Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17th Harvest

      I have not written a post in so long, I may not remember how to do the picture pasting.  At least the garden did not forget how to produce.  But on October 17th, this picking is getting to be near the end. Maybe frost will hold off some more.


      Wow, what a haul for the middle of October.  I had great success with the peppers that I grew in the compost pile at the park.  The elevated peppers did much better than those in the ground, and also better than those in pots.  Will certainly repeat that experiment next year.


       Here is everything spread out.  The cubanelle peppers are on the left as well as the one orange cubanelle on the right.  The near to the last of the large tomatoes are in the upper middle, with the chocolate cherries just below them.  The pretty red balls just below the cherries are sweet cherry peppers.  New to me this year, they have kind of a smoky flavor.  I have kept some of the abundant seeds for next crop in 2018.   On the right are four bell peppers.  The long yellow peppers are sweet, and similar to banana peppers.  Sorry to see it all the fresh produce nearing an end.
      The ten day forecast shows no indication of frost, so there just might be a chance to pick summer veggies into November!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Early, Early Asparagus

      I have heard that the mostly mild or even outrageously warm weather this winter has our area about a month ahead of normal seasons.  And yet, it was still a huge surprise to see asparagus spears breaking ground in late February!  By early March:

March 3, 2017

      The purplish or pinkish spears are just barely visible in this planting.  In this next shot of a different hill the spears are more easily seen.

March 3, 2017

    With a few more days of nice weather, I might have enjoyed the first taste of asparagus in early March. But alas, winter has moved back in.  While the asparagus roots are perennial and can survive weather to zero or lower, the shoots above ground are quite tender, and will be killed back in freezing temperatures. The forecast for this morning was supposed to be 22 degrees, so yesterday I went to the park to cover the baby asparagus with shredded leaves. Tomorrow morning lows are supposed to be around 16 degrees. Bad, bad weather for brand new spears.


      Ah, hopefully that will be better.  In a couple of days I will gently peel away the leaves and look for some of those scrumptious first spears.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Perfect for Pansies


      A large chunk of the old Beech tree at the entrance to the Bellevue Park community gardens broke off, showing the necessity to take down the whole tree. Turns out it was rotten in the center to a height of about ten feet.  The inside was filled with beautiful black dirt, probably the result of years of squirrel goop and nesting leaves.  To some enterprising gardener, it presented the perfect opportunity for a stealth raid to plant some pansies before the stump planter was cut down.  Hopefully the park people will leave the new gardening statement standing.

February 24, 2017
Brightens things up a bit after a cloudy winter

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Atta boy, Tatsoi

      I love the look of the low growing Chinese green known as Tatsoi.  It is very cold resistant and is great for cold frame growing as it does not get much taller than 6 inches to a foot.  If you let it throw flower spikes, it may even self seed for you.


       This is a volunteer.  So what you say.  This was not a transplanted volunteer, but rather popped up in the dirt that I used from my compost pile.  The pepper planted in this pot died, but this volunteer tatsoi has thrived.  And for that effort, it has won a place in the salad to be made for the Thanksgiving feast.
       I bought this neat growing pot this spring.  Bought three different sizes, three gallon, five gallon and ten gallon.  The handles make them pretty easy to move around.  They are made from fabric and recycled plastic bottles.  The manufacturer claims they have a life span of five to six years.  I bought mine from this link:

http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/category/growing-pouches-and-bags

       I bought the brown bags which are said to last the longest time.  Have been very happy with them. They would also make a great tote in the garden for harvesting veggies or even for collecting weeds and trimmings. These are known as the "Root Pouch".

 




Thursday, November 3, 2016

Last of the Limas

      The Dr. Martin lima beans have had a very productive run, but the colder weather and shorter day length has pretty much done them in.  Here is a picture of the last picking on October 30th, then shelled on November second.


      We have a lot of the beans frozen, as they just kept coming and coming.


      Even the large beans are tasty.  Dinner was pork chops, lima beans, and butternut squash from the garden.  Scrumptious.


     A nice way to end the lima season.  Does anyone have a recipe for baked beans using fresh or dried lima beans?  I would love to give it a try.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Still picking, October 3rd, 2016
      We are about one week away from the normal first frost date.  Luckily the weather and the gardens are not aware of that.  So please do not inform the tomatoes that they should not still be this productive and delicious.  I will go to the kitchen shortly to taste test some of the Purple Cherokees pictured.
      Garden on!  Till a hopefully delayed first frost date.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dr. Martin Lima Beans

      A few years ago, some of the gardeners at the park introduced me to Dr. Martins Lima Beans.  The vines grow huge, and although the beans are very large, they are delicious.  The only problem I had was getting the dried beans to sprout.  A lot of the literature suggests to soak the dried beans overnight.  All that did was to result in planting mushy beans in flats that resulted in a rotting mess. With some years of experimentation, I have come upon a simple method.

Dr. Martin starts, April 25, 2016
      Five days ago I filled these four cell packs with soil, and soaked the trays in water.  Poured off the excess water and planted one dried bean per cell.  Actually one FROZEN dried bean per cell, as these beans are from my dried crop from November 2015 that has been stored in the freezer.  Who would think that frozen beans would germinate?  Not only do they germinate, I think I will get all 16 seeds to sprout. How about them beans?