Despite my best intentions, I have not been blogging in real time as the harvests are completed. So, this post is a catch up for most of June and the beginning of July.
Today, I harvested zucchini, yellow squash, fennel, and a row of carrots. The zucchini and yellow squash have been producing in fits and starts this year. We have had an excessive amount of rain and so I believe that they have been suffering from blossom end rot. Last week, I planted a few antacid tablets to help with Ca2+ uptake and they seem to be perking up a little. Well, the fruit are looking better at least. I harvested most of my fennel today as the fronds were starting to get a little brown. We'll have to start making some soup to freeze this week. I have had great luck with carrots this year also. They are all quite straight and uniform in length. They have definitely benefited from the almost daily rain of the past month or two. The carrots are a little on the small side, but I am still trying to figure out how to space them. It seems like they need to be at least 2 inches apart in order to get really fat. On the other hand, the smaller carrots seem a bit sweeter.
A few weeks ago, I harvested my kohlrabi and I was pleasantly surprised. I think one of them was almost five pounds. We still have two left, and they appear to be keeping quite well in the fridge. I am definitely planting more of these for a fall crop. The spring planted rutabagas did not look so hot. They were small and pretty gnarly. I will give it another shot for a fall crop since that seems to be the more common growing season.
Finally, my pride and joy - the garlic. This year, I harvested 197 bulbs of garlic, which beats the previous record of 185. They are now all braided and dried. Hopefully, this will last us well into 2014. I was trying to break 200 this year, but alas, it was not meant to be. Next year, we're gonna blow right past 200! Mark my words.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
The garden is doing great these days. I am now having pretty regular harvests of produce and I'm already starting to cycle through some second rounds of planting for midsummer crops. We've had plenty of rain in the past two weeks, which makes the humidity pretty gross and the mosquitoes fiesty. Basically, I end up as a sweaty, bug-bitten mess every time I go out into the yard.
My first round of garlic continues to cure in the garage, but I don't see it drying out very quickly with all the humidity. As you can see in the first two beds in the photo below, I still have about two-thirds of my garlic crop still in the ground. The remaining garlic finally put up their scapes this week. I picked all of these for culinary use and so they should now be focusing on their final bulb growth. I expect these to be ready by the end of June.
The fennel looks especially lush this year, but the bulbs are still pretty small.
As usual, the swiss chard is producing like a champ. I am picking about a pound per week. The carrots now have nice top growth, but they still need at least another two to three weeks before I dig them up. I just sowed a second round of carrot seeds this weekend. My remaining radishes have now bolted, but I am leaving a row in the ground to see if I can harvest some seed pods for eating and/or seed saving.
|swiss chard, carrots, and radishes|
My rutabagas still have lots of greens up top, but they haven't done too much in the root department. At this point, I am skeptical if I will get much in terms of roots before the summer heat is just too much for them. In July, I will need to plant more rutabagas for the fall crop. If these guys don't get it together by that time, then they are headed to the compost.
The kohlrabi plants are looking great, and we have some good size bulbs. They're about the size of apples at this point. This particular variety, Kossak, supposedly gets its best flavor when the bulb is around eight inches in diameter. If they really get that big, how am I going to fit ten of these guys in my fridge?
In the same bed as my kohlrabi, we also have shelling peas and broccoli. The pea vines are heavy with pods just about ready to ripen. We've picked a handful of pods already and the peas are very sweet. The broccoli is looking better these days, but I am skeptical that we will get any harvest before it bolts or withers from the heat.
|peas (on trellis), broccoli, and kohlrabi|
Under the cucumber/jelly melon A-frame, the dill is growing nice and feathery in preparation for some summer pickles.
|cucumber (left), dill, jelly melon (right)|
|jelly melon climbing the trellis|
The bush beans have made a full comeback from their earlier frost damage, but no flowers yet.
The peppers all have numerous small white flowers on them. I have to admit that they're looking a tad yellow in the leaves, so I think they will need a shot of fertilizer pretty soon.
My eggplant is doing poorly again. I just can't win with these plants. Every year, they are attacked by some sort of insect that just destroys the leaves. However, I never see any bugs on them. So frustrating.
|If you know the culprit, please tell me.|
Under the second A-frame, I have my cantaloupe/muskmelons. Nothing too exciting going on here yet.
My summer squash and zucchini each have fruits about three inches long.
Finally, my paste tomatoes have just begun to flower. I have been pruning suckers and training the plants for a few weeks now, and I think the rains of the past week have kicked their growth into overdrive. I think that they've doubled in size in the past week. Like the peppers, I don't think the leaves are as green as they could be, so I am going to give them a little something this week.
I forgot to take pictures of them, but my approximately two hundred onion plants are finally showing some bulb growth. I don't think they will be really big onions, but it will keep us for a while. I've also planted about a dozen winter squash all along the fencing that surrounds my property. These are pumpkins and button squash mostly. I plan to trellis them up the fence. It should be a fun experiment.
Well, that's it for now. Everything is looking great, and my hopes are high for a new harvest record this year.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Today, I picked my first heads of cauliflower. I've never grown it before, and I didn't have the space to place them in the raised beds, so these were grown in one gallon pots. They're a little small at about 3-4 inches in diameter. However, the curd was starting to separate so I didn't want to wait for added growth. Well anyway, now you know that it's possible to grow cauliflower in a pot. Maybe next time, I will just use a larger one.
Incidentally, this harvest now brings my GY2013 total to over 20 lbs!
|cauliflower and purple basil|
Incidentally, this harvest now brings my GY2013 total to over 20 lbs!
Thursday, June 6, 2013
This week, I harvested the first round of garlic. This is mostly a softneck variety, called Tzan. I had about 55 bulbs of this type. Most we're decent sized, although they matured earlier this year and I feel like they are a little smaller than what i had in 2012.
This year, I am trying a new approach to curing and drying the garlic. I cut holes in some plastic poultry fencing and then pushed the stalks through them, leaving the bulbs to rest on the fencing. I then tied the fencing to a large stick and hung the the whole thing from my garage door rails with bungee cords.
So far, this new rig is working out well. When the remaining harvest comes out in a few weeks, I will try hanging those garlic on here as well but I'm not sure how much weight it will be able to hold.