Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fall Crops Part One

The past few days have brought some fall planting, in between the heat & rain. This is the perfect time to get longer days to harvest crops in for a late harvest. Below are what has gone is so far:

I planted the broccoli that I started in cell packs mid June. They were planted within a row cover tunnel, the supports are just coat hangers. The tunnel will shade them a bit from the hot sun and keep the bugs out. Once they get larger I will remove the cover, probably in a month.

In place of the garlic I planted a bunch of carrots. I used Granny's seed mat idea again, it worked really well this spring. I planted out every kind of carrot I had, purple, yellow, orange & mini orange. Hopefully they will provide a nice harvest some time in November.

Here is a double row of Parsnips. I tried parsnips as a late crop last year and they produced a nice bunch of roots by early December. Hopefully they will this year as well. I also have a double row of parsnips I planted this spring.

With the snow peas finished I planted up the empty pot with soybeans. They require 80 days to harvest them green so there should be just enough time. Lets hope for a warm September.

In other fall news, I've done a fall swap with Thomas and his seeds arrived the other day. Lots of goodies, Claytonia, Shanghai Bok Choy, Chinese Celery & Winter Density Lettuce. Time to get planting!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Harvest Monday

This weeks harvest monday has a bit more variety, I like that! I'll start with the new things first:

To my surprise some of the shelling bush beans are starting to dry already. These are 'Tiger's Eye' beans and this is just a drop in the hat of the harvest to come. Looks like a few Soldier beans (seed from Kath) will also be ready for harvest soon.

Here is all the garlic I harvested this year. Not much was planted last fall and I am kind of regretting it now. This variety came from the farmers market. It only produces 3-5 cloves but they are whoppers! I'd say double the size of an average clove. It is now time to place mail orders for garlic, I won't be neglecting to order this year.

A bit less pole beans came in this week. Last week I had a huge collander worth and this week just a few handfuls. The varieties in the basket are Purple Podded & Kentucky Blue.

Here are the last of the peas. I picked these off the vines before composting them. It was a bumper year for peas. Maybe I will try some this fall as well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Cleanup

It was a bit of a scorcher today at 34c (93f) in full sun. What better to do at 4pm then clean up the garden... really need to pick up common sense one of these days. I started by harvesting the last of the peas and pulling all the vines out.

Above are two kinds of snap peas, Cascadia & Opal Creek Golden. They were by far the best producers this year. Now that the crop has finished, I turned the bed and will be planting fall broccoli in this spot. Most likely with row cover because of all the heat we are having this summer.

This little pot was planted with Oregon Sugar snow peas. For being pot grown they produced quite a bit of snow peas. Next year I will have to allot some trellis space for them. This pot will now be planted with some soybean seeds I purchased in 2008. Given a warm September I should be able to harvest some young edamame.

Here are the Victorian Climbing shelling peas. One vine did manage to grow 8' high but they didn't fill out much. I think being against the brick with a southern exposure is way to hot for peas. This trellis is already planted with butternut squash which are just starting to take off.

I then moved onto picking the garlic. The harvest was way to small. The grouping above was planted early fall and developed well. The other group I planted late November, it grew but never developed properly. This year I definitely need to plant more garlic and at the proper time.

The last thing to do was pull all the bolted fennel. I did leave one red fennel in on the far left because I hear they produce very flavorful fennel seed. I will plant some more fennel in August for a fall harvest, hopefully it grows better. The garden frog wanted to get in the shot too, the froggy was shared by Ribbit.

In behind the fennel you will see some lovely 'Bright Lights' Chard, grown from seed shared by Daphne. It is in it's prime and now leaf-miner free. Must come up with some ideas for it. In front are a couple heads of buttercrunch lettuce, Surprisingly not bolting. I will pick them in the next few days as I am sure they will bolt soon.

That's all for today. My next post will be on the fall planting I have to do now that I have some free space.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Garden Happenings

Lets start out with dinner shall we. Here we have wild BC salmon w/ dill & lemon. On a bed of couscous, surrounded by snap beans from the garden. Wish we ate like this more often because I am starting to get portly....

Back in the garden, the Waltham broccoli is putting out its fourth head from twelve plants. It produces nice broccoli, just not enough of it.

Here we have the next planting of broccoli for a fall harvest. They are 'Early Dividend', I grew them last fall and they produced well.

The 'Siletz' tomatoes are still green. Can't be long now... I keep telling myself :-)

This is the first 'Cherokee Purple' tomato to form this season. This is grown from seed I saved last fall and shared with lots of other bloggers. If you are looking for some seed next season let me know.

All the fennel, both red & green are bolting. Bit of a shame but with all the heat we had last week it is unavoidable. I think I will leave a few in for fennel seed.

The first 'Double Yeild' cucumber is setting. This is a pickling type which I prefer for fresh eating. Grown from seed saved last fall.

The shell bean bonanza is still growing. I am going to have to harvest this with hedge clippers later this season, maybe from the second story. There are three varieties growing here, Trail of Tears (from Daphne), True Red Cranberry (from Kath) & Boriotto (from Gary).

The garlic is ready so it will be picked by Harvest Monday. I only have a few plants because half of them didn't amount to much. Must allot more space for them next year. I'm thinking less onions, more garlic.

I think the hops vines are starting to flower. This is my first time growing them so I am not totally sure what the buds look like. Looking forward to brewing a garden beer this fall!

To wrap things up, here is the first peach Brugmansia flower of the season. The first photo is taken early evening well it is closed and the second photo is taken at dusk when it fully opens. This plant is 4 years old now and always puts on a good show. The fragrance in the evening is amazing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvest Monday

During the past week, harvests have not changed much but the garden did provide a bit more bulk. Looks like most of the warm season crops are still a ways from harvesting but are looking well. All the heat & rain we are getting will hopefully speed things along. Starting to wish I gave my tomatoes more then a 6 week head start.... Below are photos of what was brought in during the past seven days, the only thing not pictured are some 'Waltham' broccoli side shoots.

This is the biggest snap bean harvest so far this season. The bulk of them are Kentucky Blue pole beans, they are a cross between Kentucky Wonder & Blue Lake. There also are a few Purple Podded pole beans, love the purple colour but they go green when cooked. On the other side there is a nice bunch of Dragon Tongue beans. They are by far my favorite bean. Looks like this will be a good bean year!

I also brought in some peas from the poor heat stressed vines. The peas have been great this year, I have been picking them for over 6 weeks now. There is some of everything in there, Cascadia snap's (from Laura), Oregon Sugar snow's (from Miss M), Victorian Climbing shell's (from Gary) & Opel Creek Golden snap's.

I figured this would be the last of the peas but it looks like they are still putting out flowers, particularly the Cascadia snap's. The crops that will fallow the peas are still a ways from planting so I am going to leave them all in.

Be sure to check out Daphne's page were you can share your harvests and check out what everyone else is harvesting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heat In The Garden

We've been enduring a heat wave this week, with most days at 34c(93f) in the shade and 42c(108f) if you factor in humidity. Pretty nasty but it has been worse. Above is a photo I took about 15 minutes north of Brantford, well coming back from Waterloo yesterday. The far off buildings in the distance is the center of Brantford, lots of haze.

I have been watering the garden ever evening. It has a full southern exposure and being against the foundation things really dry out fast in this weather. With the water most things are not complaining and in fact growing gangbusters.

The only thing protesting are the poor peas. All the new growth is either crispy or yellow. I will be picking some peas tonight and they will likely be the last of them. But this just means new beginnings, soon broccoli will take their place and provide a fall harvest.

Some of the new bean leaves are crisping up as well. With that said they are still growing like mad which I will show below.....

These are all climbing shelling beans. They have out grown their 6' wigwams and starting crawling along the decommissioned chimney. A little further up are the climbing green beans, they are not quite as vigorous yet.

The tomatoes are really growing too, probably over a foot in the last seven days. Lots of flowers but not many fruit yet. The only one with visible fruit is the early started siletz. I think I need a couple more early ones next year.

The pepper are another crop loving the heat. A hot summer was forcasted this spring so I didn't use black plastic this year. It is looking like a good idea now! They are close to waist high and like the tomatoes, lots of flowers but no peppers yet.

Lastly here are a couple shots of the 'waltham' butternut squash vines. I have started tying them to the trellis now that they are long enough. I find all the Cucurbitaceae need a few ties before they start climbing themselves. There are quite a few buds starting, these waltham's are suppose to pump out lots of squash.

Tonight I have a bit of work to do in the garden which I will hold off doing until near dusk. The tomatoes need the suckers removed & tying, many other things need tying up as well, like peppers, cucumbers & melons. There also are peas, broccoli & beans to pick.