There has been snow in April the last 2 years. So, we’re holding back. There is a threat of near freezing/potential snow this weekend. It was 84ºF on Monday.
We have 6 types of tomatoes in the grow room/pantry/attic/3rd bedroom waiting until the end of April to go in the ground. There are Better Boys for sandwiches, Cherokee Purple for salads, Golden Jubilee and Hawaiian Pineapple yellow varieties for Chuck, Grape and Indigo Blue cherry sized varieties for both of us. (I don’t dislike the yellow ones. He’s just particularly fond of them.)
I have 4 jalapeno plants waiting, too. We’ll plant Brandywine okra, Delicata and Pattypan squash and Hamby pole beans directly into the raised beds.
The new Martha Washington asparagus is coming up nicely. I’m hoping for a nice crop next year when we can finally harvest from the raised bed.
We have taken apart the herb bed and used the blocks to edge the front flowerbed. We didn’t have enough blocks and Lowe’s isn’t carrying that style anymore. So, I filled in gaps with stones from the disassembled labyrinth. It needs mulch.
I am expanding the little planting area around the well. A circle has been requested. Cannas will be moved from the side of the house to that bed when I have the grass dug out.
Chuck has been removing the grass-laden mulch from the outer ring of the defunct labyrinth. When we take up the ineffectual weed barrier, it will be seeded with clover. When I finish tweaking the front, I’ll manage the second ring that we intend to use for herbs and flowers. I’ve already got resurrection lilies and foxgloves transplanted there.
Blanched on 9/26 and 10/4
3 minutes in boiling water. Then, into ice water. Bagged and frozen.
Sliced and stuffed into ½ pint jars. Covered with boiling 1:1 cider vinegar and water. Inverted jars to let the heat of the lids seal them. (I made one that is all red, one that is all green and 3 that have some of each. They’re very festive.)
Baked, peeled and packed in freezer bags. All the bitty ones and 3 damaged big ones = 5 cups of ready-to-use sweet potato. There will probably be pie.
Chuck made pesto with a big bunch of the basil we have been growing, garlic, olive oil and walnuts. We will add Parmesan as it is used. He froze it in mini-muffin pans that were sprayed with olive oil to keep the balls from sticking. One ball is about 2 Tablespoons and is usually enough for a cup of quinoa (to suit our tastes).
Our basil grows better in the beds than in a pot. We tried it in pot on the deck and got enough to add to recipes, but not enough to harvest for pesto. The basil plants in the beds become trees and we have all the pesto we want through the winter. After Chuck gave a pesto-making lesson to my best girl friend and gave her about a fourth, we had 19 balls made. And we still have plenty to make more.
Garden status with pictures. This one is going to be kinda long. Showing fruit trees too.
Serious peas. We tend to just graze on them right out of the pod like candy.
Squash and Eggplant were overpowering the Okra, so I have attempted to transplant them to the bed where the cabbage was.
Moved seven of them. Hoping they will bounce back with a little watering. Tomatoes and peppers in there too. Harvested what was left of the cabbage to make room for the Okra.
Arugula and Fava beans are doing great. Been eating arugula for a while now.
Cantaloupe is in a different location, but is coming along. Tomatoes are still behind where I expected them to be based on the warm Spring. They are healthy and when they do come in we are going to have way more than we can eat.
We expected our fruit trees to do better this year, especially with the new bee hives. Most of them bloomed out very early and then the April freezes came. We covered what we could, but I think the cold nipped them at a vulnerable time. We had peaches starting, but they disappeared except for one sick looking one. We have very few cherries and only a couple of damson plums on one of the three plum trees.
The orange tree, however, is looking pretty good.
Herbs in pots on the deck are doing fine.
Also picked chard and brussels sprouts today.
And yes the bees look great today, especially Isabella. Just looked in on them. You would never guess that hive swarmed a week ago based on the number of bees.
Filed under Arugula, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Cherry, Eggplant, Fruit and berries, Herbs, Legumes, Melons, Okra, orchard, Peach, Pear, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables
This is a garden update, more for me than a hey look what what I have post.
Red romaine at the top that we will need to eat pretty soon before it gets too hot. Swiss chard at either end and a little spinach on the near side. Main bed has summer squash, zucchini, eggplant and okra. The okra has hardly sprouted and is getting overwhelmed by the rest. Hopefully it will be strong late after the rest has played out.
Pea vines, very young tomato plants and arugula on both ends. No peas to eat yet. Still hoping they come in before the real heat comes. Definitely better growth than last Spring.
Finally getting small cabbage heads. We will eat these soon. Don’t expect them to get much bigger. Peppers at the far end have been very slow, but since they like the heat, we look forward to them later. Wilted volunteer tomato plants in the middle transplanted today from the swiss chard plantings where they came up unsolicited. Hoping that most will make it.
Brussels sprouts still going strong. Fava beans growing well and flowering. More mature tomato plants in the rest of the bed.
Roasted brussels sprouts….it’s what’s for dinner.
Filed under Arugula, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Eggplant, Legumes, Lettuce, Okra, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables
Sometimes you just have to let go. I knew the day was coming that I would need to move on from kale and make room for the summer stuff. The greens have been very successful and I was prideful. They went to flower, so I left them a bit longer to see if the bees…yes, there they are again…would like to work them a bit. Today was harvest day and none to soon. The Red Russian was starting to get a bit limp. Reminds me of Randy & Meg’s bumper sticker, “Eat More Kale”. Well we are.
This is what the bed looked like after the harvest. I have planted some summer squash and okra that I started in flats. Another lesson learned. Use better starting mixture in the flats. Got as many weeds as edible stuff. Going to start more seeds in the beds to make up for it.
Fava beans and peas are doing fine.
Was hoping to catch some of Kitty’s girls on the cherry tree, but…
they were too busy at the old watering hole.
I said this was going to be a learning season, but there is still a slight twinge of disappointment with some of the plants so far. The lettuce & greens never did much and the Spring veggies, broc, cabbage & brussel sprouts, the same. I think a couple of things were involved with that. Don’t think we got the early stuff in the ground as soon as we should have and I think that more watering was needed than I anticipated with the raised beds. We got a 3-4 day stretch of rain a couple of weeks ago and the plants started making more progress.
Now I am watering every other evening unless we get rain.
The good news is the tomato bed is doing quite well, as there is fruit on almost all the plants so far.
Peas and okra are coming up nicely as well.
This little guy was helping me water last evening.
Kitty nursed a curry plant inside through the winter that she found at the Indian market in Cary. She finally moved it’s pot outside when it was looking sort of yellow, but it didn’t make it. Fortunately it came back as volunteer purslane.