It's easy being green...

on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yup, still getting plenty of green stuff!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Still going strong!

on Friday, November 12, 2010

Even though the fall crop of lettuce came up too late for the CSA shares it's loving the mild, mid-range temperatures we've been having. Temperatures are supposed to start dropping again next week, which will probably slow down the plants, but for now I have surplus. If anyone's interested, let me know and I can probably harvest some for you next week.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Black magic? Black gold?

on Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whatever you wanna call it, horse manure in various stages of decomposition is great for adding to new raised veggie beds, alongside the rabbit manure, grass cuttings and chopped up leaves. So far all the filling materials in these two beds has been free, aside from gas in the car and mower, plus the expense of tough rubbermaid tubs for transportation. I still want to add more stuff to these two beds, plus there's one more to get positioned and filled before too much longer... Gotta keep my eyes open for more free leaves without approaching total strangers! And the manures I can go fetch myself.

Gardening is good exercise!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Last chance

on Thursday, October 14, 2010

Although I cleared all the other eggplant and okra plants out of this bed the other day, these two okra plants looked like they still want to try to produce. Since they'll be getting more light, I figure there's no harm in seeing if they'll get a second wind.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

More green stuff

I never knew how much I would love buttercrunch lettuce (foreground). And it looks like we might get some "Asian greens Happy Rich" which, if you ask me, looks like broccoli at this point...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3


Later plantings of lettuce - I'll probably have to row cover this bed soon.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Fall crops

What do you think? Is it too late for the peas to amount to anything? We had the first lettuce last night - Yum!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Weekend construction

on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I bought this on sale early this summer and only finally got it put together! Big thanks to Brett for helping construct the base, and to dad for the overall construction. All those plastic panels and their 144 metal tabs? That was all me...

I've already started moving some of the plants inside for the winter... including eggplant and rosemary I dug up and potted. Very excited to see if they make it through winter.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Time to plant the garlic

Tucker's supervising...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

More peppers!

We're past the average first frost date, and yet we haven't had a single frost yet here at home. Mary says she had a frost last night. Perhaps the pond buffers us here? Whatever the case, the peppers are still loaded. Today I harvested all the cayenne and thai style peppers, plus any habanero style that were ripe.

Also in the bowl are others that got knocked off by either me harvesting, or the dogs tearing through the yard.

Last week I harvested most of the jalapeno and poblano types that were of decent size, and tried smoking most of them. Next time I'll have to remember to make it a DRY smoke, to watch the heat closer, and then maybe to dehydrate them slightly shorter. Still, the CSA folks seemed excited to get them...

Still on the plants? Plenty of small sweet peppers that just need more time. Will Mother Nature give it to them? It's supposed to storm tonight, and temps are supposed to drop by the weekend...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Getting dirty

on Monday, October 11, 2010

Time to plant the garlic...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

More peppers!

on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's peppers and green tomatoes for this last week of the CSA. I'll be picking some bundles of herbs as well... but that's it. The few squash on the vine are no bigger than my pinky and are likely to rot before growing much bigger.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.2

I think there's smoke in the forecast...

on Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peter may not have picked a peck, but I sure picked a bunch of jalapeno, serrano, poblano and a similar-yet- longer pepper today!

I plan to fire up the smoker tomorrow. Smoked jalapenos become chipotles and smoked poblanos become anchos. The other peppers? Eh, they'll be just as good in recipes! Many of the CSA customers aren't into the hot peppers, but if you want some smoked and dried peppers in this week's final share, just let me know before Thursday.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.1

Look close!

on Thursday, September 30, 2010

There's still a lot of peppers on those plants. Some of the plants have even put out more blooms this week! I need to pay attention to the more successful varieties for next year!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Future pickles with no future

I'm afraid this late cucumber planting was too late. Sure it's starting to form little cukes, but nighttime lows are gonna get reeeal low next week.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0


These small round nodules form on the roots of legumes (aka beans). Legumes pull nitrogen out of the air and collect it in these structures on their roots. If you cut the spent bean plants off at soil level, or if most of the roots and nodules stay in the soil when you pull up the plants, the break down of the nitrogen rich nodules is supposed to be great for nitrogen loving veggies, which includes leafy greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Uh oh

on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Uh oh! Lows in the 30s? Kiss a good bit of the garden goodbye!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.9

Teasers for tomorrow

on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Here's some of the goodies your shares will include tomorrow. Yes those are gourds and, no Julie, you can't eat them... just enjoy them for their looks. ;-)

The harvests are definitely tapering down with the cooler weather and shorter days. Unfortunately that means we're about to run out of all the garden veggies.

Keep in mind that you don't have to eat it all fresh right now. If you feel overwhelmed with tomatoes and peppers, just wash 'em, chop 'em, bag 'em and freeze 'em. They'll be great in soups later this winter... and you'll know where they were grown, pesticide free, picked at the peak of ripeness (or in the case of green peppers, unripeness). I'm thinking chili, gumbo and spaghetti sauce during the cold and snowy Ohio winter!

Julie mentioned a concern of rain tomorrow. I assure you that mary and I are hoping for rain... except for the bed with eggplants and okra, where I forgot and left the soaker hose running last night. Oops! Anyhow, it LOOKS like the rain is supposed to hit closer to noon, but you might want to bring an umbrella...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.9

Sun storm

on Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In case you're wondering how big the sunflowers are going to be... this should help you decide what size jar or vase to bring...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8


on Friday, September 3, 2010

Looks like it wasn't too late to plant those seeds that I thought might be too old!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

Remember that talk about hope?

Looks like the late planted squash are doing alright!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

More gourds

Lots more! This is the apple espalier fence. Just getting started with super tiny apple trees this year. And then there's these gourds that went nutso all over the place. I had to thin them to improve lighting and air flow for the infant trees.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8


Speaking of gourds... Whoa!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

Wall of death?

Not completely. The cucumbers died off ages ago after a very short span, and then the gourds took off for awhile but then seemed to die off. I'd love to rip them out and plant cool season greens here, but as you can see if you look close, there's gourds still on the vine getting sustenance and firming up. Gotta leave the vines a bit longer...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

Second wind

There's been a lot of talk with mary, my dad and my brother about how stuff in the gardens is dying off. Well, while their squash plants have died off, some of my varieties have found a second wind and are taking off again!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

Size DOES make a difference...

on Thursday, September 2, 2010

I cut okra YESTERDAY! How did this happen? All three of these guys are about a third too big and risk being tough... let's hope they're not.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.8

Hope for the future

on Thursday, August 26, 2010

Even though we're about 6 or 7 weeks til our first average frost for this area (yeah yeah, I know - hard to believe!), things are looking good in the garden. In fact, I'm sort of in denial about the impending frost, and have started some plants that will get killed off quickly should temps drop that low. Still, this was such a rough year for our cucumber plants, that I decided to try another round of cukes in a late planting a couple weeks ago. Here's just some of the cucumber plants starting to get some size on them (they're the small plants in the right of the bed, over to the left are eggplants). Will we get anything off of these? I honestly don't know - cross your fingers! I have more plants like this started in two other beds...

My tomatoes had a seriously rough year this year. Last year started pretty good but then plants all over, from OH to NY, got wiped out by the late blight. This year many folks are talking about their tomatoes only just starting to ripen, and how many of their plants didn't even set many fruit - most likely because we had such high temps killing off the pollen.

As you can see from these two pictures, the tomato aisles are getting a bit crowded with lush green growth, and there ARE tomatoes on the plants. Not a ton, but we'll take what we can get! (Just ignore the weeds you can see in the pictures)

Something that's really surprised me is how much some of the squash have recovered. This bed was FULL of squash plants and nasturtiums earlier in the season, but then many of the squash died off from the insect invasion. I yanked out most of the nasturtiums because they were crowding what squash plants had survived. I topped off the squash bed with some bagged compost and some organic fertilizer, and the plants that had survived this far are suddenly getting a late-season boost! Look at those leaves! I've planted some cukes and squash in the empty areas, although if they don't really take off soon I'll have to consider pulling them out and planting cool-season crops such as spinach and lettuce in their place.

From this view at the back of the yard, you can see three batches of beans (including the Dragon Tongue beans I mentioned yesterday), the tomatoes (center, back), and some sunflowers (back right). Oh, and there's even some peppers in the foreground left.

Speaking of peppers, the peppers, eggplants and okra are doing amazing in these two beds. As you can see here, it's really getting hard to mow between the beds, and I'm thinking of covering the lawn with cardboard and then wood mulch instead.

Here's something unexpected - gourds volunteered in one of the flowerbeds, just outside the living room window. And they took off and started climbing the screens on the windows! I didn't have the heart to rip them down, and hey, vertical growing is great for a lot of plants! View the full-sized version of the pic and look close - there's at least one gourd visible in this picture.

And speaking of gourds - here's some of the ones I intentionally grew in one of the raised beds. The leaves/vines have started suffering lately, but the fruit should continue to do just fine.

This is my blueberry patch. I'm still trying to get it developed. What you can't easily see in this picture are the blueberry shrubs. Why? Because as a joke my neighbor came over this spring, after I'd weeded the bed, and planted a bunch of chocolate cherry tomato plants that I'd given him (he kept some of the other tomato plants for himself). With all the other garden stuff going on, I neglected this bed, and the tomato plants took off, growing into the bird netting I had over the shrubs. I finally had to cut away the bird netting recently, and weeded out most of the unwanted plants, but left the chocolate cherry tomatoes - that's where you're getting some of your cherry tomatoes from each week! I just hope the blueberry shrubs survive being smothered!

This volunteer sunflower got blown over in a storm a month or so ago. I left it in place, mow around it, and it's putting up new stalks that are growing vertically from the main (horizontal) stem/trunk. Looks like I should be getting a bunch of sunflowers off've this before too long!

Awhile back I got frustrated with all the weeds in the main garden bed where the swiss card, kale and bok choy were supposed to grow. I took the lawnmower to it. Then I dumped a bunch of rabbit manure, purchased compost and purchased soil down the row and planted squash and cucumbers. They didn't look so great for awhile - the temps continued to rise, I wasn't watering them well, and they desperately needed mulch.

Check 'em out now - just a couple weeks later and they're doing really well! We might get some late season squash out of this bed and, IF we're lucky, cukes too!

Here's the okra I showed earlier in the week, the one with the bumble bee butt?

Take a closer look at the top of the plant! I honestly don't expect every bud on there to flower and form an okra - but it sure would be nice!

This burgundy okra variety isn't nearly as prolific, but it sure is pretty.

And finally - I hear there was hope we're going to have lettuce and spinach again? Sure enough, I've already started seeds! I'm even going to try growing some napa cabbage. Now the cabbage is perfect food for the cabbage white butterfly, so I'll have to make sure I cover it with floating row cover. The lettuce (and spinach) are more tasty treats for slugs than anything - but they did really well in the raised beds. I just have to find some room!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Anchi ready yet?

on Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've never grown ancho peppers before. I feel like these need to get a little bigger...?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.4