Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh sweet potato bloom!

I've "stolen" DH's laptop for a quick check in!

I've decided I'm in love with the cloyingly sweet smell of potato blossoms. I was watering this afternoon and found the aroma quite heady, when I went in for a closer whiff I noticed something rather horrific. There were ants on one of the potato plants (Yukon Gold) and the were all crowded around the stub where a leaf should've been branching out. It'd been chewed clean off! I noticed other areas of the same plant that were covered in swarms of ants. Does anyone know if the ants were doing this damage or just cleaning up at some other insect gnawed away at it first? I'm so not happy about this! Anyone have any ideas of what to do?

I also happily harvested a small ton of parsley this evening. I think I might have over-planted this a bit. Erps. Heh. So I put it in the food processor and swirled it around for a few seconds with a bit of oil to make frozen herb-cubes that I can use later for cooking. I also picked a bit of mint but tried a coarser chop with a knife and put them in another set of ice cube trays but this time with water. I'll make tea out of them this winter or even better - Mojitos in the fall when the mint is no longer at its best.

Just so this post isn't totally pictureless we were able to pick up our patio furniture from our friends who've been storing it (okay, using it) for over two years now! I felt bad taking it back, but I think they felt bad they had it for so long. =) Anyway it's been used an awful lot since it came home - the evenings out in the yard are just lovely. DH was pleased that he now had someplace to sit and watch the corn grow. ;^)

I'm just happy that we were able to get so far before my in-laws come to visit us in a few weeks. They helped kick off this whole project last summer when they were here by helping me weed the big messy area where the blueberry bushes are now. It's really like a whole new yard! I'm super excited for them to see it. =)

Oh, I also pulled all the little runty spinach plants. I never did get any this year. ::pouts:: I'm also already thinking about the fall garden and started some cabbage about a week ago indoors. I've got 4 sq/ft to plant in where the spinach never manifested. I'll also be pulling up most of the lettuce here very soon as they're thinking about bolting.... one or two are making the attempt. We need to eat more salad apparently! Gave a couple heads to my sis and she just loved them so that made me feel good. Think I'll bring some down to the neighbors too before it's too late. Wish I could somehow store lettuce but alas, no.

Just some notes on my various lettuce varieties:

Salad Bowl - I won't be planting this again. The bugs LOVED it. It was a lot of work to keep this lettuce bug free. It's a bright green loose leaf variety that's quite ruffled . It's a very sweet lettuce. The taste of it is lovely but keeping it bug free and making sure when I make salad that they are no bugs on it is difficult. I don't want to bite into an unexpected surprise!

Mascara - bugs hated it. Even the slugs wouldn't touch it. Ha! It was a little more bitter compared to the Salad Bowl but only at its earliest stages. Once mature the leaves were just as sweet. Also it wasn't quite as ruffled so it was easier to see if there were bugs to pick off. Plus the leaves have lovely reddish tips.

Four Seasons - I only started a few of these but they're quite nice. Simple flatish loose leaves, easy to clean, perfect for sandwiches (just the right size!) and also pretty and pretty bug free.

Butterhead - I think I planted these a bit too late as they're starting to bolt already! (Even though they're shaded by tall broccoli and potato plants). I'll plant again just to see how they do another year in another spot.


Shawn Ann said...

I have a couple of small lettuces out there, I don't know how they will be after the past day or two since it has hit the 90's. I don't know what kind they are though, it was a mixed package. How do you know when they are getting ready to bolt? This is my first lettuce planting. They were a little slow starting and behind!

Just Jenn said...

The heat will encourage your lettuce to bolt. You can tell it's bolted because A. It tastes more bitter and B. It gets high in the center of the plant - develops a bit of a stalk and once it's really gone there should be flowers at the top of it. You can still eat it but it just won't taste as good.

Rosey Pollen said...

I feel lucky that I can grow lettuce later in the summer than other areas, but not so lucky in the tomatoes growing department.
Is is nice to have your patio "done?"

Just Jenn said...

Rosey, I love having the patio done! It's so nice to be able to sit outside.... Now I'm just waiting for some warm sunny weather. (It rained all day today). It'll be a true delight later this summer. =)

Have you tried using the red plastic mulch to help keep the soil warmer for your toms?

Stefaneener said...

Good work keeping such detailed notes on the outcome of the different varieties. Next year, I swear. .