Spring 2016 | Sign up for Garden Party short course

Check out the new course description and syllabus:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IMaHV2uR9xRU8x5k4-8vTBoTcXu8WWF9uZSBlhqeHe8/edit

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We have hard work to do, and loads to lift!

Ours is not to play, to dream, to drift!

We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.

That’s how I feel this week, coming back to the garden after a vacation of about a week and a half. Returning, I realized how much work Ethan and I’d been doing each day to keep the garden going strong and looking pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting things back in working order, but it was rather impressive to see how much the weeds and grass had grown up in the time we’d both been away.

Things are looking good! The tomato plants themselves are drying up, or at least, two rows are, but three other rows are going strong and look beautiful! And they are producing so, so many tomatoes, it’s unbelievable.

Tomatoes

The peppers are also getting ripe, and I think some could be picked now. These couldn’t though, they’re teeny tiny still.

Peppers

Oh, but the blueberries are ripe! All 5 of them. We just planted them this year though, so we can expect more next year, maybe even 7. Haha, really though, I’m excited we’ve got them in the garden, and it’ll be great to watch them grow, though it’ll be a long process.

Blueberries!

I had the luck to spot, and take photos of, two beautiful butterflies today over on the zinnias.

Flutterby

Butterfly

More photos to follow! Have a great week!

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Rise of the Tomatoes

Greetings all, I hope the summer is treating you well! We’ve had some impressively hot days, and it’s causing the cucumbers, and to an extent the tomatoes, to ripen at a rather astonishing rate. It’s great! Get ready for the gardening news of the week, but first, take a moment to let these sunflowers brighten your day!!!

DSCN4173

Of course, we take full credit for planting it. Actually, it’s a volunteer sunflower, that popped up in the middle of our cucumber row. I’m all in favor of planting one or two next year, just to make sure we’ve got them somewhere, they’re beautiful. Continuing this floral note, check out the zinnias and marigolds, they’re still in full bloom (or at least, are both still producing flowers that are in full bloom) and the color they add to the garden is quite heartwarming. If your heart needs any warming on these 90 degree days, that is.

Zinnia! More zinnia Even more zinnia And some marigolds

The flowers are blooming, and the tomatoes are ripening. There are a lot of cherry tomatoes, and they haven’t even hit their stride yet. Each day the green tomatoes get bigger, and soon they’ll be ready to be picked too. It will be the summer of salsa and gazpacho.

Tomatoes

The tomato plants are so laden with leaves and growing tomatoes that they’ve had to be propped up with extra stakes, so they don’t bring down the overburdened ones they’re leaning on! The peppers are also on the cusp of being picked, and there are some beautiful green ones.

Pepper

Ground cherries

This is one of our two rows of ground cherries, a fascinating vegetable (or fruit…? never too sure on that one) that grows inside a husk. I’ll post a picture when I’ve got one. They’re small but pack a real flavor punch. If anyone knows any good ground cherry recipes, let me know! Heaven knows we’ve got enough to make a pie with. If you make pies with ground cherries.

Blueberry

Now, I am sure that this is a fruit. In fact, it’s the first blueberry I’ve seen on our baby blueberry plant!! We just planted it and two others this spring, and I’m learning firsthand how long it takes blueberry bushes to reach bush size. I think this one will be a baby for another hefty handful of years. In the meantime though, for its size it’s produced an impressive amount of blueberries. Well, soon to be blueberries.

Corn

The corn is taller each day, though I’m afraid it will never quite reach sunflower standards. It’s great to look at though, and we may even get the ears before the squirrels!

Green beans

Ohh, in the former snap peas bed, Ethan just planted some green beans. They’re looking very healthy, and will hopefully be ready sometime in late August!
Well, that’s it for now, but I’ll have more pictures soon, expect lots of tomato talk in the next few weeks. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

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Picture Perfect

Happy late 4th of July! The tomatoes, ground cherries, and peppers are all on the cusp of bursting into ripeness. The cherry tomatoes are already becoming harvestable, and each day there are more ground cherries ready to be picked. We’ve got some hefty looking green peppers, and the okra is in the middle of its harvesting season.

Harvest!

To me the astonishing thing about the cherry tomatoes picked here is that this is just a teeny tiny portion of the many green tomatoes still on the vine. We are going to have a LOT of tomatoes this summer. And of course, that is a ton of cucumber by it. The cucumber is still producing, but probably peaked sometime last week.

Okra flower and bee

Okra flowers are so pretty that I’d probably plant them in a flower garden just so I could see them. Same with basil actually, once it goes to seed it’s got these tiny little flowers you never see on basil at the store.

Basil flowers

Oh all that corn we planted is growing quite tall. And, some of it is already producing corn ears!

Corn

The persimmons are also getting larger, but they won’t be ready for a while yet.

Persimmons

Butterflies have finally been caught on camera, though not on the butterfly bush, haha. They’re quite pretty though!

Butterfly!

Butterfly on Basil

Along with the butterfly on the basil in the above picture, you can see the husks of some ground cherries. The ground cherries are neat because they ripen in the husk. Normally, they’re ripe once the husk turns yellow, and funnily enough the fruit inside is often not quite ripe even once the husk has fallen to the ground. I’ve never dealt with them before, so some experimentation will be required to figure out when to eat them.

Squash

Finally, here’s a happy squash flower for you🙂 More pictures to come! Have a great week!

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After the rain comes sunshine…and mud :)

The garden is looking great! This week was a scorcher, with highs in the high 80s and low 90s for three days straight. Come Friday though, the rain showers started, and Saturday was almost constant sprinkling. Sunday now, the rain’s packed up and moved on, and we’re left with lovely moist soil, sunshine, and some pretty happy plants.

Garden

The lettuce is almost gone, and the deer have taken all the chard, but miraculously have left everything else untouched. No complaints here! Likewise, we pulled up the beds of snap peas. With the peas gone, we’ve got room for some new plants, though I’m not sure what we’ll be putting in yet.

No more peas

The flowers are gorgeous right now, the zinnia are in full bloom, the marigolds are still going strong, and though the nasturtium are a bit shy and hide beneath their leaves, they’re beautiful.

Zinnia

Nasturtium and Zinnia

Flower!

The squash plants are gigantic, and if you search hard enough beneath their huge leaves, there’s squash! Then of course, the problem is getting to them to harvest, haha.

Squash City

The blackberries are getting big, and though they’re still a vibrant shade of red one or two are beginning to darken.

Blackberries

There are still a good amount of carrots left in the ground, but some of the rows were planted so copiously that the carrot roots must be rather squished together down there. To give them some breathing space, and to have a side dish for dinner, I picked a few. Before this summer I didn’t know that carrots came in colors other than orange, and frankly the purple ones are my favorite. It’s nice to have some additional color!

Carrots

This next week will be a week of watering, weeding, propping up tomato plants, and mowing the grass. Oh, and maybe planting something new in the former pea beds! More pictures to come!

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Jack and the Sunflower Stalk

It’s been a good week for the garden! We harvested the garlic a few days ago, and the cucumbers are growing like crazy. They’re quite impressive actually, I had no idea how fast they grow, but they need to be harvested every couple of days, which I’ll not complain about. It looks like we’re in for another scorching hot week, with highs in the low 90s all week until it gets down to a reasonable 85 on Saturday. The garden doesn’t seem to be suffering from all the heat though!

Garden

The cucumbers are the row on the right, and to their left, with the stakes set at intervals along the row, are some pepper plants. On the left is a glimpse of a row of tomatoes, which are in the slow process of ripening.

Garden

Here’s a better view of the cucumber plants! Smack in the middle of the row is the biggest sunflower plant I’ve ever seen in person, and I think it’s going to keep on growing. Forget about Jack and the Beanstalk, it should have been Jack and the sunflower plant! I’m very excited to see it flower, and don’t worry, pictures will be forthcoming when that happens!

Well, the garlic’s gone, so we have an empty row, and the snap peas have officially been and gone, so we will be pulling those out soon as well, leaving us with two more empty raised beds. I think we’ll put something in to fill the void, but we haven’t decided on what yet. Much of what’s going on is a watering and waiting game. There is a lot of harvest-able mizuna and tatsoi, and the okra is producing now, as well as the basil and mints. The peppers though, and the tomatoes, both of which occupy a lot of space in the garden, are still in ripening.

Tomatoes

I love watching the tomato plants throw out these cute little green tomatoes. Most of them aren’t bigger than a large marble, but not for long!

More pictures soon! Have a great day!

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Growing like Lightning

It’s been a beastly hot weekend, and the week ahead looks to be the same. Luckily, there have been thunderstorms in the evening every other day or so, and today seems to prove no exception. The plants are getting the water they need, and when it doesn’t rain, there’s always the hose! In the meantime, things are looking beautiful. I’m most excited by the flowers, which are popping up quickly, and are just gorgeous.

We’ve got marigolds, which are a bit hidden in this photo, and the zinnias must have come up overnight, because last time I came out they were not there yet! There’s another bed of zinnias and nasturtium, which is so very close to blossoming, but isn’t quite there yet.

Nasturtium flowers are edible! If you like spicy things that is. They have quite a surprising bite.

The snap peas are coming to the end of their run. It’s been neat to watch them go through their cycle, from thin edible pods to very fibery pods full of big peas. I went through tonight and got most of the last of them, and there was quite a load left!

The garlic is also ripe, if that’s the right word. It’s ready to be pulled up at any rate, and the bulbs are nice and big. It smells quite pungent once removed from the soil, I can see why vampires aren’t big fans of garlic. It’s delicious in a dish though! We have a sunflower plant. It’s huge, though it looks to grow even bigger, and there’s no flower yet. It’s definitely at least 6 and a half feet tall already.

The tomato plants are sprouting up, and some already have tiny green tomatoes on them, though they won’t be ripe for a fair while yet. In the meantime, there are some cute yellow flowers instead.

Oh and we have our first okra harvest

Next post, look for flowers, carrots, and cucumbers! See you soon, and stay cool!

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