Thursday, 19 May 2011

News of the Garden

Well, it has been a few days since I was on here. Life has been busy, but has gotten less complex since my brother starting working for my dad again and so I have fewer days to work, and more days to do school. I am enjoying doing math on a more regular basis, and reading through history is exciting.

I haven't gotten up as early the last couple days as I wanted to, but I guess I should have gone to bed earlier if I wanted to get up earlier.

Today I went down to the garden, and enjoyed a sunrise, something I haven't seen more than about two of in the last two weeks! It has been rather cloudy, and for the last two weeks has rained almost everyday. We've probably gotten 5-8 inches of rain in the last two weeks! Tuesday we had a flood warning, two creeks were within a foot of flooding (one creek was 11.5ft and the other 8.5ft high). All that to say, I haven't gotten a lot done in the garden lately.

My romaine lettuce is about done, I'm letting the slower heads and less diseased looking ones go to seed (I did that last year and grew all my head lettuce from seeds I saved). The rest were also bolting, and we ate some, but today I threw the rest in the compost pile. It is a pity the season for lettuce is so short here. If I could find a better place closer to the creek and in shade it might help, but I haven't figured out how to do that.

My leaf lettuce is getting big, I have a patch coming up that will be the last until fall I assume. This fall/winter I plan on doing a full bed (20ft long) of lettuce, greens, and maybe some root crops under plastic with hoops.

My swiss chard and beets are about ready to harvest, I'll probably harvest some this week. I have a little bit of spinach, it isn't doing that well though, poor germination and not so good soil.

My potatoes are doing pretty good. I have some under agribon (though slugs are eating some of them) that are about 20inches tall. I have another row that are a couple inches tall, and I just planted 12 more plants this morning. So, if they don't get eaten by pests I should get a good crop of them.

I am expecting sweet potato slips in the next week or two. I reordered from another place that specializes in sweet potatoes. I got 3 different kinds. 50 slips of Georgia Jets, 50 Beauregard, and 25 Centinial (I forget the exact name). I have one bed that has chickling vetch that will plant probably 50 slips at least. I need to till a another bed or two above the fence for some more. If I do them above the fence I will have to buy chicken wire to go over the bed, to keep the deer from eating them.

My brassica are doing well. They don't seem to have cut worms, though slugs are a small problem. My peas once again have failed, due to aphids. I'll try a small crop next year, if they fail, I may not do peas for a while, until my soil is better. I guess on the one hand they are improving the soil as a legume.

My squash are quite well, no signs of squash bugs yet. This week or next I should have my first female flower. I have 14 zucchini plants! 5 hills of watermelons (orange and sugar baby), 3 cucumbers, 2-3 yellow summer squash, and another couple zucchini that my cousin gave me.

Most of my beans are coming up. I have an amount of beans coming up almost equal to a row of beans 60ft long.

My two biggest crops this year will be zucchini, and beans. If I can get my tomatoes in (I have the plants, just haven't transplanted) then I should get a good crop of those also.

My allium are doing well. If my garlic does okay I should have 150 cloves of garlic. 30 cloves elephant garlic. A couple dozen red and yellow onions, couple dozen leeks, and a good amount of shallots.

My strawberries are about done bearing. I have a few berries left to ripen. I think we got close to 2 quarts, not to bad, since I transplanted them this year from the previous bed. Hopefully next year I will have more.

I have yet a lot to do in the garden, and not a lot of time. My cousin should be coming again around the middle of June and hopefully we can get more done then also.

My tiller which we got working, is now not working again. It got left out in a down pour. I was actually going to go put a tarp in it, but the rain was pelting so hard, so much thunder and lighting, and I couldn't see that I didn't. I am not sure what is wrong with it, but I about broke my pull string, so that has to be fixed also. I will probably check and see if the intake valve is stuck down, that was what happened last time. I've been playing around with the jet screw and that doesn't seem to be the problem. I really need my tiller working before the sweet potatoes arrive. I chopped down above the fence on Monday, now I need to till. So, I guess I should see about my tiller, amongst the other things! : ) is full around here. I have a flute recital tonight, should be fun. I have been playing the flute now for 7.5 years, I started playing 2 months before I turned 10 years old.

I bottled my Utopia Cream Ale, I actually flavored 3 gallons of it with raspberries, 1 gallon with caramel syrup, and 1 gallon left alone. The raspberry is good, but I wish it was stronger.

Cherrio, don't get in too much trouble while I'm off. ; )
English Vintner