We’re in full-on harvest season now. The cover photo is all the stuff I picked in one day, not counting a pound of radishes I pulled and cleaned earlier that morning. Some of the tomatoes have gone to make ketchup. Thirteen pounds of tomatoes cooks down to three quarts, so that uses them up fast. Several quarts of green beans are put away in dry salt or brine, some traditional preservation methods I’m trying out.
Picked over four pounds of green beans today, and there might be that much again tomorrow. Will have to start canning some this weekend, or take some to the farmer’s market. Cooler weather and regular rain lately have things looking great. The fall plantings of peas, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and kale are all up and growing. Also picking a lot of tomatoes and some Swiss chard and sweet corn.
It was getting pretty dry when I recorded this, but we got an inch of rain later in the night, just in time. I dug all the early potatoes and got about 20 pounds. Not great, but the experiment worked out okay. The fall planting is done now, and the weeds are pretty well controlled. Harvesting lots of tomatoes and green beans, and there will be sweet corn and Swiss chard any day now.
Things are perking up after a half-inch of rain a couple days ago. I had to fence the chickens out of the first garden spot, because it looked like they might be snacking on cabbages and broccoli, and might have pecked at a tomato. Not harvesting much right now, but tomatoes and green beans should come on strong soon.
We finally got some rain, the night before this recording. I had to break out the soaker hose last week, as plants were starting to wilt. Things are growing pretty well now, and over the next couple weeks it’ll be time to start harvesting potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes. I’ll also be planting late garden: radishes, carrots, cabbage, beets, and whatever else is sure to finish in less than two and a half months or can take some frost.
It took me a few days to get this one processed and uploaded. It got cut off right before the end for some reason, but I was just about to wrap up and say, “Thanks for watching,” so: thanks for watching. We’ve gone from rainy season to desert season. I watered most things the day after taking this one, because the soil I tilled up was just powder. Hoping some rain comes through soon.
Rain continues to be the story of this year’s garden. There was water standing in spots when I recorded this, and it’s pouring again as I upload it a couple days later. Things are still growing, though. Whenever there’s a break in the rain for a few days, it’ll be time to do a lot of weeding and start setting out warm-weather plants like sweet potatoes and squash and planting late garden.
The rain and cool spells this spring have slowed down the garden, but today is hot and sunny so new seedlings are popping up all over. Hard rains can make the surface too hard for seedlings to break through, so that hurt some of the early plantings, and I’ve been replanting some of those or adding more seeds in empty spots. The strawberries loved the cool weather, so the small patch has produced about 7 pounds so far.
I managed to get a video in between rain showers. I got about half the garden planted before the last batch of storms came through, though, so there should be a lot of plants coming up soon. The potatoes that I was about ready to give up on are through the straw and looking good now. The early plantings of sweet corn and beans were probably too early, and seem to have failed from cold and flooding, so those will get replanted whenever it dries out again.
This is a montage of several short videos I took from late March to today. There isn’t much growing to see yet, but it covers spreading straw over one plot, some early planting, and making bean tepees. The marshmallow plants I transplanted in the last video are greening up now, so it looks like they survived the move just fine despite some frost on them.
Made this a couple days ago. It’s too muddy to get in the garden for real yet, but I thought I’d move these marshmallow herb plants now that the ground was thawed. We planted them in this little flower bed a couple years ago, not realizing how big they’d get, and they kind of crowd everything out. The digging was harder than I expected, because they grew down into a pretty thick layer of rock, so I couldn’t bring them up with a nice dirtball.
It’s time to start getting organized for this year’s garden. First step was to inventory the seeds on hand, both saved from last year’s crops and leftover. Guy tried to help. Then I typed it up into a list, and went through and figured out what there isn’t enough of. The next step will be to go through the seed catalog and make up an order for everything I’d like to get, then total it up and swear at the total, then cross off things until it looks reasonable.
It’s about time to start planning for this year’s garden and getting a seed order together, so I thought I’d do a wrap-up of 2018 to refresh my memory. First, the harvest list I kept is at the bottom because it’s pretty long. It’s not really complete, because I forgot to add things to it several times. It’s probably about 75% there, though. Also, I was pretty conservative on the price of things, using the base price in the store.
For something different, I thought I’d do this garden update in the snow. We got about three inches from the “blizzard” the other night, and it looks like it’ll melt in a couple days, but it looks nice for now. There are a few cauliflower heads, one small branch of broccoli, and maybe a couple cabbages waiting under the snow to be harvested as soon as they thaw enough to cut with a knife.
Since the couple frosts we’ve had, all the summer crops are dead now, and it’s just down to the hardy ones. It looks like there will be quite a few cabbages and cauliflower, not so much on the broccoli. Lots of carrots, which I’ll leave in the ground as long as possible. If you cover them with some straw, they can stay there through the winter until needed. The cat in the video is Little One.
I’m just harvesting at this point, not trying to keep weeds pulled anymore. It’s too late in the season for that. As soon as the crops are done, I’ll mow the rest off and leave it as cover for winter. I’d like to bring in about a foot of mulch to cover all the plots with, but don’t know if I’ll get that done. So right now I’m just trying to stay ahead of picking what’s ripe, especially snap beans, also beets, Swiss chard, carrots, broccoli, and dry beans.
The image with this video is a double rainbow we had last night after a surprise quick rain shower. My phone camera doesn’t really do it justice. There have been a few rains in the last couple weeks, so now that the drought is over, everything’s growing like crazy, including the weeds. I hope this will serve as a “before picture,” so my next video can show the garden with most or all of these weeds removed.
Still watering quite a bit, though there was one small rain a week ago. Harvesting snap beans, Swiss chard, and a few potatoes. There will be scalloped summer squash and cucumbers along very soon. Got most of the late garden planted, with turnips, radishes, beets, carrots, and a few other things.
We got a half-inch or so of rain last week, but still need more. Things were curling up again within a few days. Currently harvesting sweet corn and Swiss chard, hoping the snap beans kick in soon. So far, thanks to the heat, there’s nothing that will win any ribbons at the fair, but it’s still a couple weeks away. I tried something different with this one, taking photos and doing a slideshow with voiceover, instead of live video.
Shot this one yesterday, after the tiny bit of rain we got out of some pretty dark clouds. Better than nothing, and at least it cooled things off some overnight. The weed situation is much more under control now than two weeks ago. There are still a few here and there, but now that the ones I pulled have died, I can spot the stragglers. Everything I started inside is now transplanted, but I have a few plants – cauliflower, kale, and tomatoes – that I picked up cheap at Farm & Home to find a place for.
Picked the first peas of 2018 yesterday; got a little over a pound. Those early plants are already fading fast in the heat, but this was more than I expected to get from them, considering how spotty they came up. It took about 20 minutes to pick them and another 40 to shell. Not terribly cost-efficient, but 40 minutes spent shelling peas in the shade with a beer and the Stanley Cup game on the radio isn’t a bad thing.
Sorry about the video quality on this. It seems like I either get too much light and things are washed out, or too little and it’s fuzzy. That’s what I get for using a cheap phone as a video camera, I guess. It’s been really dry here this year, so I’m already watering quite a bit. Strawberries are finished for the year, and asparagus and the early lettuce will be soon, and then it’ll be time to pick peas.
A few days ago, I was wearing a stocking cap to keep my ears warm. Today I’m wearing a hat to prevent sunburn. At least the weather isn’t boring. Now that it’s warmed up, things are starting to move in the garden. The early crops are up and growing, and it’s time to plant a lot of the warm weather ones. The asparagus has produced several pounds so far, and there will be lettuce and radishes to harvest soon.
If you live in the area and could use a couple mint plants, let me know. I started with one snipping from one of my mom’s mint plants last fall, and this is what it’s developed into now, plus the four plants I already put out next to the grotto. I’ve just kept dividing it when it seemed ready, and now I’m not sure what to do with it all. Make mint juleps for Kentucky Derby weekend coming up, maybe.
I finally harvested the first asparagus today. It started poking through a couple weeks ago, but the cold weather slowed it down. Now that it’s warmer, it’s coming on for real. Wound up with 1-1⁄4 pounds – pretty good lunch with butter on it. I’m going to try to keep track of how much of everything I harvest this year. I’ve planned to do that before, and never managed to stick with it, but I think it would be really interesting to look back at the end of the year and see how much was produced from a little seed and a lot of labor.
I spotted two asparagus spears just poking through the surface in the garden today (April 3rd). I wasn’t expecting it yet, as cold as it’s been, but happened to see one as I was walking by. Considering it’s supposed to get down as low as 18 this week, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I don’t know how asparagus handles freezing, or whether it will freeze off and then come back when it warms up.
It’s time to start working on the garden. Actually, a little past time. I planted a double-row of peas about ten days ago, as well as lettuce, parsnips, radishes, and carrots in the little bed in the grotto. The cold weather last week made that seem too early, but those things should still come up. I have a lot of leftover seed that germinated okay last year, but it might be iffy this year.