Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What did and didn't work....

Dinosaur Kale - October 2, 2005

Putting the Ppatch to bed for the winter is always a bit sad. I look at all the earthworms, the compost we made and all the sunflower seeds scattered around and I get excited for next year. Every year, I grump at the huge cosmos stalks, some the diameter of corn stalks and I vow to pull them up when they are small. They are so pretty, especially the ones that are variegated. I say the same about my cornflowers until I rip up the wiry plants and wish I had a machete.

This year we had a nice crop of tomatoes, mostly pastes (juliet and family) picked up at the U. District Farmer's Market from Billy's Garden and Langeley Fine Gardens. Both of these folks grow great plants and we try and give them the best care possible.

We tried something new this year, a Caspian Pink tomato and it just didn't do well. The tomatoes cracked (we did not overwater) and then just didn't ripen. I was truly disappointed as I could have happily planted another nice paste tomato in its place.

The kale went crazy, as did the chard. We didn't get a lot of carrots this year, but since our devoted carrot eater is no longer with us, it didn't seem to matter as much. We had a bumper crop of summer squash, basil and raspberries, but staples such as lettuce, beets and dahlias just seemed to wither.

I have to say that the summer travel schedule probably did not contribute to the state of the P-patch, but a lot of these things are pretty hardy. Next year, I hope to concentrate on a few dependables -- kales, tomatoes,lettuce that will not bolt, basil, summer squash, acorn squash and shallots. These are all things we'll devour. I will plant more interesting glads than last year (too much pink) and make sure my zinnias are also represented.

The P-Patch program is an amazing thing. I have been a P-Patcher at the Picardo site for the last 16 years, I have a house with a large garden, but you couldn't keep me away from the soil that I have helped build for anything. Even when I curse our long season bed that is full of quack grass and bindweed, I love the 'Alister Stella Gray' rose that blooms in the spring, my huge asparagus bed, the peonies, and the raspberries that bear from June to October.

Go to the City of Seattle Ppatch program website to get more information about community gardens in Seattle. Click here for information on community gardening in general.

A bit of a diversion, which I am very fond of:

Trader Joes now has dried cape gooseberries. Tart, tangy and never seen here before. This is a very cool thing.

What I am listening to today: Screaming Trees - Invisible Lantern, Levity soundtrack, I-10 Chronicles....and trying to learn this new project management colloboration software...

Oh, I guess I could go on, but the weather is nice and I want to whack back the wisteria.


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