Monday, July 20, 2009

Let's Trick the Robins

Alpine Strawberry "Yellow Wonder"
The neighbors blue Delphinium over the fence
A sleeper on a clothespin
Promise of tomatoes to come
The basil seems happy in with the tomatoes
Broccoli fresh has a wonderful taste
Pole beans ready for transplant
Planting out the pole beans
White berries fool the Robins - for now
One pull of a transplanted clump of beets

I was in another art fair so it was too late Sunday evening to post.
We had some rain this past week but not really enough to break this drought. The tomatoes really look good and we have developing fruits on them so my hope is the start of the harvest by August. I was listening to "Garden Talk" on public radio this week and yes "blossom end rot" was the topic of conversation. Keep the plants well watered and mulched and the problem should correct itself. The basil planted in the tomato rows is happy and ready, like we are, for ripe tomatoes.
This was the week that the pole beans went into the ground. I usually transplant the seedling beans because that allows me to position my poles and then transplant my beans around them. The video shows the transplant and there are five sets of four poles with three to four bean transplants at the base of each pole. Remember when using peat pots to remove the top of the pot to prevent water wicking before you transplant. Watch the video below to see that process. The last two pole sets were direct seeded to make them a later bearing planting. When the beans start to bear, they should produce for several weeks. The variety is Emerite which I have planted for many years. I select the longest pods as my seed source and the beans at the top of the poles, out of my reach, becomes the seed source.
Last year I planted white Alpine strawberry seeds to replace my red variety. Robins know what red strawberries are. I had one white fruiting plant and the birds did not recognize the berries as edible so now I have replaced all my reds with whites and have a small picking of alpine fruits often. This type of strawberry does not make runners and so is an excellent edging plant. With water, they will produce for a long time and although they do not make a huge picking just a few berries are a great treat. I find the white ones really sweet and again I get them and I don't have to share with the birds. I got the white seed from Pinetree Gardens. The seed germinates readily and the plants will bear nicely the second season.
I tried transplanting beets again this year. I choose one of my cylindrical varieties and was very happy with the results. They seem not to mind, and the harvest picture is of one transplant clump. This is just the right amount for a taste of fresh beets. I think I will try this again next season. The regular beets are not nearly as far along as these, so the transplanting this time was a success. Now lets see what will happen with the carrots that I tried the same thing with. In the past it has not worked but the transplants were really small this time so maybe that too will be successful.
Lettuce is having a tough time in the hot dry weather so as soon as the cucumbers begin to trellis the shade should help that crop. The garlic in one bed is very close to harvest. There are developing peppers, and onions abound in their rows. We had steamed broccoli with onions the other evening - nothing like the fresh from the garden taste of veggies.
Happy Gardening


  1. Hi Dave: This is a trial comment. You rock!

  2. Hi David...
    Just a comment...been reading for a few months; really find it 'good stuff'
    As usual I always learn something new from you.
    Keep planting and teaching!
    The cat lady!

  3. David...
    A question...have you used the white alpine strawberries to make any preserves? I remember picking the alpines growing wild up in the Keweenaw of the UP and making summer jam. Once you have it, all other strawberry jam is inferior. My aunt visiting from Chicago each summer would take me picking the berries. We would make the jam together; she would take hers back home and covet it, bringing it out only on special occasions!
    The cat lady

  4. Greetings Cat Lady,
    Glad you enjoy The Vegetable Garden. Yes, wild strawberry jam is very good but the best is Sunshine preserves made from wild strawberries. The Alpines seldom make it farther than the plant to hand to mouth.
    Happy Gardening
    D. Parsons