garden 2012

Garden Update: June 2012

Well, this is what my garden looks like right now. Here’s a shot of most of the left side of the main garden. Along the far left side, out of the photo, is a row of trash cans with potatoes in them, and cucumbers climbing the fence. I’ll show you those in a minute.

And here’s a shot of the right side of my garden. Please look past all of the junk. We’ll make it pretty one day.

Here are my potatoes in trash cans. They’re doing really well!! I can’t wait to see the results. I also have a few rows of potatoes here in the garden. We’ll see which does better.

My green beans are doing better than ever this year, *crossing fingers*! I sprinkled them with wood stove ashes to help keep the Mexican Bean Beatles away. I’ve spotted a few in there still though, and some Japanese Beatles as well. So far the plants are winning, and I even see a few little green beans developing!

My potato patch is in the upper right hand corner of the photo of the beans as well.

I’ve been harvesting cucumbers over the past couple of days! They are doing really well climbing the side of the garden fence.

 You need to be picked, little cucumber! These are pickling cucumbers, so I don’t want to let them get very big or they’ll lose flavor and get really seedy.

These are my pumpkins. I’m a little worried about them, though. I saved the seeds from some “heirloom” pumpkins we got from somebody last year, but what’s growing doesn’t look anything like a pumpkin to me…

See what I mean? I’ve never grown pumpkins before (well, I’ve been unsuccessful so far), so I’m not sure if they’re supposed to look like this. Shouldn’t it be orange? Maybe it’ll change color as it gets closer to ripening. I’m afraid I’ve got some hybrid cross thing going on here, though.

Here’s my row of zucchini. We’ve been eating from these for the past week or so as well!!

I’ve found a few worms in the ends of a couple of my zucchinis, but for the most part they’ve been perfect.

My Romas are doing well!! The ones that died in the frost ended up dying completely. But I had enough seedlings in the greenhouse to kinda fill in the bare spots somewhat. The plants have grown so big, I had to tie them to the trellis with some twine so they wouldn’t sprawl along the ground and get diseased.

I’m getting lots of green tomatoes!! Hopefully they’ll ripen well.

This was supposed to be a whole row of cabbage, but they didn’t come up well. I stuck a yellow squash plant on the end to try to use up some of the wasted space. The cat has made this her litter box, unfortunately, so a lot of my seedlings were dug up.

Here’s a close-up of my cabbage. I planted them in a semi-shaded spot this year. Last year my cabbage was so eaten up by bugs I didn’t get a single head. So far this one looks really good. My cabbage was bitter last year also (what little I was able to salvage and taste). I think it was from being planted in the direct sun. The shade should help.

Here are my asparagus seedlings. Not sure exactly what to do with them. I guess I’ll just leave them till they get fairly tall. I don’t mean for this to be their permanent bed. I read something about female plants and male plants, and that one gets ferny (female?) and all but one or two of these should be cut down ’cause they won’t produce anything. I’ll have to study up on that eventually.

Only a few of my peppers survived the frost. I’ve planted and replanted so many times, with so many different varieties, I’ve lost track of whether these are bell peppers or mexican chilis!!

Here’s my little herb bed. I moved the center pot so you can see what I’ve got here. I built it with the 200 year old hand made bricks from the old chimney in our woods. I wish it could have been bigger, but Jerry needed room to get through the garden with the tractor.

From the center top going clockwise: Sage, chives, marjoram, fennel, oregano,  cilantro, dill, and more marjoram. The large pot that goes in the middle will be for rosemary.

Here are my onions. I interplanted Summer Savory as a companion plant to help improve the flavor of the onions.

All of the eggplants I put out into the garden have been demolished by flea beetles, but this one plant I kept in the greenhouse until it was pretty big, and it’s starting to bloom!

And my random assortment of various leftovers. My cherry tomatoes are ripening, yay!

That’s about it for the main garden! There are a few acorn squash, watermelon, and canteloupe plants I didn’t take shots of up close, which are coming along alright. The broccoli and turnips are pretty much done. Oh, I planted corn in there as well, but the baby chicks have scratched and pecked up all the seed.

The kids also each have a mini garden of their own in here, with random little plants of their choosing. They’ve been excited to watch their seeds turning into beautiful big plants, and have already started bartering with each other for produce. “Hey Ty, I’ll trade you one of my watermelons for one of your pumpkins when they get big enough!” So fun.

How’s your garden coming along?

28 thoughts on “Garden Update: June 2012”

  1. Kendra, I live *quite* a bit farther north than you. 🙂 So you’re almost two months ahead of me, we just have a short season.
    I *do* have a cute little greenhouse and smaller hoophouses are on my to-do list, but my kids haven’t hit that super helpful stage yet for me to go out and do any major damage in the yard/garden. Well, unless I go out there from 9pm-midnight with the lanterns instead of catching up on household chores. Usually because it’s my husband’s busy time with work right now so I’m single parenting a nice chunk of the time (to where it’s a toss up as to whether my friends are surprised if he’s actually home or not..).
    I’m still at the patio door monitor stage – getting drinks/snacks, making sure dirty and muddy clothes are taken off at the door and not smeared all over the carpets and furniture, kids are napped, making/cooking all the food they eat through the day [my 8yo eats more than my 30’s husband, and it’s only the beginning!] so it’s challenging.

    Anyway, we’re still getting a crazy amount of thunderstorms and humidity and a heatwave like I’ve never seen all rolled into one up here before, so now my poor little tomato and pepper plants are happy, but a little surprised. We’ll see what kind of low temps my Glacier and Beaverlodge and Alaska Fancy tomatoes can handle later this year, should be interesting.

  2. Well, what a grand garden! Congratulations lass, I have watched this “seed” ( no pun intended! ) grow for a few years. What you have achieved is admirable and you should be proud.

    Happy gardening!

  3. Flea Beatles! So that’s what’s been going after my eggplant. I bought some spray for the plants but I think I may have to transplant the eggplants in pots.

  4. Oh I love your garden sooo much. You have done a great job and yes that is what your pumpkins should look like , they will turn orange later….when they ripen!

  5. WOW! Your garden is fantastic. I haven’t had any luck with potatoes…maybe I’ll try them in trash cans next year! Keep up the good work–I’m learning lots from your site.

  6. Love your garden! We’ve only managed to get a few tomatoes out this year, since we are just now getting started clearing our land. So, a garden like this is only a dream for now. Maybe next year we will be where we can do more.

    I wanted to ask if you have heard of the Back to Eden film, and if you’ve tried gardening with chipped wood mulch? This movie is free to watch online, and we learned so much watching it. I’m just wondering if anyone has tried this method. We didn’t have wood chips, but we just planted our tomatoes right into the leaf much where we are clearing. So far, they are still doing good, with very little rain and only one watering. Still small, because we got them out late, but we will see.

    Love your newsletter!

  7. SO inspiring, Kendra! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to trade our little suburbia garden in for a big country garden – yea!

    BTW, any advice for natural cures for Japanese Beetles? They’re bad up here this year..

    • Laurie B,

      I know, I’m having the same trouble, especially on my grapevines! For Japanese Beetles, it’s best to use row covers when possible. You can also hand pick them, but that takes a lot of time and diligence. I really need to look up what kind of natural spray might help keep them away. I’d love to have grapes this year!! Good luck with yours 😉

  8. Asparagus. Both male and female plants fern out. It’s the female ones that will have little red berries (with black seeds inside) though. Let them fern out until the end of the season, then cut/burn them down. The ferning part helps strengthen up the roots.

    I’m a little envious of your garden. I haven’t even been able to stick tomatoes or basil [safely] in the ground (yes, we had a decimating hail storm a few days ago, and it was cold enough to still be burning firewood last week). Things are so far behind here this year. 🙁

    • Lanna, I’m surprised to hear you’re still having cold weather! Sounds like you need to start scavenging for some old windows and build yourself a greenhouse!! 😉 I’m sure it’s frustrating though. Hopefully once your warm weather comes it’ll last for a good long season.

  9. You have an amazing, wonderful garden!
    Do you put holes in the trash cans you grow potatoes in? If not, what do you do if you get too much rain and they get soaked?

  10. The garden looks fantastic! You are going to have a great harvest this year and yes the pumpkins will turn orange when they are ready to pick. I have been wanting to try potatoes in the barrels like you have so I am anxious to see how they turn out! Great job on all of it!

  11. Your garden looks like it’s doing well despite the few set backs. I’m envying how far along your plants are; it’s just beginning to warm up here in the Pacific NW — my peas are just now flowering, and my strawberries are just now ripening! We have been eating tons of fresh green salads, though, so I’m not complaining. 🙂 Blessings! ~Lisa

  12. Everything looks great!!! Your pumpkins look fine–they always look more like watermelons at first. 🙂 Here in Indiana we’ve been picking green beans from the garden about every two days and I’ve been freezing a lot of quart bags of them. We prefer the taste of them from frozen rather than canned. My pickling cucumbers are blooming now, so hopefully I’ll be canning a lot of pickles soon. We’ve been getting ripe cherry and slicing tomatoes from our high tunnel, but the Amish Paste ones in the garden aren’t turning yet. I’ll use those for canning. It seems like it’s usually later in August when I’m busy doing that, so there’s plenty of time to ripen yet. We’re in a drought here, along with a burn ban–it’s been so hot and dry and much lower humidity than we usually have. Thank goodness we are able to keep the gardens watered, or we wouldn’t have anything. The grass is turning brown fast. The farmers are danger of losing the corn and bean crops soon if we don’t start getting a lot of rain soon, but there’s pretty much none in the long range forecast other than slight chances of pop up showers from the heat.

  13. Thanks for encouraging me! Even though my garden failed, I DID learn a ton, like you said! So I hope I will be better prepared next year! 🙂
    Oooops by the way, meant also to say “Cherry Stuffer Peppers” in my upper post, not tomatoes. Man, those hormones, I can’t get any sentence out right anymore these days…sheeesh… 😉
    Yes, growing a baby can take a toll on your energy level. ..but it’s for a good cause, I’m excited! 🙂 Just hoping I will bottle up some more energy for my next year’s garden! … 😉
    As for “Green Fried Tomatos” – you GOT to try them, they are SOOO yummy! A friend introduced them to me, and even though I like the sweetness of red&ripe tomatos, I have to say I enjoyed the slightly tart and different flavor of green tomatos!
    When my friend came over to cook, she simply cut the green tomatos in slices, dipped them in a mixture consisting of ca. a tablespoon water mixed with an egg (some salt and pepper in it), and then rolled them in fish fry from “Zatarian’s”. Do you know that? This brand has all kinds of spice mixtures, it’s from the South I think, but can be found in other areas too (the local WalMart usually sells it). But I bet there would be also a way of making a similar spice mixture obn your own. Anyway, after that, off they go in the hot frying pan for a few minutes on each side – Delicious!! I tried them several times, and it seems to be an easy and tasty side dish. 🙂

  14. Kendra, I’ve been reading your blog since before you changed to this one. I don’t comment often, but I just have to say WOW! Excellent garden. I remember the pics from when you first tried to garden in the red clay, and it’s awesome how far you’ve come! What a difference a few years and a lot of learning makes. 🙂

    We have a pretty small yard, but we’re determined to garden as well. We cut down a large tree (for sun) and put in 3 – 4’x10′ raised beds 3 years ago, and our garden gets better every year. We just finished harvesting a few gallons of strawberries for the past month, which was such a treat for my two little sons. We’ve been eating lovely salads from the garden. The bush cherry we put in 3 years ago finally produced a small crop of cherries this year. We made homemade cherry vanilla ice cream with them. We’re going to prune it heavily this year in the hopes that the cherries will be bigger and more plentiful next year. It looks like we may get a small crop of raspberries from the canes we planted last year. And this year we put in 2 blueberry bushes.

    I can’t wait for peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers! My pepper plants have failed for the past few years for various reasons. This year they look awesome so far, and I hope we get tons because I really miss peppers! Our carrots look great. I have a beautiful herb bed with dill, tarragon, chives, thyme, parsley, oregano, sage and rosemary. I LOVE walking out the back door to harvest these for soups, and other dishes.

    Gardening is such a challenge, but oh so rewarding when things go well! Congratulations on your beautiful garden and have lots of fun putting up your harvest!

    • Oh wow, Jen! We’re old friends, then 😉 Sounds like you have a beautiful garden yourself… great job planting so much!!! I hope you have a bountiful harvest this year. It’s so great to hear from others who have just in the past few years begun learning to grow their own food. You are right, it is SO rewarding!

  15. PS: –> Comment to my above post:
    I meant “getting big and tired” as in being pregnant obviously! 😉 Haha, guess I forgot that part, but you probably were able to figure out how I meant it.

  16. Oh WOW!!! Just WOW!!!!!! I think it looks GREAT!!! I love seeing pics of your garden! I wish I had a garden like this! I like too that it is not “all manicured”, I think it looks great and just …so natural and cozy! Like a garden where it’s a lot of fun to spend time in, work, harvest, and have lots of memories with the kids!!! Glad for you it’s doing so well~ -but then you also put a lot of effort and work into it!
    …My garden was somewhat a failure this year, but it was my own fault. I had a lot of beautiful little seedlings, but never managed to find the time to get them into a proper bed, and we went on vacation this year, I didn’t get anybody so quick to water them, so most of them died 🙁 Luckily we are not “living from it,” but it was a mere experiment. Still a bummer. I guess I could still try to plant a little end summer crops, but I’m just so big and tired these days (-I know, this never kept you from doing stuff, lol! I feel already really guilty!), but I’m just feeling so exhausted these days…
    I was still able to save some cherry stuffer totmatos (planted in pots) from my garden nevertheless after my days on vacay. I took the fency route (as they were my only crop, lol) and stuffed them with a ricotta-red onion-prosciutto mixture and baked them, which came out delicious! (The hubby put his steak aside for these, which made me all happy, this is a rarity!!) 😀
    Your garden just looks divine! I love that you make use of your space! And it looks great! I don’t know really why, but I’m somewhat intimidated to dig up our yard and meadows… I guess I need a better garden plan next year. And put it into reality, lol!
    Love that your kids are so involved in the gardening part too! 🙂
    Are you/or when are you going to prepare for end-summer/fall gardening? How long are you going to harvest? And start canning? Ah, I’m so excited! GREAT GRADEN, KENDRA!!!
    PS: I’m sure your tomatos will still ripen to be red, but if not you could make green fried tomatos all summer long. Do you like those? I just love them!! 🙂

    • Tina-

      Woman, don’t even feel the least bit guilty not getting a garden going this year. You are working on growing something FAR more important!! 🙂 There’s always next year. At least you got started, and I’m betting you learned a few things you didn’t know before, so that’s progress! As long as you are moving forward, and not regressing, then I say you have something to be proud of.

      I’m not sure when I should start planning my fall garden. I need to look into that. It seems so early to be thinking about yet, but I’m always so bad about waiting too long and missing my chance. I’m already getting enough cucumbers to start canning them. Soon it’ll be tomatoes. And *hopefully* peppers!! 🙂 I’ve never had green tomatoes. I might have to try that if I have any that need cooking. Blessings!!

  17. Your pumpkins look like sugar baby pumpkins. They will eventually turn orange yet won’t be massive. Some people call them pie pumpkins.


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