Sunday, September 25, 2011

Garden and Greenhouse Work

Kind of ripped out a lot of six month old plants - harvested half a gallon ice cream bucket of red jalapenos and took those plants out as well as some of the kabocha pumpkin that was looking sick - it seemed to be covered with the same powedery stuff that got the cucumbers.  I pulled all the basil, too, and made pesto.  It's purple, because I did plant a lot of purple basil.  I think I might make a purple pesto potato salad - I pulled the last of the potatoes yesterday and they are purple, too, so it might look quite pretty. 

I know it's not the best thing to do, but I just use my composted manure for pretty much everything - starting seeds, fertilizing and adding humous to our acid volcanic clay, side dressing pots in the greenhouse when they start looking depleted... and since my compost pile is exposed to the wind, seeds blow in, and so it will get these little weeds in it.  They aren't the kikuyu grass, which is like steel cable masquerading as runner grass, just little wild grown cover plants which are easy to pull up and are shallow rooted.  They grow fast, so part of the watering job every day in the green house is scraping these little plants out of the pots. 

I had a few 4 inch pots where the seeds didn't start, so I cleaned those out yesterday and added some potting soil I had purchased for the house plants I transplanted for my office.  I planted red onion, basil, asparagas (not sure how that will work out, but worth a try), some beans, zucchini, and some tomatoes. 

Outside, I cleared away the straw that was mulching the potatoes, turned over the dirt, and planted carrots, green onion, turnips, thick rooted Parsley, beets, mustard cabbage, and kale.  I already have brussels sprouts, collards, and several varieties of sweet potatoes. 

My husband is attempting to use our small tractor to clear out this pernicious growth called cats' claw.  It isn't the valuable anti-inflammatory cat's claw - just some nasty thick voluminous growth that sprouts up when you bulldoze.  We bulldozed years ago, and now the growth is over 6 feet tall and impenetrable.  When we bulldozed, we asked them to leave a strip of trees between us and the arena and the road.  A lot of cats' claw grew up on the borders of those trees.  Now we're thinking of taking out the trees and putting in a bigger greenhouse or two.  I have mixed feelings about the location - I like that the trees act as a buffer for the noise of cars driving past, but I don't want to give up any of the pasture land.  I would be willing to give up some of our rather large yard, but my husband isn't willing to do that.  So the compromise place is on the non-view side of the house and involves knocking down trees.  They aren't useful trees, by and large - just waiawi, which is also invasive and clumping.  It isn't good for burning because it is very oily and it only produces useful fruit when it is not all clumped and thick like it is there. 

Well, I have rambled on for enough.  Have a lovely Sunday! 


Chicago Transplant said...

Hi NancyDe,

Thanks for the update. I had to look up cat's claw. Thank goodness I've never encountered it on Maui. Those thorns look nasty.

All of that activity in the garden sounds great! The weather in Chicago has been more fall-like recently. Some of the leaves have just started to change color.

I'm starting to miss my garden on Maui so much that I had my sister send me photos of the eggplant, zucchini, and fig trees. The eggplants are doing great; with the zucchini, it's a race between maturation and fruit flies.

How has your luck been with carrots? I have really low germination rates in Upcountry Maui---sometimes less than 10%. Then, there are the usual problems with root know nematodes.


NancyDe said...

We're up at 2500 feet or so, so we do fairly well with carrots. Last Spring I planted some, and then it poured buckets, washing everything downslope. I figured the seeds drowned, and moved my garden to a less sloping area - but when I went back, I found carrots growing about four feet downhill from where I planted them - but still a good size and tasty.

Even bugs are not out of control up where we are - our biggest problem is excessive rain.