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End of year wrap up

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

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Yeah it’s been a while, but without a true fall garden, I have not had much to post that’s new. Gotten some great bell peppers, some left ripening now, couple are almost red. And the garlic and strawberries will be left over the winter.

We’ve been having  HUGE Shiitake harvests  with the rainy weather. It’s been great, Nancy dried some just today and used some fresh. I’ve got a huge box full of them I might have to give some away. Anyone want some?

Looking back we’re happy about the garden, but a lot of this year was experimenting. Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, Corn, Eggplant – all didn’t do well enough for us to enjoy, and they ate up a bunch of garden space. The wide varieties was also very challenging to figure out is it ready? How do I know? The plant looks _____(pick a word). It’s this color or that – is it dying? What’s wrong with the plant? It was a lot to research on at one time, and we lost some harvests and plants because our attentions were spread. This next year we’re focusing more on what we really want, so hopefully our harvests will be bigger.

In the works-

  • Fruiting 2 bags of Blue Oyster Mushrooms – they are developing and will post soon.
  • Bought a Gala Apple Tree, looking for a spot to plant it.  Our Braburn apple tree didn’t make it.
  • Planning spring garden and browsing Seed Catalogs for 2012 Garden.
  • Looking at redesigning the raised bed – shrinking the width and adding another one to add space and room to work/harvest. 18 inches between the beds was way too small. 3 feet wide is my goal.

End of Summer Garden Updates

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Ok… I’m late on posts. I had too much going on at home and work.

Second water melon off the “Septic Tank” Watermelon Alibaba  Plant

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End of  August – Sand Pears ripe. Got several for Jellies/ Pear Muffins. Still way too many fell on the ground.

July  – LSU Gold figs came in. Not that great. I hear it may take a couple years.

August – Chicago Hardy Figs came in – these were great, dark and sweet. Awesome.

All the Tomato plants caught something and had to be removed. I tried to start new tomato plants from the growing tips but they either caught or were already affected by the disease.

I had some more pictures but they were lost in a phone crash, lost them.

Had a few more eggplants but they weren’t very good quality.  A late season addition of a Lowe’s pepper plant yielded one good looking pepper that a woodland creature stole.  There are a couple more on the plant that we hope we get to before our ‘friend’ does once they turn red.

Is there a “Fall Garden” Coming? Maybe a little late but we’re thinking about it.

Tomatoes are here, Carrots just OK, Beets – what beets?, Garlic previews.

May 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Strawberries are coming back in, they all put out flowers and we’re starting to get new strawberries, and a lot more on the way like earlier this year.  Luke is very excited.

Sweet Chires Corn is putting out corn stalks.

Pulled up some carrots. They are looking good and we have some success. Yellow carrots don’t taste great, I’m not sure I would grow them again. maybe they are just still maturing. The parisienne carrots on the right.  We had a better, fatter specimen but Luke ate it before we took a picture.  It had a very strong carrotty flavor (if that makes any sense.)  Nancy hopes we’ll get enough of a crop as some point to roast some and bring out the flavor.

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Yellow Carrots on the left, Parisienne on the right, just ignore the baking sheet and spatula with cookie crumbs and chocolate smears on it 😉

Pulled up beets, they were all way too small shown below… not sure why, but it got crowded in their area. Complete failure, not a single edible one. Will try again in a couple months.

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Pulled up garlic, some of it fell over and died. The bulbs were still pretty small. Some on the left were just not doing well at all. There’s a lot left that is looking good, these were just the outliers, hopefully the remaining ones are bigger.

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Tomatoes are coming in, we get 2-3 full size chocolate stripes per week, sungolds.

I hear from Nancy and Luke they are good. I have a garden secret to confess: I don’t really like raw tomatoes, especially since Nancy likes them covered in cottage cheese.  I grow tomatoes for other people.  An after dinner visit to the garden usually turns into Luke eating his daily value in cherry tomatoes so it’s worth it.

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Garden Update 3-18

March 18, 2011 4 comments

Things are moving over the past 2 weeks. Tomatoes, Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches, all have been flowering. Pole Beans are climbing the trellis.

Problem –  Zucchini plants are HUGE and overshadowing the Bell Peppers. They need a lot more space and they are taking over by force.

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Bed 2 - And Abby

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Bed 1 - Strawberries, Lettuce, Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Beets.

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Unexpected Weeds -Tomatoes from last year - growing all over Bed 1, and out of this tiny crack.

VDB Fig Cuttings – 2 have leaves almost out and new buds developing – They will be great new fig plants. One looks like it is growing 2 figs on top, probably not good for a new plant, and the big stick on the left is not really doing anything visible. I’m thrilled to get 2 good plants, maybe 3 out of the $12 it cost me for the cuttings.

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VDB Fig Cuttings

Garden Update 3-5-2011

March 5, 2011 Leave a comment

We harvested lettuce today for salads for 3.5 people – Luke being the half.

Tomatoes are growing like weeds and have  flowers already. This one is about to open up.

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Major Pruning of the Pear tree was done last weekend, 3 wheelbarrow full of branches removed. It looks much better now. It’s already blooming!

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Many of last year’s strawberries have flowers out, I removed the pine straw mulch to warm them up some more last week. Fighting ant mounds among the strawberries. I’ve tried cinnamon, whole cloves, and tonight cumin and cayenne red pepper. We’ll see if they stay away.

Last week I transplanted some Heirloom Yellow Strawberry Plants I grew from seed from Baker Creek Rare Seeds.

Yellow Strawberries Example

Peach Tree is blooming. It looks really good this year.

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Tomatoes, Basil, Lettuce, Pineapple Sage transplanted.

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

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Tomatoes have been exposed to outdoors for about a week now. They are slightly stressed but they look like they are handling it ok. extended forecast into March looks good. Worst temps being 70/46, some slight rain. So last night and tonight I put the tomato plants in the ground.

These are 6 Heirloom tomatoes

  • 2 Chocolate Strips
  • 2 Sun Gold
  • 1 Riesentraube
  • 1 Royal Hillbilly

Other stuff going on

  • I realized I over planted a Garlic zone with Beets. Sprouts on top of garlic shoots. going to lose the beats because I can’t dig up the garlic without losing the beats, so the deeper planting wins.
  • Fertilized Fruiting Trees with Happy Frog Fruit and Flower mix 5-8-4
  • Put transplants in garden – Cabbage Basil, Pineapple Sage, and a Delicata Squash straight from the seedling tray with first true leaves, no hardening on that delicata hopefully it does ok.
  • I now see Fingerling Potato shoots reaching the surface. No Red La Soda shoots yet.
  • Lettuce, Carrots seedlings are up. Need to sow maybe carrot 2 seeds per spot next time, I sowed to many seeds and have to trim out the excess.
  • Bean are hitting the surface about a week later.
  • Earliglow June bearing variety strawberries have now set some flowers.

Tomatoes are fussy little plants

February 17, 2011 1 comment

I started Monday on hardening all my plants. This is the process of moving them out of their nice controlled temperature inside, and under the nice happy LED grow light, to the big bright sun, the wind, and the colder weather. Most did fine, and are coping well. But the Tomatoes have been stressing. Their stems turn purple and their leaves curl up. The internet is full of ideas on how and how long to harden them off. Some people say a few days some people claim it can take 2 weeks. I’m going to go close to a week based on what I’m seeing. I’m guessing by this weekend they may have been “exposed” to the new weather enough to plant.

They’ve been out full days, and this is the first night out, they are sheltered by the house radiant heat – a few degrees warmer and less wind. I had them inside most of yesterday to recover from the previous day. They look less stressed than they did yesterday, so I think this is going well. Hopefully I will line up for a weekend planting of tomatoes if our cats don’t eat the plants.

Tomato Plants on back porch

Tomato Plants on back porch, and "grey one". Don't eat my plants overnight please.

Here’s the blue/purple discoloration.

Tomato Transplant Stress

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