Monday, 17 July 2017

Harvest Monday: July 17, 2017

Wow, it's been 3 weeks since I've had any new harvests to share which is a solid indicator of my garden this year.  The constant rains and little sunshine have wrought havoc on many plants. Anything I have still in containers (whether temporarily for transplants or permanent such as potatoes) is suffering from too much water and I'm constantly tilting over containers to remove excess water.  That's one reason why I have harvested 2/3 of the garlic crop as shown above - it just seems too wet and I didn't want to risk any rot.  I've left the smallest of them in for another couple of weeks.

So far, I have harvested only 8 kg of food, with more than half of that rhubarb (and mostly frozen, not eaten).  And the garlic scapes make a large proportion of the rest.

But I have finally had my first (small as it is) harvest of greens.  

Lettuce, arugula and spinach seem to be suffering the most with the rain and lack of sunshine.  My entire harvest from yesterday has a bit more variety, but somewhat embarrassing in quantity.  And quality ... the cherry tomatoes in the upper left-hand corner are destined for the compost bin - they are  stunted and too tough to eat.

A few tomatoes, potatoes, berries and hot peppers

But the squash plants (both summer and winter) are looking well as are the carrots and a few other crops, so I still have faith in this gardening season!  In the meantime, some parting shots of the bunnies and wild turkeys who lurk about my yard when I'm not actively outside.

One of two adult bunnies ... which means there may be many more!

Two adults and five babies this year

I look forward to checking out Harvest Monday posts at Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners around the world are doing this week!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Harvest Monday: June 26, 2017

This is how desperate I am to show something I've harvested - a handful of wild strawberries. Ha!  Wild strawberries grow everywhere in my yard.  And I mean everywhere.  I cannot be bothered to harvest any due to the effort involved.  The biggest one shown above is still smaller than my smallest fingernail.  And I can't eat the ones that grow throughout my lawn as I don't like the idea of the contamination of gas from the mower.

But what the heck - I was hanging about the greenhouse yesterday and noticed many plants surrounding the edges of the greenhouse and thought I'd grab a few.  Amazing flavour, by the way, but still not quite worth it for me.  Besides, if I leave the wild strawberries to the bunny living in my yard, he/she might just keep away from the goodies in my garden.

Not a great pic, but shows how big it is!

And I'm happy to say that garlic scapes are now available.  I've harvested less than half (shown below) and will leave the rest for a week or so as they were a bit smaller.

And I'm not entirely sure how to deal with the Egyptian walking onions.  They seemed to be leaning in the wrong direction with the new clusters (the flowers??).  So I pulled a few to clean them up and pushed them towards the area I wanted the new growth to go - will see how it goes.  In the meantime, I think I just use them as I would spring onions and the bulbs to be treated like regular onions, just a bit smaller?  Looking for advice here.

Overall, the spring has been a bit difficult here with lots of rain and not much sunshine.  I have not had any greens at all yet, despite several seedings, but expect some pretty soon.  As always, I look forward to seeing what other gardeners are doing around the world by checking in at Harvest Monday hosted by Our Happy Acres.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Greenhouse Peppers and Tomatoes

This seems like a good time to share an update on my pepper and tomato plants, because check it out - I have a single ripe tomato already!  OK, it's an anomaly ... mostly I just have flowers and a few very immature fruit on the vines. 

This one is Andrina.  I admit I was suspicious of the description of an "extremely dwarf" tomato plant reaching to only 6" high.  But here they are in full bloom.  In fact, these plants are so short, it is a challenge to remove enough lower leaves so they aren't touching the soil (to avoid rot when watering). 

 I have several of these in the greenhouse, along with many other plants.  They fit in well for now, but in a few months it will be a bit crowded and I will need to use a fan to move the air around a bit.

Another dwarf tomato plant I am growing, though not quite so short, is Hahms Gelbe with yellow cherry tomatoes.

All other tomato plants that I am growing this year are planted outside (Sophie's Choice, Mountain Princess, Forme de Couer and the only indeterminate tomato this year ... Gregori's Altai).  I also have about 15 pepper plants outside of the greenbouse, but here is a quick look at some inside:

Ancho pepper plant

Sweet red pimiento and jalapeno peppers

Feher Ozon - paprika pepper

Hungarian Hot Wax

Hungarian Hot Wax are always the first of the season to develop fruit.  I have at least one of each of the following pepper plants in the greenhouse but also 2-3 of each outside in either hay bales or a dug garden space:

- Ancho
- Hungarian Hot Wax
- Super Red Pimiento
- Feher Ozon
- King of the North
- Jalapeno
- Gypsy
- Corno di Toro

It is looking promising so far, but weather is such a huge factor with peppers and tomatoes. Today is a great hot day to kick start some of the plants outside as they were planted a bit late.