Friday, July 29, 2011

What is happening in my garden the end of July

 Wow the Nasturtium's went crazy while I was gone.

I've heard so little from you my fellow gardeners.
I hope you are enjoying this little bit of summer. 
I hope you are doing well with your gardens. 
Keep things picked, enjoy fresh stuff in your meals,
go out and see what is ripe and make that your dinner fixings. 

Last night we made Pioneer Women's simple sesame Noodles
I went through the garden and collected the small bits, 
onions, shallots, peas and spinach
and blanched them in the pasta water before the putting in the pasta.  
I did grate some carrots I had into the pasta water.  
It made a fast fresh tasty meal.  

You have to train yourself to cook from the garden first and the grocery store second.

What am I doing in my garden now that it's the end of July?

I've pulled about 10 squares of garlic, added compost (stir and serve)
and put in place of the garlic my fall broccoli, Pac choi and a couple of other choi's 
Kale and some red rainbow chard.  I think there was a cauliflower in there too.
I plan to cover this area with a floating cover to keep the white butterflies from laying 
their eggs on these their favorite plants. 

I'm harvesting berries and Rhubarb
blueberries are close.

Shallots need to be pulled and more and more garlic will be pulled.
These I shake off (keep that mel's mix in the garden)
and then lay them in boxes to dry a bit. 
Then I cut off the green leaves, the roots and find them a
dark cool place to be.  I don't eat them for a month or so. 
They develop better flavor with time. 
But do cook with some fresh if you like, it's mild and tasty. 

My neighbor stopped by and thought it smelled like a pizza house. 
All that garlic on the porch.

Are you planning your fall garden? 
plant more carrots, broccoli, kale, chard,
 herbs even, I'm replanting my parsley, it went to seed on
our two days of summer last week.
I think most of you have enough seed but if you need something
e-mail me and I'll put it in my church bag. 
Also I have some plant to share...chard, kale...choi's

 trout and the deep red romaine lettuce

Do keep planting lettuce, finally I have a good lettuce crop. 
That was tricky this year. 
I need to put some in for August and Sept eating.

Plan your space for fall garlic, I will order it very soon
 so if you'd let me know your needs, we plant it in early Oct. 

Remember you can eat your onions at any point but many of the 
onions in my garden have died back and are ready to harvest.
I'm going to try to get them out while it's dry and not raining,
if I can get them nice and dry they will store nicely.  
Other wise we just eat them!
Love those candy apple onions!  

All my potato cans are in bloom and that signals potato growth,
Keep them watered, keep the celery wet and 
soon we shall have good things
to eat!
It will be Sept before we eat large potatoes but 
you can collect some baby ones very soon.

Now lets hear a progress report...What is happening in your gardens.  
Jessica said she ate some chard
from hers.  
I know it's been a very slow year 
but I think that is behind us.
Things are growing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What to consider in your garden and things to avoid

It's a Glorious time of year!

I couldn't be happier with my yard and mother nature did it all.
I want to take a moment to remind you of some gardening ideas 
I shared in class.  Some things to do and to NOT do. 

1) Potato can's....I hope they are all filled with soil,
mine are now starting to bloom and
it's really too late for the plant to make roots once it has bloomed.  
REMEMBER water to the bottom of the can that is where you planted those potato starts.

2) Tomatoes....don't waste your valuable summer warmth making BIG tomato plants.
Be sure and pinch those little starts in the V of two stems,
remove stems at the bottom to allow for air. 
And keep your tomato to one main stem and some major 
side shoots you have allowed to grow.  
We covered this in class this helps you have flowers
and fruit in time for it to ripen. 
If you feed the plants too much nitrogen it will just make Bigger and Bigger plants. 
If you get bloom drop it's sometimes a lack of calicum

 See the curls in the garlic those are the blooms beginning
feel free to cook and eat these.

3) my garlic is working on going to seed, 
I'm removing onion and garlic stems trying to 
make a seed pod. 
As my garlic stems die back I know the weeks
are numbered and I will be able to harvest my garlic. 

I'd say to wait until all has died back but 4 leaves on the garlic.
Remember onions can be harvested when ever you wish.  They are so tasty this time of year and that is why I don't mind planting them close together. 
I can harvest fresh ones to make space for the storage ones to grow larger. 
If your onions don't show a lot at the top of the soil, take your fingers and uncover the onion bulbs, this helps them get the biggest they can. 

4)  A lot of seeds didn't come up this year...replant it's not too late. 
Keep carrot seeds nice and moist for a couple of weeks
Really all new seeds need moisture for a while.
I have noticed we don't know how deep to plant our seeds

so here is a hint.  It's not as deep as you think! 

See that seed in the picture above, it only needs to be deep 
enough to hold the first roots. 
As the seed opens and turns (picture 2) it should be
close enough to the top of the soil to feel the warmth and be drawn to the sun.  
We suffer from such lack of sun here as it is so 
don't plant those seeds so deep that they can't find the warmth.  
The basic rule is only as deep as 2 to 3 times the seed size. 
Just lay three seeds in your hand and see how deep that is. 
beans 1 1/2-2 inches
beets 1/2 to 1 inch
broccoli 1/2 inch
cabbage 1/2 inch
carrot 1/4 inch
swiss chard 1 inch
corn 2 inches 
cucumber 1 inch 
kale 1/2 inch
peas 2 inches 
radish 1/2 inch
squash 1 inch
Tomato 1/2 inch

Just to give you a hint on what some common depths are.  

The bigger seeds disrupt the ground a lot and so need a deeper start.  

One last thing I'd like you to think about and that is your
fall garden. 
As you harvest begin planting for another summer crop if it's a short grower 
or a fall crop for things like broccoli. 
Some of our best veggies are ripe come fall.  I never gather carrots
and winter squash and fall kale until that first little freeze. 
That makes them oh so sweet

I plant for a fall garden from late July to mid August
I begin planting the winter garden including Garlic
In late August to mid Sept.

Plan ahead and you will eat year around. 

Happy summer!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Can those tomatoes correctly

Oh things should start growing now and the forecast is a warmer than normal summer. 
Can that be?  We can only hope for it right.  So encourage those little plants,
feed things for some fast growth (don't over do this please) and when 
you finally get some ripe tomatoes please understand they are not
the acid fruit they once were so go to my 
favorite web site and read this article
On what to do with those tomatoes when canning.

Enjoy this 80 degree plus day!
BE sure and browse this site
Mrs. Wages 
You can even ask for their newsletter
I began buying canning lime from them
when I could no longer buy it locally
and their canning salt is wonderful!