Friday, June 8, 2012

Bentwood Trellis and Garden Update

My garden, week 3 , year 2
I love low maintenance plants like garlic and herbs. I am trying to move away from pesky plants that need my attention. My lettuce always bolts... aka tastes bitter and terrible. I dont even try planting it any more.  This year I am growing:
  • bunching onions
  • onions 
  • garlic (scapes are almost ready)
  • tomatoes (a variety)
  • potatoes  (gold fingerlings and red)
  • herbs (perennials: thyme, mint, oregano, savory, sage, parsley and annuals (or ones that die in our zone 5 area): cilantro, dill, basil, rosemary, camomile)
  •  sunchokes
  •  squash
  •  goji berry (wont be producing fruit for years)
  • cucumbers
  • kale (purple seems to be pest resistant)

I stole my moms arbor with the promise to build her a new one. So far I have only dug holes where her imaginary arbor sits.. oops. Anyway, the arbor in my garden attracts birds, which is not great because they just sit there, ignoring the bugs that eat my potatoes and poop on my beans. I need to get some of those bus station spikes that they put in the rafters. That should look good.. . So the sparrows are a little pesky but what I am really concerned about are these flat bugs that eat my potato leaves (just the yellow fingerlings).

A bug that likes eating my potatoes... I hate!
Next year I will only grow red potatoes. The red potatoes are unscathed.  My parents (and my garden) live 10km outside Alliston Ontario. A town that grows potatoes and has a Honda factory. In fact, it even has a Potato Festival every August (rolls eyes). I have heard that it is really tough to grow organic potatoes around here. I was also told that burring garlic in your back yard will cure warts, so you cant always believe what you hear. What i did hear was that if a potato field is planted near you, after it gets sprayed all the potato bugs will migrate over to the closest garden and murder it. This however (above) is not a potato but. It is a.....Golden Tortoise Beetle maybe????

moving on...

Bent Wood Arbor
Bentwood arbor for a squash

I cant tell if this looks cute or just crummy. This is how I would construct all of my forts when I was little. Take miss matched pieces of wood/twigs and bind them together using whatever I can. My mom bought me a squash plant that I do not have room for. I can't throw out a potential yummy plant, so I cleared an area in my spill over garden and built a little fort for it. To build a nice, classy bent wood trellis you should look elsewhere. Like in a book. To build mine, keep reading.

You want some bendy wood. We (my mom and I) used linden branches. The saplings are the bendiest. Also willow is a good choice. Actually, willow is so good at rooting, your branches may turn into trees some day if you are lucky, or not careful, depending on how you see things. I think you can make tea out of linden flowers. This tree always gets infected by a bumpy leaf fungus looking thing, so I think I will not be making tea from it.

Step 1: Find two bendy branches (linden, willow etc. ) and cross them at the top. Then secure with wire. do this twice for the front and the back of your arbor.

Step 2: Reinforce the top with an extra branch.

Step 3: Stick the two sides in the ground and connect them with some side branches. I started with the very top.
bent wood arbor for a flying saucer squash.

Some minor updates

The scapes are almost ready. In June/July the garlic plants produce these yummy fellows.
Garlic scape
My favorite way to cook scapes are grilled on the BBQ with some olive oil, salt and pepper. YUM!

wild blackberries

The gooseberries and blackberries are forming. They will not be ready for at least a month though. When Elo comes to visit me in August we will make jam.

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