Saturday, April 1, 2017

Remembering (some of) last Summer

It was a really good summer for the garden. There were some pretty hot days here and there but not  any unending heat waves. We were definitely on the dry side most of the season, the small area of lawn took it hard but having laid down soaker hose beneath the plastic mulch in the garden, watering was easy and efficient there.

The combination of soaker hose and plastic sheeting was perfect.  Very little water was lost to runoff and all the heat and almost perfectly weed free rows allowed for lush growth.

The worst trouble of the 2016 garden were the aphids.  There were green ones,  black ones and wooly ones.   The green were on the plum and Jerusalem Artichokes, the black were on the remaining beach plum and a little bit on the Carmine Jewel cherry and the wooly ones were on the broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Speaking of which,  i'm not bothering with Brussels sprouts again. I love to eat them but they never get anywhere in my garden.  I have tried them a few times before,  and occasionally try again , using different varieties and some technique but the same result- no sizable sprouts are formed before the plants are buried under snow.... and they don't winter over up here.

I know this post has at least a few duplicate pictures that i have already shared,  but i posted to little last summer that i needed my own little re-cap.

I had the pepper row on the left with the sweet and hot peppers together.  Among those are King of the North, Doorknob, Ghost, Purple Marconi, and i think Martin's Carrot.   At the end is Meatball eggplant from Burpee's and that was a great veggie last year!   Large, sweet and i cooked some on the grill almost every night after the zucchini plants quit. The Ghost pepper harvest was shared out to a few co-workers who are Pepperheads.  One let a few Ghosts steep in vodka for a while and though i believe him when he says he's very used to very hot stuff he even admitted that it was "painful" to use that way.  So he puts some of the spicy vodka in his chili or spaghetti sauces in order to regulate the heat to his liking. I have Ghost seedlings growing already for this year and also got a few seeds of Carolina Reapers that i have about three plants from so far. I have two coworkes who are interested in trying them.  I was thinking of trying the Trinidad Scorpions,  but i think 5-6 plants of Scoville chart-busters will provide enough to share around.  LOL

My oldest daughter was away for much of the summer on a trip to Japan so i was kind of in a rut for a while,  it seemed so strange not having her around.  She enjoyed the trip immensely so it was worth the weirdness for me.

Sunflowers on the left in the above photo.

I had one interesting "sleeper" crop.  I had got some Masai Snap beans from Amishland Heirloom Seeds and did not expect them to do much because they didn't quite act like the other bush beans i have grown before.  They were more miniature and hide their beans under their leaves.  I  picked a few and they have a great flavor that is noticeably different but i thought they were small and wouldn't do much so i honestly pretty much forgot about them while i picked the other beans for their handful of productive weeks.  After the first couple of  frosts that knocked pretty much everything else flat,  i kicked around the plants and noticed that there were still new beans under there, even among the dried pods. If i had reread the description and payed attention i would have known that that bean produces moderate but steady all season.  So i ordered double the seed this year and am anticipating an unhurried supply of those yummy beans this summer and fall.

I wish i had timestamps on on my photos like the older cameras had. I think this is when the tomatoes were really beginning to take off.  At that point i was still keeping up with pruning and tying up.  In the end,  though,  those red stakes couldn't handle it.  So i'm going back to T-posts this year.

Fava beans on the right side.  I think they did ok,  but i have so little experience with fava beans in general,  i wasn't sure what to do with them.  Might try again.

I put the okra and leonotis in the back.  A volunteer potato can be seen in flower ...

Zukes did great,   had plenty for the grill and enough to share even as i pick them when they are under 8 inches long.  Of course downy mildew got them in the end.  I tried spraying them with a solution of generic Listerine type mouthwash and it definitely helped but i was on the late side when i decided to try it.
I think this was among the first of the cukes and many more followed!  It was a great summer for cucumbers.  I even got to make a few batches of both sweet and sour pickles.  Plenty were eaten fresh and more were shared.

It was awesome.  They just kept coming.

Best use ever:

Provider bush beans,  first harvest
Then i realized i needed a container and it almost wasn't enough for that first picking.

One okra, 2 perfect zukes and one that almost got too big.

I think this was the first of the Meatball eggplant.

My garden inspector

Favas have really beautiful flowers!

Funky tomato.  I was asked if it was GMO which was silly because it was a certified organicky heirloom Cherokee Purple.  But hey,  choose this day your own paranoia. ;)

The sunnies were so nice to have and in the fall,  the birds had a blast.  The bees had them all summer so they were full to bursting with seeds.

The leonotis were beautiful too in their unique way.

This is how they look in the winter.

More sunnies.

Thirty pounds of diced and cored tomatoes.  About 5 gallons i think.

Love these Clarke's Heavenly Blue morning glories.

I made cherry jam and currant jelly too.  Our amazingly sweet cat Caper was enjoying the warmth that came from the cooling jars.

My grapes outdid themselves too.


...And lots of grape jelly too.

Okra flower.

Rainbow Dash pumpkin.  I bought the pumpkins at work.  I don't have enough room to grow them.

An off shaped pumpkin was perfect for carving Derpy Hooves.

i think this takes us back in time and i'm not sure why i posted this pic in this order when i began the draft of this post about 3 months ago....

I think this is my third Meyer lemon.  Previous ones have succumbed to spider mites, toddlers, and/or a combination of those.   So far in the first day of April,  it has survived the harsh indoor elements of inadequate light and low humidity and after many blooms in late summer,  still has one green lemon clinging to a branch. I've had to treat it for spidermites twice now,  using a solution of 50/50 wintergreen rubbing alcohol and water sprayed directly onto the leaves and stems.

All the running around i did this summer really helped me with the weight battle that has plagued me since my mid teens.  I lost about 40 pounds and have somewhat effortlessly kept it off all but 6-  which i expect to leave once i get back to work outside again.   The big pair is where i was last year,   the middle dark jeans are my current size and the top pair is where i hope to be in another 15-20 pounds (getting into the under 200 pound category).

So i guess this where i intended to stop the pictures.  I'm sure i had a bunch of other things to remind myself of at the time but i just did my seed orders and need to catch up on what to do this coming season.  I have to get on with it!

1 comment:

Leigh said...

WOW! Your garden looks absolutely fantastic! Soaker hose under the plastic mulch was a great idea, although I'm glad the weather cooperated too. What a haul. I am so impressed. Congratulations on losing so much weight! Plenty of activity and vegetables are such a great combination for good health.