Saturday, July 31, 2010

End of July Garden Review

There is something about July where I just don't feel like posting. Same thing happened last year. I know it's not the heat because we are not having any. The temps have been in the 70's for the last two weeks.

The garden this year is not doing as well as I had hoped for. The cucumbers are only putting out one or two cucumbers at a time and the plants are really small. The mini bell peppers are loaded with fruit but are taking a long time to ripen (they're red and yellow). The full size bell peppers only have two or three per plant but are still pushing out blooms. The crookneck squash just can't seem to get the timing of male and female blooms right. I get all male or all female. I'm having to pick male blooms and put them in the refrigerator until I get female blooms and then hand pollinate (Thanks Granny).

As for the tomatoes, the brandywine has no flavor but I did hear they do better in areas with high humidity which we don't have. The Cherry and the Roma's on the other hand are doing well. Loads of fruit but are taking their sweet time ripening. Early potato yields were very low and the main season potato plants died off early. I haven't dug around to see if there are any potatoes in that bin. As for the mid season potatoes they seem to be doing better than the others. I'll let them go until Sept as I'm getting a second wave of vines and flowers on them. The sweet potatoes are looking good but what do I know, it's my first year growing them.

The acorn squash has one nine inch fruit on it and a few smaller ones. I don't think I will get more than three or four out if this one plant which is OK with me. Again my first year growing them. I think I will grow them again next year. Bush bean did OK but now that I have grown pole beans I don't think I will waste the space with bush beans. I'm harvesting one to two pounds of pole beans every two to three days with about 20 plants. I'm having to freeze them since there is just the two of us we can't eat through them fast enough. I'm giving away some to my sister and mother.

Garlic was a bust for me this year but my onions are bigger this year than last year. I still have not pulled them but will most likely do so tomorrow as they are not putting on any more size. There are onion fields not far from where I work. I can always tell when it's harvest time as the air is filled with the scent of onions. That time was about two or three weeks ago... I think :-)

Since the weather has been so cool I think I will try a late season sowing of lettuce. I will only have sun on my bed for another three months so I might as well give it a try. I have some carrots planted but think I will plant some more.

The Haven Garden is doing well and looking great. VISA had a team of volunteers build us four raised beds for the expanded garden I planned out earlier this year. As soon as VISA gives me permission to use the photos I took I will update the Haven Blog. If you have not yet signed up to be a follower be sure to stop by and do so. I have a few more plans I'd like to put in place but don't know if they will happen this year.

Below are some random photos I took on July 24th. Be sure to click on them for a larger view.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Blog

I've started a blog for the Haven House Garden project...
go check it out... click on the link below.

             New Beginnings Organic Garden

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The July Garden

June gloom is over! We are four days into July with temps in the mid to upper 80's. We really are at the mercy of Mother Nature and I'm not the only gardener in my area feeling the pain of a late start to our growing season. When walking the dog the other day I stopped to talk to one of my neighbors who has turned not only their back yard into a vegetable garden but their front yard as well. We were comparing notes and she was relieved to know it wasn't just their garden that was getting off to a slow start. She like I have only been at this vegetable gardening thing for two years now. The first year is all about beginners luck but you still go into the second year feeling a little cocky... then Mother Nature flicks you in the back of the head. Yes Mother Nature I know you are in control and there is nothing I can do about it.

Up until just yesterday I had no male flowers on any of my zucchini or squash. I had to pick a male crookneck bloom from the Haven garden to bring home and hand pollinate five female blooms. Hey you do what you gotta do. This time last year I had already harvested over 10 pounds of cucumbers. Total so far this year 12.3 ounces!

All of the following photos were taken this weekend.
Click on photos for a larger view.

Garden view from the roof.
July 2, 2010

Photos below: Bed 1. The tomatoes are suffering a bit in the heat. I put up shade cloth to give them some relief.

Not the prettiest thing to look at but it works great. The tomatoes did much better today.

Photo below: Brandywine tomato. The only disappointment with the tomatoes is the brandywine. One plant has two tomatoes and the other has nine. I'm thinking the poor performance is due to the weather.

 Photo below: The roma's on the other hand are putting out tomatoes like crazy. Two plants and they both have over twenty tomatoes with more on the way.

Photo below: Cherry tomatoes. This photo was taken on Friday. I have still not picked this seemingly ripe tomato and it continues to ripen. It just keeps getting deeper in color. I'm thinking the lesson here is patience. When you think it's ready to pick... give it a day or two more.

Photo below bed 2:   I wasn't sure what to do with this bed after I pulled the broccoli. I already had cucumbers planted so I put in one upright raven zucchini and two butternut squash.

Photo's below: English cucumber and baby cucumber.

Photo below: The raven zucchini is putting out both male and female blooms.

Photo below: I also gave bed 2 some shade. The cucumbers and lettuce seem much happier now.

Photo below: Between beds 1 and 2 is an arch with pole beans growing on it.

Photo's below: Bed 2

Photo below: Unlike the tomatoes the peppers are loving the heat.

Photo below: Just in case you were wondering how I'm still growing lettuce and carrots in this heat... Yes that is right, shade cloth. I'll pull the rest of the lettuce tomorrow morning.

Photo below: Moving on to bed 4...

Photo below: I was going to pull all the onions this weekend but noticed some of them were still putting some size. So again patience is the word of the day.

Photo Below: Bed 4 pole beans. I'm picking beans every other day from both the bush beans and pole beans.

Photos below: Bed 5 is planted with one acorn squash, one cucumber and three sweet potato. The acorn squash is putting out a lot of female blooms. I'm hoping to see male blooms soon.

Photo below: Sweet potatoes.

Photo Below: My June bearing strawberries didn't do much in June but are going crazy in July.

Photo below: In bed 6 I planted my first ever seed mats of carrots. I also made lettuce seed mats for later this summer.

Photo below: Seed mats covered and watered...

...shaded and protected from the squirrels.

Photo Below: Fun with onions. I put this next to one of the patio chairs... and yes I did... when my sweet husband was outside I walked out and screamed snake! He jumped! LOL I waited all day to do that.
Oh come on it was funny :-)

Photo below: Friday's harvest of  pole and bush beans, strawberries and the last of the raspberries .

Hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day!