Friday, May 24, 2013

Still plugging away

Geez, it's been more than two years since I posted here.  I guess I've been busy with other stuff, but I'm still chugging away with the garden.  Same setup as pictured below.  Was inundated with slugs last year, but Sluggo and hand-picking got them under control.  Still fighting cucumber beetles and other minor pests.  Weeds are starting to kill me now though, both in the boxes and on the paths between.  But I'm still here, fighting the good fight.

I'll try to get some photos up before too long.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Long time since the last update...

Well, I guess I let this blog go last year. Just a quick update -- while I was in Germany, we had a terrible heat wave and drought. The garden suffered and the overall harvest was about the same as the previous year, but with twice the space, so really not that great a season.

Anyway, I've begun to plan this year's garden and will place my seed order before too long. I'll try to be more diligent in updating this blog also!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June Update

Things are cranking along. The spring crops are beginning to run their course, and I'm working on replanting some empty squares.


The lettuce is nearly finished. Maybe another week before it's all done. Same with spinach. And I've begun to tap into the last two squares of radishes. I know from last year that radishes planted in June or later here just don't develop, so once this round is finished, I'll wait until Fall for more.


I've erected a makeshift fence to try to keep the squash penned in. It's growing like mad and I have a number of small green squash growing (so I guess the bees did their job). Pulled the single square of turnips that was being enveloped by squash leaves -- got about a pound of turnips from the square.


I have realized the stakes I'm using for cucumbers are woefully too short as the plants are already nearing the top. Oh well, I'll know better next year. But I do have more cucs planted in the pea squares, in hopes that the peas fill finish in time for the cucs to climb the trellis.


I have a number of small tomatoes on the vines now. But I'm still worried about my spacing with these plants -- it's quite a dense mass at the moment and not the easiest thing to maintain.

I will be overseas on business for the entire month of July, so I'm trying to get things squared away so my wife will have an easier time tending to the garden. The good thing is that July is more or less harvesting and pruning with not much planting being done.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harvesting

No photos this time -- been pretty busy with other stuff. But the garden is producing nicely now. Steady harvest of lettuce, spinach (though this is nearly finished), radishes, peas, basil, parsley and even a couple small turnips.

I didn't realize how large the leaves of the turnips would get, so had to pull a couple of them to thin it out. Nearly a pound of spinach has been harvested -- the leafminers only put a small dent in the overall yield. Roughly 60 servings of lettuce, 22 ounces of snap peas, a bunch of parsley and many basil leaves have also been harvested.

My broccoli and cauliflower are healthy, but growing more slowly than last year. I was harvesting by mid-June last year, but it's looking more like late June for this crop -- I hope it's doesn't get too hot too soon.

Another small issue -- I thought I planted 2 vining squash, and hoped to train them up 2 stakes. I have 6 squares devoted to them. But as it turns out, this doesn't look like a vining variety. They're getting a little out of control, but are growing like crazy. I'll have to figure out a way to reign them in a bit.

The tomatoes are growing fast now, too. I'm out there pinching suckers nearly every day now. I'm having my doubts though that my spacing and structures are going to be sufficient. I'll try to get a photo next time to illustrate this.

So far, so good. The pests have generally left me alone so far, but I am still spraying BT every 7-10 days.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First harvest

Well, the only casualty from that frost was one basil plant. I had it covered, but it still turned black and died. Other than that, everything else survived.

As of today, the garden is fully planted -- every square is occupied. I transplanted my peppers, squash and cucumbers, as well as direct sowed more carrots, radishes and cilantro. I also planted some cucumber seeds in my pea squares because I read somewhere that by the time the cucs needs the trellis, the peas are finished. I'm experimenting with that this year, since it would maximize the space and trellis usage if it works.

Harvested our first crops today -- 6 radishes and enough lettuce for 3 servings of salad. I forgot how much better homegrown lettuce tastes versus store-bought lettuce.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do about staking my front-row tomatoes as well as my cucs and squash. They want $2.50/ea. for basic wooden garden stakes at the store. And since I'd need about 15, I'm trying to figure out a free or cheap way to stake the remaining plants. I'd build more of my EMT trellises, but the plants in question are pretty close to their northern neighbors, and I was hoping to go with something smaller and simpler to avoid shade issues. I'll keep thinking. Still another couple weeks before anything is large enough to need the trellis.

Leafminers having a field day with my spinach again this year. Tried covering them with cheese cloth, but the birds destroyed that (I guess trying to use it for nest material). I just hope they leave enough alone for use to actually eat some spinach.

Overview:


Lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, broc, parsley, tomatoes:


Radishes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, beets, squash, cauli, carrots, peas, beans:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Frost warning

It's been a couple days of strong winds and tonight we have a frost warning in effect, with overnight lows perhaps around 30 degrees. I ran out to Home Depot this afternoon and got a couple 1/2" PVC and some plastic and rigged up a makeshift cover for my tomatoes. I knew I was putting them out a bit early, but they were really suffering inside so I didn't have much choice. Hopefully my setup will survive.

The leafminers, my early nemesis, has returned. I keep finding their eggs under nearly every spinach leaf. I may have to cover those squares with bug netting or something this year.

Other than that, things are looking good. The carrots and beets have sprouted outside. Started my squash (which has sprouted) and cucumbers inside. My indoor-started cucs all shriveled up and died after transplanting last year, but I'll try again. I can always direct sow if these fail too.

Peas, cauliflower, radishes, beets...


Makeshift frost cover, onions, broccoli, lettuce, spinach...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beets, turnips, carrots, radishes....

It's too hot and I'm too lazy to take any pics today, but things are progressing nicely in the garden. Direct-sowed some more lettuce, radishes, carrots, turnips, chives and beets, and had my tomatoes and peppers out in the sun this weekend.

The tomatoes are getting really big, really fast. Too fast, in fact. They're beginning to outgrow my light setup. I think I may have to chance it and set them out early this week. There is no frost in the long-range forecast and I'm confident I could get them covered in time if a frost did spring up.

I'm trying some summer squash this year. I initially bought a pack of bush variety, but changed my mind and got a vining type and will try to go vertical with them.