Saturday, June 29, 2013

Succession planting, round two...

I haven't kept up with writing about all the gardening activities, as it's been too busy...for obvious reasons.

To backtrack from earlier posts about garden planning, here's some examples of how to get an earlier season in the garden.

The long planter in the front had arugula, spinach and radishes
Succession planting 

All of the arugula, spinach and radishes have been harvested since early June.  In some of my gardens, we filled this real estate with nightshades and companions.  What used to have those early crops, now have tomatoes (or eggplants, peppers, tomatillos or ground cherries), with basil inter-planted, and carrots seeded in between all plants.  Soon the plants will fill in and we'll forget that we had those prior crops.

Closer look at the eggplants

Now the same planter has ground cherries,
tomatoes and eggplants

Ground cherries, basil and carrots

In one of my gardens, the arugula has been replaced with pole beans, cucumbers and squash.  This area will turn from a simple horizontal garden, to a nice vertical planting.

Arugula before an early harvest

Same area with a trellis, after all arugula was harvested

 Another good way to utilize space is to inter-plant radishes with chard or beets (same species).  In a future posting, I'll show some before and after photos.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Early harvests at the restaurant, and squirrels

Arugula and mizuno
The first two harvests at the restaurant where a lot smaller than they should have been, but for a squirrel (or few) that kept digging up some of my newly seeded planters.  I kept sprinkling blood meal, hoping that would deter the pests, but no such luck.  So, better late then never, I finally added bird netting  Bird netting isn't perfect against squirrels, but it just makes it enough of a hassle, and thus does protect most of the plants.

Going forward, I hope to lose a smaller percentage of the crop to squirrels, so we should be able to harvest larger quantities.  

I harvested a lot of arugula, plus some spinach, lettuce, mizuno, chard, beet greens, bok choy, and also some pea greens.  All will be mixed in with the purchased salad greens and fed to the restaurant's customers.

1st harvest from a few weeks ago

2nd harvest from last Thursday