Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again!

Today we prepared the beds for the new season of veggies! It was so great to play in the dirt again after a very long and snowy winter.

We decided since the squash and zucchini couldn't play well with the other plants, and since they were admittedly a little crowded where they were, that we would make them a new home next to the raised beds.

We had some stumps taken out a little over a year ago and never did anything with the space. In a effort to use the space, and hopefully stop any further erosion, we built planting wells. I thought if we used the wells you would put outside a basement window that we could build up the hill and give the plants some better dirt. For now we put straw behind them but we will be planting a fast growing ground cover soon since we disturbed the dirt. We use a left over garden tie to help hold them sturdy and to keep the dirt from washing down between the wells. The wells are held in place by 3, 18 inch re-bars on each one.

My order will be placed with Tasteful Garden this week! I'm so excited to get started again!

Next post: What are we planting this year?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cabbage Worms Are Not My Friend

Here is one of my two cabbage plants. The cabbage worms seemed to have had mercy on this one. I felt the inside and there is a little baby cabbage head in there!

The kale on the other had they feasted on! This is all that is left for now, but I know it will come back in a week or so.

The collard greens also met a similar fate as the kale but it is coming back quickly also.

Check this monster out! This is my broccoli. It looks like it is working on 3 heads of broccoli, we'll see!

I sprayed everything with organic insecticide designed to get rid of the cabbage worms and a couple of other varmints but leaves the good bugs alone.

I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Back!

Hello fellow gardeners! I've been gone for over a month, I can't believe how fast the time has gone. So all the summer vegetables are out except for the pepper plants. They actually went kind of crazy with blooms after the cucumber and tomato plants were taken out so I'm seeing where that goes.

Before we went on vacation I got my fall vegetables in. I have collard greens, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and beets. When we came home they had definitely grown but I realized a variety of critters were finding them tasty. I found 2 horn worms (they were black and brown), I dispatched of them in soapy water, but the problem got worse as you can see from the photos. Now I have figured out that I have slugs and lots of them! So I sprinkled Sluggo around the garden, hopefully that will drive them away. If it looks like the markings of some other kind of critter let me know.

The plants are growing like crazy now and I'm looking forward to seeing my first baby cabbages!

Imagine my surprise to see a softball size watermelon! I was sure the plant would just keep growing and not produce any fruit because I read the planting directions after I planted in in poorly conditioned soil. I left it alone and occasionally watered it and it survived. The honeydew was not as fortunate, it disappeared.

Just something pretty to end with...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Preparing for late summer plantings

Although the summer heat and humidity is in full swing I have my eyes set on fall goodies. I ordered my end of summer plants from Tasteful Garden this week and they should be here next week. I also picked up 8 bags of cow manure for my raised gardens. I have a feeling the tomatoes and cucumbers sapped a lot of the good stuff out of the soil.

The cucumbers are nearing their end. I don't think the last couple are going to fully develop. Next year I think I'm going to do the cucumbers on an arbor. They got too crowded on the trellis I made for them. I under estimated how prolific they would be.

The red and yellow grape tomatoes have slowed on their ripening but there is still a lot of green ones and blooms so I think they will keep plugging along.

The beefsteaks are doing their thing as well as the black plum tomatoes. I probably have enough black plums to do another 2 pound bag for the freezer. I included some picks from my freezing frenzy.

I'll check back when I have my new plantings to give you the low down on what I have planned!

Stay cool!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Garden Update

The garden and I seem to have hit a comfortable pace. I get out there about every 3 days to bring in whatever is ready. The cucumbers are starting to die back some and not produce as much as quickly. I am picking about every 3 days and getting about 6 cucumbers. Just a few weeks ago I was getting 6 or so a day. This is a better pace for sure!

The black plum tomatoes have really take off though. I picked 38 this morning and am now looking up directions for freezing so I can keep them for sauce this winter. Next summer I am going to venture into canning but this summer I'm just doing a lot of freezing. It should be fine since they are just going in sauce.

The beefsteak, pictured above, is putting out about 5 tomatoes every few days. Looks like it has plenty more to go.

The marigolds look good. I think they are doing their job, I still don't seem to be having issue with critters and I've seen the rabbit twice, but not in the garden. I do throw a grape tomato or two behind the shed when I am picking, maybe that makes them happy enough to leave the garden alone.

In the cucumber picture above you can barely see my mini red bell pepper plant. It has produced about a dozen peppers. They are so cute and so sweet! They are part of dinner tonight I think.

The yellow bell pepper has done pretty well with 4 so far. The first one was regular size the next few were a little on the small size but very tasty.

Getting ready to fertilize again this week and thankfully we had some rain so I was able to save some water.

Happy gardening everyone!

Yellow Grape Tomato

Better late than never... Here is a picture of my yellow grape tomato plant. It has slowed it's ripening pace from a pint a day to about a pint every 3 days. As you can see there is still plenty of tomatoes still to ripen. The cage is 7.5 feet tall so I think the plant is easily 8-8.5 feet tall. Thankfully I can stand on the sides of the garden bed to get the top fruit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Critical Mass

Actually a yellow bell pepper. I'm thinking I wait until it gets a little red on it before picking and then bring it inside. Any thoughts?

Black plum tomato, ready to be picked. They get a little darker and have striations in them that look like they are little hand painted works of art, so beautiful.

I've had some trouble getting my baby red bell peppers to this point. Very happy to say I now have 4, that's enough for an appetizer!
Many more to come though, I just hope they keep making it.

I definitely think we've hit our pace for the tomatoes. The red and yellow grape tomatoes have been plugging along for weeks now. I didn't think the beefsteak or black plum tomatoes would ever get going... I was wrong! They've gone crazy! I'm going to contact the food bank and see if they would like the over flow. The window sill full, minus two, are all from today! The crate of grape tomatoes is 3 days worth. I've got some happy 'maters...

I continue to water once a week with the soaker hose for an hour and a half. Mother nature saved me the trouble this week, thanks lady! I also fertilize with Espoma to add nitrogen every 6 weeks. The marigolds seem to be keeping the 4 legged creatures away and the squirrels are conspicuously absent this year, odd... I hope they aren't planning a coup when the beefsteaks take off. The birds fly in and eat the bugs off the tomato plants but don't seem to do any other harm except knocking off the occasional grape tomato.

I did end up tearing out the zucchini and squash. They got a bad case of the powdery mildew and I was afraid it would spread to the tomatoes. I have learned that squash and zucchini need their own bed when planting in raised beds as I do. The beefsteaks seemed to really start to do their thing once the others were gone. I definitely got my fill of both vegetables so I don't feel shorted even though they came out early. I froze 8 bags, 2 cups each of grated zucchini. I think we'll be in good shape for zucchini bread for a while.

Have a great weekend!