Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

June Garden Panorama

I have had panorama photos that turned out much better than this one, but it gets the idea across. Things are starting to get a bit unruly down there. Weeding needs lots of attention soon. It’s time to harvest beets and their greens. Soon I will harvest the carrots, followed by the cabbages and then the garlic. By that time I will be getting many red tomatoes.

I still need to plant the green beans I promised my wife.

Garden Overview, Early May 2012

Garden overview in Early May

Okra, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Cabbage, Strawberries, Beets, Carrots, Peas, Potatoes, Squash, Watermelons, Zucchini.

I need to plant cucumbers where those peas are, but I’m giving them ONE MORE week before they are evicted.

Sweet Relish – Canning a condiment

Above is a modification of a recipe I found online, originally for zucchini sweet relish. I made lots of changes and notes when I wrote down the recipe on the card, but I always kept all the ratios of acidic elements and non-acidic elements essentially the same, so I still trust this as an “approved” canning recipe.

I canned some of this a couple weeks ago and it is truly awesome. It beats any store bought relish I’ve ever had. We had it on buffalo hot dogs with our homemade ketchup.

If you’re going to can this for storage outside the fridge, make sure you know the procedure, as I have massively glossed over the canning instructions here.

My photo did not capture the impressive contrast in this product with white onion, light green cucumber with dark green skin, bright green, red and yellow peppers flecked with brown mustard seeds and black celery seeds.  The red is what really makes it fun.

I grew the peppers and cucumbers that went into this, and used onions from our favorite organic farmer.  The other ingredients came from the store.

I will be trying a double batch very soon using mostly green tomatoes.

Planting hills in the garden – 2010

In the kids’ square foot gardens, they are going to have quite a few vining crops.  In just the bed for H., there will be Watermelon, Zucchini, Jackolantern and Gourds.  Of course I realize that these vines won’t stay in their 4-square-foot space for the next 3 or 4 months, but I will try to keep them in the bed for as long as possible by turning the growing end.

Without looking it up, I couldn’t say for sure why these things are planted in hills.  I expect it is because the hill of dirt will warm up quickly in the morning sun and also drain especially well. These are warm loving crops, which is why I will probably have to replant them all.

These pictures were taken last Sunday when we put the seeds in the ground.  Today and tomorrow the overnight low temperatures are right around freezing.  That will probably kill the just-emerged seedlings from last weekend’s direct-seeded planting.  Oh well, I have more time and more seeds.  I can’t be upset about a tiny setback like that.

Kid’s Garden Planner

I am adding two new 4 ft x 8 ft garden beds this year, so I decided to let my kids each plant one.  I’ll also let our wonderful friend and neighbor, M., plant one of my existing 4×8’s.  These children are 8, 6 and 6 years old, so I made them up a planning guide that you see above (and in color below).

I helped them cut out the plant rectangles that are sized to cover 1, 2 or 4 square feet in the bed, and then let them arrange them any way they pleased.  So far, two of the three are finished:

Kids' 4 x 8 foot garden plans

Feel free to take this idea and run with it, but make your own.  Absolutely all of the pictures in mine were “lifted” gently from Google searches, so I have no permission to use them.

May 2009 Backyard Garden

Gardening by numbers     

Gardening by numbers
Bed 1 is my wife's herb garden with an 8 foot row of cucumbers along the fence.  Just seeded this weekend.
Bed 1 is my wife’s herb garden with an 8 foot row of cucumbers along the fence. Just seeded this weekend.
Bed 2 has strawberries, three kinds of peppers and a couple eggplants I got at the farmer's market this weekend.
Bed 2 has strawberries, three kinds of peppers and a couple eggplants I got at the farmer’s market this weekend.
Bed 3 is seeded with sweet corn on the left side, white onion sets down the middle and melons on the right.
Bed 3 is seeded with sweet corn on the left side, white onion sets down the middle and melons on the right.
Bed 4 is seeded with bush green beans, beets and carrots.
Bed 4 is seeded with bush green beans, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Bed 5 has rapidly maturing broccoli and was seeded a few weeks ago with beets and radishes.
Bed 5 has rapidly maturing broccoli and was seeded a few weeks ago with beets and radishes.
Bed 6 has broccoli, a zucchini, cabbages, a couple lettuce and my sons' 2x2 squares on the left corners.
Bed 6 has broccoli, a zucchini, cabbages, a couple lettuce and my sons’ 2×2 squares on the left corners.
Bed 7 has hybrid Big Mama tomatoes, supposedly a huge paste tomato.  The perimeter is planted with radishes.
Bed 7 has hybrid Big Mama tomatoes, supposedly a huge paste tomato. The perimeter is planted with radishes.
Bed 8 is planted with 8 heirloom tomatoes and has a perimeter ring of carrots.
Bed 8 is planted with 8 heirloom tomatoes and has a perimeter ring of carrots.
Bed 9 is a row of straw bales planted with lettuce and a couple extra herbs.
Bed 9 is a row of straw bales planted with lettuce and a couple extra herbs.
Bed 10 is an 8 foot wide narrow bed planted with a double row.  Cucumbers and snow peas will climb the lattice.
Bed 10 is an 8 foot wide narrow bed planted with a double row. Cucumbers and snow peas will climb the lattice.

2009 Tentative Garden Layout

2009_planting_layout1

8 ft x 6 ft beds.  The lettuce at the top will be planted on/in 20 inch high bales of straw, thanks to a few awesome bloggers who taught me this trick in their posts.

I’m going to do a broccoli experiment this spring.  I’ll plant two whole beds of broccoli, one with a closer spacing than the other, all other things equal, and we’ll see how it affects yield:

2009_broccoli_comparison1

I’m guessing the bed with 35 plants will outperform the bed with 24, but it’s worth checking.  Maybe I’ll be surprised.

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.

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