Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gardening, Sleeping, Eating, Gardening . . .

That's about all this past week has consisted of . . . gardening, sleeping, eating, gardening . . . and more gardening. Due to our uncooperative weather during May, putting in my garden definitely got off to a slow start and although it's still not too late for just about anything I want to get in, I am behind my usual planting schedule. By more than a little bit!

This past week has given us glorious, if a bit on the warm side (whew, I'll say!), weather with NO BUGS so I have been really pushing myself to spend as much time in the garden as possible. (Oy, please don't ask to see the inside of my house. It is grubby.)

I could show you lots of pictures of bare dirt that has seeds buried 1/4" to 1" underneath it but, of course, that's not too interesting.

I have never been able to grow Brussels sprouts or broccoli without those ishy little green worms ending up in my harvested crop. A short while back, I happened to read something Sue said on her blog, Sue's Garden Journal, on how she covers her beds with Agribon which keeps the little white moths/butterflies (which lay the eggs which turn into the worms) off of her brassicas. Well, I jumped on this bit of information p.d.q. and pestered Sue with a million questions so I could build my own little protective tunnels to enable us to successfully grow broccoli and Brussels sprouts, our two favorite vegetables, and actually EAT them sans worms! Sue couldn't have been more generous or kind or sharing of her knowledge which enabled us to cover two of our raised beds yesterday in much the same way she does. One contains Brussels sprouts and one has the broccoli in it. I am super-excited to see how this turns out.

The blueberries, raspberries and strawberries all look like they will give us a fantastic yield this year. The blueberry bushes are loaded with blossoms. (Bad picture, I know, but I was too pooped to fool around with the lighting focus on the camera to get a better shot.)

One thing I did not get to on my gardening list this past week was weeding the blueberry patch. The picture doesn't show it, but there are weeds sticking their ugly little heads up right within the bushes and waving while sticking out their tongues and taunting me. First of the week, I'll get to this area . . . and show those weeds what for!

Okay, here's a sad situation. I planted our potatoes right before the two-week monsoon we experienced in May. It sure looks as though many of the potato eyes rotted, something they will easily do if they get too much moisture before sprouting. The ones that did manage to sprout look very healthy but we won't get half the crop I was expecting. Crikey. Guess we'll just have to eat more rice this winter.

I got all the cabbage transplanted. Here's a row of red cabbage happy to finally be in the soil instead of in their cramped little pots.

The strawberry patch (until this morning) looked more like a quack grass farm but I attacked it with a vengeance and ripped out every single piece (well, I might have missed one or two or six) of quack grass. The strawberry plants this year are tall and lush and loaded with blossoms. Some have already formed little green berries, and I think the harvest will start two to three weeks early this year.

Well, that's a short summary of some of the gardening that's been keeping me done in, dirty and sweaty this week. I think I've probably got one more week of work before I can say all the outside stuff is under control. Then it will just be keeping the upper hand on the weeds before all the seeds sprout and the plants start shooting up. One more week? Sure hope my tired tuchus can keep going that long!

24 comments:

Stephanie said...

You are doing a fabulous job! It looks great and bet it will taste even better :)

Sparkless said...

You are doing a fantastic job and your gardens look wonderful. I have way less gardens than you do and they are all a mess. We've had so many rainy days that we can't get out there to get rid of the weeds and of course weeds love rain. The weeds are taller than the plants now!

I thought a good soak in salted water got rid of all the green worms from broccoli or at least that's what my neighbour told us. We decided to just give the few broccoli we did grow to her. I just couldn't eat them after that first worm encounter.

Sue said...

Blushy-blush. You are a sweetie.
And yep-the strawberries are two weeks early. I just got an email from our neighbor with the garden key. She picked the first ones yesterday. SOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How on earth did I let that man talk me into leaving??????????
He is SO LUCKY I find him adorable or I would...well, never mind!

As for the taters, stick some in the bare spots--they catch up. I've had to do this before. And best part is they are usually dirt cheap (ahahhahahaha-I made a funny) this time of year.
Hugs from the road
(Sob)
Sue

Akannie said...

Thankfully, I am a few weeks ahead of you and so am now at the sit back and weed now and then phase! It was a lot of work for a while there though...

Now we need rain. Our taters are all the way up to my chest!!! It's crazy. But I am jealous about the No BUGS situation...they are BAD here this years...
And BTW--don't worry about the house. It will wait for you. lol

odiie said...

Your gardens look so well taken care of. Good job. After the rains last night, the quack in my gardens jumped five inches! It's off to weed most of the day today.
Looks like early berry crops this year.

dr momi said...

Like that raised bed tunnel design...I'll have to look into it. My oldest daughter can't get past the worms in her brocolli the first year she grew it.

Simply Scaife Family said...

I love your covered tunnels..might try that this fall (dislike all the bugs that find the cabbage). Your garden looks amazing!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I tried agribon on my cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts last year and for some reason the cabbage never formed heads nor did the broccoli! I dont know if the row cover kept too much heat in during the night, if it was not enough natural sun (even though I used the type where the most light transfers), or if it was one of these all too common strange occurances happening in our gardens lately with no explanation. So I opted for uncovered brassica this year and will just pick the worms. And they are forming up nicely. Very strange.

Susan said...

Your hoops look so nice and tidy! Mine always go askew and alop. Let's hope we get some relief, gardening-wise this year. I mean, really, we work so hard!

The Weekend Homesteader said...

Wow, that's a huge strawberry patch! So far my attempts at growing strawberries have been less than fruitful, so I'll covet yours.

judy said...

beautiful looking garden,or rather all the preparation for a successful harvest---:)what do you do with a lot of red cabbage ,I'm just a little curios

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Stephanie! Harvests (and good tastes) seem a long way off right now!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Believe me, I've gone through POUNDS of salt trying to coax worms out of the broccoli. I think I must have them all but then still find one on my plate and that's all I need to swear off broccoli completely!

Thanks for your nice words regarding my garden. I do love to do it.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I called the only place in town that had potato eyes for sale earlier in the season but they're all sold out now. But ya know what? Surprise, surprise! I have some green potato plants poking through today where there were none yesterday! So I may still get some coming up to fill in the empty spaces. :o)

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - It's been truly spooky how bugless we've been this year. A couple/few black flies but NO mosquitoes! Not normal!

Unfortunately, you are right. The dirty house will wait for me as long as it has to. Rats!

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Yep, early berry crops and industrial strength quack grass. The good kinda balances out the bad, doesn't it? If my gardens look good, it's only 'cause I love working in them. Thanks!

Mama Pea said...

dr momi - Keep your fingers crossed that it works. Works for Sue in Michigan who is in the same zone as us so I'm hoping it will work here. What a blessing it would be to not have those yucky little green worms! That would make this gardener VERY happy.

Erin said...

You are busy! The garden is looking great, I'm so glad to hear the bugs have stayed away so far!

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - Thank you! We spend a lot of the year up here with no greenery so summer time is very welcomed and I love to make the garden look nice.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - I'm sure you have much warmer night time temps that either Sue or me, but gosh, would the Agribon hold in that much heat anyway? My husband doesn't mind the occasional worm on his plate but it keeps me from eating the veggies. I sure hope it works for me . . . but we'll just have to wait and see, huh?

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Well, I figure you've already had your garden bad luck/disaster so you should be home free the rest of the season, right? I once told a non-gardener of a grasshopper invasion that just about totally wiped my garden out for the year. I said I was in tears over it and she basically said, "Oh, for heaven's sake, cry over something worth while!" Someone who doesn't garden has NO IDEA what we put into it.

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - When the strawberries come in, I'll slip some in an envelope and send them to you!

Mama Pea said...

judy - Well, ya know how ya start more cabbages than you need 'cause you're sure they won't all germinate? Then you can't just throw away the extras? Actually, we love coleslaw and I like making it with red cabbage 'cause it's so much more eye-appealing. And I'll give away a few heads, too.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Chicken Mama has bugs by her because she's basically much warmer than we are . . . those little micro-climates in our county . . . but so far our "bug season" has been unbelievably good!