Tag Archives: garden

2014 Seedlings and Garden Plans

It must have been a March Miracle, but I was only a day behind schedule on getting my seeds started.  On Monday night the Supersweet 100 tomatoes, X3R Red Knight bell peppers, Roma tomatoes,  Red Flame pepperRed Rocket pepperSweet Sunrise peppersKrimzon Lee peppers, and  Aurora peppers all got planted in the APS seed starting trays.

When the snow melts and the ground thaws, I am planning on sowing the rest of the garden directly in the ground: Sweet Spanish onions, Butter Cream Corn, Farmers Wonderful watermelon,  Triumphe De Farcy beans, sugar snap peas, Cheyenne Bush Squash (pumpkins)Marketmore cucumbersNorthern pickling cucumbers,  Romaine lettucePurple Haze carrots,   Sparkle strawberriesYukon Gold potatoesWando PeasGold Ball TurnipPurple Haze carrotsBloomsdale Long Standing SpinachChioggia Beets.

I still have to find space for all of this and the blueberry bush collection (includes one 18 month-old plant each of Patriot (Early), Northland (Midseason), and Jersey (Late) and find the time to manage it all.  However, I am optimistic that with Henry’s help and possibly some space in my neighbors garden we should be alright.

I also have been doing some research into developing new gardening habitats.  Instead of investing in cedar raised beds,  I have been learning about hugelkultur  mounds. They seem like an interesting way to create sustainable garden beds.  The concept is simple, dig a trench, fill it with tree stumps and branches, layer soil and organic material on top of that until you have a mound.  Stay tuned to see how they come out.  I anticipate taking the better part of this year to set them up and looking towards 2015 to start planting on/in them.

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August Garden update

I have been negligent in my updates. Here is a quick recap of the past month or so from the garden. Keeping in mind that Henry’s involvement and excitement outweighs any produce our garden may yield.

The carrots failed miserably. I have no idea why, but only three carrots took. The squash failed too. It was doomed from weather and location, so I need to be smarter next year about plant placement.

On the bright side, our Yukon gold potatoes have been an enormous success. I harvested one entire bed and have about five or six plants left.

My tomatoes are doing okay. We’ll have enough to eat several good meals with fresh tomatoes, but probably not enough to can. I am seeing signs of the blight, so I’ve got to find a remedy. I heard spraying copper helps.

Our Green beans and cucumbers are also producing well. We’ve enjoyed fresh beans from the garden right to the dinner plate all summer long.

My best producer are the peppers. My Red Rocket, Red Flame and Carmen peppers have more than 100 peppers on them and the Sweet sunrise have about 30. Plus the Leonardis yellows are just now bearing fruit.

The surprise is the corn. My experiment looks like a success and we might just have corn to eat at the end of the month.

I started my fall seeds; carrots, peas, turnips and beats. I will also try my hand at some spinach and lettuce again as well.

A random side note, my wife makes a simple birthday request…turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. Never mind that it is the middle of July, we’re tasked with creating Thanksgiving in July.

This years feast was highlighted by homegrown potatoes and green beans, but the bird is what we all came to eat. And eat we did. I have deep fried a turkey at least a half dozen times and I am not sure I ever want to eat a baked bird again.

The second best part of deep frying is making the turkey stock from the leftovers. I have two gallons of flavorful stock frozen for fall soups.

So happy (belated) birthday to my wife, I got to hand it her, she knows how to party. Because of her, the annual frying of turkey in July is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of the year.

Catching up

After dry months in March and April, May and June rain fall totals far exceeded their monthly averages. July seems to be following suit with more than 1.2 inches of rain in two days. As much as I appreciate and welcome the rain, I simply ask that it comes in quarter or eighth of an inch increments on rain days. The repeated flash flood warnings and inch plus deluges are stressful.

The garden has survived, a bit water logged, but I managed to find some free clean wood chips courtesy of Sandy and they have helped protect the plants and the soil.

The potatoes have taken off and seem to be flourishing. The strawberries, squash, beans, corn, cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli are all doing okay, but not great. I think a few nice sunny days would them all some good.

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Unfortunately the wacky weather has stopped my carrots dead in their tracks. I have no idea why, but we have two carrots coming in, instead of the eighteen or so I planted. Time permitting, will plant new seeds this week.

In an act of kindness or sympathy, my wife went out and bought four tomato plants to replace the seedlings we lost. Six of the eleven plants survived crazy May and June weather: rain, heat, freezing/frost and then rain again.  Of those six tomato plants, I think three or four of them are Cherokee Purple and Brandywine heirlooms. I don’t think and of my other varieties survived, so it looks like this year will be tomato roulette. Next year I’ll be sure to grow plenty of extras and do a better job labeling the pots.

Although I have not harvested a single vegetable yet, I am already planning the second planting already. Peas, spinach, beets, lettuce and turnips will be planted in late July and early August. I hope to make some cold frames out of a few old window panes to extend the growing season into November, but that is a project and a post, for another day.

Happy Fourth of July everyone.