Vegetable Gardens

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Missing from the lineup this season are Yard Long, Sequoia, Lima and yellow varieties, having succumbed to weather or slugs. Unfortunately for them, that was the last of the seed stock (this was going to be a seed-saving year). I sowed m...
Missing from the lineup this season are Yard Long, Sequoia, Lima and yellow varieties, having succumbed to weather or slugs. Unfortunately for them, that was the last of the seed stock (this was going to be a seed-saving year). I sowed more Trionfo Violetto and Kentucky Wonder as replacements and got a glut of those.Black Russian broad bean sizing up, mid JulyKentucky Wonder, mid JulyTrionfo Violetto, mid August The beans started cropping in mid July. By mid August, I had Trionfos coming out my ears. Shifting this neglected oversized lot wasn't easy (snork). Subsequent production was left on the vine to dry.Dragon Tongue, Southern Cowpeas and Alabama Black Eyed Butterbeans were wiped out as well but two of my Cranberries survived.'Borlotti' bean, a Cranberry memberTrue Red Cranberry bean,a Québec/New England heirloom, acquired last seasonDried beans, a modest harvestL to R: Borlotti & Runner, True Red Cranberry, dried Trionfo Violetto & other 'green' beansLinks:True Red Cranberry history
about 2 hours ago
The weather has been too cold for them to ripen, so I harvested most of the peppers and pulled the plants. There were about 27-1/2 pounds of them here, and my daughter took 5 pounds of them home with her. The remaining peppers were all...
The weather has been too cold for them to ripen, so I harvested most of the peppers and pulled the plants. There were about 27-1/2 pounds of them here, and my daughter took 5 pounds of them home with her. The remaining peppers were all donated to the food bank.I'm still getting a few tomatoes. I manage to get about two quarts of tomato juice a week now, just enough for drinking, but not enough to bother with canning.My year to date total is now at 981 pounds. I might get another 20 pounds of tomatoes, but it's doubtful. Maybe I could add this 6 pounds 12 ounces to my harvest total...... I just got back from the hospital, where my new great-granddaughter was born just 2 hours ago. Welcome to the big world, little (Amaya) Yaya ! Daphne's Dandelions is the host for Harvest Monday.
2 days ago
My most interesting harvest this week is the sweet potatoes. I grew three kinds - Purple (left side, both top and bottom), Beauregard (top right), and Garnet (bottom right). I had 7 plants of Purple, 6 of Beauregard, and 4 of Garnet. As ...
My most interesting harvest this week is the sweet potatoes. I grew three kinds - Purple (left side, both top and bottom), Beauregard (top right), and Garnet (bottom right). I had 7 plants of Purple, 6 of Beauregard, and 4 of Garnet. As you can see the Purple yielded the best (2.5lbs/plant) and the Garnet the least (less than one pound/plant). Beauregard was in the middle (1.5 lbs/plant). My biggest sweet potato was a Beauregard which isn't in the photo as it was just outside the frame and it was 1.8 pounds. Purple came in second with 1.7 pounds. So some of those sweet potatoes are huge. The photo can be deceptive as it is such a wide view. Last year Garnet yielded the best. I had trouble early on with the Garnet slips. The sweet potatoes are very slow to sprout in the spring. I finally got smallish slips rooted about a week later than the others were planted. So they were always behind. I tried to keep the other two from smothering the Garnet plants, but eventually I gave up. I think next year I'll start trying to root their slips very early on. Maybe in January instead of the beginning of March. I know they can do better than they did this year. The other big harvest was the first of the kale. I froze most of it for the winter. I also had a couple of harvest baskets with Asian greens. One even had the first of the kholrabis in them. My tally below also shows beans, though I have no photo. The first of the Jacob's Cattle beans were dry. When the rest are all dried out, probably in a week, I'll take a photo. They are very pretty beans. And I broke 400 pounds this week. My goal every year is one pound per square foot. So I try to get about 565 pounds. I have a feeling I'm just going to miss it. I've been behind all year long. And have gotten even farther behind as the year went on. I'll have to look closely at the tallies later in the year, but I know my zucchini, broccoli, spring cabbage were all disappointments. Beans 0.23 lbsGreens 5.45 lbsGreens, Asian 2.61 lbsSweet Potatoes 30.15 lbsWeekly Tally 38.44 lbsYearly Tally 403.54 lbs, $797.92 Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.
2 days ago
Well the weathermen finally got their act together and agreed it was getting cold and not warm. Sweet potatoes don't really like the cold and the roots can start to degrade in temperatures under 55F so it was time to harvest. When I went...
Well the weathermen finally got their act together and agreed it was getting cold and not warm. Sweet potatoes don't really like the cold and the roots can start to degrade in temperatures under 55F so it was time to harvest. When I went out to harvest I found a friend on the sweet potatoes. I've never seen a praying mantis in any of my gardens before. I was wondering if they even existed here in Massachusetts. But as you can see they do. I wonder if he will come back in future years. Before taking apart the bed I moved him into the mustard patch. My first chore was to remove all the foliage so I could get at the ground. The foliage was very very thick. Then I had to dig them all up. The Beauregard and the Garnet grow like you would expect. With sweet potatoes growing down from the crown of the plant. But the Purple is very different in growth habit. It winds its way all over, often horizontally. There are often no sweet potatoes under the original plant at all. But they go everywhere. For some reason they liked to follow right under the board of my raised bed. Though some even escaped their box and went into the mustard box. The left side is where that sweet potato started from. The right side is the mustard bed. I found a lot of purples just over the border in the mustards and even some in the path. They also often don't grow like most sweet potatoes in that they are long and thin. The longest was about two feet long and two inches wide. I did break it into several sections as cooking a long sweet potato like that seemed ridiculous. And after curing it will keep just as well. And here is the final pile. I harvested almost 30 pounds in a 4'x8' section. Last year I got over 60 pounds in about twice that much space, but then I was trialing varieties and many of those didn't perform well. These are the varieties that did well last year, so I expected about 40 pounds. I'll probably talk more about what did best on Harvest Monday.
3 days ago
You might think that applesauce and gleaning go together, but not this time. They are two separate events. The applesauce made above was finished yesterday. Already one and a half jars have been eaten. I think I need to put up more this ...
You might think that applesauce and gleaning go together, but not this time. They are two separate events. The applesauce made above was finished yesterday. Already one and a half jars have been eaten. I think I need to put up more this year as my daughter can go through a lot of applesauce. Between my husband and myself we go through about 20 pint jars a year. With her added I'm sure 30 would be a good amount to shoot for. I know a lot of you non-applesauce eaters think it might be a lot, but it is just a serving every other week. And unlike some of you we love it just plain as a snack, or a side for lunch. The gleaning would have been nice if it were apples, but it was greens. I volunteered through the Boston Area Gleaners, who glean produce from farmers and it gets sent to area food banks and shelters. This time it was bok choy and chard. We could have picked as much as we wanted to take home too, but I really don't need more chard or bok choy. Obviously I should have volunteered to glean apples. Apples have been gleaned over the last couple of weeks, but I've been busy those days, so couldn't do it. And who would have guessed that I was good at it? Our leader was shocked when my first box of bok choy was packed so quickly. Yup I'd make a good migrant farm worker. I can pick, clean off the dead leaves, and pack in no time flat. We needed 10 boxes packed up and I had 2 done and had started on my third when he said we should consolidate our boxes as we had enough. And I could fit them in better than most with no space wasted. We had 45 boxes of chard to pick. I ended up picking 8 of them. Somehow I don't think my back would stand up to the labor for very long though. We only had to be at it for a short time, but a real worker would be doing it all day long. And it was fun. People quickly learned I knew my veggies and started asking me gardening questions. One person grew paw paws in his yard and brought some for us to try. I had wanted to plant paw paws in my yard here, but they are all a bit too big, no dwarfs and you need two for cross pollination. Now I finally got a chance to try one. It was delicious. I think it is a really under used plant. It doesn't have pests like apple trees do, so is easy to grow. No one really knows about them because they are soft and can't be shipped. So you can't buy them from a store. Sadly there is really no place to put them here.
5 days ago
5 days ago
This beautiful grass was grown long enough. Was it really? This is probably some kind of pennisetum, but who knows how old? Have you seen it before?
This beautiful grass was grown long enough. Was it really? This is probably some kind of pennisetum, but who knows how old? Have you seen it before?
5 days ago
6 days ago
In fall I'm working on two things - cleaning up summer crops and harvesting and preserving my fall bounty. One of my big summer crops is my sweet potatoes. Last year I harvested them at the end of September. This year we have been ta...
In fall I'm working on two things - cleaning up summer crops and harvesting and preserving my fall bounty. One of my big summer crops is my sweet potatoes. Last year I harvested them at the end of September. This year we have been taunted by our weathermen. They have been telling me that this week we would be in the 70s and 80s. So far it has been in the 60s and 70s. I didn't want to harvest the sweet potatoes if we would indeed see 80F weather again. But they keep telling me it will be warmer than it gets. Today the predictions are in the low 80s again. Will it get there? Will the long range forecast turn out warm or cool? Right now they split with some saying sixties in a week and some saying we might hit 80F again. Sweet potatoes taking over the garden paths. I'm leaning toward the harvest since I do want to start actually eating the sweet potatoes. I also want to see how they did. Last year they did fabulously in the brick surrounded circle garden, but this year they are in the regular section with wood sides. I really want to see how they do. Though in future years I'm thinking of reserving the circle garden for sweet potatoes on one side and melons on the other. They are my most heat loving crops and do very well there. A two year rotation isn't a very long rotation but I think it will work out. I finally got out and trimmed up my kale. Last year I let the old kale leaves sit on the plant over the fall until the first frost. Many of the lower ones yellowed up and weren't edible then. So I trimmed all the lower leaves off the plants. I want to eat the kale not lose it. I harvested over three pounds so I blanched and froze it for the winter. Though these plants will survive our winter (for the most part - I do lose a few), and produce again in the spring, they don't grow over the frozen winter. So I can't really harvest much then. A few leaves here and there are fine once it freezes up, but I need to leave enough green leaves on them for them to survive until spring. And to make sure the survive the winter better this year I put up some stakes and started to tie the plants up. Last year the snow was so heavy it pulled the plants down and broke the stems. I'd rather have the leaves break off than the stems crack. I have two rows of kale, dwarf curled kale and winterbor. I've found over the years that both can survive our winters. I really like Red Russian kale. It is just so pretty. But it only survives our winter if we have a very very mild winter (zone 7 instead of our typical zone 6 winters). It doesn't survive well if the temperatures get below 0F. So sadly I quit growing it. I suppose I could grow it just for the fall, but it is very susceptible to our aphids in the fall. The curly type kales seem to resist them more. I did find a few patches of aphids on the leaves I harvested, but barely any. I also started cleaning up the garden. I haven't gotten very far, but I took down one of the bean trellises. I haven't cleaned up the ground there yet or put on compost. I'll get to that soon enough. I don't like to leave leafy residue on the garden because of the slugs. I find I have fewer problems if I clean every thing up very well and cover the surface with compost. Totally bare soil over the winter is bad as it can break down the soil structure. So I use compost that the slugs don't seem as interested in. Last year I would have put on a cover crop, but I found those sections totally covered in slugs and cutworms. So I'm going to forgo that route for now. Which is too bad as a cover crop will hold in the nutrients over the winter and add carbon to the soil.
7 days ago
Posted by WesternGardener While you’re planting flower bulbs for springtime color, why not add a few shallot bulbs to the mix? Each bulb you plant will grow clusters of shallots as your fall-planting reward.
Posted by WesternGardener While you’re planting flower bulbs for springtime color, why not add a few shallot bulbs to the mix? Each bulb you plant will grow clusters of shallots as your fall-planting reward.
7 days ago