Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Front Garden and a Potato Diagnosis

Matt and I managed to put in a good several hours' work in the front yard garden yesterday, although these pictures were taken the day before, when it was less sunny (July 4th every year: sunny summer weather finally turns up!). I'm so pleased at our space out front and how well everything is coming along. 
Our first beet! We have many others at various stages, but this is the first one to reach harvesting size.

I snapped this photo of the red-orange calendula just as a honeybee flew into the frame!

My vision for a yard bordered/landscaped with interplanted veggies and flowers is coming to life. Here are zinnias and lavender, with a big tomato at the left and a potato on the right (background) as well as a pepper (foreground).

I have loved pansies since I was a kid and my parents were seed testers for Organic Gardening magazine and I got to plant all the new pansy varieties. This year I bought a pack of mixed-color ones and now their happy faces are blooming all over the garden. 

It's all looking a little tidier since I took this picture- Matt raked up the leaves (actually dogwood sepals) and I mowed and edged the lawn yesterday. 

We have had two ripe tomatoes this week, from this plant. This is one of the mystery plants whose seeds all got washed around in the planting trays...although I'm pretty sure it's a Brandywine.

The northwest corner of the yard is still a bit of a jungle. This crazy pampas grass-type plant has gone totally crazy. Next on the list of chores is to cut it back to give the cabbage, zucchini, beets and beans back here more space and light.

Gorgeous blossom on the burgundy beans (these are the ones that grow nice dark purple pods and then turn green when you cook them).

 I got freaked out when this potato plant started to go yellow and get brown spots. I was afraid it was blight, which would be bad news for our potato production and all the tomatoes planted nearby. However, upon consulting the all-knowing interwebs, it appears to be a magnesium deficiency. I didn't know this could affect potatoes, but here it is! One of the things that can make it happen is too much potassium- I wonder if the rabbit poo that was mixed into this soil contained enough potassium to keep the plant from taking up magnesium. Now that we know, we'll begin amending the soil accordingly and treating the other plants (ideally in an organic way) to keep this from happening too much elsewhere. This was the only plant so massively affected. The others, and some of the tomatoes, have yellow spotty leaves here and there. We decided to go ahead and pull this one out since it had no green leaves left, and were rewarded with a small heap of perfect (non-blighted!) Yukon Golds.

I think you can be a gardener your whole life and still be constantly learning new tricks, timings, and ways to identify plant diseases and prevent them. Every year we add more knowledge necessitated by new challenges our garden throws at us, and every year we manage to get more from the earth and be a little more confident in doing so.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

come take over my garden please! yours is so delightful