Monday, July 22, 2013

Harvest Monday 7/22/13

This week in the garden has been interesting to say the least.. and not really in a good way.  I came home from TN last Tuesday to find some tomatoes on the kitchen counter that J had picked.  There was a not so good story about how these tomatoes came to be picked.  

He had been mowing the grass paths in the garden and I had left a drip hose that went down the corn and squash bed and then across the path and down the next bed of tomatoes.  Well, he had driven over this hose before, but this time it somehow got wrapped around the blade.  This cut the hose into many, many pieces.  The hose also managed to take out five of the tomato plants!  If you remember last week, my tomato plants were not doing too well, except for a few at the end of the row.  Well, guess which tomato plants got destroyed?  Yep, the only decent looking ones.. sigh.  So J went through and picked the tomatoes on the now cut down plants.  I think I need to accept the lack of tomatoes this year and actually buy some at the farmer’s market.

Anyway, on to happier harvesting news… I picked the first of the green beans of the year.  I also harvested two good sized zucchinis (only one made it into a photo).   

I pulled some carrots, but they are still a bit small.  They had a good, sweet taste, so hopefully I can leave them in the ground a bit longer to grow a bit larger.  I also picked a pepper.

I also harvested some beets.

Over the weekend we went to paint the porch at the old house and check on the garden.  We have had a lot of rain around here this spring and summer.  So much rain that it washed out the back wall of the old garden!   

We got to spend a hot and humid afternoon rebuilding the wall.  I am very ready for the old house and garden to sell!

On a happy note, the cucumbers are doing well in the old garden.  Some of them were very large, but other than having big seeds they tasted fine.  I'm very happy to have some veggie in abundance!

The tomato plants look much better at the old garden.  I planted them later, so there was only one ripe one so far.  This year I will be happy with every little tomato I can get!

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week, to see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Harvest Monday 7/15/13

I have been visiting family in Tennessee all this week, so just a few harvests to report that I picked before I left.  The biggest excitement this week was the first squash and zucchini of the year.

I also got two pretty good sized peppers, although I need to stop being impatient and let their colors develop before picking them.

The first two yellow squash are a bit small, but I had to pick them before I left or they would be monstrous by the time I got back!  I also harvested the first round zucchini and some tomatoes.  What tomatoes I have are cracking from all the rain.

Usually I have squash vine borer problems, but so far this year I haven't seen any signs of them.  It may be that they are late this year because it has been cooler than normal or it may be that they haven't found the new garden yet.  Either way, I'm happy and hoping the vine borers stay away!

I'm heading home tomorrow and I'm excited to see what I have waiting for me in the garden!

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week, to see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Harvest Monday 7/8/13

It has been raining all week.  The ground is soggy and the low spots have now become ponds.  It is also the coolest summer I recall.  I got a late start planting this spring and the weather is not encouraging growth.

Not a lot of harvests this week.  Some big Swiss chard leaves, some yellow pear tomatoes, and some very long cucumbers. 

The blackberry foraging has continued.  I neglected to take pictures this week, but the blackberry harvests went into making muffins along with some fresh blackberries to top ice cream for 4th of July.  I would have had my first big, ripe tomato this week, but all the rain resulted in it cracking and getting engulfed with ants.

At the new garden, I got ambitious and planted a whole 50 foot row of tomatoes.  I was dreaming of drowning in tomatoes.. oh the sauce and salsa I would can!  I usually only have enough space for about six tomato plants and never seem to have enough left over to can.  I thought it was going to be different this year.

Of course I planted all of these tomatoes in a garden that I visited maybe once a week and had no access to water.  (Well, there was the pond, but the haul from the garden to the pond was not fun.)  The good news was that we had a very wet spring.   A bit too wet.  There were times when we had such a downpour that the tomatoes sat in what looked like a rice patty.  The soil here has high clay content, so it holds water a bit too much.

Then the day came that they were going to drill the well.  I was very excited to finally have a well!  I didn’t realize that just because they drilled the well didn’t mean I would get to use it yet.  I had to wait for the permanent electricity to get turned on and that took a very long time.  The well was located uphill from the garden and as close to the garden as I could get without accruing any extra cost. 

I didn’t realize the mess well drilling would cause.  It had rain the day before, so the garden was already saturated.  I guess when they reached the water underground it gushed out.  Along with the water was all the ground up stone that they drilled through.   This created what looked like cement, which then covered the garden.  Since the soil was already saturated, the garden stood in this stuff for at least two days before it dried up.

The row of tomatoes was unfortunately in the path of this cement stuff.   A couple of tomatoes on the end were spared and look somewhat healthy.  

The rest of the tomatoes do not look happy.  They are puny, but are still trying to flower and produce fruit.  I don’t know if it was because of getting saturated or whether they got an overdose of some mineral from the ground up stone.

I dug up and removed the dried cement layer and gave them some fish fertilizer.  I don’t know if I should pluck off the flowers and fruit and try to encourage them to produce more leaves, or whether I should just leave them alone.   I’m thinking this year is not going to be the year of the tomato!

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week, to see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Harvest Monday 7/1/13

After a little over a week we are all moved in and unpacked!  There are still decorations to hang, curtains to sew, and countless other things to do to make the new house feel like home.  But at least the giant stack of boxes in the garage is gone. 

We added two new plants to the household.  For some reason I can grow a garden, flowers, shrubs, trees.. as long as they are outside.  For some reason, when I bring a plant in the house it seems to have a death sentence.  I think they die from too much love.  It seems that both J and I water the plants until they are drowning and give up living.  To attempt to remedy this problem, the plant on the left is J’s and the one on the right is mine.  However, this is feeling like too much pressure.  What if my plant dies?

Anyway, on to this week’s harvests:  the big day of the season has arrived, the first tomato harvest!  The first tomatoes, which were from the new garden, were two yellow pears. 

Later on in the week I also harvested the first paste tomatoes. 

I also plucked some little bell peppers because I was cooking chili and need them.

From the old garden I harvested some giant Swiss chard leaves, which went into an omelet.

I also pulled some carrots.  They weren’t the most photogenic carrots (they declined to have their photo taken), but they tasted fine.  Not as sweet as fall carrots, but still good.  I also harvested the first cucumbers.  One was a big one! 

Finally, the blackberry foraging has continued.  We had enough blackberries on our new property to make a blackberry pie to celebrate one week at the new place!

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week, to see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.