Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Veggie Garden at the end of May

It's has been one busy week in the garden. Our weather went from rain & cooler temps, right into the 90's with lots of sun and high humidity. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of hot and humid weather....so there will be no retiring in Florida for me!

With the change in weather, the greenhouse had to come down immediately. The temperature that day was in the mid 90's!

The bed in the front of this picture was covered by the greenhouse. After taking the greenhouse down I had to stake & wire the tomatoes and then put up some bunny barricade. Do you believe that I haven't seen a bunny since I put up all the fencing, made the hot pepper spray and put the trap out?? I guess that there will be no Rabbit Jambalaya until we go to New Orleans in the fall! You can't see the carrots too well that are planted between the tomatoes. They are doing really well. Some of the carrots in the pots rotted from all the rain. I am going to add some more seed to the pots this week.

The early potatoes in the bed next door are huge! They have been mulched with straw. I also put some nylon string around the bed to help keep the straw in place. They look like they are about ready to bloom. I also found a couple of cucumber beetles in there doing something :)

The snow peas in the bed next door have recovered from the haircut that they received at the hands of the bad bunnies. I also planted some tomatoes and peppers in the bed for our new neighbor.

Left Cold Frame bed planted with leeks, baby choi, lettuce, onions, dill and peppers. As one thing is done, I plant something else.  I can't believe how well the Baby Choi in the back is doing with all of this heat! I think we will be harvesting that this week.

Right Cold Frame bed planted with two tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, dill and onions.

Some of the pretty little lettuce hiding in the cold frame beds

Spring Blush Snap Vine Peas. I am very excited about these...aren't they just beautiful!

It's hard to get a good picture of the vines. See how tall the are! They are over 6' tall and loaded with beautiful purple pink flowers!

Some celery tucked in between the garlic and english peas. The peas and garlic will be done before they get very big.

The "Little Marvel" english peas have recovered from all the rain!

I planted a few Spaghetti Squash along the fence. I put double collars on them. Last year the SVB's got all of my squash!! I hope that this works.

A little happy bell pepper. I started removing the bottom leaves from the plants a few years ago. The young man who mows my very little grass out front suggested that I remove them. It really seems to help them blossom and set.

Here's my first little baby CP! Seed from Daphne.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Harvest Memorial Day!

I am very happy to say that we harvested some new veggies this week!!!!

The first two strawberries were harvested from the plots on Sunday! There were many more that will be ready this morning. I will add those to next weeks harvest. "The Italian" will be so happy to be able to have his strawberries for breakfast! I ate these two though :)

Two different varieties romaine lettuce and some Calabrese Broccoli. The two heads of lettuce weighed in at 1lb!

I also harvested four White Kohlrabi. I am planning to use both the greens and the bulbs.

Harvest total - 2.75 lbs.
Broccoli - 4 oz
Kohlrabi - 24 oz. (including greens to be used)
Lettuce - 16 oz.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions, our host of Harvest Monday and see what is going on in veggie gardens around the globe!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Plots at the end of May

I've been a little MIA this week. I've been very very busy with the gardens and helping my dear friend move.

The weather this week did a big turn around and the gardens are changing from day to day. Here are some pictures that I have taken at the plots this past week. I will do a separate post on the home garden.

Radicchio & Leeks. This picture was taken this past Tuesday. They are much bigger now. The raddichio will be done before the leeks get very big.

Blackberry blooms on Tuesday.....the bushes are loaded with blooms today.

Tomato Alley yesterday. This coming week the plants will definitely need to be staked.

Beds 5 & 6 today.
I had to cover the strawberries today since I found that a couple had been nibbled by the birds. I put some stakes in bed 5 for the tomatoes the other day. Now I need to get them wired up. All of the peas have finally started growing. What ever has been nibbling at them has finally stopped. I have been putting DE and BT on them. These peas (right side of bed) are the Little Marvels.

You can see why the birds want to nibble. The sun has been out most of the week and the strawberries are finally starting to ripen. "The Italian" is one happy guy! He just loves his strawberries for breakfast!
My little Alien plants, Kohlrabi. I planted them because I thought that they were the most fascinating looking plants. Some of the white variety has been harvested and purple is not far behind.

The purple cabbages are so beautiful and forming heads.

Raspberries bushes are forming buds.

I planted 3 varieties of cauliflower this spring, Early Snowball, Silver Cup and Igloo. The Silver Cup are 40 day variety and are the first to start forming heads.

Savoy Cabbages are forming heads as well.

The former gardeners of our plots had planted some perennials in the front. I have no idea what these are. They are quite pretty. Does anyone have a clue?

Oh, they updated the new rules at the plots. We are allowed to have a water catching system as long as it isn't higher then 4'. I have no idea why they changed the height. I haven't talked to any of the gardeners for a few days. I have been going there early in the morning before it gets too hot out and before helping my dear friend with her move.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Harvest Monday.........5/23/2011

My harvests once again this week are lettuce. I have been picking some Buttercrunch, Romaine and the Italian variety Quattro Stagioni Sel. Rossina Di Pescia. I was really hoping for the main ingredient in Rabbit Jambalya.....but as I write this post, the trap is empty.

Sunday's lettuce harvest after washing.
Total Harvest for the week 1 lb. Lettuce

Stop by Daphne's Dandelion's our host of Harvest Monday to see what's going on in veggie gardens around the globe.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother Nature's Challenges at the home garden

This year Mother Nature is handing us a lot of challenges. We have had way too much rain. The temperatures fluctuate drastically from day to day and even during the day.

The animals here at the house are out of control. If it's not the squirrels, it's the bunnies. If it's not the bunnies, it's the snails! If it's not the snails, it's the birds.

I spent most of the day Friday between rain and in the rain setting up bunny barricades.

This is the small bed where something snapped off the one tomato plant. First I had to put the tall stakes in the ground and add the first row of wire for the tomato supports. Next I put up the bunny fencing. As you can see the onions in the corners are growing like crazy from all the rain. I have been trimming the greens on the onions. This should help them create bigger bulbs.

I also added some height to the bunny fence around the peas out back. The bunnies are so bad that three will come in the herb garden at once with me standing right there! I think that there are about 6 good size bunnies coming around. Therefore, bunny trapping is my first priorty here before the squirrels. I set a trap in the herb garden before I left for the day yesterday. It seems like I didn't adjust it correctly though. Somebody got a taste of food.....now I can lure them in for the catch!! Hopefully!!

The Spring Blush Snap Peas are about 5' tall. This is the first flower.

If you enlarge the picture, you can see the damage on the Little Marvel peas from all the rain.

They are starting to bloom. I hope that all of this rain doesn't affect their production.

I have never had snails in the garden until this year. It must be from all of the rain. They have been snacking on the Baby Choi.

The tomatoes and the carrots in the greenhouse bed are doing great! I just need a few hours of decent weather this week to take the greenhouse down, set-up the tomato supports and put up the bunny barricade. I can't put the permanent tomato supports up until it is down....and those tomatoes are getting big!!

Some of the carrots in the pots have rotted from all of the rain. I'm going to have to re-sow some more. I also had to cover the pots with bird netting to keep the birds and squirrels out. This is also the first year that I have had birds bother with my garden. Oh well, I guess that Mother Nature is handing me everything she can to whip me into shape!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Finally Stopped Raining.....

So I went outside to see how the gardens were doing. I walked out the back door and saw this!!

The Dang Squirrels had been digging in the planters! I had the citrus trees on the porch close to the house  to protect them from all the rain.

Then I went out back and found this!

Some critter had shredded this tomato plant! What the heck!! I don't know what would have done this...a bunny or a bird??

When I got to the greenhouse there were birds inside! So I zipped up the screening and headed for the plots.

When I got to the plots I found this.

 Some baby Paprika Peppers on one of the plants!

I also found these

Happy potatoes and only a few potato beetles that I squished

And some

Happy Tomatoes

The county even did this
Put some stone down on the roads....no more mud!

I hate to tell you when I got home the bunnies were running wild around the beds out back and didn't want to leave!!!! So, I headed back to the plots and got the bunny fencing. Of course it's raining again. As soon as it stops additional bunny fencing will be added to the beds out back!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tomatoes Planted at the Plots

I have been very busy since Monday morning, toatlly tied up until late today. Although I didn't make many comments to the Harvest Monday posts, I did read many of them and appreciate everyone stopping by and commenting on my post.

After posting on Monday I spent the entire day at the plots only coming home to eat dinner and then returning. First I planted 24 tomato plants in Bed #3 a/k/a Tomato Alley and then an additional 8 plants in Bed #5.

Tomato Alley is planted with 22 of the later tomatoes and 2 early tomato plants that I had left over. The nice big one on the left is a Paul Robeson, seeds compliments of EG. The later tomatoes have really improved since the re-potting and look exceptionally happy! I am convinced that there was a problem with my second bale of starting mix.

One of the later maters...looking much much better!!

Bed #5 with the 8 additional tomato plants. The Little Marvel English Peas are coming up, slowly but surely. I am hoping that all of the rain since Monday night has helped them along. One zucchini will be planted at the end of this bed and there is still quite a bit of room for some other veggies behind it.

The Fava Beans, Precoce A Grano Violetta at the end of the strawberry bed. When the beans are ready, I am going to plant some more celery in this spot.

The strawberry plants are developing some fruit. I know that many of you don't let them produce the first year, but I want to eat some!!

I started 2 Three Sisters, one at the end of Bed #2 and one at the end of Bed #4. For those of you who don't know what the Three Sisters planting is. It is a way that the American Indians planted corn, pole beans and squash. First you make the mound, and plant the corn in the middle, then in a week or two you plant pole beans that will climb up the corn and then you plant squash at the base. All of the plants are supposed to compliment each other. I have never tried it before but thought it might be fun and pretty two. I sowed Japanese Hulless Popcorn in the middle of both mounds. I thought it would be fun for my "Little Garden Helper". I know I just loved it when my mother started planting popcorn at the farm when I was young. I think that the mounds look like volcanoes especially with the little piles of composted manure around the edge.

Here are Beds #1, 2 & 3 on Monday all cleaned up and  here

are Beds # 4, 5 & 6 on Monday. You can see the Three Sisters mound at the end of Bed #4 on the right. I just hope that this rains stops soon and everything doesn't start to rott and my mounds don't wash away! Please Mother Nature....give us some sunshine!!