community garden plot update

by Heguiberto on April 18, 2011

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Spring has finally blossomed here and our garden plot is doing well!

the Swiss chard have taken well to the plot...

the Swiss chard have taken well to the plot... has the Italian parsley has the Italian parsley

Since the last update, besides the ritual of periodically weeding and irrigating, I’ve covered some of the plants with a net to protect them from the voracious appetites of birds and bugs. These veggies are yummy but not for you little beasties. I’ve also done my community service and placed several wheelbarrows of wood chips along the paths to mulch the common areas around the plots. This protects the soil and retains moisture. It also slows down weed growth and makes it easier to walk around plots without mudding your shoes.

When we started, the plot was infested with snails. We were both terrorized by those slimy things. Steven even had nightmares. Some were enormous! We were advised by an experienced gardener to kill them (manually by crushing—what a horror show) and to scatter small saucers filled with beer around the garden late in the evening. Snails are nocturnal creatures and presumably beer lovers, so at night they come out to eat, drink and party. Can’t you imagine a charming animated film on that theme? Perhaps called something like “Curly and the Striped-shells Go Out.” But the caveat is that beer doesn’t do them any good (just like us), so they either die or migrate elsewhere for re-hab. Either way, it is an ugly business. No chemical products are allowed in this organic garden. Brute force and seductive violence seem to be the validated approaches for snail population control.

Actually I have yet to use the beer saucers. The snails seem to have vanished with the wet weather. Have any of you ever heard of doing that before? Do you know if it worked? It is grimly funny thinking of drunkard snails.

the various greens from the cabbage family are really starting to grow

the various greens from the cabbage family are really starting to grow

I remain hopeful about the sweet peas

I remain hopeful about the sweet peas

the plantlets at home are surviving

the plantlets at home are surviving

As for the plants, I think the Swiss chard and the globe artichokes are thriving. The artichoke plants were droopy last time, so I wasn’t sure whether they were happy with their new windy home or not. Well, it seems that they are, since perky new leaves have sprung out. The Swiss chard is probably ready to have some of its leaves plucked, which I will probably do this weekend. Perhaps I can prepare it simply with garlic and lemon.

Bugs or birds were eating our brassicas, serrano pepper plant and the sweet peas. The net has done wonders. One of my gardener neighbors mentioned that perhaps now with the better weather and the abundance of other plant foods the animals have become a little pickier with what they eat, leaving my veggies alone. I wonder if she’s saying my tiny plants are less tasty? Harumph! Either way I am not removing the net for a while.

At home I’ve still got the plantlets in my used egg carton. The okra died, which is such a shame. I think it was a combination of cold weather and over-watering. The heirloom eggplant, and Portuguese and Jimmy Nardelo peppers seem to be hanging on. I am going to try re-planting the okra this weekend. Let’s see if I can grow them here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife April 18, 2011 at 5:46 am

Best of luck with our plants. I’ve bought some strawberrie plants, 2 yellow tomato plants, 2 roma tomato plants, cucumber and mint… must buy more, I’ve got loads more space in my “sandbox” (the planting patch hubbykins had made for me). We shall see what happens, I haven’t been to lucky.
*kisses* HH

Heguiberto April 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thanks and good luck with your garden too. Share with us the progress of your gardening when you get a chance. I am thinking of growing tomatoes too but space here is a commodity. Sadly the plot size is only 9X10 hopefully I will be able to increase its size in the future. I am being a a little greedy here… I keep thinking of the possibilities.
Yesterday I harvested Swiss chard, 14 leaves from the 3 plants we have growing. That was our first crop, so exciting!
We had it sautéed with garlic, olive oil, salt and served with a squirt of lemon. delish!

tasteofbeirut April 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Lucky you! I can think of a million things I could do with these goodies!
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LeQuan May 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

That is too funny about the snails. I mean about the beer and getting drunk part, I’m not laughing because you have a snail problem. Good luck with all those wonderful plants. Hope your garden turns out the way you want it to.
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