Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garden pictures

 Here are some pictures I've taken in the last week. Notice the tall fence posts outlining the south border of the garden. We've got two problem trees that bent over in our crazy ice storm last November. We should have taken them down before the garden went in. Now we have to cut them down before the fence goes in, and they will inevitably be falling on and crushing flowers and vegetable beds.

 My first fava beans, ready to pick.

 This has been a weak year for some crops. I made the mistake of thinking I'd put so much compost on the garden in previous years, that the beds might need a break, otherwise I might end up over fertilizing, or getting too lush of greens and not enough fruit - vegetables. Instead I've got smaller than usual broccoli heads, much fewer tomatoes and some of the carrots are woody and bitter, ugh. Every garden season comes with lessons.

 First tree that must come down.

Second tree that must come down.

Other garden notes to remember. Plant more shelling peas, fewer snap and snow peas. More cauliflower and bush beans. Start squash earlier. Pay more attention and add more compost to tomatoes. Add more compost to everything. Plant less onions and scallions. Can't succession plant cilantro enough!

Looks like the onion harvest is going to be better than last year. I ordered a Northern mix of onion sets this year. They are decent size now, if they can grow another few weeks, I should have some to be proud of. My beans and peas germinated late so I've only been picking them for a couple weeks now. I have five different types of zucchini, I'm managing to stay on top of them by picking them at six to eight inches, but I've gotten a couple whoppers when I've taken a break from checking under the plastic.On the other hand, out of all my winter squash I planted, I've got one decent size spaghetti squash. I think the season may be too short for the winter squash this year. If only they'd taken off faster. I'm great at growing lush green squash plants, that would provide many beautiful squash with a longer growing season.

As long the moose stay away, I'm going to have a nice number of cabbages. I've got around a couple dozen plants, a few red and savoy, but mostly a green storage type, which is doing well. It is time to do some mass beet and carrot harvesting, a thinning of sorts to allow the smaller ones room to grow. I neglect early thinning, and prefer to wait until the thinnings are of eatable size. Time will tell if this is a worthwhile practice or not. I should be eating a salad a day, or maybe a head of lettuce a day. Maybe if I make up some really yummy salad dressings, Caesar, blue cheese...

Well that is my garden, and geese... tell me, how does your garden grow? What did you learn this year? Successes? Things to do differently next year?


Plain and Joyful Living said...

Your garden does look lush and beautiful though...
Well, I have learned from this year to plant the cucumbers in better soil. Last year we had too many, this year not enough. I don't need to plant so many string beans. Plant shell peas as that is what the children love best, not snap peas. Plant more onion starts... still waiting to see how the winter squash ends up but the pie pumpkins are in abundance...

Thank you for sharing,
Warm wishes,

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so lush and green! You have a beautiful garden. Everything has officially died in my garden here in Texas. The only thing still living is my basil, and that's because I have it in a pot on my deck where I can put it in the shade away from this harsh sun. I just couldn't keep everything watered enough with the 100+ degree temps and drought we're experiencing. I really need to research how to garden in Texas. I'm from the East Coast and it's a lot easier to grow things there. In the meantime, I'll admire other's gardens (like yours) from afar!

Jen in TX

Ginger said...

I thought of you recently, wishing I could have tried the goat's milk sooner. I'm still game. As for gardening, this has been my best year for cukes (greenhouse) and zucchini (raised beds). My tomatoes did poorly but are full of green on the vine. I regret that I haven't been able to eat any so far. I kept my greenhouse closed snugly most of the summer and I'm sure I didn't pollinate/help as much as I should have. I have a great crop of turnips and carrots, as well as herbs. I know what I'll do more of next year, especially potatoes and onions. I didn't know how easily onions grow until now. I'm drying herbs and creating gift sets. What do you plan to butcher this fall? Can you blog more about that? Thanks! We're thinking of getting call ducks next year but I know little of them.

Emily said...

Tonya, I wish we had pie pumpkins, I always try and grow winter squash and plan on using them in exchange for eating pumpkins. I wonder now if there are some pumpkins that would grow easier than the squash. Maybe I'll have to try some next year- they are so fun.

I can't imagine growing a garden in Texas, or anywhere super hot and dry, but I'm sure there is a way.

Ginger, I have room a couple more shareholders. You should come up for a visit. My cukes are doing well too, although I just grew some salad/picklers and no english this year. every year I think I should grow more herbs. I could not have enough blanched and frozen thyme. I'm thinking of digging up some of the happiest herbs and moving them inside before it gets to chilly for them.

Lindsey said...

I have learned to plant more yellow wax beans as succession instead of all at once.
Compost more.
I like snow peas vs. sugar snap peas.
More garden space for squash and plant earlier.
Trellising a new way that I saw stringing wire between parallel posts sunk into the ground (for toms and beans).
(Your garden looks rad, FYI).

gotomakan said...

Maybe you can throw a rope over those trees before you cut them, and pull them away from the garden so they don't smoosh your plants when they fall.

PS Hope you feel better soon! <3

Emily said...

Grace, we've used rope on trees before. this time they are going to smoosh stuff whichever way they fall.

Anonymous said...

How do you grow garlic? Do you buy sets? I looked for some at Plant Kingdom this spring, but didn't find any. Do you grow them under plastic, or just outside like onions? I use lots of garlic, and would love to grow some.

Emily said...

I grow hardneck garlic only. I plant it in the fall, it winters over and gets harvested the following fall. I order it from Filaree farms. You can get its from pretty much any seed company. I grow it in well fertilized (lots of compost and bone meal) raised rows or beds. I know that a few people have tried growing soft neck garlic, I believe it is the same thing as elephant garlic? It gets planted in the spring. I would think you would need to get an early start and grow it in covered beds.