Posts Tagged asparagus

Planting Season

As usual per this time of year, I have been outside planting and doing general cleanup activities. Unfortunately, I am not completely finished. Mostly, because I can’t decide if my broccoli is finished producing this season and whether to pull it out or not and I still have plenty of carrots left and am not ready to pull them up yet as I still have a bunch in the fridge. My husband is rooting for the snow peas to go, as he is very tired of them in everything we have been cooking.

We have had so many rainy days along with a little colder weather than we are used to, that the asparagus have been slow to come up this year and are just now coming into their full season. I am planning to try a new recipe for an asparagus frittata that I found in the newest issue of “Hobby Farm Home”. The strawberries are tasting rather delicious. I haven’t ever planted them and had them do well, so I have been so pleasantly surprised to see that happening. I am really loving this SFG thing! Out here we have such clay soil that with the SFG you don’t have to worry about that and it is amazing what you can grow.

Speaking of that, a few posts ago I mentioned that I was trying an experiment in growing celery. Well, unbelievably, the celery is almost ready. So funny that it actually worked. It is still rather small compared to full grown celery, but I am impressed. It looks like if you plant it from seed in October, it will actually grow all winter and do well.

I have plans to spend the afternoon out finishing up some cleanup projects outside and putting up a frame for a support for the Bayberry and Blackberry plants that I finally got planted on the north side of my house.

Happy planting!

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It’s HOT!

Just picked today.

Just picked today.

It is so HOT outside these days that in order to check out the garden, I seriously have to get up at 6am to beat the heat. We are hitting 108 degrees today, which feels more like 118 degrees to me. I simply can hardly hack it! And of course, most of the garden needs to be shaded from the brutal afternoon sun.

Armeninan cucumbers growing up two 4 ft. tall topiary forms.

Armeninan cucumbers growing up two 4 ft. tall topiary forms.

The cucumbers seem to be doing ok, though. You can just see the tip of the topiary forms.  They are producing more armenian cucumbers than we can possibly eat, and I keep giving them away to relatives and neighbors. We usually just slice them up to munch on, although my daughter likes to dip hers in the ever present ranch dressing.

A small caterpillar on the pickling cucumbers.

A small caterpillar on the pickling cucumbers.

I found a little friend on my pickling cucumbers today, and it has found itself a new home in heaven. I did see a preying mantis that was quite large on the tomatoes today also, and that one I happily left alone. I cannot get rid of my infestation of squash bugs. They have moved onto my watermelon plants and as I now have some new starts of zucchini out there, I really want them GONE! I have tried insecticidal soap and picking them off as I see them and smashing them. I also have tried to look under all the leaves to get the little brown eggs and smash those. None of this has been working well at all. I have plans for the morning, to take a jar out there and pick off all that I can find and put them in the jar and then throw it away. I can hardly stand to touch the things. I think I will wear gardening gloves for this particular chore.

Asparagus ferns.

Asparagus ferns.

The asparagus has gone really crazy lately, making new shoots, going to seed and ferning. They seem to be doing just fine, also, without any extra shading.

Overall view of entrance to garden area.

Overall view of entrance to garden area.

I love the way those new pavers look at the entrance to the garden. Landcraft did such an amazing job on them. It has made the area feel like a little secret garden. To the left of the chicken coop, although you cannot see it, is a small garden shed. We put it in a few months ago, and it has been so handy to put all the supplies in there and not have them spilling about the garden like last year. One handy thing that I read about somewhere, is to hang an inexpensive shoe organizer on the back of the door. I keep all my garden tools in it as well as drip irrigation pieces and twine, zip ties, etc. It has worked out well.

Not much is coming out of the garden right now. It is just simply too hot. I am still getting some tomatoes and that is pretty nice. It should pick up again at the end of August.

Zucchini starts under the shade fabric.

Zucchini starts under the shade fabric.

The above picture shows the pvc hoops that the shade cloth is zip tied to. I went to my local hardware store and bought some 12 inch pieces of rebar and poked them into the ground on either side of the bed and then put the pvc pipes into them onto either side to create the hoops. Cheap and easy. In the winter, I use them also, but instead of the shade cloth, I put 4 mil plastic over them and make a kind of green house. I got the idea from Dave the Garden Guy, and it really works well.

New planter box on back patio.

New planter box on back patio.

Well, I believe that’s all for now. Keep cool!

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A new anna apple to replace the one that decided it was too hot for words last august. I plan to shade this one for a while to get it through this first summer.

A new anna apple to replace the one that decided it was too hot for words last august. I plan to shade this one for a while to get it through this first summer.

After a whole year of waiting, we finally get to enjoy some asparagus!

After a whole year of waiting, we finally get to enjoy some asparagus!

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Back in the Garden Again

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So, this weekend I finally had some energy and desire to go out and work in the garden. Guess what I found? Some of my broccoli had gone to seed and was covered in bees (which is a good thing) and there were the first little shoots of asparagus coming up. All that work of putting in that bed of asparagus last year is finally going to pay off. I was so excited. I also had lettuce, a cabbage, and some spinach ready to pick. It took me all afternoon, but I did make a big dent in getting the rest of the beds ready for planting and even managed to plant 26 tomato plants and some zucchini seeds as well as cukes (armenian and pickling). I hope to make lots of my sister’s MIL’s pickles this year. Last year I made them and I only have 2 jars left. It’s a good thing I hid them from Alyssa because she would be sure to eat them if she knew. Tomorrow I am going to haul off all the bags and fold up the shades that I had just piled to the side, making a big mess. The chickens are doing great, laying 1-2 eggs a day, which is wonderful. I am on the hunt for a couple more bantams, though. Rylan and I went all over looking for some yesterday, but all we could find were leghorns. Bummer.

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