End of May update

Time for an update on the garden. A few friends and relatives were able to get an in person update last weekend during Ethan’s graduation party. The weather forecast showed a near certainty of rain and storms during the party up until about an hour before it actually started. Very thankful the weather change for the better and we had a great time outside in the back yard.

I also want to welcome any new followers and subscribers.  I heard I might have picked up a few more this spring. Not sure you will find this all that exciting, but welcome all the same.

Zucchini with the row of radish in the background. Both need thinned.

Pole beans doing nicely.

Carrots are a bit spotty but starting to fill in.

Spinach is doing okay so far.

Sugar snap peas are finally starting to get their growth spurt.

Probably a couple too many cucumber plants but appreciate having too many.

Lettuce and Kale which were started indoors are doing quite well.

Onions are still adapting to their new home. Hopefully they will start growing more in a few days.

Sweet corn is a bit patchy this year. Wondering if I didn’t have a consistent planting depth.

Some of the sweet potatoes seems to be having issues this year. The new growth leaves are orange and purple. Hoping they grow out of it.

Steak Sandwich tomatoes are climbing their ladders quickly.

SuperTasty tomatoes are also doing well.

The two Cherry Baby tomato plants are already fighting to escape their cages. I can’t turn my back on them for too long or they will be out.

A closer look at the Cherry Baby and lo and behold there is fruit already!

Yellow Egg Squash is a tad slow this year, but the plants are there and growing well.

Unfortunately, the weeds are also growing well. I had these walkways cleared just a couple weeks ago and the weeds have grown back even thicker.

Advertisements

Spring planting 2019

Despite being an incredibly busy April and early May, I managed to take advantage of a couple non busy and dry days to get the garden (mostly) planted.

Before I get started with the update, I realized I have not posted the garden plan for this year.

Garden plan for 2019

The last post covered the planting of the peas and tomatoes.  The peas are off to a good start with them emerging from the ground around Sunday May 5th.

Emerging peas

On May 5th, I also was able to get out late in the day and get some more of the seeds planted.

For pole beans this year I am trying a couple new things.  First is a new variety of pole beans.  These Seychelles sounded good and figured I’d give them a try.  In addition to the new seeds, I also am going with a new support system.  I bought a Bean Tower from Gardener’s Supply.  I like the fact that it isn’t as large as the round tower I am still using for the peas and the pole beans in the past years.

New Pole Bean variety

Bean seeds around the new support

New Pole Bean tower next to the old support being used for the peas.

In addition to the pole beans, I also got the cucumbers planted.  Nothing new with them this year, same seeds and support as the past years.

Cucumbers seeds for this year

Sweet Corn again this year.  Same seeds as last year, Ambrosia.  Only change is I decided at the last minute to flip the rows and go horizontally.  Not sure really why or what I hope to achieve but we’ll see how it does.

Sweet Corn with new row orientation

Not pictured are the zucchini and yellow squash which were also planted on Sunday along with spinach, radish, carrots and lettuce. Also, to boost up the green bean production, I put in two short rows of bush green beans as well.

A couple concerts, senior awards ceremony and some rain storms later, I skipped out a bit early from work and got the sweet potatoes planted.  Sometimes when the weather is nice, you have to take advantage of it.

Sweet potato plants

Sweet potato closeup

The only thing I have left to plant are the onions. I’m hoping to find some onion plants locally and then I’ll be done with all the spring plantings for 2019.

Clean(er) garden

I’ve been meaning to get into the garden for what seems like a month or two now. If it hasn’t been the sweltering heat and humidity, it has been the multi day rain events. Not to mention a big home project and all of the kids and work activities.

Enough of excuses, Sunday I made it out there and harvested the second to last vegetable and cleared out the dying and the dead.

Reach and pull

Reach and pull

I always appreciate some help in the garden. Gabrielle was excited to finally get to harvest the last of the carrots.

Gabrielle with the prize

Gabrielle with the prize

Posing with the bounty of carrots

Posing with the bounty of carrots

This carrot REALLY has to go to the bathroom!

This carrot REALLY has to go to the bathroom!

In addition to the carrots, it was a good time to finally clear out the old green beans, tomatoes and decayed spines of the squash and zucchini. I plan to replace the remaining two garden beds yet this fall and having all the old plants cleared out is a good first step.

All the garden structures removed and ready for transport to the garage

All the garden structures removed and ready for transport to the garage

Mostly cleaned up. Except for the green mass of sweet potatoes in the back corner.

Mostly cleaned up. Except for the green mass of sweet potatoes in the back corner.

Spring planting for 2018

Over the last two weekends I was able to get all but one vegetable planted in the garden.

First off though, is this years diagram of the planting plan.  Nothing too radical this year, pretty much most of the same from past years just rotated so I don’t have things in the same spots.

Garden plan for 2018

Garden plan for 2018

The first weekend (May 5/6) was a bit rushed because I had to first get the second garden bed replaced.  I also had to move the lettuce from the back two beds to the second replacement bed.  All of that took a while. In the end, I had time to get the peas and radish planted and get the tomatoes out of their tiny pots and into the ground where they can have all the root and head room they could wish for.

In the years past, I never provided the peas and beans anything other than water and occasional fertilizer.  This year I am giving an inoculant a try.  When ordering seeds this year I threw Burpee Booster into the cart.  We’ll see if I notice any difference.

Giving the beans and peas a boost

Giving the beans and peas a boost

All six tomato plants with ladders

All six tomato plants with ladders

Two Brandy Boy tomatoes

Two Brandy Boy tomatoes

Two Happy Day tomatoes

Two Happy Day tomatoes

Two Happy Day tomatoes

Two Cherry Baby tomatoes

Pea tower with a few left over lettuce plants I did not move

Pea tower with a few left over lettuce plants I did not move

Transplanted lettuce and bean tower

Transplanted lettuce and bean tower

For the second weekend (May 12/13), the goal was to get the rest of the garden planted. The weather forecast looked like this.

Not a good forecast for planting

Not a good forecast for planting

As a result, I was up and in the garden before 8 am in an effort to get as much planted as I could before the rain arrived.  I’m happy to report I was able to get the garden planted.  In fact, it didn’t actually rain until Monday afternoon.  I had time to go to Lowes and get some sweet potato plants and get them in as well on Saturday. Between the vegetable garden and other needed yard work, we ended up being out until dark.  I was beginning to wish for the promised rain so I could be chased inside.  🙂

So, what all was planted this weekend…

  • Sweet corn
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Green Beans – Pole
  • Green Bean – Bush
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
Twelve sweet potato plants

Twelve sweet potato plants

All that remain are the onions. I’m still waiting on Burpee to process that portion of my order. I am tempted to just cancel the onions and try and find some locally.

Celebrating a milestone

This post marks the 300th post to Matt’s Garden Blog!

Who would have thought all those many years ago that I’d still be writing posts about that small patch of ground in the back corner of the yard.  My first post was all the way back in early April 2010.  The posts were not as detailed or consistent back then (that hasn’t really changed) and the images were not quite as clear.  The first image posted was a couple weeks after the blog was established using a now old and retired iPhone 3G.

First garden image posted to the blog.

First garden image posted to the blog.

The gardens have certainly grown and evolved since then. Most notable expansions are the two new garden beds and the perimeter fencing.

Installing the two new expansion beds

Installing the two new expansion beds

Garden with new perimeter fence

Garden with new perimeter fence

I’ve tried to grow a few different vegetables over the years.  I tired Broccoli a couple times, Brussels Sprouts a few years, Carrots most years, Lima Beans a couple, Onions most of the time recently, Yukon Potatoes once, Spinach quite a few times, Sunflowers, Sweet Corn for the second year, Sweet Potatoes quite a bit recently and Yellow Squash pretty consistently now that I started.

The permanent fixtures of the garden have been the Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce,  RadishTomatoes,  Snap Peas and Zucchini.

I have to admit, if someone asked be how long I have been updating this garden blog, I would not have believed that this is now the start of the seventh year.  Will I make another 300 posts and/or seven years?  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned/subscribed and find out.

Happy gardening!

Time to order some seeds

First off, Happy New Year and welcome to the 2017 season of the garden blog!  I hope to do a better job keeping the blog updated this year, but a lot of that will depend on how busy I get with work and life.

The last couple years, I have been using some of the seeds I had purchased from past years.  While it did same me some money, last year I noticed some issues with germination and overall yields.  Irregardless, it was time to replenish the seed cache as I have used up most of the stock.

The order this year isn’t too much different than in years past but there are a few new comers and variety changes.  Most notably new this year is Kale.  We’re a bit late to the Kale bandwagon but have started adding it into the salad mixes and I must say I am liking the color and texture it brings.  It tastes decent and at least makes the salad look healthy right up until I dump too much dressing on it.

Other notables, while not entirely new, in the second year of growing sweet corn, I am going to a childhood favorite variety.  This year I am going to give ‘Kandy Korn’ a try.  I promise to not over plant the garden this year.

I’m also going to mix up the tomato varieties again this year.  ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Cherry Baby’ will join the favorite of the past few years ‘Brandy Boy’.

Finally a new variety of cucumber will be tried. I was not happy with the cucumbers last year as they just really never did much.  This time around I am going to give ‘Burpee Hybrid II’ a chance.  The claim of being disease resistant sounds very appealing to me as I seem to constantly have some mildew or fungus killing off my plants before they get to the end of the season.

Below is the full list of seeds and plants ordered.  I’ll pick up Sweet Potatoes locally closer to planting time.

Item Number: 55610A1 Pkt. (200 seeds)
Item Number: 51474A1 Pkt. (2 oz.)
Item Number: 69501C3 Pkts (1 of Each)
Item Number: 68072A1 Pkt. (100 seeds)
Item Number: 53595A1 Pkt. (30 seeds)
Item Number: 13789C75 plants each variety (225 plants total)
Item Number: 53512A1 Pkt. (300 seeds)
Item Number: 60855A1 Pkt. (1000 seeds)
Item Number: 62450A1 Pkt. (25 Seeds)
Item Number: 61101A1 Pkt. (35 seeds)
Item Number: 51205A1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
Item Number: 54310A1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
Item Number: 63480A1 Pkt. (20 seeds)
Item Number: 61861A1 Pkt. (3000 seeds)

Annual family carrot harvest!

Well, except the annual part as we didn’t grow carrots last year. And minus two of the five family members. Other than that, the headline is accurate. 🙂

This weekend, I decided to dig under all the bushy green carrot tops to see what was hiding underneath and had two excited helpers.  Turned out, there were a few carrots hiding under there.

Gabrielle with her first pick

Gabrielle with her first pick

Julia showing off the first two carrots she excavated. One looked okay, the other... a little deformed.

Julia showing off the first two carrots she excavated. One looked okay, the other… a little deformed.

Quite the handful of carrots

Quite the handful of carrots

Three handfuls of carrots this year

Three handfuls of carrots this year

Time to clean up the carrots before bringing them inside.

Time to clean up the carrots before bringing them inside.

Tasting the tiny carrot

Tasting the tiny carrot

This was carrot number THREE. I think she is part rabbit.

This was carrot number THREE. I think she is part rabbit.

Turbo-jet washed carrots

Turbo-jet washed carrots

Final view of the harvest. Looked a lot more impressive with all the greens on top.

Final view of the harvest. Looked a lot more impressive with all the greens on top.