Saturday, June 24, 2006

The City Gardener # 8

One morning as I checked my tomato bucket, my neighbor revealed that she had been watering my garden. I eyed her slyly before I made a quick scan of my produce, everything seemed to be in check and unharmed. I thanked her and continued to coo my tomatoes into fruit. I must remember to keep my eye on her.

After weeks of patiently waiting, soothing, encouraging and ensuring the best health possible for my little bucket garden, a few things are revealed. Of course, the most obvious from this photo, is that the radish have come into their own. This was not without some questioning on my part:

A few days back I noticed the leaves of the radish taking form. Growing and growing until sweet little white blooms made their way out. I thought back to the radishes I sometimes purchase at greenmarkets, recalling that no blossoms were ever found. I pushed the soil back a little to reveal the radish bulb, only to see a whitish-green globe. Each day I proceeded to check the radish wondering why they had yet to blush into the rosey hue I expected of their species.

I went online to Baker Creek Heirloom where I purchased the seeds. I looked through the radishes offered, but could not remember which I had ordered. I noticed the White Hailstone. The description sounded like something I would purchase: “superb… best tasting… mild and crisp.” These are a white radish, similar looking to the ones in my bucket.

When I arrived home that night I thumbed through my receipts to confirm my suspicion; I had growing perfectly ripe White Hailstone Radishes. Harvest time.

But now we move on to news a little bit more depressing. All my notes-to-self to purchase chicken wire has gone too long. As I sat one day brushing my hand lightly over my lettuce I turned to D and asked why he thought it was hardly growing. That in fact, it looked like it had receded from the height we left it at pre-vacation. He stooped down, put his nose right up to the greens and proclaimed, “it’s gone.”

“Gone. It looks like it has been clipped off.”

Sure enough, the only lettuce at an edible height were the few in the center of the bucket. Upon closer inspection we noticed tear marks. It seems the squirrels that live in the tree out front have been having a refreshingly delicious spring. A new round will shortly be attempted once chicken wire is purchased.

To leave this on a happy note, the recent rain is doing beautiful things to my Rainbow Chard. Even better, the squirrels don’t seem to care for it.

Oh, and as noticed from the photo above, Kitty likes her radish too! See more WCB over at Eat Stuff.

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