Sunday, May 15, 2011

Commencement

This past weekend seemed to be all about commencement. One of the great volunteer opportunities I have in working at a college is assisting at the annual graduation ceremony. For the second year in a row I signed up to be a "marshal," someone assigned to lead/direct a row of students during the commencement activities. Although a bit stressful at times, it is such a great opportunity to share the day with students. It also means that I have to look the part - wearing the whole outfit: black robe, a hood with my grad school's colors, and even the hat with tassel! Saturday's ceremony was ordinary and extraordinary at the same time, and everyone was thankful that the weather cooperated.

Immediately following the commencement ceremony, I went over to Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, MA to buy a majority of the vegetables I wanted to plant this year. I had everything calculated and planned out - expect for a few varieties of tomatoes. There are many varieties to choose from, but I just picked a few based on wanting a combination of cherry, paste and slicing tomatoes - with some 'new to me' varieties. I am very excited to have the 2011 growing season officially commence. This is what I came home with:
  • Marigold (Durango Orange, Durango Outback Mix, Bonanza Yellow)
  • Tomato (Italian Ice, Jet Star, San Marzano, Sunsugar, Better Boy)
  • Basil (Sweet)
  • Cucumber (Diva, Northern Pickling)
  • Tomatillo (Toma Verde)
  • Eggplant (Black Beauty)
  • Pepper (Golden Summer, Red Beauty)
  • Parsley (Flat)
  • Zinnia (Cut & Come Again)


Tomatillos are new for me and although I have some research still to do, I hope to diversify my salsa creations this summer. I am also curious about the Italian Ice cherry tomato variety. They are going to be white/ivory! The Sunsugar cherry tomato was just too amazing last year (about 240 harvested) to pass up. I grew impatient waiting for my marigold seeds (planted 4/17) to grow, so I bought some plants. I just love the instant color they bring to the boxes. I left a few of the marigold seeds that actually germinated, but there may not be enough room for them all to mature.

On Sunday I was able to get everything in the ground, but a rain storm interrupted me mid-day so I had to stop. Luckily it stopped in late afternoon just enough to allow me to plant the rest. I cleaned up the tomato plants, trimming the lower leaves to promote upward growth and placed a few crushed egg shells around the base of the tomato and pepper plants for added calcium. I have a few empty squares as I wait on the arrival of my mail-order grafted tomato plants, wait to sow the next succession of carrots & lettuce seeds, and purchase two cabbage plants. Here are what the boxes look like after planting - it is great to have them full.



This week I really need to start harvesting some of the Salad Bowl lettuce, which will be my first harvest! Over the past few days, I noticed a few volunteer tomato seedlings among the weeds that have popped up in the SFG beds. I am hoping to let one grow a bit to see what it turns into!



This week looks to be very rainy. Hopefully my all my plants will survive the heavy downpours. I have heard from a few people that crops seem to be behind compared to this time last year. It has definitely been a cool spring. However, since weather can change in a second, who knows what this summer will bring. My fingers are crossed that it will be as good of a year as 2010!


Garden Overview 5/15/11

1 comment:

Brie said...

your boxes look beautiful! Here in NM I have been chased inside from the garden too. Once. : o

(wish it was more often!)