Monday, August 31, 2015

Garden Posts Neglected

At least my garden hasn't been neglected this season, but posts about it certainly have.

We've had so many big projects we're (still) trying to handle that I haven't posted much about the garden.

So, in an effort to catch up just a little bit, let's take a stroll and take a look at what's going on out there.

I planted both broccoli and cabbage from seed right in the garden for the first time.  (Rather than transplanting started plants from indoors.)  Their start was really, really slow, and I had to replant the cabbage twice in some cases.

The broccoli is just now forming heads big enough to harvest.  I grew a total of ten plants, a row of five on either side of a row of dill down the center of an 8' long raised bed.  Although the plants are big and healthy, the three plants from which I've harvested heads so far aren't putting out any side shoots.  What's with that?  Although not perfect (perfect would be a negative ten for me), I've found only three small worms in the three heads combined.

The cabbages are just now starting to head up.  That's fine because I didn't want to have to harvest them before the root cellar had a chance to cool down this fall.  Last year they kept fantastically there.

The twelve Brussels sprout plants look as though they will give us a heavy harvest this year.

I've already made two years worth of dill pickles and bread and butter pickles and given away as many pickling cucumbers as I can (!), but the vines are still blossoming like crazy and producing beautiful cukes.  Sad to say, I think I'll be pulling them out this week in the name of getting a jump start on garden clean-up.

I planted a row of dwarf sunflowers for cutting, and we've been enjoying bouquets of them in the house for a couple of weeks now.  What's more cheerful than a sunflower?  Our honey bees are working the center of them (with a vengeance) which is great.

Speaking of our bees, I planted this flower, Gilia, specifically because bees were supposed to like it.  The plants have grown to look more like a frilly ground cover with their very bushy, spreading greenery.  The delicate flowers (only about 1/2" across) are plentiful, and the bees do spend a lot of time working them.

Another flower I tried for the first time is this Blue Salvia.  Love it (and again, the bees do, too) and I'll plant it again.

I'm so pleased to report my third attempt at planting asparagus seems to be a success.  (So far, anyway.)  We saw a heavy sprouting of spears for this first year, and the display of ferns is lovely.  This part of the asparagus/strawberry bed shows everbearing strawberry plants at the foreground of the picture.  They are HUGE and are putting out a gazillion blossoms (which the everbearing should be doing this time of year), but (sob) I'm being a good gardener and popping all of the blossoms off (double sob) this first year.

Our main (new) planting of June bearing strawberries is also doing fantastically.  Strong, healthy, large plants in all three rows, all three varieties.  Next year we will be back in strawberries!

Our summer got off to such a slow, cold start that my two cherry tomato plants are just now starting to give us ripe tomatoes.  Both plants (upright in the two cages you see in this bed) have literally hundreds of green tomatoes on them.  Papa Pea suggested we experiment and cover one of the cages with clear plastic to see if the tomatoes ripen up faster than the uncovered plant standing out in the breeze and cool night air.

I prepped a bed in which to plant some fall salad greens . . . but have never gotten around to getting the seeds from packets to soil.  (Can't expect good results that way, can I?)  Just can't find enough time in the day to do everything.

Well, we didn't cover all that is growing in the garden today.  Maybe I'll manage to get in another garden tour installment soon.  Right now, my brute strength is needed to help move some file cabinets down into the basement.  Ugh.


Sue said...

Love all the flowers in the garden---really adds to it.
I've grown the blue Salvia for years--and couldn't imagine life without it--a terrific bloomer.
Everything is looking neat and tidy.
No tomatoes here yet, but holding out hope we can get at least one before the frosts. The cherry tomatoes are good, but nothing beats a big slicer.
Have a good week!

Mark said...

Your garden always looks amazing!! And you still have a lot going on in your garden. I brought up a a decent haul from our garden this evening, but we are kind of in the "last of the ..." stage. (I'll get another post with pics up in a day or two.)

The flowers do look great in the garden. Maybe De and I will try to add some to ours next years if things go just a little more "as planned".

Dawn said...

Its lovely to have flowers in the garden that can brought into the house to enjoy, thats my project for next year a cut flower garden :-)

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Your garden(s) look amazing. Mine is a 3 foot high weed filled mess. I'm about to start my clean up too.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Ever since I "met" you and started reading your blog, I've been trying really hard to add more and more flowers to my garden. You are my outdoor decorating inspiration!

Mama Pea said...

Mark - This year was challenging for you, for sure. I don't know how we gardeners would survive without the saying "next year!"

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - Someday (someday!) I am going to educate myself so I can grow some really beautiful cut flowers. I've always been weak in that area, but golldurn it, if I can grow veggies shouldn't I be able to grow flowers?

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - You've still managed to get quite a bit of harvest from your "3 foot high weed filled mess!" How could it have been anything else this year with the terrible flooding you had?

Lisa B said...

Where's the WEEDS? Your beds look so different than mine. Because of the lack of weeds! Come on MamaPea they are easy to grow and come back every year.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I had a crew of 12 come in to weed right before these photos were taken. ;o] Is it just me and my garden or have you noticed there seems to be one (different from year to year) particular kind of weed that is dominant in the garden each year? Love it when it's one that pulls out easily! Not always so though. :o(

Content in a Cottage said...

Twelve weeders? Wow, I'm impressed. Did they charge by the weed or by the hour? Your garden looks fabulous! Everything you planted seems to be doing well and that's a good thing. Have a great Labor Day weekend.
xo, Rosemary

Mama Pea said...

Rosemary - I know a lot of folks think I'm crazy, but I actually LIKE to weed! There's such satisfaction in seeing a neat, clean garden. Now if I could just hire someone to plant seeds for me . . . that's the part of gardening where you can't see anything when you're done. I'm always sure I've planted too deep or too shallow and nothing will germinate. Silly, I know, since I've been at this gardening thing for 50-some years and am most often fairly successful!

Wishing you a good Labor Day Weekend, too, no matter how you choose to celebrate.

Susan said...

I'm so glad to hear that you like to weed - how 'bout a trip south? The only things that have survived this heat and arid-ness are the weeds. Dang.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I shall sprinkle fairy dust on my garden shoes, I will be transported and when you come home after work today your garden will be weed free! And watered. And the critters will be fed. The dogs will be walked, maybe the cats, too. And dinner will be on the table waiting for you. (Look for the chilled wine in the fridge.) :o]

Anonymous said...

I was given 12 cans of evaporated milk with a very close use by date, can you freeze evaporated milk or can it.
My garden is totally gone. I did replant some cucumbers, their up but not growing much. It's so hot and dry here that we have not mowed for awhile.
I just love the Blue Salvia. I need to plant more next year.
Have a great week end!!!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Sue - I've never had any experience in canning or freezing evaporated milk so I'm no help to you there. But do remember that most canned items will be good waaaay beyond the "use by" date stamped on the can.

It's been really hot here, too, but we're also getting a lot of humidity and heavy, heavy dew each night which I think does help to keep the garden from burning up. We did set up the sprinkler though a day or so ago and the plants definitely appreciated it. Most times keeping things growing at the end of the season is hard.

Bateman Homestead said...

Your garden looks amazing! Way to go!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Stephanie! Missing your posts. What 'cha been up to??