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.
The pumpkins and squash have crapped out on us. The pumpkin plants never got any size at all and the squash bloomed and died.
The garlic, however is coming up. California Early is, indeed, the earliest.
The root vegetables and all the green leafies are doing well, too.
The broccoli is making heads but this may be our last year trying to grow it. It’s just never very productive. Climate in NC? Variety? Don’t know. And the cauliflower isn’t even making heads.
Saturday (the 5th), Chuck refreshed a couple of beds with compost and planted 3 kinds of beets, carrots, turnips and a lettuce mix.
Kale, chard, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula and cabbage were already started on August 15.
Almost all our seeds have come from Sow True Seeds or Southern Exchange Seed Exchange. BUT, Chuck has started saving seeds. So, I’m trying to make notes of what we have purchased so I can remember varieties later, because some have worked better for us than others.
The beet varieties are Chiogga (ST), Early Wonder (ST) and Detroit Dark Red (ST) .
The turnip is White Egg (SESE).
Carrot is Danvers (SESE).
Brussels sprouts are Long Island Improved. (ST)
Leaf lettuce is Salad Bowl blend from Botanical Interests
Cabbage is Charleston Wakefield (ST).
We have Fordhook Giant (ST) Swiss Chard (and it really is giant.)
Kales are Dwarf Siberian (ST), Red Russian (ST) and Lacinato/Dinosaur (SESE).
Brocollis are Umpqua and diCiccio (both SESE).
Cauliflower is Snowball, Self-Blanching (SESE). I love cauliflower so we keep trying but it hasn’t been very successful in past years.
We have Baby Butternut winter squash (SESE) and Small Sugar pumpkins (ST) blooming now.
Spinachs will be Bloomsdale (SESE) and Winter Giant (ST). Tat soi (High Mowing Organic Seeds) and mizuna (ST) are going in soon, too.
Filed under Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, planting, Root Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Timing
We may be in for a different winter this year. There is a freeze, not frost, warning out for tonight and I had to get the cold frame covers out of summer hibernation. I had intended to get them out this past weekend and do some maintenance/reinforcing, but Sandy’s wind and rain made that a poor choice. In any case they are on and will hopefully do their job. It was late November before we needed them last year.
I took some photos of the “crops” before I covered them. We have been enjoying all the salad we can eat with mixed lettuce, arugula and spinach.
The far end of the above bed also has some pepper plants still producing, but I fear the cold will shut them down pretty soon.
This bed has swiss chard and three kinds of kale plus some spinach on the side.
This one has turnips and beets with some arugula at the ends.
This one has brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, all coming along very slowly. The cover buckwheat crowded out the new starts at first and I am hoping they make a comeback with the extended season covers.
This is our spaghetti squash tree. The vines climbed the crepe myrtle and also latched on to the fence.
There was a volunteer sweet 100 grape tomato plant that I was letting grow in the greens bed that started very late in the season. With the freeze coming I harvested all the fruit and have put a couple of bananas in the basket to hasten the ripening process. Maybe fresh tomato candy for Thanksgiving?
Filed under Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Root Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables
Been a while since I last posted here. There has been mostly eating, though the summer returns have been a bit sporadic. The early excessive heat and the inconsistent rain has had it’s effect on production. The summer squash finally ran it’s course and I was pretty much ready. I was a bit tired of it. I expect that I will not plant so much of it next spring. We are into Fall and Winter planting right now and I have added two new beds. Lowes had self-contained kits on sale made of cedar, so I thought I would give them a try. I have planted buckwheat in one for the bees to forage during the slow season.
They have been a bit slow in finding it, but have been more interested lately. Kitty pulled the feeders from the hives about a week ago. We are watching to see how they do now that Goldenrod is plentiful and they have Buckwheat just outside their front doors. This morning I planted more Buckwheat in the mulch between five of the Hazelnut bushes just to see if it will sprout there. If so, I will plant more. It grows quickly and lasts until the first frost and is supposed to be a great green compost.
Moving on to the new stuff. Last month I planted Butternut and Spaghetti squash in the other new bed. It is about to take over the yard. There is already fruit and many blossoms. I tend to prefer the winter squash varieties over the summer.
In the bed beside the Buckwheat, I have planted carrots, beets and turnips. In the bed beside the squash, I have planted cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. In the other upper bed I have planted three varieties of kale. That bed still has thriving chard and a leftover okra plant that is still producing.
In the last lower bed I have planted lettuce, arugula and spinach. Yesterday I planted peas in the cinder block holes along one whole side of that bed. The rest of the okra plants doing fine and I expect them to keep producing for a few more weeks. I have also planted Parsnips in the half of the cinder block holes in that bed.
We had mixed results with tomatoes. The corner bed away from the raised beds produced wonderful German Johnsons and some very tasty Cherokee Purples, but the plants in the beds seemed to wilt in the early heat. We are still enjoying tomatoes and have been able to share with family and friends.
I planted Buckwheat in some of the other beds. The one below is where the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have been planted. You can see the greyish leaves of the returning brussel sprouts plants that I just cut back in the middle of the summer. I am a bit concerned that the Buckwheat will impair the sprouting of the new stuff.
Anyway, that’s pretty much it for now.
Filed under Arugula, Bees, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, hazelnuts, Kale, Lettuce, Okra, planting, Root Vegetables, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Vegetables