Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 31-05-2011

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Spring Cabage

Spring Cabbage

It is hard to believe that it is not even summer yet.  Our 95 degree days are requiring that we water thoroughly every other day and selectively every day.  This will leach much of the nutrients from the soil so we will have to add compost and nutrients as a top dressing soon.  I have seen no heat damage thus far.

Last week I added 12 new Jersey Giant Asparagus to the Martha Washington bed.  The Jersey Giant is an all-male cultivars that produces a higher yield than the traditional Martha Washington Asparagus.  These were strong one or two year old plants so we should get early production from them next spring.  I also added two new Paw Paw saplings to our Paw Paw “grove”.  These will hopefully get us started with a little fruit yield.  Paw Paw require two differing genetic plants to produce seed.  We have several mature plants but they all are genetically identical.  The new plants are from a different source.  l  planted a single Black Satin Thornless Blackberry at the end of the Boysenberry bed to use as a propagator plant.  This hybrid variety is reported to be the best hot weather blackberry.

Young Arapaho Thornless Blackberries

Arapaho Blackberries

Davis and I installed the netting to protect the Kentucky Wonder beans from the deer which were eating the vines from one side of the fence and pulling them through to their side.  If the deer don’t learn to bite through the vinyl netting, we will have solved the problem.

I checked the bees last Friday and they looked well but seemed to be fewer than I had remembered.  That could be due to their being out collecting nectar and pollen (which they are as the Vitex trees are blooming and buzzing) or their numbers are declining with age and the new brood has not yet hatched.  I will watch them closely and if need be, will try to get a couple pounds of workers from a local apiary to supplement the hive until we get a hatch.




The first tomato has been picked.  Chris got it this weekend when we were all off somewhere else for Memorial Day.  We have many large green tomatoes that are starting to get a hint of color.  Kathy, Chris and I had to “power stake” the heirloom tomatoes last Friday.  They are over 5 and a half feet tall and very lush.  We have them in large tomato cages but the weight of the plants started pulling them over into a huge  pile.  I drove two large metal stakes into the ground and tied the cages and plants to them.  We need to pinch the tops out of the plants to arrest the growth but there is no room for additional branching lower on the plants.

tall tomatoes

Tall Tomatoes

Potatoes are being harvested and they are beyond words.  I never thought I would be excited about a potato but when these little French Fingerlings are cooked in olive oil (or butter) and garlic – I can’t get enough.  Peas continue to make pods and the Broccoli will not stop trying to bloom.  I wanted to cut them off at one inch above the ground and cut an x in the stump which usually gets them to make little leaf plants that can be eaten (the same thing you do with cabbage after it is harvested) but I won’t until after it stops making florets.  Next year we will plant Brussels Sprouts.  I planted them three years ago and they did well.  We just forgot about them this year as we did with the Collards.  the Spring Cabbage is heading well and will be ready to pick in a week.  I’ve been pulling Onions.  They are small two inch bulbs but very sweet.  If we plant them earlier next year (February) they will be bigger.



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l just returned from the garden.  Things are really starting to come in.  It is really interesting how things can change in 3 days.  Chris and I are the only two here as Kathy and Davis and Peggy are gone for a week.  That means that we have a lot to pick.


Crook-Necked Squash








Many of you know that when a garden is grown, things are managed so as not to come in (ripen) all at once.  That is usually accomplished by staggered or rotation planting.  The end result is that one harvest the garden daily and brings to the kitchen what is ready each day.   This is not true for those interested in putting up their produce for winter use.  Then it is desirable to get a crop in all at once.  We do not do that here in the Sea Islands because our winters are somewhat mild and we get garden production through the winter.  A typical “garden pick” usually gathers enough produce to make a good (and often varied) dinner.

Garden pick

Garden Pick


Today’s Garden Pick

BAD NEWS!  I checked the bees and they are gone…they left five new comb with pollen, uncapped honey, capped brood and 8 hive beetles.  I don’t think the beetle were numerous enough to run them off but they are all gone and there are only 2 newly hatched young bees in the hive.  I killed the hive beetles and closed the hive.  I may have to freeze the comb to the kill any pest before  I introduce any more bees.  I will try to find a local bee keeper to sell me a queen and workers.  If I can’t find one, I will order a new nuc.  This is very disappointing.  I’ve never had a hive leave when it was new and weak.  Any ideas?


missing bees

Missing Bees


This will be the last post of May 2011 and it should go into the blog  archives tomorrow.  I will start off the June postings with a new feature highlighting a  specific veritable that we are growing.  This is a great opportunity for comments about how to grow, personal experiences, receipes, favorite varieties…please make comments.

June’s vegetable will be Spinach.  More specifically,  Malabar Spinach (Basella alba), a new discovery for us.

Malabar spinach

Malabar Spinach





Comments (2)

[…] Sea Island Garden » Blog Archive » MAY ENDS IN SCORTCHER. […]

Love the pictures! They are so colorful. Dad has a friend who keeps bees. Maybe he could offer some help.


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