Monday, June 28, 2010

Harvest Monday 6/28/10

This week was a week of firsts harvests.

The first two broccoli (9.5 oz),
The first (and only) cherries (4 oz),
The first kale (1lb 2oz),
The first shelling peas (2.5 oz) and the first broccoli rabe (6.24 oz).The broccoli rabe is the back of the colander. Standard broccoli is in the front.
And then there was still more lettuce. We were traveling to visit my mom in Maryland. Her lettuce has gone bitter so she requested I bring some. I brought her over 12 oz of thinnings. Earlier in the week I harvested lettuce too so that brings the lettuce for the week to 1 lb.

Total this week: 3.5 pounds
Total this year: 9.4 pounds

You can see other gardeners' harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June Update: Fabaceae

I have one bed for peas and beans, bed 11.
First I have one winterbor kale going to seed. Behind that are Romano Bush beans. In front of the Romanos are Dragon Tongue Bush beans
Then I planted almost a whole packet of dried black beans.
Along the back of the bed I planted Kentucky Wonder Pole Green beans. I have chicken wire and sticks but I need to figure out a better way to help them grow up.
At the far end of the bed are my peas. We had our first harvest of the coral shell peas this week.
My sugar snap peas are just blooming and setting pods. They are about 4 feet tall and beyond the supports I made. We should get to enjoy some of these soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Broccoli!

This week we harvested our first two heads broccoli. I hope the rest doesn't get to far gone while we're away for the weekend.

June Update: Solanaceae Crops

My Solanaceae crops begin in Bed 2 with All Blue potatoes on the far left. Then I have a whole row of Yukon Gold Potatoes in Bed 7. At the far back of the garden with the raspberries & rhubarb, I have another small section of Irish Cobbler potatoes. All the potatoes are starting to bloom, and have been hilled twice. I've never grown potatoes before and am surprised how tall they are. Here is the row of Yukon Gold. IN bed 4, I have a variety of hot and sweet peppers. I planted from a hot pepper mix, as well a some Habeneros. I bought some sweet bell peppers and started some Chocolate peppers. A few of the peppers are showing signs of buds. Also in the bed are eggplants which look a little worse for the wear from the slugs. Finally I have a lot of pineapple tomatillos from Daphne. I heard that tomatillos need support so I have stakes and cages by the ready. However, I noticed today the first bloom on a few plants, so maybe these are more of a short variety. Time will tell. I also have three small sweet potato vines that I started myself. However they don't seem to be doing much.

Finally in bed 10 are my Tomatoes, about 50 of them. I've let the ones at the end get out of control because these are my early tomatoes. I want more early tomatoes. There are two Sweet Cheslea Cherry Tomatoes and two Green zebra tomatoes in that jungle. So far there is one green zebra growing and a handful of green cherry tomatoes.
The rest of the tomatoes are getting more strict treatment. I'm pinching out all the suckers and training them around the twine that goes from a stake to the frame.So far they are doing quite well. I'm sure the warm weather has helped. My other varieties include Amish Paste, Market Miracle, Heirloom mix, Red Zebra, Purple Calabash, and Purple Cherry from China. The Amish Paste and Market Miracle are setting buds that are close to blooming.

Friday, June 25, 2010

June Update: Cucurbit Crops

I have three beds of Curcubitaceae Crops, Beds 3, 6, and 9.

Bed 3 has the obvious row cover and trellis.
The row cover is my attempt to warm the soil to help my melons. They had to wait in their seed starting blocks for the longest time and did not transplant well. I recently reseeded directly in the ground in the hope I might get some healthier plants going.
The middle of the bed holds my zucchini. I'm growing 2 hills of Golden Yellow Zucchiniand three hills of Dark Green Zucchini. I'm showing off my largest plants, others that were transplanted later are smaller.
At the far end of the bed are my cucumbers. Matt built these frames with props and I strung twine to be the trellis. I hope this is a better year for cucumbers than last.
So far I'm able to push some of the larger plants through the first square of the trellis so that they will begin to climb. I have 3 plants of slicing cucumbers and about 18 plants of pickling cucumbers.
Beds 6 and 9 are harder to see in the overall photo because they are next to taller crops like the brassica row. Both rows are for pumpkins and winter squash which look pretty similar. Here are some of the plants. Again, the earlier I got them transplanted, the larger they are. In bed, 6 I have 2 hills of Jarrahdale Pumpkins and 2 hills of Pie Pumpkin.
In bed, 9 I have 2 hills of Buttercup squash, 2 hills of Delicata, and 3 hills of Butternut Squash. Here is what row 9 looks like from the end.
With the exception of the melons, many of the cucurbit crops have signs of buds that are developing. We hope to have some zucchini soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June Update: Brassica Crops

My brassica crops are in beds 5 and 8.
In bed 5 I have lacinato and winterbor kale, which survived transplant at a fairly medium size from another bed recently. There are about 6-8 plants of each variety and we just took our first harvest from them this week.

Also in this bed is Red Russian Kale going to seed. This kale survived the winter in the bed from the previous owners and so I'm saving seed. It also was transplanted from Bed 1 recently which helped stress it enough to stop blooming and focus on the seeds. I'll be hanging them up to dry soon and will have plenty to share. At the other end of the bed I have just seeded Tyfon, Italian Chicory, and Sorrel. The middle of the bed is empty and waiting for fall cabbage and broccoli which I am starting in the cold frame, to transplant later.

In bed 8 I have six Broccoli (Oliver) at one end. I am close to harvesting the first head.
I have 5 heads of Red Acre Cabbage.
I also have greens which the slugs are loving. These are my Asian mustard greens.
Here is a bok choy just starting to develop.
In the middle of the bed I have some badly eaten broccoli rabe.
At the other end I have my 12 Brussels Sprouts plants which are getting huge. Interspersed are volunteer sunflower plants.
Here is the view of the whole bed 8 looking back from the Brussels sprouts.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June Update: Fruit

In the yard we have a few fruit trees, vines, and bushes. I'm finding that not much fruit set, most likely because of a hard frost we had while the trees were in bloom in mid May.

We have a sour cherry tree on the side of the house. It only has a few green cherries on it this year. The sellers of the house left us a jar of jelly made from it last year so they must have had more fruit.

In the front of the house another tree, which I thought was ornamental. A few weeks ago I was weeding underneath and found a cherry on the ground. I looked up and have found a few other sweet cherries on the tree. I hope we can pick the handful of them when the ripen before the birds get to them.
We also have three apple trees. Apparently they were just planted last year. There are only about 5 apples on all three trees.
This spring I planted everbearing raspberries. They are just beginning to get their first blossoms. I probably should pluck them off and let the plants establish.
We found some blackberries in a pot at the back of the house. They are developing nicely. We've also seen a few places in the woods nearby where we should be able to pick blackberries.
For my birthday at the beginning of this month, I received 25 Honeoye strawberry plants. We won't let them fruit this year, but hope they will get well established.
There is one lone blueberry bush. It cross-pollinated with some in the field behind our house so we have a handful of green berries waiting to ripen.
On the front picket fence is a green grape vine. It is starting to set fruit. I'm not sure what we'll do with green grapes. Can you make green grape jelly?
This year's fruit will be measured in handfuls, but I hope it will be signs of bounty to come.