Monday, June 28, 2010

Harvest Monday

This weeks Harvest Monday has a little more variety. Still waiting for all the summer goodies though like tomatoes, peppers & cucumbers. Here are some shots of mostly everything that was harvested:

More mixed peas. I picked the vines clean today so next week I am not expecting any. The snow peas are setting blooms now but the rest are not. The next few days are cooling down finally so hopefully they will set some more blooms.

The bean harvest has picked up a little more too. Two handfuls of dragon tongue beans this time. To the side are the first pole beans of the season, kentucky blue & purple podded. Pretty slim pickings of them but lots are setting now.

I had a few comments about the dragon tongue beans last time. I have grown them for three seasons now and they are excellent. They keep a very nice texture when cooked, almost meaty. They also produce early and are very productive over the season.

Here is some of the Black Seeded Simpson lettuce that was harvested. The seed for this was shared by Alex.

Last but not least the first broccoli of the season. The variety is Waltham and I am not totally impressed with it. The plants are spindly and this bunch is from three plants. I will not be growing this variety again, my Green Goliath last year was much better.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Garden Overview

The gardener has really started to fill in so it seemed like a good time do an overview post. The beds are not showing much bare soil anymore but it will be a little bit longer before the trellises are green. Lots of photos today, I will keep the descriptions to a minimum so not to consume to much of your time.

From the base of the garden. Photos of each bed starting
at the base will fallow.

A bit of a mishmash here. Brussels sprouts, potatoes,
broad beans & celeriac.

This is the broccoli bed. The trellis behind is planted with
cucumbers which are about to start climbing.

Potted snow peas in front of the broccoli.

Next up is the tomato bed. On the trellis behind is french
melons. The melons are a little poky but seem to be doing
well now.

This is another mixed bed. Buttercrunch lettuce, fennel,
swiss chard & red celery.

In front are snap peas, they will be replaced by fall broccoli
in July. In behind are assorted carrots & parsnips.

This half barrel is planted out with lettuce, kale & cabbage.
Looking a little tight, it needs some harvesting.

In front there is a mass of onions. They look a little close,
time will tell if they have enough room to bulb. Beside is
some garlic and behind are climbing dry beans.

This bed mainly comprises of beans. Brush
in the front & poles in the back. Tucked in
the corner is an early started Siletz tomato.

Here are all the peppers in the front, sweet & hot.
In behind are shelling peas and butternut squash
on the trellis. At the top are a few paste tomatoes and
hops strung up the wall.

The hanging basket contains thyme & chives. In the buckets
there are tomatoes growing upside down, sungold & black cherry.

Lastly here are a few other hanging baskets. Starting on the
left, summer squash, mixed herbs & tomatillo's.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earthquakes & Fall Crops

Today was kind of exciting, There was a 5.0 earthquake about 6hrs north of Brantford. I was upstairs doing some renovating and the floor started bouncing. This house is quite old which just added to the bounce with its sunken floors. I thought the floor was going to cave in. No damage thankfully but the shelves fell out of a bookcase. Crazy!

After I caught my breath I planted some fall crops.... Above are 9 'early dividend' broccoli and 3 purple sprouting broccoli. Last year I started all the fall broccoli on June 1st so I am a little late this year. The summer is reported to be a hot one so the late start will probably be beneficial.

I also order a few things to plant this fall and they arrived the other day. Here is what came from Johnny's for fall planting:
  • red pac choi
  • bonsai pac choi (mini green variety)
  • happy rich broccoli (asian sprouting variety)
I also picked up a few other things:
  • Anuenue Summer Crisp Lettuce (for a summer planting)
  • Savor F1 Charentais Melons (for next year)
  • NuMex Joe E Parker Peppers, Anaheim type (for next year)
  • Sugar Snap Pea (for next year)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Harvest Monday

Here goes a quick harvest monday post, pickings are still pretty slim but exciting non-the-less.

This is the exciting part, the first beans of the season. Just a handful but enough for two to enjoy. In my hand I have dragon tongue beans and assorted shelling beans. I'm guessing the shelling beans are good as green beans at onset?

This is the biggest pea harvest so far this season. There is a bit of everything in the basket, oregon sugar snow, cascadia snap, victorian climbing & opal creek golden snap. The heat is starting to set in now so I may not be harvesting many more peas. Probably one more picking before they go starchy & tough.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bean Post

I have been really pleased with my beans so far this year. I started them in rootrainers around the first of May and they were transplanted into the garden on May 24. I am growing quite a mix of them this year, both dry & green beans in pole & bush habits. The bush beans are off to the races so I will start with them first:

Soldier Bean, dry bean.
Seed shared by Kath

Vermont Cranberry Bean, dry bean.
These are from self saved seed from last season.

Tiger's Eye Bean, dry bean

Dragon Tongue Bean, green bean.
They are my favorite bean. The name is a little funny and they
look weird but taste great. Mature pods are purple, white &
green. Great steamed and topped with butter and S&P.

Now onto the pole beans. They are doing equally well but seem to always lag the bush beans. No flowers yet but they have sure been climbing. I will start with my stick wigwam's:

Instead of purchasing more bamboo canes this year I just used sticks & jute for the beans to climb up. At about a buck per long bamboo cane this is a $9+tax saving. This grouping is all dry beans, went a little dry bean crazy this year.... Starting on the left we have:
  • True Red Cranberry Bean (seed shared by Kath)
  • Trail of Tears Bean (seed shared by Daphne)
  • Boriotto Bean (seed shared by Gary)
Lastly here are the typical green beans and they are growing on the bean trellis I put in last year. The two tallest vines on the left are Purple Podded Pole Beans. Last year I only harvested a couple of them so I am hoping for more this time around. Beside them are six Kentucky Blue Pole Beans. They are a cross between Kentucky Wonder & Blue Lake, we shall see how they do.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Harvest Monday

I have finally harvested some peas. Even though it seemed to take a while this year I think it was sooner then last year. In the colander is a grouping of every pea I am growing this year:
  • Victorian Climbing Shelling Pea
  • Cascadia Snap Pea
  • Oregon Sugar Snow Pea
  • Opal Creek Golden Snap Pea
There will be a stir fry with the snow & snap peas and some steamed peas with the shelling variety. That is all I have for today. There is a bunch of lettuce ready but we are still munching on lettuce from last monday. Be sure to check out what everyone is harvesting on Daphne's page.

I should also mention that I have given up weighting my harvests. It is nice to have a measure of success but it is just to much work. Previously I had to photograph, trim, wash, dry & weight before posting. Without weighting I just have to photograph before posting and I can get the rest done whenever.

Look for a bean post next....

Friday, June 11, 2010

This & That

Today seems like a good day for a this & that post. I took some photo of things I have not update on in a while and what ever else caught my eye. Lets start with peas shall we:

Peas

Here are all the peas I am growing. They are just coming into their prime now and I should be able to start harvesting some this weekend. Starting from the left: cascadia snap pea from Laura, victorian shelling pea from Gary, opal creek golden snap pea & oregon sugar snow pea from Miss M. Didn't have to buy many pea seeds this year :-) The golden snap pea is kind of puzzling me, it keeps making pods but they don't grow thick like a snap pea should....

Now onto my Hop vines. I started brewing beer a few months back and so far brewed a pale ale and a porter. I figured if I make my own beer I might as well grow my own hops. There are three vines in the patch, Goldings, Cascade and Nugget. Two are growing up string from the soil to the soffits of the house and the other one is growing up a 15' bamboo pole. They can climb 20' from what I've heard.

First tomatoes are setting. This is the early 'Siletz' plant I started. Given some good weather they should be ready in about 30 days.

All the bush beans are in full bloom and starting to set beans. I ought to do a post just for beans next because I am growing a lot of variety, many of them shared by other bloggers. All the pole beans are climbing well too but no flowers yet. The poles always seem to be later.

Brussels Sprout plants are doing well. This is my third attempt with them with the past two being pretty uneventful. If I don't get a good crop this year it will be the last attempt.

Here is a shot of Purple Sprouting Broccoli from seed shared by Miss M. They are a spring variety so they should produce faster. In behind is lettuce and the rest of the typical broccoli.

All the Potatoes are up as are the weeds. I have a Japanese Weeder that cuts them off just below the surface. It works great but has one flaw, you have to use it......

Last but not least Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce from seed shared by Alex. I am going to use it as cutting lettuce so I can start harvesting some anytime now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Late Harvest Monday

I am a little late getting my harvest monday post done today which I will get into below. Harvests are still pretty slim. Today we have rhubarb, green onions, little gem romaine & the little bulbs are last years forgotten garlic. I am still waiting on my peas, hopefully I will have some by next week.

Now let the rant begin as to why I am late. Our neighbor who we have a shared driveway with decided to convert her basement into an apartment. The tenants then use our shared drive to access the apartment. Recently the tenants changed, they turned out to be druggy welfare cases and have been causing issues. First their buddy side swiped our porch with his truck and I had to repaint about 10' of post, balusters & decking. Tonight he decided to drive into the back again even though he was told not to and backed into my composter this time. We then had words to put it politely. Phoned the police and apparently they can't do anything, not sure what classes as a property crime! Oh and you can't forget about how the couple fight and go after each other with chairs. Seriously, why would you ever rent to people like this. We need to move to the country so the neighbors are miles away, erg!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost Finished Planting

First I will update on the kitty. It is still sitting on my lap and so far has been very mellow and healthy. We have been calling her Charlie. It was my mom's idea and google tells me girls can be called Charlie. Thanks for all the name ideas though! I have searched online for lost cats and e-mailed the local shelter and no one is looking for a cat like this. With it being under 6lbs and all scratched up I am guessing it has not had a home for a while. So it would appear we have a pet, first pet in at least 5 years.

Now onto the planting. I have put in lots of things the last few days. The weather has cooled down from the scorcher we had the last few weeks which has made outdoor work very pleasant. The first thing I will update on is all the tomatoes that I planted.

Here is the main bed of tomatoes, 12 are growing in this spot, all different varieties which I will list below. They are kind of close so I will have to keep up with pruning. Strictly one vine per plant and it will be secured to the bamboo canes.

This is the early tomato that I planted beside the bean trellis. It was not started all that early so it is not the largest. It is flower already though so I am hoping for some tom's in 30days.

I am also trying two upside down tomatoes in 5gal buckets. I drilled large holes in the bottom and planted the tomato with a foam disk around the stem to hold the soil in. I also drilled small holes around the perimeter for drainage. Further detail about the disk can be found at this link.

The last of the tomatoes are a group of three paste tomatoes planted at the top of the garden. They will be tied to sticks as they grow. Here is the long list of tomatoes I am growing this year, one of each pretty much:
  • Pink Berkley Tye Die (from Judy last year)
  • Variegated Tomato (from Ottawa Gardener last year)
  • Brandywine, Suddath's Strain
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Giant Belgium
  • Japanese Trifele Black
  • Kellogg's Breafast (from Granny)
  • Monomakh's Hat
  • Mortgauge Lifter
  • Old Time Red & Yellow
  • Purple Calabash
  • Jersey Devil
  • Martinos Roma
  • Black Cherry
  • Green Zebra
  • Sungold
  • Velvet Red
  • Siletz
A short row of buttercrunch lettuce went in. Love this stuff!

Still in the lettuce department I planted a couple Iceburg
lettuce plants from seed shared by Alex. I am guessing they
grow large so I only planted two.

Lastly a row of Red Celery was planted. I grew this last fall
and liked it. It will be the first time trying it in the summer.

Now all that is left to plant are Cucumbers, Squash, Melons. There also is a few annuals left to put in and red scallions. I'm getting tired of planting.... time to enjoy from the patio!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peppers Planted

Yesterday I got all the peppers planted. There are 18 plants in total that I started Feb 25th. They were started two per cell and then later potted up to one per cell in these larger cell packs. This year I tried to pot up less and into smaller containers and it worked out well. Here are the varieties I am growing:

The seed for this group was shared by Granny. There are three Golden California Wonder and three Quadrato Rosso D'Asti. Both are sweet peppers.

Here we have six Big Chile II peppers which are an Anaheim type pepper. Heat with them is hit & miss and is quite mild when heat is present. I really liked them last year, good for green chili sauce & salsa.

The last group is a mix of three varieties. Two Ancho, two Pasilla Bajio and two Early Jalapeno. All hot peppers that are on the mild side.