Archive for the ‘sq foot garden’ Category

Rainbow on my counter

Red mild jalapenos, Roma and Ester Hess tomatoes, a random cucumber and green mild jalapenos

Red mild jalapenos, Roma and Ester Hess tomatoes, a random cucumber and green mild jalapenos

I realized today that with the yellow throw in there I had quite an assortment of colors on my counter.

I realized today that with the yellow throw in there I had quite an assortment of colors on my counter.

Peanut Update

The potted peanut plant died from heat and drought, but not before making a few little peanuts for us.  How cool is this?

We have to dig through the dirt to see if there are many more, but this was exciting!

Late June 2012 Garden Overview

Not much has changed.  If you look closely you’ll see that the cucumbers are just starting to grow, the squashes and melons are sprawling across the lawn, the cabbages and carrots are ready to be picked and processed, the garlic is gone, and the sweet potatoes are leafing out nicely.  The strawberries are alive and sending out runners, and I still need to get out there and plant a bunch of fall green beans for my wife.

Rotten Raised Bed

The raised bed that held the garlic bit the dust while I was using a fork to loosen their roots.  This wood is pine, and was only about 4 years old.  Can anyone tell me how long cedar would have lasted?  If you have direct experience with using it, that would be great.

Also, is it safe to use those new recycled composite plastic deck boards to surround a food garden raised bed, or would they leach yuckies into my dirt?  Anyone ever research that?

Beets Harvested and Canned 2012

I harvested my beets a few days ago.  I didn’t get any pictures of them with their tops still attached, but they filled two half-bushel baskets.  I planted six 8-foot rows, and my root harvest is shown below.

Cut off the tops!  Eat them if you like greens.

Wash off the dirt!

Put the washed beets in a pot (or two) and boil them for about 20 minutes to make the skin really lose and easy to peel.

The skin will slip right off, along with the stem stubs.

Peeling in a messy step.

Get your recipe book and spices together!

Combine the beets with the vinegar, sugar, spices, whatever is in your canning recipe and boil them again.

Get your canning jars and lids simmering, and then fill the jars with the hot beet mixture.

Process your beets for 20 minutes (for pints) in a boiling water bath.

From six 8-foot rows of beet seeds I canned 1 gallon of beet roots.

The last time I canned beets I skimmed off the spices. This time I canned the spices into the jar. I want to see which way I like better. I keep notes in my cook books.

Garlic Scapes have arrived

My 32 square feet of hardneck garlic (approximately 100 plants) have sent up flower stalks, or scapes.

I removed most of them, and we’ll eat as many as we can. They have a taste somewhere between garlic and an onion and are a nice treat in a salad or stir fry.

Huge cast iron skillet full of stir fry with garlic scapes

The Tomatoes are putting on size

Giant Syrian Tomato, May 2012

Big Boy Tomato, May 2012

The tomatoes are starting to grow well for me in their new boxes.  As you might be able to see I have planted each one with two basil friends to keep it company, and nature has planted several annoying wanna-be friends in there too.

The wire tomato cages are only there to steady the plant long enough for it to grow strong outdoors.  I expect these tomatoes will end up 8 feet tall, up and over the roof by August.

The boards are warping a bit, so I think I’ll have to hit them with some sand paper on a nice dry day to even things up again.

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.

Garlic getting pretty tall

Garlic in a 4 x 8 foot raised bed

My garlic is 18 or 20 inches tall now and seems to be growing great!  I expect to see the scapes show up any day now.  It looks like I need to weed it again.  I should have taken the time to re-cover that ground with grass clippings.  Ah, well.

Mrs. Jimmy helping squish cabbage worms

I have had white butterflies (moths) flying around my cabbage a bit too much this spring, so I knew it was time to hunt down their eggs and offspring on the brassica crops.  I have 15 cabbages and 4 brussels sprouts growing.  My wife helped out:

Ain't she cute?

So far the damage was concentrated on the lower-most leaves, but we found as many as 8 little worms on each 6-10 inch plant.  We’ll have to do this several more times over the next week or two.

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