Monday, June 2, 2014

The Worlds Most Expensive Vegetables - Part 10

I added one final Giant Marconi pepper at $3 which brings my total up to $451. I'm done. Really. I can quit any time! On the flip side, we've had two more salads out of baby spinach and thinned out romaine so the per-meal cost has dropped to a mere $150.

Instead of being busy planting things I spent the weekend being busy worrying about things. It turns out that most of my green bean seeds rotted during the cold so I replanted quite a few instead of starting a second two foot by two foot plot. And then I noticed that while most of the seeds that sprouted are doing great two or three appear to have had the cotyledons eaten off. And then I noticed that some of the melon plants that I started early and transplanted have great leaves but dried-out and wrinkled stems. Is this normal? Not being sure I planted a couple seeds in each of these worrisome mounds just in case.

Speaking of seeds, I just stink at starting things early and transplanting them. Things with large seeds seem to be doing okay (melons, gourds, squashes)* but small seeds never really take off. Of all the things I started from seed the only thing that remains is this puny tomato plant. It's not even two inches tall while the tomato plants my dad started are six inches tall and the ones at the stores are a full foot. But I'm keeping this one plant alive as an experiment to see how it fares. I'm also comparing melon, etc. plants started in the ground to ones started two weeks early to see if there's any real difference. I might (and probably should) just get out of the early seed starting business. It's just that in the middle of winter you're dying to see green things grow but the best you can do is dream and start some seeds.

Speaking of experiments, I have a few going. A forgotten bag of (expensive) organic potatoes had many eyes so they were tossed into the compost pile. One took! I'm babying it and hopefully will get to harvest some spuds to make up for the ones wasted by our negligence. Ya know, as a kid I remember finding eyes on potatoes but the only ones that do that these days are organic potatoes. That's because they soak non-organic taters in some solution that prevents them from sprouting. They shrivel up instead. It's nasty stuff, this food manipulation and I double dog dare you to look into it. Or don't. Many people find great comfort in their ignorance.

Another experiment is the mini-raised melon bed. I essentially prepared the dirt for melons like I normally do but encased the mound in a box. I expect great things from these two boxes as they are in full sun, unlike the white sweet potatoes that I unwittingly put in part sun because I had to plan my garden before I had a chance to really observe summer sun patterns. They get at least six hours of light but really should have scads more.

Under the category of "Just Plain Nuts" is this sweet potato experiment involving a bag of mulch. In researching growing these plants I saw how people grew taters in mulch and layers of newspaper and five gallon buckets and just about anything. You can also put a sweet tater start in a glass of water for a lovely vine. Hence the bag of mulch. The plastic keeps the heat and moisture in so I figure at least I'll get a vine out of it. Besides I had a few sweet tater starts left over that wouldn't fit in my planned location so it was either throw them away or put on my mad scientist goggles. I already have the hair. So far two of the four have already died so I'll be putting the contents of that mulch bag to use somewhere in the garden but for now these two are hanging on. Who knows... they might outperform the ones in the ground! Hey, a man can dream, can't he?

* Or so I thought. We'll see what happens with those melons.

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