Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fourteen Beans, a New Mystery, and a Brilliant Scheme

This morning I planted FOURTEEN varieties of beans. Certainly I don't expect them all to be successful, but I kinda let my fancy take me when it came to placing bean orders and well, some of them were just so cute I couldn't pass them up. I've got some pole and runner varieties(which have all been planted around the corn stalks) and a bunch of bush varieties, both fresh eating and drying. Some are ok in both forms, so hopefully I can enjoy plenty of fresh beans in the late summer and then some dried beans in winter. I am most excited for the Mayflower Pole Bean, which is said to have come over on the Mayflower and been maintained in the Carolinas to the present day (and which shares a name with my street!) and the Calyso bush bean, which is the cutest bean ever. It looks like a cow! I'm also looking forward to some straight ahead snap beans---Bountiful stringless(an heirloom green), Cherokee Wax and Romano Gold (yellows)
I did not innoculate any of my beans so I am hoping for the best. Next year I am determined to get innoculant--in fact, I may just go ahead and order it with my winter seed order to make sure I have it on hand.
So, the planting of the beans corresponds to the ripping out of the peas. I plucked my final snap pea harvest today---it was sad, but the hot hot weather does not make for sweet peas. The bed looks totally different now:

More sun for the basils and okra. More room for the BROCCOLI and CAULIFLOWER OMG. I am going to try direct seeding them. I don't have super high hopes but we'll see. The garden this year has been all about incredible luck so maybe it will work out with the brassicas too.
On the incredible luck front, here's a sampling of the volunteer tomatoes:

Clearly, not all of them are going to be black cherry. Some of them definitely are, but I can see three distinct shapes to the baby tomatoes we have going so far. I am thrilled.
Here is something I don't remember seeing before:

These are some kind of fruits growing on my POTATO (specifically Yukon Gold) plants.
I will immediately google this to figure out what is going on, but I was kind of shocked to see them today. What could it mean? Besides this mystery, things in potato and onion world are looking hella good. I think it is going to be time to harvest the first potatoes REALLY soon. I cannot wait.
And now to my brilliant scheme. You may remember my enormous volunteer butternut squash from the last post. Here are a couple of shots now:

It's out of control and has completely taken over the small bed where I planned to plant some brussels sprouts. I had just decided to give in to it and let it have the box when I spied this:

I trashpicked this ladder a long time ago, thinking I would use it for something in the garden. Originally it was going to be for the peas, but then we forgot. Then it was going to be for the beans, but then it turned out that I got more bush varieties than climbing varieties, so I didn't need it. But how about this: I could plant the two ends firmly in the ground, tie it together at the top (in a triangle formation) and then DRAPE this enormous squash vine over it! All the squashes could rest on the ladder rungs. Dude would be up off the ground, giving me actual planting space back! I am so excited and proud of myself for having this idea, but there is no way I am going to try to execute it now in the 80 and climbing heat. But the idea is there, and I think it will work. Huzzah.
I leave you with a few other garden scenes for good measure:
Quickie, the fabulous hybrid corn-

Salad box finally taking off! That lettuce is looking so lucious-

The cucumber vines are starting to climb!

My asparagus is coming back, thanks to some love and compost tea from Rebby-

Two artichoke plants seem to be making it! So excited-


  1. i am so stoked about all of this! you're doing it! re: the potatoes mystery (although you probably already found this from google) those are potato seeds you are growing. they don't produce plants true to type, and they are the hardest, most impossible, most frustrating way to grow potatoes, that's why we use seed potatoes instead of potato seeds. but there they are. not all plants produce them, and they are highly inedible (maybe even poisonous?) so i just composted mine. they are a sign you are getting closer to harvest!

    i love the ladder idea. i think it will work. you can even make little slings with old pantyhouse to help get the squash where you want them to be. i suddenly need a trashpicked ladder...

  2. somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that potatoes were related to tomatoes but I forgot until I saw them little fruits! Many of the plants are starting to yellow now so it's definitely getting close to potato harvest time.
    Thanks for cheering me on!