Flowers, corn, and herbs

I hope you are having a wonderful Memorial weekend. Thank you to those of you who, and those who support those who, served in the United States Armed Services.

The temperature has really gone up here at the Micro Farm.  Watering has become a daily activity.  Each bed has been getting about forty-five minutes of water.  Fortunately, the soaker hoses are doing well, and combined with the black plastic mulch I have been able to reduce water waste.

In the herb garden I planted several crops this week.  I planted cilantro, two types of basil, and parsley.

I purchased to pots of Italian flat leaf parsley

In Circle Garden I planted popcorn.

The popcorn under black plastic.

I used the black plastic mulch again.  I hope it will help keep soil temperatures warmer and also slow water evaporation.  In the past I have struggled to keep my corn watered enough during the time kernels are developing.  I hope the mulch will help me do a better job this year.  The picture shows a couple of open spaces, those will be filled with pumpkins.  I will let the corn come up before planting the pumpkins. If I do not wait the pumpkins will crowd out the young corn.

I also planted five or six cucumber plants.  Last Fall I found several cucumber beetles floating around.  To help prevent the cucumber beetles from attacking my cukes I purchased some insect barrier fabric.  I created a mini low tunnel over my cukes.

My mini low tunnel. The tubes were made from 1/2″ electrical conduit bent around my pickup truck Winter tire.

I decided to try potatoes this year.  I have about a pound of Red Norland potatoes.  Consulting with my neighbor Ted, who is a fantastic gardener, he helped me cut the seed potatoes and prepare them for planting.

The seed potatoes curing. I hope to have them planted in the next two days

Walking around today there are some beautiful flowers around the Micro Farm

The peas are blooming. This is looking up at a pea flower
Chives in bloom.
The raspberry patch is buzzing. Lots of bees. I had to stand back and zoom in to take this picture.

Today my big project was planting a native plant garden.  I traveled outside of Ithaca to purchase plants.  I chose native plants for this garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  They are also quick-growing so they should reduce the amount of weeding needed.  These plants are also well adapted to this climate so I do not have to “baby” them along through the Winter.

There are White Wood Asters, Brown-eyed Susans, Bluestars, Oswego Tea, and Ironwood. Hopefully, this will be filled with plants and flowers in the next year or two.

The temperatures are going to be high for a couple of days and then drop.  Hopefully, there will be lots of rain at the end of the week.  My to-do list is getting longer everyday, but I am almost keeping up with it.  I hope you are getting the chance to enjoy some delicious local food.  I am looking forward to having peas soon, now that they are flowering I know peas will be in soon. What are you looking forward too?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

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8 thoughts on “Flowers, corn, and herbs

  1. Sorry to hear it’s been so dry there. I hope you get rain. Popcorn! What a fun thing to grow! I’m going to have to put that on my list to grow next year. Good luck with the cucumber beetles, and your potatoes. Raspberries sound fabulous. It looks like you’re going to have lots of them!

    1. I think there will be lots of raspberries, but no complaints here. I hope I have enough room for the popcorn, I’ll keep you posted on how it works.

  2. I’ve never tried using black plastic here, although I have thought about it. Last year was so strangely cold all summer, it actually might have helped us.

    You’ll love homegrown potatoes. The ones in the store are so old. Farmer’s Market ones are fresher, but there’s nothing like digging them up from your own garden, and having them the same day for dinner. They’re sweeter, and more flavorful.

    Good luck with your new native plant garden. I’m sure the plants will fill in much more quickly than you expect. The plants always look so lonely when they’re first planted, but I expect in a year it will look perfect. It will be fun to repost that photo when you post updates to see how far it’s come along!

    1. Thanks for the native plant encouragement. I will look forward to posting more pictures. I really like this black plastic because it is supposed to breakdown after soil covers it for three months. So far I think the plastic has been very helpful.

  3. Memorial Day weekend was a scorcher down here too, but the last couple of days have been less humid, which is nice. I’m looking forward to seeing how your native plant garden grows. I think that’s a fantastic idea, and you’re right. It should be low maintenance. I’m also looking forward to seeing how your potatoes do. We tried them for the first time this year, and beetles destroyed the plants. Maybe another time!

    1. Thanks. I hope it is less maintainence, but we will see. My neighbor gets bugs on his potatoes regularly, if they get bad on mine I think I will put some netting over them.

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