Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Harvest of the Summer

Today I harvested 7 yellow squash and 2 New Mexico chilies.  It was the first harvest of the Summer and by the looks of things, I should be able to harvest some Greyzini tomorrow.  What did I make with this food you ask?  I cut up the chilies and used it in a carne asada marinade and grilled up the squash with some olive oil, garlic and salt.  Delish!  In the morning I will make chocolate chocolate chip squash bread and blanch/freeze the rest to eat this Winter.

I just looked at the pictures I posted 4 days ago and I am amazed at how much the garden has grown is such a short time.  Flowers on everything!  Lots of fruit and veggies to be growing all over the place.

Friday, June 21, 2013

One month garden update

It has been one month and five days since I planted my seeds and seedlings.  The garden started out to be a bit rough at first, as I battled gophers eating several plants, the wind destroying all my tomato plants and birds eating the tops of my squash seedlings.  But  now, things seem to be growing strong, although I do fear what the birds may have up their wings as things start to produce.
I have 7 rows of corn with about 10 stalks per row.  Even though I planted all the seeds at the same time, the corn towards the back seems to be doing much better.  My guess is that is because I had put horse compost down their back in March and didn't put any down towards the front.  (I got lazy).  In October, when the garden is done, I do plan on laying out the entire garden with a layer of newspaper, a layer of horse manure compost, a layer of garden soil, a layer of compost followed by a layer of tree mulch chips.  This should result in a rich soil by April 2014 when it is time to plant the Spring/Summer garden again.
My 5 yellow squash plants are doing amazing!  These were planted as large seedlings.
As you can see, I have squash growing!  I counted 29 growing in different stages.  I did have to pull 3 off due to blossom end rot.  I added some calcium to the soil and the rest of the squash seem to being doing well.
The bush beans just started to put out their first sprouts of beans.  I planted 5 of them in hopes of getting enough beans to can and last us all year long.  Do you see the small plant in the bottom left corner?  I thought that was also a bean plant, but now I am thinking watermelon or cantaloupe?  I am not sure what it is, so I am letting it grow and I am sure we'll find out soon.
The tomato and pepper patch is doing amazing, especially with the rough start it got.  I have a few Mexican Chili's and a little bell pepper and lots of flowers on the tomato vines.
I even have a few tomatoes, which the birds have found.  The two that the birds pecked ended up rotting and I have since put up string and hung cd's to help scare them away.
I bought onion seeds back in October, but never planted them because I didn't know where to put them.  Once I got my garden area established, I decided to plant a few to see if they would grow so late in the season.  So far so good!
All of these plants were started by seed in garden soil, without any compost.  They seem to be doing well, but not growing  nearly as well as the plants with compost.  As of this morning, the cantaloup have a few flowers!  Two of the squash plants were eaten by critters and had to be re-seeded, so they are smaller than the other two.
But I do have a Greyzini growing!
I have two cucumber plants that are on the verge of flowering and will need a trellis built by next week, as I plan on growing them vertically.
I planted these two grape vines last Fall.  They have filled out nicely, but show no signs of fruiting yet.  I will prune them back again in the Fall in hopes of helping the main vines to grow and produce fruit by next year.
The strawberries are getting bigger and starting to put out feelers.  Most of the strawberries have been enjoyed by the birds and bugs, but we have been able to eat a few ourselves as well.  Next year I plan on growing them in a Topsy Turvy in hopes of only having to only battle the birds and not the ground bugs.     

So that is the garden as of now.  We are leaving for Missouri in July and I am praying that the guy who will be staying at our house to care for the animals has a green thumb, as I am sure that is when most everything will be growing like crazy and ready for harvest.  Yikes!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seeds are in the ground!

We finally have our seeds in the ground!  I planted corn, bush beans, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, white scallop squash, greyzini, sugar baby watermelon and cantaloupe.

Here you can see the newspaper peaking out from under the tree mulch.  This is to help keep the weeds away and of course the mulch helps keep the ground moist.
The corn patch in the front of the picture, then beans, peppers and tomatoes
Here is my experimental pumpkin plant.  It even started to grow a pumpkin, but then the gopher completely ate the plant...all of it!  Yes, I was sad.
After I planted all my tomatoes, we had a horrible wind storm come through and killed every single plant.  I went out and bought some more and a friend even gave us some of her extra plants (tomato, yellow squash, eggplant and okra (which the gophers got).  When I planted the second batch of tomatoes, I wrapped the cages with saran wrap to help protect them from the wind.  I am sure I will do this every year from here on out, as it worked wonders!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Garden 2013: Birds May Love Strawberries,

but I do not want them enjoying mine!  So far this year, two strawberries have grown and turned red, but before they could fully ripen and be enjoyed by us, birds have feasted on them first.  I went to Lowes hoping to find a net covering or something, with not much luck, so I headed over to the Dollar Tree and found what I hope to be the perfect solution....a Food Tent!  Water & sun can still get thru the netting, but birds cant.  Because it is so light weight, I anchored it down with some rock.  Hopefully the birds won't find a way to get under the tent and the rocks will keep it down even during the wind.  Crossing my fingers!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Garden 2013 - Back To Eden

I have recently learned about Back To Eden style of gardening. If you want to learn more yourself, go here and watch the film.  Basically you do 3 simple things:  1. Lay down wet newspaper or cardboard, 2. Layer it with compost, 3. Layer that with tree mulch.  Now technically, I should have started this way back in September or October, so we shall see how well it goes for me starting so late.

I called a local tree service company and they were more than happy to drop off a load for free and will bring me more anytime I want.

I have already put some mulch around my strawberries, grapes and tomato plant.  Can't wait to see the end results.  This weekend we are planning tripling our garden bed using this system and planting all our seedlings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Garden 2013 - Seedlings

It has been two weeks since I planted my seeds into the starter kit and thought I would show you how they are doing.  All of the corn, beans & carrots have sprouted.  2 out of 5 cantaloupe and watermelon have sprouted and about one of each squash & cucumber.

Pumpkin seeds have sprouted!  Remember my experiment?  Well, so far so good.  Once the pumpkin starts to rot, I will plant the entire thing in the ground and see if we end up getting pumpkins.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garden 2013 - Planting Seeds

I went ahead and planted seeds in an indoor starter kit today.  I planted the following: Early Golden Bantam Sweet Corn, Early White Bush Scallop Squash, Early Prolific Straighneck Squash, Squash Greyzini, Cantaloupe Minnestoa Midget, Hale's Best Cantaloupe, Cucumber Spacemaster 80, Watermelon Bush Sugar Baby, Contender (Bush) Beans, Scarlet Nantes Carrot and Long Imperator #58 Carrot.

And for a fun experiment, I saved one of our pumpkins from October and decided to open it up today and put in some potting soil and a little water.  Wonder if it will produce?