Took me a while to get this one uploaded. It’s probably the last video of the garden for this year, unless I do one last one with snow on. There will be at least one more as a sort of wrap-up with some planning for next year.
We got a light frost a few days after I hoped we wouldn’t in my last video. It was borderline, though, so it killed some things and just singed others. I harvested as much as possible the day before the frost, so I spliced a video of that into the center of this one. If the next frost holds off for a week or two, there should still be more beans coming along from the plants that survived. All the fall crops–lettuce, peas, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, etc.–look great, some of the best I’ve ever had. Seems like it’s hard to get them planted early enough to get done but not so early that they burn up in the heat, but it worked well this year.
Winter is coming up fast all of a sudden. A couple days ago it was 90 degrees, now it’s dipping down into the 40s at night. There are a lot of green tomatoes and beans on the vine, so hopefully the frost will hold off for a couple more weeks so they can ripen. The squash are done, so they just need to sit in the sun another week to cure before they go into storage. Lots of harvesting and preserving to do in the next few weeks, and then time to think about what worked and didn’t this year and make plans for next year. I think I’ll do one video just on that.
Trying to keep up with the green beans and tomatoes, canning most of them. The watermelons seem to have a fungus called anthracnose, so I’m just hoping they produce some ripe melons before they die. Watermelons don’t ripen off the vine like tomatoes and some other fruits do, so there’s no picking them early. The butternut squash look great, some of the biggest I’ve ever gotten. The dry beans will need picking soon, so we could use a few dry days to get that done, but unfortunately it looks like rain.
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. Some of the late green beans that I said in this video would be ready soon…well, they’re ready. I looked under the leaves the next day and there were loads of them to pick. I think it’s time to make up a sign and find a way to sell some.
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. There are a lot of mid-season things coming up like beans, and I’ve started planting late-season crops. Just picked a couple of scalloped squash yesterday, and turnips, potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes should be ready 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. Can’t wait to spread that patch out to have about four times as many.
I wound up with so many seedlings started inside that they won’t all fit in the garden, so I may try to sell some or just give them away.
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. That probably won’t hurt anything, since herbs, especially perennials, tend to be pretty tough.
Once I had this one dug up, it started falling apart into several different plants, so it was already dividing itself. I planted five of them along a concrete wall where I’ve been wanting some taller cover. I have a feeling the remaining roots will come up again, so I may have to put plastic or something down for a while to snuff them out.
Also planted a few peas and radishes right behind these a couple days previously, just pressing them into the mud, but it’s too soon for them to be up. I saw some chickens loafing there the next day, so they may have gobbled up the seeds already.
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.
I’ll be doing some germination tests soon, because some of these seed packets are nearly ten years old and may not be viable at all. You can test them by putting a few seeds between layers of paper towels and keeping them damp and warm. Most seeds should sprout within a week if they’re going to. That’ll tell me whether some of these iffy ones will need to be replaced.
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. So it’s basically showing what it would cost to buy the same stuff, but not necessarily the same quality. Most of mine is organic, for instance, and I didn’t try to find organic prices.
I don’t have a garden for the money savings, because there are some things you can’t grow as cheaply as you can buy them, if your time is worth anything. I do it for other benefits, but it’s nice to know it at least pays for itself.
There were two main problems last year. The first was drought. It was very dry through most of June and July. I watered a lot, but surface water really only keeps things alive; it doesn’t make them flourish. So after the early crops like asparagus and peas, everything just kind of sat there, and it looks like June and July added together produced less than May, which is very unusual. Some things were almost a total loss, like the sweet corn and the second crop of peas, that just shriveled up in the heat.
Nothing you can do about drought, but I’m going to invest in some soaker hose this year. That lets water seep out through the hose directly onto the ground, rather than spraying it up in the air. Less evaporation that way, and it’s easier to put it where you want it. Also, it won’t attract the neighbors' dog to come over and dance around in the water.
The second problem was the weeds got away from me in the south plot, which is why I ended up harvesting almost no squash, melons, or tomatoes. It turns out that spot has some pretty poor soil compared to the others, so it needs a lot of organic material. A foot of straw or hay mulch would be a good start, and would help a lot with the weeds. I’ll definitely be mulching more this year.
I said last year that I need to divide up some crowded asparagus mounds and start a new patch with them. I forgot all about that by winter, so now I need to look and remind myself when you do that, whether it’s fall or spring.
I got a gift certificate from a nursery for Christmas, so I need to figure out what trees to get and when. Probably fruit trees, although a couple big shade trees wouldn’t hurt either.
Next garden post: cataloging the leftover seed!
|[2018-05-08 Tue]||green onions||128||0.28||2.00||0.56|
|[2018-06-29 Fri]||snap beans||51||0.11||2.00||0.22|
|[2018-07-16 Mon]||snap beans||298||0.65||2.00||1.30|
|[2018-07-20 Fri]||snap beans||380||0.84||2.00||1.68|
|[2018-07-30 Mon]||Swiss chard||400||0.88||2.00||1.76|
|[2018-07-31 Tue]||snap beans||800||1.76||2.00||3.52|
|[2018-08-01 Wed]||snap beans||800||1.76||2.00||3.52|
|[2018-08-05 Sun]||snap beans||633||1.39||2.00||2.78|
|[2018-08-06 Mon]||snap beans||977||2.15||2.00||4.30|
|[2018-08-08 Wed]||snap beans||437||0.96||2.00||1.92|
|[2018-08-13 Mon]||snap beans||434||0.95||2.00||1.90|
|[2018-08-21 Tue]||snap beans||1636||3.60||2.00||7.20|
|[2018-08-22 Wed]||red kidney||272||0.60||2.00||1.20|
|[2018-08-23 Thu]||snap beans||453||1.00||2.00||2.00|
|[2018-08-27 Mon]||snap beans||900||1.98||2.00||3.96|
|[2018-08-28 Tue]||snap beans||501||1.10||2.00||2.20|
|[2018-08-30 Thu]||snap beans||1150||2.53||2.00||5.06|
|[2018-09-01 Sat]||snap beans||553||1.22||2.00||2.44|
|[2018-09-04 Tue]||snap beans||730||1.60||2.00||3.20|
|[2018-09-05 Wed]||snap beans||550||1.21||2.00||2.42|
|[2018-09-05 Wed]||snap beans||663||1.46||2.00||2.92|
|[2018-09-07 Fri]||snap beans||720||1.58||2.00||3.16|
|[2018-09-08 Sat]||Swiss chard||450||0.99||2.00||1.98|
|[2018-09-09 Sun]||snap beans||650||1.43||2.00||2.86|
|[2018-09-11 Tue]||snap beans||440||0.97||2.00||1.94|
|[2018-09-13 Thu]||snap beans||530||1.16||2.00||2.32|
|[2018-09-14 Fri]||Swiss chard||200||0.44||2.00||0.88|
|[2018-09-14 Fri]||green pepper||150||0.33||2.50||0.82|
|[2018-09-14 Fri]||summer squash||400||0.88||1.70||1.50|
|[2018-09-15 Sat]||snap beans||700||1.54||2.00||3.08|
|[2018-09-18 Tue]||snap beans||600||1.32||2.00||2.64|
|[2018-09-19 Wed]||snap beans||450||0.99||2.00||1.98|
|[2018-09-20 Thu]||snap beans||500||1.10||2.00||2.20|
|[2018-09-22 Sat]||snap beans||500||1.10||2.00||2.20|
|[2018-09-24 Mon]||snap beans||630||1.38||2.00||2.76|
|[2018-09-29 Sat]||snap beans||2275||5.00||2.00||10.00|
|[2018-09-30 Sun]||snap beans||2935||6.45||2.00||12.90|
|[2018-10-16 Tue]||green pepper||6900||15.16||2.50||37.90|
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. Mint is hiding under the snow to be used anytime. There’s also kale and Swiss chard that may survive this cold, but it’s iffy. I put greenhouse jugs over a few beet and turnip plants to try to keep them alive through the winter so they can go to seed next year, since they’re biennials. Might stick a couple of those on Swiss chard plants as well.
It looks like this will be my last garden video for this year. I’ll have at least one more update when I figure up the total harvest, whenever I remember to get prices on everything from the store to fill in my records. Then it’ll be time to review this year, what went well and what failed, and start planning for next year.
Thanks to everyone who watched. I hope they were enjoyable or useful.
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. He’s the one who showed up starving in the spring and ended up in a video then. He’s been doing fine ever since, although it seems like he’s permanently a little fat now. I never thought of a better name, so Little One stuck. He gets underfoot a lot, so he got a chance to make a cameo.
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. I’ve remembered to log most harvests in my garden journal, but not quite everything. I’ll post that at the end of the year, and see what it adds up to.
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. Currently harvesting snap beans, Swiss chard, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, kale (have to figure out how to use it), mustard, and broccoli within the week.
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. My cheap phone doesn’t handle high sun very well, and that’s all there’s been lately. It takes better photos, so I thought this would be worth a try.
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. There’s still some space for planting, so I need to get out the seed bucket and pick a few more things, but mostly we’re coming into harvesting and weeding season. The snap beans will be ready to pick soon, and then that becomes an every-couple-days thing. Swiss chard will soon be big enough to start taking leaves here and there too. Then potatoes and sweet corn in July.
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. Fresh peas are pretty great, too. I could do without peas the rest of the year (canned ones especially suck), but fresh ones are worth some work.
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. And pull weeds, and more weeds.
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.
But I guess there’s no need to repeat everything I said in the video. I’m planning to do these every week or two again this year. They came in handy a couple times last year when I couldn’t remember what I’d planted somewhere, and maybe others get something out of them too.
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. Gonna try again this year. It’ll be a few weeks before there’s anything besides asparagus and green onions from around the grotto.
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. Guess I’ll see.
Mushrooms usually come around the same time as asparagus, and it definitely isn’t time for them yet. I think they start sprouting when the soil temperature hits something like 55, and we’re nowhere near that now.
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. So I wanted to get some things out there early to see how they come up. I may also need to germinate some seeds in paper towels, to see how they do before planting them out.
Other plants already started: mint that I got from my mom over the winter and started in a pot, and sweet potatoes that I started from a couple potatoes that had sprouted in the basement. It’s still a couple months before the sweet potatoes can go out in the garden, but they should have plenty of roots by then.
We should have marshmallow, hyssop, and toothache plant as perennials in the herb garden. There may be catnip by the grotto, but I think the cats wiped it out rolling around on it last year, so I expect to have to start that again.
The walking onions around the grotto are starting to green up, and the strawberries that survived last year look good and need to be weeded around. So quite a few things are already underway. Right now, I have two things to get figured out. First, where I’m going to get enough mulch to cover all the garden spots. If I’m going to use the mulch method this year, I’ll need enough to bury the gardens in several inches of mulch. Alternatively, I could use paper or cardboard, but I’ll still need enough mulch to put on that and hold it down in the wind. One thing I’m thinking of is to buy a half-dozen round bales of hay, and bust two of them up on each garden spot. That would certainly do it.
The second thing is to get seeds ordered. So before that I need to go through the leftover seed and seed saved from last year and see what else I need to add to that. I don’t think there are too many things I’m missing, but I always like to add something new. I had really good luck with the watermelon last year, better than I ever have before, and I grew Moon & Stars for the first time, so I want to make sure to get that again.
Oh, a third thing: it’s time to start cleaning out the chicken house and spreading it on the gardens. That will help with the mulch situation too.
The pole at one end of my trellis finally rotted through at the bottom, so I need to replace it. When I put that in seven years ago, I used ordinary pine lumber, so I didn’t think it would last more than a couple years. It’s worked out pretty well. Have to weave new twine on it for the year, but that doesn’t need to be done until something is ready to climb it, probably not until a couple months from now.
I may have to put some fence around at least one of the garden spots. The chickens really worked on the cabbages there last year, devouring a couple of them entirely, which was strange. I won’t be planting cabbage in the same spot, since I rotate things through the gardens every year, but that’ll be something to watch out for. I like letting them roam around the gardens eating bugs, but I don’t need them eating my vegetables.
I want to get some permanent fruit trees going this year. I started a couple grapes and a couple raspberries last year, but none of them survived. Need to get better stock from Stark’s this year, instead of the cheap ones off the shelf. The asparagus bed is mature now (could be bigger), and the strawberries are getting started, so I’d like to keep adding another long-term planting each year. A small orchard of apple, pear, peach, and cherry trees would be great.
As far as annual stuff goes, it’ll be the usual. I think I’ll do videos every couple weeks again this year, since that was a good way to keep track last year. I referred back to those a couple times to find out when I planted something or what variety where. Probably not until there are some plants coming up to see, though.