Monday, May 30, 2011

We ♡ Turnip!

And here I always thought I hated it!

I guess what I really, really dislike is rutabagas... and where we came from they called them turnip and everybody loved them - except me.

In the seed catalogs the REAL turnips looked very attractive and edible so I planted an experiment and we found out we enjoy these salad turnips.They don't even resemble those pungent yellow root veggies of my horrified memory.

They are so yummy they aren't quite as big as they could be and they aren't quite making it to the salad bowl. People are just chowing them leaves and all right in the garden after a quick rinse of the hose.

fyi: This would be a pic before the quick rinse of the hose.
It's a new garden staple. They are as easy to grow as radishes but tastier.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Comparing the CUKES

We'll there's just no comparing. I've planted the ones outside three times now and I have a whole four plants to show for it.  The cucumbers in the greenhouse.... That's a different story.

The last cucumbers that died outdoors died because they were trampled by these guys....

I'm not actually too concerned about the deer.
They don't hang around the gardens much.
I have sow bugs and earwigs to contend with that are a big concern.... claiming the promises while I hand pick the bugs and spray them with soapy water. I'm open to tricks of the trade as long as they are healthy...

Steve asked if this was my insecticide. You betcha! It's the best...

Comparing Tomatoes

It's the end of May and I went out and took pictures of the tomatoes this morning. I am kind of puzzled over an interesting revelation. These are the field tomatoes. The were planted indoors March 15 (give or take a day or two). They lived in the greenhouse for several weeks before being planted outdoors. Here's the progress:

Now, the plants in the greenhouse have had the same experience, except that they were planted in the ground inside the greenhouse, a few weeks before the others were planted outside. Here is the size of the tomatoes:

Well, okay, there might be a few bigger than that, but that's the average.

Interesting, eh?

And yes, I am hand pollinating.

There are other comparisons to make yet, though... the size of plants, and color, and strength.

This is an outdoor plant. Healthy, green but slender at about 20 inches, average.

This is an indoor plant. Stocky and deep, almost blue green, with broad leaves.
The average plant is 30 inches tall.

Braving the elements outside.

Protected and warm. 

The race isn't over. 
Who will produce first ? 
More importantly, who will produce the MOST tomatoes. 
How will they compare in size?

This is my one casualty of the 100 tomato plants we have growing. 
It's not dead till it's dead, though. We'll give a couple more days TLC.

PS. That tomato plant made it just fine and grew as big and as productive as any other.
So, don't give up if you have a straggler. They aren't dead till their dead.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garden Update

Seeds are sprouting in the lower garden, but the cucumber plants are damping off. Lost 3 so far and 1 big beautiful cucumber plant in the greenhouse.  Watering is quite a job until Steve gets the drip lines in place. 

Market garden has about 100 tomato plants, 24 sweet peppers and 20 eggplants, so far.
This would be an old picture already. . .

We removed the plastic from the cold frame as it was getting too hot for salad greens. I have since planted cherry tomatoes along the outside edge and hope they grow to shade this spot a little.

The color of the valley changed overnight from white blossoms to green leaves.

The greenhouse doesn't look quite as crowded minus 150 plants, but it definitely has no wasted space.

My microgreens are not doing as well. My house is too hot and that causes damping off and molds. If I put them on the porch there is too much sun, even though they are getting afternoon shade. I only have South facing windows to work with and so I am finding it a lot harder to grow the microgreens consistently. Out on the porch they get rained on pretty hard sometimes and flattened, and while they spring up again, they never quite look the same. We have about 4 trays of microgreens almost ready to eat, but since we are eating salad out of the garden, I may put the microgreen trays away until cooler weather again. The peas shoots are doing fine, though.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lower Garden

The Lower Garden is planted!! 
We're pretty serious about having no weeds as you can see by our strips old carpet. Praying it works.

Rainstorm in the valley. Pears in full blossom.
Salad greens sprouting.
The pollen is just flying....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Week In Pictures...

In the cultivation of the soil the thoughtful worker will find that treasures little dreamed of are opening up before him. No one can succeed in agriculture or gardening without attention to the laws involved. The special needs of every variety of plant must be studied. Different varieties require different soil and cultivation, and compliance with the laws governing each is the condition of success. The attention required in transplanting, that not even a root fiber shall be crowded or misplaced, the care of the young plants, the pruning and watering, the shielding from frost at night and sun by day, keeping out weeds, disease, and insect pests, the training and arranging, not only teach important lessons concerning the development of character, but the work itself is a means of development. In cultivating carefulness, patience, attention to detail, obedience to law, it imparts a most essential training. The constant contact with the mystery of life and the loveliness of nature, as well as the tenderness called forth in ministering to these beautiful objects of God’s creation, tends to quicken the mind and refine and elevate the character.
{AH 142.3}

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Welcome to Harmony Hollow :-)

I found an old chalk board. It's an ancient thing and was suppose to be thrown on the burn pile with the rest of the stuff. Brianna nailed the frame back together and I gave it a coat of chalkboard paint and a new look on the edges, screwed it to the barn door .... and ta-da! A place to write notes... No we could not center it or else then the door latch wouldn't work.
 I'm constantly rearranging our of necessity. There isn't much room to play around.

Missy and I planted flower pots and transplanted the strawberries out of the garden into planters.
I'm hoping we can keep abreast of the weeds this way.

The hillside is breaking out in full bloom!

Cherry Blossoms

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just Because

It's finally warming up enough that last night we didn't have to get up to stoke the fire. YAHOO.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fast Crop

Ya think we've been eating a few greens??
Looks like Clickitty-Clack was wishing we'd share. 
I bet a pair of ducks could wreak havoc on a tray of micro-greens in a few short minutes given the opportunity.

Here is the promise of an awesome harvest of nectarines.

There's work for everyone in the garden!

Missy watering...
Christina and Chip working together to keep the grass under control...
Guess who's doing most of the work?
Well, okay, maybe there are a few lazy characters hanging out doing nothing while the rest of us work.