Not really Christmas, but unseasonably chilly last week. This is nice because indeterminate tomatoes like to set fruit between 50 & 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and do best in the middle of that range.
Yesterday I found the time to begin the project of covering up the rocks that the spring flood washed down into my garden. I considered conceeding to rock pathways, but soon discovered that it hurts to kneel on rocks.
Usually by this time of year I am just weeding and harvesting and canning. The garden wants a bit more attention this year. I have replaced almost every raised bed frame, converting 6×8 beds to 4×8 size as I go.
This has been an absolutely amazing year for tomatoes. My harvest has been great…about 3 pounds a day for the last 2 weeks from 27 plants. There are LOTS more green tomatoes waiting to size up and ripen.
Garlic as far as the eye can see. I harvested all the garlic from both my own back yard and the farm location where I ran a trial garden over the last year. This year it didn’t grow quite as large as last year, but I still think it was a success. I need to get it a bit more separated for curing, but right now it’s so hot and dry out that it’s drying nicely even in a heap. I’ll hang them from the rafters soon. With a little bit of luck this garlic, replanted, will turn into a for-profit crop in 2014
Last night when I went to bed I had about 30 ears of sweet corn JUST about ready to pick in my 10′x10′ three sisters garden. This morning there were about 7 or 8 little ones left. Something–probably Raccoons–harvested all the rest and removed them while I was sleeping 20 feet away. They knocked down and broke the corn stalks, so now the pole beans have nothing to grow on either. And obviously if they ate here once, they could be back for the cucumbers and melons that are starting to grow on all those vines. This is what we get for no longer letting our cat(s) outside.
But enough bad–More good! I have been eating tomatoes every night all week. This year of trialling new varieties has exposed me to at least 2 more favorites that are doing quite well in my yard. I will definitely add “Church” to my permanent list of tomatoes to grow, and I think “Pink Sweet” will be on there as well. I will review them here within the next week or 3.
My 8 pepper plants seems to be doing better than average this year. I usually don’t get to pick any peppers until August and this year they are already sizing up and producing lots of fruit.
How is your garden growing?
This picture tells the story of how things are going in Jimmy’s garden.
The main thing I am still doing is replacing rotten raised bed frames with new cedar frames. As I do this I am changing the 8 x 6 beds to 8 x 4.
This year I am mulching almost everything with straw. It is helpful at keeping down the weeds, preserving moisture in the soil, and keeping soil diseases off the tomatoes.
The strawberries are aging out and seem to have caught a disease. I will be destroying most of them, but I transplanted a row to see if the runner plants they will send out are disease-free. If they are, I will keep the baby plants and remove the parents this fall.
In the front of this picture you see a little garlic patch grown from a handful of bulbils. I grew this 4×2 patch just to see how bulbils work. The resulting plants seem to be growing three-quarter inch divided cloves, complete with scapes and bulbils of their own.
My pepper patch is doing pretty well, and I am starting to see lots of flowers and green peppers.
Some tomatoes are 5 feet tall while Cabin and others are still only 18 inches high. This year I am keeping all my indeterminates to a single stem.
Ripe pie cherries in a bowl one of my sons made in art class. 2013 strawberry jam in the background.
I sprayed copper based soap shield on my apple trees this morning. There are always a few rusty leaf spots that threaten to take over, and aphids are holding their own against ladybug larva and predatory wasps.