This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

community plot work

lilacs song sparrow
I did a number of little tasks in my community garden plot today. Its a wonderful place to spend the morning. The lilacs are in full bloom and so many birds singing.

I planted seeds for three varieties of sunflowers, nasturiums, two varieties of soy beans, and a row of radish. I am running out of space, so I am planting along side the beds I laid out. This will make my paths smaller, but why not?

My potatoes, fava beans, onions and beets are doing well. The carrots and parsnips are growing VERY slowly. I transplanted some very tiny and delicate lettuce a couple of days ago and covered it with white row cover to protect it a bit and increase the humidity. Its looking very good underneath.

I started preparing the bed where I will plant tomatoes soon. I marked the locations that 12 tomato plants will go in with little sticks. I need to collect enough poles for these. I noticed other gardeners have tomatoes in already. No rush with mine - the plants are still small.

I made hills in the bed where I will transplant my squash in a few days. The bush summer squash will go in the hills and the vining winter squash and watermelon will climb the fence. I'm still trying to figure out where I can put the cucumbers.

I set up a pot saucer as a bird bath on the far side of the plot. The birds are wonderful in the community garden. So many different songs. I have to look up who sings "old sam peabody peabody". I heard this bird today. My bird house in my plot has a nice pair of house wrens nesting. They are defending the house from a pair of pretty song sparrows. Chickadees are nesting in another birdhouse nearby. Tree swallows swoop all over. A bright pair of Baltimore Orioles was there last evening.

Lastly, I watered everything well. Its been really dry. The dark soil looks very nice with a good watering.


Blogger gintoino said...

Are carrots and parsnips always so difficult to grow? None of mine germinated so far (I sowed them 3 weeks ago).

May 16, 2008 10:42 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I don't think they're too difficult to grow. They just start off really slowly. And those skinny little leaves are so hard to see.

I also planted mine about 3 weeks ago. Two of my carrot varieties have sprouted, another carrot and the parsnips still not yet.

Its important that the soil doesn't dry out, which may have happened to mine.

I've never grown parsnips before, so I'm curious to see what they look like. Someone told me they take up alot of space.

Johnny's info on carrot culture: "Any good garden or field soil will grow carrots. Deep, loose, and fertile sandy loams and peat soils with good moisture-holding capacity grow the straightest and smoothest roots. Sow from early spring to mid-July... Sprinkle the soil surface to keep moist and don't allow soil to crust before the emergence of seedlings occurring in 1-3 weeks depending on temperature and moisture.... During the growing period, hoe soil over any exposed root crowns to prevent greening."

Johnny's parsnip info: "Parsnips like a deep, friable "carrot" soil. Sow in early to midspring... Seed normally requires 3 weeks to germinate. Do not allow soil to dry out prior to emergence. Thin plants to 2-3" apart."

May 16, 2008 11:24 AM

Blogger Green Tamarind said...

"Old Sam peabody peabody" is the White-Throated Sparrow. My yard has been full of them for the last few weeks. Up here in Canada we often say they sing "Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada"

May 16, 2008 5:53 PM

Anonymous Heather's Garden said...

Delurking to ask: can you please share a photo of how you are using a pot saucer as a birdbath? I have a bunch of plastic ones on hand and would love to give the birds a drink. Really enjoy your blog and am so impressed by how pretty your garden is even though I know that's not your primary goal!

May 16, 2008 9:12 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

Your plot looks great.

I've enjoyed reading about your presentation. I wish you could come to our September get-together in the UK and give a presentation there too.

May 17, 2008 11:40 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I would really LOVE to come to the UK gathering. I had a great time at the Cambridge MA USA event. You have long list of potential attendees I'd love to meet. But the UK is so far away....

May 17, 2008 11:19 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I think actually the garden "prettiness" is my main interest. The edibles are a nice extra.

I posted a photo of my saucer birdbath today. I hope the birds like it. Its just something that I found in the garage and I tried to set it high enough so it wouldn't get mud in it. And the rock keeps it from getting knocked over.

Thanks for the white throated sparrow ID. They are such a cute bird!

May 17, 2008 11:43 PM


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