The Sweet Peas Seem Okay…

The sweet peas are now outside on the back porch 100% of the time.

You might not be able to tell from these photos, but there are small buds forming low down on the stalks, suggesting that they are happy in their new home and are branching out after being pinched back!

On a related note, the peas (snow and sugar snap) are coming up under the wire mesh that I laid down. It’s working to keep the squirrels out.

I suppose I can just leave the wire mesh down and let the peas grow up through it?

Soaking bean and pea seeds to improve germination

At the start of my fall garden, I planted bean and pea seeds. Thought I would have good germination, since I remember planting them the year prior with good success, but only four beans and one pea cane up! Boo.

Since the growing season is so long here (87 days until the first frost date, Nov 29th), and the days to maturity of these plants is 60-75 days, I still have time to try again.

This time, however, I decided to soak the seeds first. I’ve heard of people doing this – in fact the garden group in Seattle soaked bean seeds prior to direct sowing in the ground – but I didn’t think it was necessary, and as we’ve already established, I won’t do extra work unless I feel it’s necessary. (I’m a lazy gardener.) But with the lackluster performance of the first round of seeds, I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I repeated the same varieties – 2 types of peas and one Blue Lake pole bean. I left these seeds to soak overnight, and put them in the ground on the morning of August 27th.

Unfortunately, this round seems to have done even worse than the last round. When I checked yesterday, none of the new seeds had come up. How disappointing.

The only thing I can figure is that the squash plants next to the peas and beans have grown a lot since the first round was planted and might be blocking most of the sunlight this beans and peas would otherwise get.

The beans and peas are growing where those spiraled poles are behind the squash

Although I won’t get many beans or peas this year, it’s a good learning experience. Next year, I’m planning to reorganize the garden space so the squash plants don’t hog all the good soil and sunlight.

Planting a Fall Garden

A couple of weeks ago, I dug up a 3×3 square of dirt in the backyard to plant zucchini and winter squash. The squash are doing well, which has increased my confidence in planting things in the dirt here.

I have some seeds that I brought down from Seattle, and there was a bit more space around where I planted the squash, so I decided to put it to good use.

Continue reading “Planting a Fall Garden”

A Quick Community Garden Update: Spring Crops

The first crops that we planted at the community garden are growing fast now. Here are some photos I took when I was there last Sunday:

Potatoes
Peas
Onions
Lettuce

Lastly, I wanted to share a photo of the raspberry patch. Other members of the garden spent a lot of time recently weeding, laying down cardboard and bark chips, and replacing some of the polls and wires. It’s looking so good!

The Community Garden is Looking Good!

As we continue to be under strict social distancing orders in the state of WA, Nate and I worked at the community garden on Saturday morning alone again. We continued weeding the blueberry patch – the half that is still thick with weeds. We didn’t make a ton of progress, so I don’t have cool before and after photos to show you.

Instead, I’ll show you some of the other things growing in the garden. The garden members have all been working in the garden at different times throughout the week to keep things going. I think we accomplished more this week than we normally would with our usual two-hour Sunday work party, perhaps because people are spending extra time in the garden these days to keep busy and take their minds off of the current global situation. Also, since we’re not able to socialize, we’re more focused on the task at hand.

The asparagus beds, weeded, mulched, and staked out.

The asparagus beds (photo above) are looking really good! At the beginning of the season, these beds were so overrun with weeds that we couldn’t tell what was bed and what was path. Some of the other members of the community garden spent a lot of time weeding them and then mulching them up with more soil and compost to get them to this state.

The asparagus are coming up!

And so are the horsetail (sigh). There was bit of a snafu with the horsetail in the asparagus bed this week…someone mistook horsetail for asparagus and asparagus for horsetail. They pulled out the asparagus and left the horsetail! Oops.

Note: this is horsetail (kinda looks like asparagus, I suppose)

Fortunately, the mistake was caught that same day, and the asparagus was replanted with extra mulch, so (fingers crossed) it wasn’t too badly damaged.

In the raised beds, the peas are looking good and the onions are slowly growing.

Peas
Onions

We’ve also planted lettuce, beets, and carrots (carrots not pictured).

Lettuce
Beets

The rhubarb is growing rapidly! Soon enough we’ll have rhubarb to harvest, and I can’t wait!