Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Years Harvest

Well, I'm batting a thousand with the blog this year, this being my 4th post of the year. I'd sum up this year as average in terms of harvests. The weather was rather favorable. We had hardly any hot, humid weather so the tomatoes were blight free well into September. Diversity was kind of lacking this year so I am planning on changing that next year. Missing this year was lettuce, greens, kale, onions, carrots, parsnips, radishes, dry beans and winter squash. On the bug front, I had ridiculous levels of earwigs, slugs and other creepy crawly leaf eaters. They were particularly bad in the shade garden to the point some plants may not recover from. Next year I have to find something that is non toxic yet effective on these pests. If there even is such a thing? Now onto the photos, below I have captured most of what was harvested this year and also in almost proper order:

That's all for now. The blog will likely stay quiet under February when I start to plant seeds again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Show & Tell

 It would appear the season is half over and I have yet to even blog about the veggie garden. Please don't take my absence as I have completely checked out, I still read though my blog roll at least once a week. Now onto the garden, it is doing well this year. Progress is slow but that seems to be the case ever year. This years approach seems to be a lot of sticking seeds in the ground and hoping for the best. The only thing I started in pots were tomatoes, peppers and broccoli. I've even resorted to using shake and feed this year in place of compost.... Please don't judge. Now to shake things up lets start in the middle of the garden:
In this bed I am growing Granny's peppers. Late last year I was admiring Granny's beautiful peppers and I had asked if they tasted as good as greenhouse peppers and that I had never had any luck growing sweet peppers. Before I knew it I had five varieties of peppers arrive in the mail. To return the favor I sent her charentais melon, suddith's strain brandywine and a few F1 tomato seeds. I had sent her the melon and brandywine seeds a few years ago and she was really looking forward to growing them again. It is sad she didn't get a chance to taste them one last time. Lets hope I can grow some peppers half as nice as hers.
Onto the Garlic. This is mainly "Music" garlic and if it ever stops raining it is ready to pick. On the trellis behind I have a mix of slicing and pickling cucumbers. They are just starting to climb. Once the garlic is picked I have cabbage, cauliflower and kale waiting in pots to fill the spot.
Diplomat F1 Broccoli, which I started from seed this year. I think normally I would have already picked broccoli. Must be due to the cold spring as this variety is recommend for the northeast. In behind I tried melons on the trellis but they never took. Recently I planted some Cranberry Beans in their place, hopefully they have enough time to amount to something.
Yellow Patty Pan Squash. I never tried this squash so thought I'd give it a try. I'm guessing I should have some squash in a few weeks.
Now onto my Dragon Tongue Beans. I have allotted a spot for them since I started the garden in 2008. They are possibly my favorite vegetable variety! In behind and to the left I have all the tomoatoes growing against the house.
This bed is a bit of a mishmash with, Chinese Eggplant, Brussels Sprouts, Celeriac and Shallots.
The last bed at the top of garden I have planted some green pole beans. In front I tried some Bok Choi but the slugs ate them. I've been thinking I should try something else, maybe Swiss Chard.

To wrap things up here is a photo of the front of the house. I have planted everything in yellow, purple and white which I do almost every year. Currently in the perennial garden I have lilies and the climbing rose blooming. They will soon be followed by yellow salvia, anemone and the standard hydrangea.

Well on the topic of the house we live in the "bad" side of the city but on a very quiet dead end street. Last year we had a foreclosure on the street, which sat empty for a long time and then riffraff moved in last fall.  Fast forward to July 1st, the police raided the house and seized thousands in cocaine and hundreds of pills. It didn't at all surprise me, I was calling it the "crack house" but apparently I should have been calling it the "coke house".  With any luck the trash moves on now and we get normal neighbors again!

So that just about sums up what has been going on around the house this season. I'll get some regular posts going once I start harvesting from the garden again.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Peppers Planted

I seeded my peppers today along with a few other things. Last year I planted peppers on Feb 14, this year I decided to hold off one more week due to the whole polar vortex nonsense. Granny graciously supplied me with the majority of my bell pepper seeds this year. With so many varieties I will be doing a mini trial to see what grows best. Pepper varieties this year will include:
  • Quadrato Giallo D'Asti (Yellow)
  • Horizon Orange
  • Red Marconi
  • Quadrato Tosso D'Asti (Red)
  • Happy Yummy Sweet (Orange)
  • X3R Red Knight F1
  • Ancho
  • Anahiem (sowing from my dehydrate peppers, hope they aren't cooked!)
Well I was at it I also started a few other things:
  • Ping Tung Long Eggplant
  • Swamp Mallow (collected on the edge of a swamp)
  • Penstemon Grandiflorus "War Axe" (Collect from the yard)
 That is all from now. I will be back mid March when I start sowing broccoli, peas etc.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow'd In

(some how google added the snow flakes?)
 Winter has been a long haul this year and there is still 41 days until spring arrives, on the calendar at least. On the plus side we have started to get some nice sunny days again and everyday we get a couple extra minutes of it too.

The crops in the polytunnel have not fared so well this year. With numerous day of at -20c(-4f) the veg looks rather dessicated. I'll have a look again at the end of the month, maybe things will improve with more sun shine.
 On the inside front I have start some Sudduth's Strain Brandywine tomatoes, Jan 30th I believe. My plan is to keep two of them and start all the rest of the tomatoes in April. Next up I will be sowing all my peppers mid February. I find they really benefit from an extra early start, in my yard at least.
Charlie has winter all figured out. You just stay wrapped up in a blanket and watch the birds out the window!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Happenings

The garden is just about rapped up for the year. We had out first killing frost on Nov 5th and I cleared and amended the garden shortly after. I think my soil is getting a little low on nutrients so I spread leaf mold compost this fall and will spread bagged manure in the spring. The only things remaining in the garden are the polytunnel (chinese celery, bok choy, tatsoi and shallots), two rutabaga and perennial herbs.
I took advantage of some nice fall weather last Friday and planted the garlic. This year I am mainly growing Music shown in the top two photos. It grows very well and produces very large cloves. It is also easy to locate, I got mine at the farmers market, $4 bucks for about 50 cloves. The red skinned garlic above are Wildfire & Burgundy. I grew them both this year and they didn't really size up well. I am hoping they will do better next season.