one survivor hasn't taken off yet. (Maybe the ground there takes longer to warm due to the steady moisture?) I was actually surprised that I got one survive in the soil where we'd removed all the finished compost
. It's flowering under a heavy overstory of sunflowers. I think I may give it priority when I save seed this year, both for growing in minimally amended soil and working well with the sunflowers. So long as they don't suffer from any aleopathic effects, under the sunflowers is a cooler summer microclimate. All the others are now producing at least male flowers, a few are already setting fruit. The biggest surprise for me with these is that the most vigorous plants of all are the store bought, several year old, spaghetti squash that I planted in the hugelbed. No way of knowing if this is due to the hugel or the variety. I purposely separated these because I didn't want half stringy flesh in the next generation.
My runner beans are definitely back for the year. They're happily climbing in the garden, but haven't shown any signs of flowering yet. I've planted a lot of purely decorative flowers (mostly salvias) in the garden bed that divides our yard from the neighbors, this year. I've also bought more varieties or yarrow to continue that subshrub hedge without dividing what I already have.
This week we planted two kinds of popcorn (Josephs and Glass Gem) in different beds in the back and a sweet corn in the front. Musk melons were planted at one edge of one bed. I'll plant the other edge (which still has peas right now) as a succession planting and may move across the yard as things finish their seasons. I also planted lima beans from seed grown last year. I need to move some trellises to the front. We plan to grow long beans in the bed where the potatoes are now. If I can get myself in gear that will happen tomorrow.
The roma tomatoes I planted from seed are starting to pick up steam. No flowering yet, but the plants have no signs of pest or disease. The stand out from seeds planted this year has to be the swish chard. Every spot I planted it in came up with vigorous plants that have been at harvestable size for many weeks. We just need to get better about harvesting.
I think that covers everything.