Posts Tagged ‘vegetable garden’

Time to thin the ‘maters.

I did not know if I should expect a good rate of germination from the tomato seeds I saved last year, so planted 3 or 4 seeds in each of these 72 compartments. Most grew. Now it’s time to thin the ‘maters. I just clipped them off with scissors.

Talk about the weather

This week has been beautiful!  No coats, ground getting drier every day.  In fact I was all excited to get my new garden beds started.

Last night I was finally able to get a few hours set aside to start.  I started work in a sweatshirt but ended up really warm with just a t-shirt on.  I only quit because it got dark and my dinner was ready (thank you ladies!)

Yeah, well, look at the yard today…

Too cold and wet to work out there any more now.  Almost feels like a waste of a weekend, but really it’s just disappointing to have the weather change my plans.  There is still plenty I need to do.

Garden changing weekend ramble

The lettuces are done.  They never made a head…it just got too warm for them and now they are bitter and milky inside.  I pulled all of them out.  We did eat 5 or 6 salads from the garden.

The last bed of radishes did not form bulbs…headless!  All carrots are coming along slowly, very slowly.

The broccoli is definitely done and I pulled all of them, even the small ones that hadn’t made anything to eat yet.  The cauliflower failed completely, so I pulled some of them and will pull the rest tomorrow. Maybe after I raise the beds higher next year I’ll have better luck with those two.

The cucumber vines are starting to grow.  I can see a little baby cucumber once in a while but I can’t find it the next day.  I’m starting to think I’m not going crazy and that a squirrel or bird or slug or something is taking them.

The zucchini is doing great and has quite a few little veggies growing along for me.

The green peppers, jalapenos, etc are still very small, very slow growing.  I hope they start putting on some size soon and maybe setting some veggies too.

The peas look horrible.  They got started too late because the early planting rotted in the ground. This is a strange wet year.

The watermelons and cantaloupe are growing vines slowly.  I’m not too hopeful about them.

The jackolanterns and pumpkin gourds are doing GREAT.  Taking up a lot of space and growing like crazy…bigger every day.

The green beans seem to be doing fine.  I have them planted in three 4×3 foot sections, planted every 10 days or so to stagger the harvest a bit.  I’ll attempt one more planting of green beans in the bed where the broccoli and cauliflower were, probably early this week.

Today I built a trellis for the supposedly smaller tomatoes that I was planning to just stake up with a short stake.  I wish I could show some pictures but our very nice digital camera is broken.  I’ll have to grab a cheapie for the time being.  I wouldn’t want to lose my loyal fans for lack of pictures.

I transplanted a few extra cucumber plants to a container on the back porch.  We have an old aluminum roof/awning and I’m going to let these cucumbers climb the roof legs.  It might even look decorative.

There is a rather big party here on the 4th of July.  I have to get the garage cleaned up nice enough to serve food in (which will include moving the table saw back into the back corner).  I probably need to move the lumber that was/will be the tree house but I don’t know where else to put it.  I could put it outside the fence, but if the creek floods again it will all float away.  It might just have to stay put as an ugly eyesore in the middle of the yard.  Maybe I’ll get started on putting it back up…I do have 2 full weeks and then some.

Garden changes for 09…early June edition

By fall all of these opinions will have probably changed, but as of today, here is what I would/will be doing differently with next year’s garden:

  • Raise the two beds on lowest ground another 8 to 12 inches.
  • Eliminate trying melons at all.  I set aside a lot of space for them and they don’t look good yet.
  • Eliminate things we can’t eat, namely jackolanterns and decorative gourds.  The plants are doing well, but it does seem like wasted space.
  • Twice as much broccoli, maybe even two full beds.  I thought I planted a lot, but it’s definitely not going to be enough to freeze any.
  • Twice as many bush green beans, again maybe even two full beds.
  • One whole area of lettuce planted really close together, that I would intend to harvest as leaf lettuce in May and early June.  I’m tired of waiting for lettuce heads to grow…I want salad!  Perhaps 9 or 12 plants per square foot.

I have five full-size 8×6 ft. beds and one that is smaller where the fence cuts it off diagonally.  If I were to do it right now I guess I would plant 2009 as:

  • Two beds of broccoli
  • One and a half beds of green beans
  • Half a bed of salad stuff (it’s still 24 square feet)
  • One bed to grow peppers, cucumbers and zucchini
  • One full bed of tomatoes

That eliminates cauliflower, some cabbage, peas, melons, gourds and probably a couple other things but hopefully puts more food in my belly.  I guess we’ll see what I think later on down the line.

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EDIT (June 10):

You know…my first-in broccoli has all just about finished up already.  It was a disappointingly small harvest of broccoli, but maybe I’ll try a different seed next year.

However I’m havin’ a thought here.  Since the broccoli is going to be finished producing by the middle of June, I can plant 2 full beds of broccoli as early as possible, completely harvest them, empty the beds and then plant rows of green beans.  June 15 green beans will be done in mid- to late-August.  That should work!

Garden layout plan 2008

Shady Garden

The plan:

Bed 1 (completely planted)-

  • Snow Peas along the fence  (need to re-seed, the first ones rotten in the ground) (or maybe I’ll put sweet corn here along the fence)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • A few lettuces here and there

Bed 2-

  • Radishes and Carrots
  • Green onions
  • A cabbage or two
  • Sugar Baby and Charleston Gray Watermelons

Bed 3-

  • Shelling peas along the fence
  • Green pepper and Jalapeno
  • Cucumber and Zuchinn

Bed 4-

  • 12 tomato plants.  3 Rutgers, 3 Super Marmande, 4 Gardener’s Delight and 2 Cold Set.

Bed 5-

  • Pole beans and bush beans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Jackolantern pumpkins
  • Simon’s mini pumpkin gourd

Bed 6-

  • New strawberries

This is what they looked like before they were full of dirt. I’ll have to get an update to show them now.

It\'s a work in progress!

Winter Again?

The broccoli and cauliflower plants I grew under grow lights in my basement for the last month got planted out this week on Monday. Now the forecasted lows for the next 4 nights are 32, 31, 28, 31.

These cold-weather plants SHOULD be fine down to 20, but I don’t want to take any chances. Last night I covered them with a clear plastic drop cloth. I’ll set 3 or 4 gallon jugs of hot tap water under the plastic tonight as a space heater and I should wake up to a frost-free garden.

The tomatoes in the basement are getting root bound in their containers and are drinking more water than I can give them once a day. I can’t wait to put them out but in Quincy it needs to be April 24th at least. After that date there is only a historical 10 percent chance of a 32 degree low. If I wait until May 4 it definitely won’t freeze again. Patience!

Oh, and when I say basement, I mean crawl space. Our house has a 24 x 24 foot crawl space with a nice cement slab floor. It’s 4 feet high which is perfect for sitting at a table and tending to the plants.

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