Plant Update

Pepper Baby
Mini peppers a-poppin

We’ve been hard at work getting the plants in the ground, and it’s starting to really show. We thought it would be great to catch up a little and record what’s currently in.

  1. Tomatoes – 8 varieties
  2. Peppers – 5 to 7 varieties (they got a little jumbled up, so it’s hard to tell what’s what)
  3. Eggplants – 3 varieties, all besieged by flea beetles
  4. Corn – 2 varieties
  5. Winter and Summer Squash – 8 varieties
  6. Beans – 9 varieties
  7. Okra
  8. Radishes – 3 varieties
  9. Lettuce – mixed
  10. Arugula
  11. Spinach – 3 varieties
  12. Beets – 2 varieties
  13. Collards – 2 varieties
  14. Chard – 2 varieties
  15. Onions – 4 varieties
  16. Cucumbers – 5 varieties
  17. Sunflowers – 3 varieties

Still to be planted are melons (cantaloupes and watermelons), 3 varieties of corn, and brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, kale, romanesco).  Melons will be in very soon, brassicas not for a little while since we’re trying them as a fall crop.  The rain this year prevented a spring crop.

Number four through six, also known as the three sisters, are something we are really looking forward to growing. If you aren’t familiar with the three sisters arrangement, it’s a Native American method of growing corn (which sucks nitrogen up) with pole beans (which fix nitrogen and grow up the corn stalks) and squash (which shades weeds and helps keep critters out by being all prickly.) Instead of planting only one thing in a section, all three are grown together. We’ll have a more thorough post just on this in the future when we see some results, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s gone in well so far. Three sisters in the picture below.

Three Sisters
Three sisters, and some unwelcome grass

The major pests so far seem to have been deer and flea beetles. Deer hit a few peppers before we got them fenced, and they seem to have hit the corn a bit. Flea beetles are munching on eggplant leaves, radishes, and collards. Also keep an eye out for a more detailed post on our pest management strategies.

Anyone with experience in flea beetles? Do they keep causing damage as the plants get larger? And can corn recover from a deer nip while really young? Comment if you know, or we’ll update later.

One last thought: grass. Grass is a pain. We just turned over a field for the first time (at least, the first time in a few decades). Despite numerous passes with the disker, it seems the grass roots weren’t thoroughly busted up. What seemed to be clear-albeit-rocky soil was really just a cover-up for the grass growing beneath it. As the plants sprang up after a good rain storm, so did the grass (see both pictures in this post). PLEASE: If you know how to deal with grass without killing the surrounding plants, help us Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.

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