Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Organic Gardening, Spinach Salad

Got the pumpkins and Lima beans planted today.  The pumpkin variety is called Snackface Hybrid - supposedly a big producer of tasty seeds - if you fashion roasted pumpkin seeds. 

We'll see.

Hey!  I heard that those pumpkins come from the big, evil Monsanto Company!  Ooooooo - you are skating on thin ice Mr. Gardener.  Aren't you supposed to be an advocate of organic gardening?

Settle-down.  It's a hybrid.  It is not a genetically modified variety.  Besides, who isn't interested in a perfect roasted pumpkin seed?  Remember, strive for perfection.  But be mindful that perfection can be the enemy of the possible.

The Lima bean variety is called King of the Garden - and they require a tower.  The tower looks to be a fairly robust contraption that was built in China.  All you have to do is unfold it and press it into the freshly cultivated earth.  The bottom half of the tower is in and when the vines reach the top of the first half I'll add another section of tower giving me a total of six feet of bean tower.  Again, we'll see who is king of the garden around here.

In the mean time the first batch of radishes and spinach has played-out.  Successive plantings of both have been sown along with lettuces and carrots.  The spuds appear to be doing fantastic - having been mounded for the third time.  The onions look robust and the cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, tomatoes, sweet peppers, beets and pole beans are thriving. 

The critters have eaten all of the Swiss chard, half of the kale and Jill's basil struggles.  After a slow start the asparagus came on strong and has now gone to fern.

This year's apple crop is not looking good at all.  There just aren't many fruits forming on the trees.  Weird spring is likely at-fault.

For those of you who keep an organic garden and are looking for a great way to put the hurt on the larvae and beetles that want to eat your produce I've been using Bonide's Colorado Potato Beetle Beater.  The active ingredient is spinosad.  Saccharopolyspora spinosa (S. spinosa) is a  recently discovered bacterial species that is a by-product of rum production in the Virgin Islands.  I just applied the second application in as many weeks.

I can tell you that not only are there NO potato beetle larvae this year - but there are nary any larvae of any variety. 

Giant spinach salad tonight!

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