Monday Plot Post: NSCG

Yesterday, I went out to the garden plot at Newark Street Community Garden to do some maintenance and planting with the beau. We sowed a bunch of seed and planted tons of plants and seedlings that I started myself or purchased. I started listing what I have at the plot in sentence form, and it got a little messy; I then listed everything in a more friendly way, but it's intimidating me to look at it (or perhaps making me embarrassed at sharing my addiction so openly?), so I shoved it to the back of the post.

This stitched panorama is horrid, but it shows what most of the plot looks like right now after all the plants are in and watered. The photos below offer individual spotlights from the garden, starting from the side corner, circling around the back and side to the entryway, and jumping to the herb section near the trellis.

This isn't the best possible photo of the 'Sunshine Blue' blueberry bush I got at the Franciscan Monastery annual garden sale a week ago. Because the blueberry purchase I got in South Carolina quickly withered, I decided getting a better-established plant was worth the investment. This one already has blueberries developing! To its right, you can see the Eucalyptus I got from the Friends of the National Arboretum Garden Fair a few weeks ago, too.

I despaired that the rhubarb, asparagus, and horseradish I got from a random garden center near Winchester, Virginia, in March would never grow--they were dried husks, but damn cheap. The rhubarb kicked out, but the asparagus and horseradish just kind of sat around. I checked both of them yesterday, and I saw a few little spikes coming from the asparagus pot! The horseradish, however, had clearly be nonviable and/or overwatered--it had rotted. So I used its pot to pot up the Eucalyptus in the above photo.

The 'Nugget' hops are as vigorous as ever and starting to climb the trellis arch tunnel!

I accidentally broke off chayote's lead vine when I brought it to the garden weeks ago. But that's alright--now that it's in a huge container and in full sun, it's ready to go! During the time the beau and I were at the garden (about 11:30 AM to 3 PM), the second tendril on the right waved toward the trellis fencing and started wrapping around--it wasn't attached when we got to the garden, but it was secure when we left! That thing moves fast.

Although slower to get started than 'Nugget,' 'Teamaker' hops are growing as well. The rhizome had only just started sending up shoots when I planted it, so it had a bit more to travel before reaching the surface; 'Nugget' had a few extra weeks of sun because even though I planted both rhizomes at the same depth, it had already grown a bunch.

I sowed this corn about two and a half weeks ago; I sowed more yesterday for a continual harvest. I'm not a big corn eater, but if I'm growing it, I'll damn well eat it! I love making black bean soup with fresh steamed corn.

I don't know why, but having a tomato cage makes me feel more like a real gardener. I'm so frakkin' excited to have a garden! The tomato at the bottom is a black cherry tomato, which reminds me of my first weekend in Saudi Arabia, where I had my first-ever juicy delicious black cherry tomatoes. The well-maintained plot in the top half of the photo is my neighbour-gardener's plot, not mine--it's hard to see the fence between our plots, but my space stops at the layer of hay running through the middle of the photo.

I had black cherry tomato seeds that I grew myself--but all of my seedlings are slated to be shared at a give-away next weekend at a farmers' market for DC State Fair. So, I bought myself a starter plant from a farmers' market on Saturday. It's much larger than the ones I started myself, anyhow. I don't yet have a regular-size general-purpose tomato, nor Sungold, which I believe are both necessities. I will have to acquire these in the next week or so.

These peas are not as large as the ones at my plot at Wangari. But they were also planted a few weeks later. I really hope one of the gardens affords me some pea harvest--I love eating them!

In front of the peas, I noticed this popping up last week: it's a volunteer potato! A neighbour gardener said that I should remove it--potatoes don't seem to grow well in this garden, they're small, too much work to clean, and other reasons. They are all valid. But I am being stubborn and allowing it to grow just to see what happens.

Ever since I saw a cardamom plant in a fellow DC-area gardener's yard, I desired it so hard. It's a ginger relative, and I love ginger relatives. But saying "it" is pretty misleading, because "cardamom" actually could be a bunch of different plants. This one is Amomum NOID, but "cardamom" also includes Elettaria species. Rubbing the leaves gives a lemony scent; the seedpods are used in tons of different cuisines. Amomum is "black cardamom," whose seedpods are larger, darker, and stronger flavoured than Elettaria, or "green cardamom." I don't know what I plan to do with this plant other than protect it during the winter so it'll come back next year (and take a few offsets and pot them up as an insurance policy).

This is herb central, focused around the pre-existing rosemary bush. The rhubarb is an honorary herb. At the bottom is chamomile, at the top-middle is the lemon verbena, and there are some poppies and borage at the top left.

Came with the plot:
  • Rosemary
  • Volunteer potato
  • Narcissus
  • Lots of weeds
Sown mid-April:
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Various salad greens
Sown early May:
  • Various bush and pole beans
  • Corn
Planted early May:
  • Lemon verbena
Brought to garden in containers early May:
  • 'Red Latham' raspberry
  • 'Ebony King' blackberry
  • Asparagus
  • Horseradish (deceased: overwatering)
  • Ginger
  • Lemongrass
  • 'Brown Turkey' fig
  • 'Nugget' hops
  • 'Teamaker' hops
  • Chayote
  • Sweet potato
  • Dahlia
  • Rhubarb
  • Blueberry (deceased?: overwatering?)
  • 'Concord' grape (deceased?: overwatering?)
  • Strawberries (deceased: nonviable crowns? Pot now used as disposal area for spearmint weeded out of borders and beds.)
Sown 13 May:
  • 'White African' sorghum
  • Black sesame
  • Various bush beans
  • Corn
  • 'Red Ripper' cowpeas
  • Strawberry spinach
  • Molokhia
  • Amaranth
  • 'Sugar Pie' pumpkin
  • 'Marketmore' cucumber
  • 'Tasty Queen 10' Japanese cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • 'Koribo' squash
  • Butternut squash
  • 'Boston Marrow' squash
  • 'Uchiki Kuri' squash
  • 'Dr. Carolyn' tomato
  • 'Aubergine du Burkina Faso' eggplant
  • Litchi tomato
  • Various nasturtium
  • Woad
Planted 13 May:
  • Stevia
  • Poppies
  • Chamomile
  • Passiflora from the DC Tropics swap
  • Various basil
  • Larkspur
  • Columbine
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Cardamom
  • 'Shishito' pepper
  • Borage
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • 'Explosive Ember' pepper
  • Mixed unknown hot peppers
  • 'Cowhorn' okra
  • Black cherry tomato
  • 'Kamo' eggplant
  • 'Sea Island Brown' cotton
  • Artichoke
  • 'Schronce's Deep Black' peanut
  • Huckleberry
  • Ground cherry
Brought to garden in containers 13 May:
  • 'Sunshine Blue' blueberry bush
  • Eucalyptus
  • Alpine strawberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Bay laurel
  • Purple fig
  • Lemon balm
Planning to bring to garden:
  • 'Ben Lear' cranberry
  • 'Koralle' lingonberry
  • Camellia sinensis (tea)
  • 'Concord' grape replacement
  • 'Ken's Red Hardy' kiwi female
  • 'Arbor-eat-um #7' kiwi female
  • 'Hardy Meader' kiwi male
  • 'Novak' dwarf banana
  • Some sort of regular-size tomato

Plants elsewhere:
  • Various beans
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • 'Marketmore' cucumber
  • 'Sugar Pie' pumpkin
  • Sage
  • 'White African' sorghum
  • Black sesame
  • Beets
  • Various peppers
  • Parsely
  • Cutting celery
  • Bunching onions
  • Cuban oregano, Plectranthus amboinicus
  • Various basil
  • Fennel
  • Broccoli raab
  • Lemon thyme
  • French thyme
Mr. Yogato:
  • Spearmint
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Strawberry
  • Iris
  • Iris reticulata
  • 'Black Lily' Fritillaria camschatcensis
  • Various Crocus
  • Various tulips
  • Canna musifolia
  • Scilla siberica
  • Gladiolus
  • 'Caramel' Heuchera
  • 'Red Flame' seedless grape
  • Garlic
  • Volunteer broccoli and Datura

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2 Responses to Monday Plot Post: NSCG

  1. Wow... very nice start at the garden. Makes me wish I had a community garden plot (maybe another year). I had never thought about growing cardamon but that's definitely something I need to try in the future.

  2. Bret, thanks for your comment! It's posts like this one on other people's blogs that got me hooked on the thought of a community garden plot--I'm glad to pass along the bug!



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