Clothesline season, garden disappointments, and corn

Clothesline in use

Clothesline in use

A beautiful sunny weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to kick off the clothesline season for the year.  As I’ve previously written, our highest electricity usage happens on the weekends, which is when I do all the laundry. On a nice, sunny day I can easily dry two loads of laundry on the line per day.  Over a weekend, this reduces my dryer usage by 66%. This is great from an energy use reduction standpoint.  Plus, the clothes smell great.

Asparagus bed, May 2009

Asparagus bed, May 2009

My biggest gardening disappointment so far this year has been the asparagus bed. Last fall, I put a lot of work into prepping the asparagus bed for a spring planting. When the asparagus crowns arrived, I planted all 25 of them exactly as directed.  And then I began the wait.  About a month ago, the first shoot appeared. And then I waited some more.  Out of the 25 crowns, I’ve counted eight little wimpy asparagus shoots so far.  I’ve heard asparagus can be difficult to establish, and my experience so far is proving this to be true.

Spinach in greenhouse, bolted

Spinach in greenhouse, bolted

 This is a much more minor disappointment, but I’ve learned it is not a good idea to do a second spring spinach planting in the greenhouse.  As you can see, the greenhouse spinach has already bolted, which means the temperature is signalling it to go to seed. I’m going to need to harvest all of this today.  Guess we’re having spinach with dinner tonight!

Canoe peas, sparse germination

Canoe peas, sparse germination

Another disappointment this year, the planting of Canoe peas.  In the foreground, you can see that the Canoe peas did not germinate consistently.  I’d say that only 20% of the seeds I first planted actually germinated.  I did a second planting a few weeks later and had a few more germinate, but the plants are not nearly as dense as I would like. Certainly not as dense as the Oregon Sugar Pods that you can see in the row behind.  I won’t be including the Canoes in my planting plan for next year.

Golden Bantam corn

Golden Bantam corn

Switching gears, here you can see my little corn patch.  I planted the corn in the leftover tops of the bins I used to make self-watering containers.  These containers are sitting on top of a lasagna planting area that I’m building up over time. When I’m finished growing the corn, I’ll simply remove the tops of the bins and the soil will become part of the layers of materials I am using to build a large new planting area.  I’ve never grown corn before, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

 I hope everyone has been enjoying the spring so far this year!


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3 Responses to Clothesline season, garden disappointments, and corn

  1. KitsapFG says:

    Gosh Sandy – that was pitiful germination on the Canoe Peas. Peas are notorious for low germination anyway, but that was unusually bad. I had a similar experience this spring when I tried to start my sugar snap peas in peat pots – not a one germinated. So I direct seeded them and pulled out the leftover 2008 seed – almost perfect germination. Seems the 2009 seed may not have been very viable for some reason.

    The corn is looking good!

  2. sinfonian2 says:

    My peas did almost as poorly, but the second planting has germinated very well. I think it’s the time. Anyway, yeah, spinach is a cool weather crop, so maybe plant it outside in the spring. Save the seed from those if its not a hybrid variety!

    Lastly, I too planted corn in my left over SWC pieces. I did 6 plants in a 31 gallon one though. My 18 gallon scraps were used up by carrots for the kids and a watermelon experiment.

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