Archive for the 'Garden' Category

Garden 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Normally this would be a Wednesday Work-in-Progress day, but in lieu of showing you my knitting (which has progressed) I want to document this years garden. Once again this year we amended the soil with plenty of semi-composted horse manure. I say “semi-composted” because the manure pile was only turned a couple of times and could have used some added water to pass the water damage restoration report; this was far from perfect black gold compost.

I believe it was Memorial Day weekend that I put the starter plants in the ground and planted seeds for the rest. Some of the starts I grew myself and things like the peas were only sprouted on damp paper towels. I fully intended to get things in the ground earlier this year, but it just didn’t happen.

My garden is long and skinny. This is the squash end.

Garden 2013

Then comes the peas. They really need to be planted earlier. Usually I do alright planting them late, however the deer decimated my Sugar Snaps this year. If you recall past garden years, my peas usually do MUCH better than this.

Garden 2013

One of the monster Zucchini plants. The secret to Zucchini is black plastic and composted horse manure. We also have a few lavender plants that attract loads of bees for pollination.

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And a little guy. I love the shape of them.

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Cilantro. I gave up and let it form flowers. Every salad I make (for myself) has cilantro in it. Maybe I should cut it all off relatively short, it should bush out, right?

Garden 2013

Red neck bean pole structure made with whatever I could find laying around. These are bush beans. Last year they climbed up the pasture fence so I figured this year I’d give them something to climb on. It is only 1 or 2 vines of each bush that want to climb, the rest do as they are supposed to and form a bush.

Garden 2013

Crazy Romaine lettuce. I’ve never had success with it before. It must be a weird variety though because it has a texture similar to Kale. Very flat.

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From left to right: Rainbow Swiss Chard, a bit of spinach planted where the carrots didn’t come up, carrots, Spring lettuce mix.

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Sweet Basil and Thai Basil. Desperately needs to be harvested and preserved.

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Not pictured – I have 2 long rows of Kale behind the peas and a few Broccoli’s. This is my first year for growing Broccoli. I did find out that the deer love it.

Finally, yesterday’s harvest. We have been picking Zucchini for the last 2.5 weeks. Snow peas for almost that long. The 2 Spaghetti Squash shown here are the first 2 that I’ve harvested.

Garden 2013

Some things I need to do better:

  • Weed control. Maybe try newsprint between rows or more black plastic than I use now.
  • A sprinkler. Some nights I really don’t want to take 20 minutes to water by hand.
  • Plant my cool season crops earlier.
  • Garden 2012

    Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

    I don’t believe I’ve said anything about my garden this year. It began in a whirlwind along the lines of “if we’re going to have a garden this year we need to get plants in the ground NOW.” This was at the beginnning of June and we hadn’t done anything – hadn’t pulled the weeds, hadn’t added compost, didn’t have any starts, hadn’t bought any new seeds.

    As usual we’ve had some successes and some failures or semi-failures.

    Zucchini: major success this year! We expanded the garden into a previously unused area (read: barren, rocky soil). Dumped on several loads of semi-composted horse manure, got it partially rototilled, plucked the largest rocks and weeds. Threw down some black plastic and planted 6 Black Beauty zucchini starts purchased from a major hardware store. A couple weeks later I added 3 more starts that I grew from seed. I didn’t have much hope. The starts seemed so fragile and the ground I planted in them was barely passable for anything but weeds and salal.

    Look at what we got! It really is a miracle. The plants are enormous and they’re producing zucchini far faster than we can eat it. I have picked 15 LARGE zucchinis and numerous smaller ones. Past years I literally only had 2 small zucchinis to harvest after a whole season of growing.

    Garden

    Garden

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    Yellow Squash: I have two plants. So far they’ve each produced a single squash, but they have more blossoms in various stages of development.

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    Peas: almost a failure. I started my seeds indoors in water/paper towels. When the plants had grown to about 9 inches tall a resident deer munch a whole bunch of them down to 4 inches. Fresh peas are my favorite vegetable; I was not pleased. After adding a hotwire the peas were able to recover as you can see below. Some peas have already been blanched and frozen as they are outproducing what I can eat fresh.

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    Kale: all I have are two volunteers from last years seed. One is going gangbusters and the other is the tiniest kale I’ve ever seen. Have harvested from this plant twice.

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    Rainbow Chard: I didn’t think I was going to have much success, but lately the plants are doing well. Have harvested 3 times.

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    Carrots, Short Round Carrots: the tops are about 8 inches tall. In the past we haven’t had great success. The nice thing is the horses like to eat the carrot tops so if the carrots are too small to clean for human consumption we just give them to the horses.

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    Green Onions: are they really supposed to take so long to grow? I’m hoping to be able to harvest a few soon.

    Green Beans: this is the first time they’ve appeared in my garden. These are supposed to be a bush variety, but they found the fence. They seem awfully slow to grow and some of the starts actually died, but maybe we’ll have a few green beans to eat in a few weeks.

    Beets and Rutabaga: the beets seem to be awfully slow this year. Last year they were hit and miss. I got a few fist sized beets, a few smaller than that, and plenty of greens. Hoping for some good beet greens AND some beats this year. Nothing big enough to harvest yet.

    Rutabaga is a first for me. To be honest, I don’t know much about it or even if I like it (though I do like all the root veggies I can think of). They appear to be doing well though when I was talking to my grandpa he said they are susceptible to worms which can ruin the crop.

    Almost forgot to mention: the tomatoes. The deer ate the top of both of my plants and I suspect we won’t get any ripe tomatoes at all this year. I also have Walking Onions, Garlic Chives, and Chives – all of which are doing well.

    Summer

    Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

    Summer

    Summer

    Summer

    Summer

    Summer

    Summer

    There actually are 2 bucks hanging out together in our neighborhood. These two photos may be of the same one – I can’t tell them apart or catch them in a single photo together.

    We had a heat wave last weekend. Temps in the 90’s which is WAY too hot for us. Blondie looks like she’s ready for a nap, not a ride.

    Does this look like a bratty 3 year old face? It does to me. She is a true 15 hands now, an inch taller than Blondie. This is a good thing. Everyone tells me she should make 15.2 which would be wonderful.

    Munching grass above the garden. The nice thing about our pasture is that the horses have shade somewhere all day long.

    My rock graveyard. This area is going to get a makeover soon.

    Shiny Red Tractor

    Monday, October 3rd, 2011

    This really hasn’t sunk in yet, but yesterday R sealed the deal and brought home a shiny, new tractor. I can’t even fathom yet how this is going to change how we do chores.

    I think R is saying, “hey baby look what I got you!”. Just kidding, he was just pulling up his sleeve. He’s been talking about getting a tractor for months.

    Tractor

    Tractor

    Wow that’s a lot of levers! I have driven it already, but I have made no attempt to use the bucket yet.

    Tractor

    Tractor

    Our first implement – a rototiller. We bought a rock rake too, but we have to go pick it up. The key is to get implements that the neighbors don’t have, then we can share.

    Tractor

    For those that know about these things and would ask: it’s a Jinma, 28 horse, runs on diesel. Me? I know it’s a tractor, it’s red, and I can usually identify the implements.

    A Month Passes

    Thursday, May 5th, 2011

    What I’ve been busy with:

    – knitting a few rows here and there, when I have a moment…

    Photo

    – training this girl…

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    – studying for anatomy & physiology mid terms…

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    – planting the garden (halfway done). No photos yet.

    Green

    Sunday, October 17th, 2010

    Green

    Green

    Green

    Green

    I’m still harvesting a few things from my garden. Kale, green onions, and peas ~ Cooked up for dinner with tofu, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and brown rice ~ Sunflower forest ~ My one and only pumpkin. Think it will be recognizable as a pumpking by Halloween?