out with the cauliflower, in with the corn

The last of the cauliflower came out yesterday. I think the chickens were a little intimidated by the pile of blue-green plopped in their midst. Meanwhile, with the business end of that cauliflower, my wife made an awesome cream-based soup that included carrots from the garden and ham.

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This year’s harvests have been running two to three weeks behind last year’s. I’m not exactly sure why, but I suspect the cool late spring and soggy June. Luckily, sweet corn picked three weeks later than last year tastes exactly the same.

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still above water

It still hasn’t decided whether it’ll be a wash-out summer or not.  A week of fairly dry weather has calmed things down, but it’s raining again.  A lot of the cucumber plants aren’t going to recover from the first round.  And it makes for some amazing mosquitoes.

Before we head out again for another escape from relaxation, (camping with the family)  I picked the beans and the second head of cauliflower..

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See you on the other side.

pepper plant revisited

In this episode: a revisiting of a pepper experiment started on February 8th. The object was to find out whether pruning a pepper plant does something good.

I know pruning helped keep the plant small enough to fit under my grow lights for an extended period without getting gangly. It would also theoretically mean that the fruits are more likely to fully develop with the extra growing time. After planting it in the garden though, things looked dim. The leaves turned sickly yellow, and I thought the idea was a bust.

pruned pepper a few weeks ago

pruned pepper a few weeks ago

But now there’s some healthy new top growth. Not sure why any of this happened, but I’m hopeful.

pruned pepper with new growth

pruned pepper with new growth

To add to the new hopes, my greenhouse-bought peppers are all doing well. I bought two plants each of three varieties. Pruned one of each and let the other alone.

While they’re all healthy and happy, I can see how the pruned plants will have a much lower center of gravity. They form a ‘y’ at the prune point instead of continuing to grow straight up.

two lead branches on the pruned plant in front

two lead branches on the pruned plant in front, unpruned plant in rear

It’s also time to start protecting the cauliflower heads that are forming. When they get to be about the size of a golf ball it’s a good idea to fold the leaves up around the heads, wrapping with twine. That keeps the florets nice and white.

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size of a golf ball

tied up with twine

tied up with twine

And finally, a little more housekeeping, keeping the lower leaves of my indeterminate tomato plants trimmed a few inches off the ground. I believe that this keeps the plants healthier by limiting their contact with spores in the soil and allowing air flow. Could be wishful thinking. I do that.

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