Tag Archives: broccoli

Yesterday’s Harvest

I’m grateful for the harvest yesterday. In the picture above you can see that my spinach plants are not enjoying the heat. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants and I usually enjoy quite a harvest before the too-hot begins. I’ll harvest as much spinach as possible because I can freeze it.

 

The head lettuce leaves are still okay, but looking a bit stressed. These plants are happier than anything else, with the exception of the radishes, in the square foot garden right now.

 

I’m sad because the really hot-too-soon in the season weather we’ve been having is causing the romaine lettuce to bolt. I’m not sure how much more I can harvest before the leaves taste bitter and I have to compost the plants.

 

We’ll enjoy the fresh lettuce and spinach for salad each day for as long as possible. I’m not sure whether I’ll get more broccoli, but the hope is that I’ll get more from the shoots from the main plant after the center has been harvested. The radishes and onions are doing fine, although some of the green tops of the onions are shooting up and trying to make seeds. The tomato plants on the other side of the house are growing rapidly. They like the heat. I have a few blossoms, so I’m hopeful we’ll enjoy a nice crop this year.

 

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Garden Harvest – May, 2018

broccoli

I harvested this yesterday when it was super hot. I didn’t harvest any romaine because I just got too hot out there. I’ll do that later today.

 

head lettuce

 

Spinach

I also wanted to show you our tomato plants in the two planters we converted to square foot gardening on the east side of the house.

 

The first tomato blossom of the season!

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Ready for Another Harvest!

Our raised bed square foot garden is doing well so far this year. We have six 4’x4′ boxes on metal ‘tables’ at about my chest level. I can just walk up to them, planting, weeding, or harvesting without having to get up and down from my knees or bend over double – a thing I can’t tell you how very MUCH I appreciate!

 

We are growing iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, sweet onions, radishes, spinach and broccoli. We have two converted planters on the east side of the house with tomato plants.

 

I’m going to go out and harvest some things today, but I wanted to show you how nice the plants look before I do.

 

 

 

I have some celery started in the kitchen that I’m hoping I can transplant to these empty squares soon.

 

 

On the lower right, you can see the start of radishes in the square.

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Garden Update – May 7, 2018

This afternoon we went out to check on the garden – weeding, harvesting, and taking pictures. I got hot and tired, so I didn’t do any harvesting today, but will tomorrow. We got the weeds taken care of, and everything seems to be very happy.

 

I was surprised to see how the broccoli has grown! Last week I had to look really carefully to see any sign at all of the broccoli head. I’ll harvest some of this tomorrow. I learned last year that the broccoli goes from this to really spread out like a bouquet and not good to eat fast. I’m hoping that I can encourage shoots off the main plant to produce more.

 

I lost one lettuce plant, and I have no clue what happened, since all the rest looked like this. We have romaine and iceberg head lettuce.

 

The onion plants are tall and strong looking. The spinach is still looking happy, although it prefers the cooler temperatures.

 

 

I planted several squares of radishes last week, and you can see them here.

I decided to spread my plants out a lot more this year. I think that the square foot garden guy, Mel Bartholomew, gets a lot more involved with his garden than we do. My plants grew into each other last year and where the plants met, they seemed to smother. Everything seems happier this year, so far, with my idea of more air circulation around each plant.

I didn’t get pictures today of the two tomato planters on the other side of the house, but I’ll try to get some soon. They seem to be happy right now.

We turned on the irrigation system for the planters in the front yard and found where we had a blow-out. My husband said it looked like a ‘critter’ had been chewing on the pvc pipe that runs across the front of the yard, down over the edge between the ‘civilized’ and ‘woody’ parts. He had ordered a special repair tape a couple of years ago. This seemed a perfect time to try it. He wrapped the pvc pipe where the chew marks were and we’ll test it tomorrow, after it has time to adhere to itself fully.

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Square Foot Garden Progress – April

 

Yesterday I showed you the first harvest from our spring veggie garden. I’m delighted that everything seems to be happy so far.

The raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ wooden boxes about my chest level filled with Mel’s Mix (a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and three or more kinds of compost.) The boxes are divided into ‘squares’ by stretched string. I have opted to space things out a lot more this year because I lost a lot of produce by having the plants growing into each other. I decided to opt for a lot more air and space for each plant and see what happens.

We also have tomato plants in two converted brick planters on the other side of the house. We’ll plant another group of tomato plants soon so that we can space out our harvest and extend it as much as possible.

In the picture above you can see broccoli plants, spinach, iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and onions. I’ll add some radish seeds soon (as soon as I get the squares weeded) and also celery (when the ones I started in the house are large enough.)

Each box has a sprinkler in the center that are connected by pieces of hose. These are all tied to a main hose that connects to a rural type outside faucet. We put a timer on it so that the garden is irrigated each morning.

I’m going to wash spinach, romaine, and iceberg lettuce for our salad today harvested yesterday from the garden. I hope that one day we can eat our own broccoli!

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Square Foot Garden After Storm

We had bad storms with a strong cold front Friday afternoon and evening – including tornadoes, damaging winds, rain, hail, and flying hair balls. I was worried that my fledgling square foot garden plants would get battered.  Yesterday and today we’ve had cold temperatures for April in Arkansas – barely 40 and gusty north winds.

As you can see, the garden is doing fine. WHEW!  Thank  goodness these are all cool weather plants!  I may lose some of my tomato plants, but the rest of the garden is good.

 

 

Broccoli

 

Iceberg Head Lettuce

 

Romaine Lettuce

 

Spinach

It’s almost time to start snipping!  I can gather the outer, larger leaves of the lettuces and the spinach soon. As soon as it warms up a bit, I’ll get some radishes started.

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Between Deluges

The Nourished Soul

I almost didn’t recognize the huge orb in the sky this morning. It’s been at least a week since we’ve seen it, and it was truly a glorious sight. On one of the many ‘walk-the-doggies’ trips I’ve taken today, I took some pictures of my veggie garden.

 

We built our raised bed veggie boxes with drain holes, but we’ve been getting SO much rain relentlessly, I was afraid I would find the boxes washed out and the veggies on the ground. Happily, everything seems to be doing well.

 

Here is iceberg lettuce and some onions.

 

This is the north side of the garden. You can see broccoli, spinach, onions, iceburg lettuce, and romaine lettuce.

 

Here’s a better pic of some spinach and some romaine lettuce, plus some onions.

 

This is the south side of the garden.

And here is the first group of tomato plants. I plan to plant more in a couple of weeks to extend our harvesting season.

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The Spring Garden is Started!

I got my plants in this afternoon. This picture gives you an idea of where the garden is in relation to our shop.

 

We have six 4’x4’x8″ raised bed boxes in our garden. It is surrounded by fencing, with chicken wire also around the bottom. I’ll run some bright surveyor’s tape around the perimeter about chest high and also down each of the guy wires at the corners to warn critters that there is a structure here.

 

I’m planting fewer things this year, with wider spacing. I planted 12 broccoli plants, 12 romaine plants, 12 spinach plants, and 12 iceburg lettuce plants. I had already planted two bunches of onion sets. I have several empty squares. I’ll plant some radishes, plus celery transplanted from plants started in the house later.  I’m going to play with growing some gourds because my friend Kay brought some seeds to Lunch Bunch recently. :0) I also have a six pack of tomato plants still in the greenhouse. I’ll wait a couple of weeks to plant them.

 

Last year I  lost some produce because the plants got too large and crowded each other out in the squares. This year I’m only planting one plant per square (other than the onions) and we’ll see how that works.

 

In this picture you can see the line of trash cans along the back of the shop, plus the blue tarp, etc. The light gray trash cans are filled with the components of Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost.) I have our personal composter toward the house. The darker gray trash cans hold supplies for planting.

I had some trouble with the end of one of the irrigation hoses being messed up. My good husband came out and replaced the messed up end of hose with a new end and then we could water the garden! We won’t put the system on a timer until we’re sure all chance of frost and  freezing are past.

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Taking the Plunge

Belgian Nursery

My husband goes outside when the weather forecasters tell him it’s raining in Greenwood – on the Lewis’ house – right now.  I have a bit more faith in their abilities, though we both realize that trying to forecast the weather is a complicated task. I just looked up the 10-day forecast for Greenwood on the net and see that today was the last forecast freeze through the 23rd. I’ve decided to go ahead and take the plunge, planting the veggies we are holding in the greenhouse.

 

Gardening Know How

I have iceburg lettuce, spinach, romaine, and broccoli plants, two six-packs of each.

I have my raised bed planters filled with Mel’s Mix and the string stretched across in two directions, creating the squares for planting. My planters are at about chest level so I can just walk up and plant things without having to bend over, get down on my knees or back up again.

I planted Texas Sweet Onion sets a couple of days ago. It’s such a pleasure! I’ll take pictures when I get the plants in. I’m excited to be starting a brand new spring crop!

I’ll watch the weather carefully, leaping up to put sheets over the plants if they say it’s going to get near freezing for the rest of the month.

 

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Garden Images – April, 2017

I’ve just come in from a little over an hour of weeding and pruning in the garden. The pictures here were taken BEFORE I did that, ad I’m cringing a bit that you can see some little weeds and leaves that need to be removed, etc., but I wanted to share my delight in how well things seem to be doing now.

I actually have little bitty heads of broccoli coming on!

 

This is a terrible picture, but I have TWO cauliflower heads showing!

 

This is the largest celery plant, though I have several others. No clue yet whether I’ll actually get a stalk or not. (See what I mean about the little weeds? Most of them are gone now.

 

These are Georgia Sweet Onions. They seem to be happy now, rebounding from the hail storm.

 

This is one of two squares of radishes.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started from seed in the house.

 

And spinach. I was so delighted to find plants for sale this year at the local co-op. I hope that I thanked the guy effusively enough that he’ll try to get them again and again. I can’t be the only person looking for them and wanting to grow it.

I mainly cut up spinach for salads, or put the leaves in the rare sandwiches we eat now. I’m going to try to actually cook the leaves this year. It might be a thing where we love the stuff in the can, but the actually fresh leaves taste like a completely ‘different animal.’

Does anyone have directions for how best to cook fresh spinach leaves?

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Playing in the Garden

Delightful Children’s Books

 

I’m very happy that our garden is alive at all right now. Our weather has roller-coastered between hard freezes and a high of 90 today. We also had a timer malfunction on the garden irrigation system, so the plants were really badly overwatered at one point before we figured out the problem and replaced the timer.

 

Now I THINK we’re finished with the hard freezes. Our temperatures are still roller-coaster-y, though. 90 today. 60 tomorrow. 80 the following day….

 

I need to take some sharp scissors to clean up the plants. Some have bad leaves. I did get out a few arrogant weeds today, though. :0)

 

Here you see red lettuce leaves and spinach.

 

As you can see in this, and the next, pictures, some of the celery is doing well. Some has croaked.

 

 

This is the south side of the garden. I’m growing Georgia Sweet Onions in the back, red lettuce and spinach in the middle, and broccoli, cauliflower, and celery in the box closest to you.

 

Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and red lettuce in the planters in the north row.

 

Spinach sprouts on the window sill.

 

One celery plant and two spaghetti squash sprouts here.

Hopefully, things will settle down now and my plants can grow in peace.

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Our Garden is Officially Started!

This is the first time we’ve had all six raised bed square foot garden boxes in our garden! We have SIX 4′ x 4′ x 8″ boxes on legs connected by an irrigation system so that we can water everything on a timer. Each box has a sprinkler in the center. The timer is between the house and the garden, and we can either just turn it on to water manually, or use the timer so that all gets watered for a specific amount of time daily.

 

We have fencing plus chicken wire around the garden to keep critters out. The pink tape is to keep deer from running into the fencing at night. We can put bird netting and shade fabric over the top of the garden, if needed.

 

I found SPINACH plants!  Hooray!!!!!!!

 

 

These are romaine lettuce plants.

 

This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Georgia sweet onions.

 

Cauliflower.

 

Broccoli.

I have moved some of my window sill plants to the back porch in preparation for moving them out to the garden. I have some celery plants and some spaghetti squash plants. My spinach seeds have tiny sprouts on the window sill now. I may have some more spaghetti squash plants.

I’ll probably get more plants tomorrow. I want the local co-op guy to REALLY know how much I appreciate his getting spinach plants this year.

We have some issues with water pressure right now on the irrigation system. After messing with things for quite awhile this afternoon, we think we must have a hose blowout somewhere between the well house and the garden, but we were too tired to tackle the problem today. Tomorrow is another day…

 

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Garden Wrapped Up for the Night

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I just spent an hour in our raised bed, square foot garden,  weeding, pruning, and harvesting lettuce and some small bits of broccoli.

 

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These pics were taken before I started pruning. You can see some of the leaves that needed to be cut.

 

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This is mainly broccoli and cauliflower.

 

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This is a good pic to show the whole fall garden. I can’t tell you how much I love being able to take care of things without having to bend over double or get up and down on my hands and knees over and over.  I got the three planters covered with sheets before I left because it’s supposed to freeze tonight.

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I never thought I would describe cauliflower as “cute,” but I have the sweetest, teeny, tiny heads of cauliflower I’m trying to protect. The largest one is about 2-1/2 inches across.

 

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The lettuce is still producing, though I’m having to prune more and more leaves off, due to the incredible changes in temperature. (Example – 70 degrees this afternoon, and 32 degrees tomorrow morning…) If you look carefully, you can see a salad blend plant in this pic – toward the upper left hand corner – it’s burgundy.

 

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Here’s a difference kind of lettuce. It’s still looking pretty good.

 

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This is the ‘celery that could’ (like the little engine that could in the children’s story.) I planted it weeks ago. It’s still little bitty, but – as you can see – very healthy and green. I’m cheering it on, trying to protect it as much as possible. SWEET little celery plant…

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The Garden Still Lives!

garden1

For two nights this week I’ve had to spread sheets over our fall raised bed, square foot garden, trying to bring the plants through the freezes. Last night it wasn’t supposed to freeze, so I held my breath and didn’t cover the plants. I went out to check on things this morning and all our plants were still alive! I have several different types of lettuce that I’m HOPING I can continue to harvest into January. Time will tell. The above is head lettuce.

 

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I’m not sure what this is called, but the leaves are frilly and curly.

 

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This is kind of ruffle-y.

 

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This is one of the two raised bed planters that are almost entirely devoted to broccoli and cauliflower, although you can see two lettuce plants on the left.

 

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This planter is almost entirely lettuces. If you look carefully, there’s a ‘salad blend’ brownish lettuce in the center. The weather was so warm I almost lost the lettuce plants due to them trying to bolt. That’s why the plants are so tall. I have no clue what will happen, but I’m harvesting every two or three days for as long as they’ll allow.

 

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This is the treasure I found this morning – a teeny, tiny head of cauliflower! Isn’t it cute? :0)

I tried to grow celery this year, planting three ‘bottoms’ of celery I had gotten at the store. Two immediately croaked when I transferred them to the planter, but one is still alive, quite green, but only has small leaves and doesn’t seem to be growing. I’m just glad I tried, kept one alive, and will keep trying.

I finally folded up the king sized sheets I used to cover the planters. We MIGHT get much-needed rain tomorrow and I don’t want the sheets to get wet.

So far, so good!

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The Fall Raised Bed Square Foot Garden

fallgardennov1

You can see two of the three 4×4 foot squares of our raised bed, square foot garden in this picture. I’ve been trying to grow broccoli, cauliflower, two kinds of lettuce, celery, and radishes this fall. You can also see the three NEW squares we now have ready for the spring.

 

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I harvested some broccoli and some lettuce this afternoon. I’ll post pics as soon as my camera battery is recharged. (Don’t you wish WE could recharge our batteries by just plugging into an outlet on the wall?)

 

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Our weather here is nuts. We’ve been having some really nice weather for the past couple of weeks. Today and tomorrow, though, the highs are in the mid 80’s – followed by Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with possible hard freezes. I’ll go out and clean up the garden as much as possible this afternoon. Tomorrow evening we’ll take down the automatic irrigation system for the garden. I’ll still be able to turn it on manually, if needed, but we don’t want the system to freeze. I’ll also plan to cover the plants with sheets for the three days. We usually have a cold snap that kills everything, followed by warmer weather. I’ll do what I can to keep things going as long as possible.

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Distracted!

Have you ever started to do one thing – and then got distracted by something else so that you didn’t do the original thing at all? That’s what happened to me after we got home from Lunch Bunch and errands today.

I got ready to mulch leaves, getting out the mulcher unit, canvas barrel, big rake and the power cord. Before I started that, I decided to check on my husband, who was out in the shop doing some stage of reloading ammunition.  He was fine and happy, so I went back toward the house and my mulching.

As I got toward the house, though, I decided that I had better do the garden first before I got too tired, so I got my gardening scissors and harvest bucket and went back out to the garden. It’s almost 3 hours later, and I still haven’t mulched one leaf…

I did, however, get the garden under control.

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This is the raised bed square foot garden now. There are six 4’x4′ raised wooden ‘tables’ full of Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different kinds of compost as we can find or make. We’re using mushroom, barnyard, and cotton burr mushroom, plus some we’ve made).

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Fall garden from the side.

 

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Fall garden from the front.

 

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New beds we just finished that we’ll start using in the spring.

It had been over a week since I’d been out in the garden, so there was a lot to do. The ‘fall’ weather has been more like summer this year, just now starting to cool off, so some of the plants are trying to bolt. I’m hoping that the dip in temperatures will prolong the harvest, but I’ve been really pleased with the head lettuce, in particular.

 

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This is today’s harvest. The lettuce is a combination of ‘salad blend’ and ‘head lettuce.’

 

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The broccoli is trying to bolt, but I’m still hopeful we’ll get more good eating before winter.

SO – now that the garden is under control and the harvest has been washed and put away, I’m resting a bit before going out and doing the leaf mulching I was trying to do in the first place!

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cliparting.com

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The Irrigation System is Working!

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My husband worked really hard in the bright sun today, adding irrigation to the three new raised bed planters.  In the middle of each raised box, we have a sprinkler. The three of these are tied together by lengths of hose mounted on 1 x 2s that span the length of the three planters. Then the three sprinklers are attached to the main control, a faucet that we can use to control the amount of water that is sprinkled onto the plants. We can control the north side of the garden separately from the south side. These are attached to a hose that runs to the outdoor faucet on which we have a control system with a timer that allows us to select when the plants are watered and for how long a time.

 

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These are the three new planters on the north side of the garden. We’ll use these starting in the spring.

 

 

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These are the three planters on the south side of the garden where I’ve planted two kinds of lettuce, some celery, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower.

 

 

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The two kinds of lettuce (head lettuce and salad blend) are mainly in the closest planter in the picture, though the bright green in the second planter is also head lettuce.

 

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This is the garden, with the picture taken looking to the west. I need to harvest again soon! :0)

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Fall Garden Progress 10-22-2016

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This is a planter with broccoli and cauliflower. The plants are looking healthy, but I have no clue how much actual FOOD we’ll get…

 

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On the far right and the far left, toward the top of this picture, you can see some broccoli florets! Woo Hoo!!!! :0)

 

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This planter is mainly two kinds of lettuce: head lettuce and ‘salad blend’. There is a teeny tiny celery plant that is very green and still alive, and I’m going to plant a 2nd batch of radishes today.

The next pictures you see won’t have the fabric shade at the top. I’m about to go out now, spread the cedar chips under the new planters, and start snipping wire tires that hold the fabric shade in place all the way around the garden.

Wish me luck?

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Fall Garden – 10/9/2016

I enjoyed harvesting some lettuce and a batch of radishes today.

lettuce

 

 

radishes

We put up another raised bed planter recently. It’s the first of three on the north side of the garden.

 

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You can see that I’ll need to make more Mel’s Mix to fill this planter up. You can also see the template we use to figure out where to drill the holes for the planter legs standing up against the back fence of the garden.

 

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This picture shows the spot between the raised bed planter and the last on-the-ground square foot planter. I dug the Mel’s Mix out of the one in the middle, putting it into three trash cans, waiting for us to install the 2nd planter. That will leave just one more planter and our project will be finished and ready for next spring’s planting.

 

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Meanwhile, we’re really enjoying the fall garden in the raised bed planters on the south side of the garden. Here you can see the empty square where I harvested the batch of radishes. I’ll plant some more in the next day or two. The empty looking square next to the corner one has a piece of celery trying to grow.

 

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The other two planters have a bunch of healthy looking greenery from cauliflower and broccoli plants, but nothing that looks like veggies yet.

 

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This is a close up of the lettuce plants. Some are called ‘salad blend,’ and the bright green are head lettuce. (Please pretend you DON’T see the little weed in the bottom right hand corner…)  :0)

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Fall Garden Update – 9/28/2016

garden-northside

This picture shows you the north side of our square foot garden. We finally got the last vertical pole out, so we can now start installing the three raised bed garden boxes and the irrigation system that will go with it. We’re not going to plant in these until next spring, so we’re not in a hurry. I’m emptying out each 4 foot x 4 foot square into trash cans, saving as much of the Mel’s Mix as possible. Then we fill the planter box and then move to the next one.

 

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This is the first of the three raised bed planters we’re using for our fall garden. The plants have at least doubled in size now. We have a broccoli plant, some celery, and two different kinds of lettuce planted in this one: salad blend and head lettuce.

 

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This is the second raised bed planter. We have head lettuce (the light green plants close to you) and the rest is broccoli and cauliflower plants. I have no clue whether I’m just going to get a lot of green, or actually get broccoli and cauliflower. Fingers are crossed.

 

rbg6This is the third raised bed planter, filled with broccoli and cauliflower. I really love the way I can walk around each raised bed, can reach all the squares easily for planting, weeding, and harvesting.

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Fall Garden Harvest # 2

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The fall garden is doing really well right now. I harvested lettuce for the 2nd time yesterday. I could have harvested a bunch more, but I want it to last as long as possible. We’re eating a lot of salad now, and enjoying about half of it being from our garden. The plants are really producing, happy with the suddenly cooler weather (high of about 80 degrees F). I think both plants and people are feeling a burst of energy right now. :0)

 

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The celery I tried to grow by cutting off the bottoms of the celery I bought at the store and putting them in water to grow roots, then putting them in the garden didn’t work yet. I have another plant started in the house and will transfer it to the garden as soon as it looks like it might live out there. I love this idea and will keep trying it.

Our cauliflower and broccoli plants have doubled in size in the past few days. I can’t believe how large they are. So far, they’re just leaves, and I’m HOPING we actually get some veggies, instead of just showy plants….

My radishes are looking good, too.

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My husband got antsy to try to get the last large vertical pipe out of the garden yesterday. We haven’t received the replacement pipe puller yet, but he decided yesterday was the day. He MADE a puller out of iron, putting stiffeners on the edges and cutting the hole in it freehand with the torch. It gave a good pull, but no bananas. We put a bunch of water around the concrete, thinking that would make the pulling more effective. We did this twice, to no avail. We took the grinder and a long extension cord out there and he cut the pipe off at ground level.

Now he’s antsy to start installing the last three raised planters we made for the garden, but we have other priorities right now. We have plenty of time. We’re not going to use them until the spring.

Meanwhile, I hope I’m not driving you nuts, telling you how MUCH I loved the raised planters. I walk out, stand there calmly pulling out weeds and adding them to the bucket I brought out, or snipping lettuce leaves in comfort, putting them in the special harvesting basket. I’m STANDING there, doing my gardening, not down on my hands and knees, getting up and down, up and down, over and over until I’m exhausted; or bending over double in order to reach the weeds or plants. I’m thoroughly spoiled already!!!!

 

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Fall Garden 2016

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Here is one of our fall raised bed planters. I’ve planted radishes, celery, salad blend lettuce, and head lettuce in this one.

 

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The second planter has some head lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli.

 

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And the third planter has broccoli and cauliflower.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is that this old broad can walk out to the garden and plant, weed, and harvest while standing up comfortably!  I have no clue whether the plants will be successful or not, but I have some good, healthy plants at this point and lots of enthusiasm.

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Planted and UnPlanted

gardeningkiwi.wordpress.com

gardeningkiwi.wordpress.com

We had a good storm overnight. We awoke to low 80’s and MUCH less humidity!  Hooray!!!

I had gotten two 6-packs of head lettuce yesterday, so I got those planted today, finishing up my fall garden planting in my new raised bed planters. I have broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, radishes, and two kinds of lettuce: ‘salad blend’ and ‘head lettuce.’

I used this opportunity to go ahead and dismantle the north side of the garden. I harvested what I could – one small tomato and some cucumbers – and then laboriously pulled out all the plants, small tomato cages, large tomato cages, etc. Since we’re replacing the ground square foot planters with three more raised bed planters, I also dismantled that side of the irrigation system, then unscrewed the wooden and pvc pipe dividers. I had to work hard to get the small fence down that we had put up for climbing plants, but I got it unhooked and rolled it up and took it out of the garden.

The next step – NOT TODAY! – will be to start carefully digging up the Mel’s Mix from the planting squares so we can use it as part of the filling for the new planters once we get them up.

I’ll take pics as we go. We don’t need the new planters up until spring, so we’ll try to choose the nicest days we can find. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get some pics of the fall garden to show you.

I worked outside for over 3 hours today, so this old lady is more than ready for some lunch, another bottle of water, and some serious relaxing!

Hope your day is going well, too!

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Eureka!

GreenlaneGardens

GreenlaneGardens

I was starting to lose hope on finding salad plants for my fall garden. My husband said he wanted to go to north Fort Smith after Lunch Bunch today, so suggested I call Neumeier Nursery & Florist to see if they had lettuce. (I had gone to, or called everyone else, including Sutherlands in Fort Smith, who said they MIGHT get some in the next few weeks, but they didn’t know for sure.)

We got the supplies my husband wanted and then made our way to the far side of Fort Smith to Neumeier’s. This is such a wonderful place. I’m very thankful we don’t live close to them, or my husband would be VERY upset at all the money I would spend. Not only did they have lettuce plants for me, they also have a wonderful shop with all KINDS of wonderful, useless things I WANT. Even my husband saw a ceramic painted and glazed tree frog on the wall he wanted. When we discovered the price, we decided we could live without him…

I got ten ‘salad blend’ plants. The lady told me to wait a week before planting them to give them time to grow better roots. My husband suggested that I put the whole flat of plants on top of the free raised bed planter. This way they’ll get sun and be watered each day while they continue growing their roots.

I’ll try to get them planted Thursday or Friday of next week. When I get these in the ground, my fall garden will be complete, except that I’ll start another square of radishes, and have one remaining square to try to grow celery from the bottoms I’m cutting and sprouting from my grocery store celery. I’m excited. Last fall was the first time I’ve ever tried to have a fall garden. We had fresh lettuce and spinach through January!

I also harvested yesterday. Here’s a picture –

 

cucumbers

I think these are the weirdest cucumbers I’ve ever had. The dark green one in the middle MIGHT be Zucchini, but I’m not sure. Things are really winding down in the main garden now, even though we still have a lot of greenery. I’m going to start pulling things up and cleaning things out in preparation for transitioning the north side of the garden into the rest of the raised bed garden. We have three 4’x4′ boxes and the metal support supplies ready whenever the garden is over and I get things cleaned out. Happy gardening!

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Fall Garden Begun!

fallgarden8

It was super hot and muggy here yesterday afternoon (heat index 100 degrees +), but we had found cauliflower and broccoli plants at Sutherlands. I got two 9 packs of each. The picture above shows our new raised bed planters for the fall garden. There are three 4 foot x 4 foot raised planters in a row with sprinklers attached for irrigation. This is a picture of what they looked like when we started.

 

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We used really stretchy nylon string to mark the squares, anchoring the string on short screws I put in a 1 foot intervals around the planter edge.

 

 

 

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In a square foot garden, broccoli and cauliflower plants are planted one per square foot. You can see the markers in this picture. I was careful to plant broccoli in every other square so no two broccoli plants were planted side by side in either direction. According to Mel, this helps keep diseases down. I’ll take careful pictures of where things were planted in each raised bed so that I plant different kinds of plants in each square next time. This is for crop rotation.

 

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The plants I had filled two of the planters. Today I’ll plant some celery I started from ends of stalks bought at the grocery store, putting the ends in water and letting them sprout, plus carrots and radishes. I’m waiting for lettuce and spinach to be available at the co-op or Sutherlands to complete the fall garden.

  • Note 1: My moniker “Serial Seed Killer” is still sadly intact.  The broccoli was sprouting, and some of the lettuce. My husband thought the tray needed more sun, so we took it out and put it on the porch. A storm suddenly blew up and blew the top off the tray. We replaced it, but the damage was done. The sweet little sprouts lay dead the next morning. :0(
  • Note 2: Even though it took me two sessions to get things planted – due to my getting over-heated and needing to drink water, cool off, and rest after the first session, the raised planters we installed are WONDERFUL. We made sure that I can get in-between each planter easily, so I’m not having to do a balancing act to reach each of the squares. I didn’t have to bend over double or get up and down on my knees over and over to get the planting done!
  • Note 3: I harvested a few tomatoes yesterday, but the north side of the garden is almost done – even though we still have a lot of greenery. When things are finished for the year, I’ll carefully pull the plants and we’ll dismantle the planters on the ground, one at a time, replacing them with the remaining three raised bed planters. They are ready to install. We’ll wait until the weather cools off, too, so we’ll have an easier time with the install than we did with the south side.

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