Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Potatoes

This year, more and more community gardens are trying potatoes, and all of us are getting better at growing them. This year's cool spring has helped.
I haven't been paying all that much attention to my potatoes. They had been looking a bit sad, so I quit hilling them up after a couple of times. Yesterday I decided to take a look in one raised bin. I realized that I still had two plants out of the four small plants I started with. I dug around the largest one and was amazed to find about 6 pounds of the most perfect red potatoes. They were packed so closely together that they all have a nice compact shape and really easy to dig out. The insides are so creamy and white, and they have such a fresh, earthy flavor.
I took two smaller potatoes and buried them in another bin I rarely water. I need to figure out how to keep these small potatoes healthy until next winter, when I can plant them again.
Over the weekend, I planted 4 sweet potato and yam plants, so hopefully they will do as well as the white potatoes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Summer Squashes are Back

This week was another first first for the year. I harvested my first summer squash, and the much-loved cocozelle is the early winner. I really wanted this variety last year, but it didn't work out, so I am quite pleased to have some this year. Here is how the curcurbit garden population is shaping up in 2010.
Pumpkin: 3 Cinderella, 3 Baby Pam
Winter Squash: 3 butternut, 3 buttercup
Summer Squash: 7 total. At least 1 yellow crookneck, 1 cocozelle, 1 round, probably another yellow crookneck, 1 tatume and the others it's too early to tell.
Oh, did I almost forget to mention all the plants in the backyard! I have 8 bush acorn plants that will be thinned down to 3 or 4 plants, and two chayote plants.
Obviously, I have learned nothing from last year.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let the Games Begin

I gave a trading partner a couple of malabar spinach seedlings and I got a gift in return. Seems he had ordered some pepper plants and had too many, and was looking for good homes for the rest.
What is a "good home" for a pepper plant? There are a few hot pepper fanatics at the community garden, and I am considered to be one of them. A couple of years ago, I got a few dozen hot pepper plants and distributed them to many other "good homes". Since then, my reputation has followed, and the very hottest peppers have come to me. I can grow them so hot on my baking patio that I have trouble eating them. I think its a really good home.
As a pepper-mom, I have promised to take care of my baby plant, to keep it sequestered, and to save the seeds.
I might be in trouble later today when I try to wash the sunblock out of my eyes, because I planted my new baby plant without wearing gloves. Not recommended. It's a Bhut Jolokia!