Tag Archives: celery

Harvest – October 20, 2017

I took Amber out to the garden this morning.  I tried to harvest while she ‘helped me’ by trying to move two large plastic pots from the corner of the garden, take them under one of the raised bed planters and chew on them. I discouraged that, so she found some of the black weed barrier under some of the wood chip mulch and managed to pull some up. At this point, I thanked her for her help and put her on the other side of the fence to roam around until I got to a stopping point.

I harvested some of the largest leaves of the Bibb lettuce and Simpson lettuce.

 

I pulled up all the radishes. I’ll plant more later today, plus two celery plants and one head lettuce plant I started in the kitchen.

 

The lone spinach plant is doing very well, giving me 4 nice leaves today. I’ll take some spinach seeds out and plant them, as well today.

Also on my schedule is to re-plant several of the Iris rhizomes I dug up and separated this week. I’ll just plan on getting the one planter done today, taking my time on finding good spots to relocate the other iris around the yard.

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Fall Garden Pictures – October 2017

Here are 2 celery bottoms, one of which has sprouted a bit, and a core of head lettuce, which is also sprouting. I’ll move them to the garden soon.

 

Bibb lettuce, started from seed. I can start harvesting some of the leaves for salad soon.

 

Carrots. I need to read my square foot gardening book to figure out what to expect here and when.

 

celery plants. I’m harvesting separate stalks, since I didn’t tie them together as I was supposed to do.

 

Newish celery plants.

 

Radishes ready to harvest.

 

Simpson lettuce.  Some is ready to start using.

 

My sole spinach plant. I don’t know what happened that the other seeds didn’t make. I keep meaning to plant more, but the days get away from me.

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Mary, Mary…

30seconds.com

 

This is the view as you walk toward my square foot garden. You’d think I was specializing in marigolds! I planted them in several squares in each box, hoping they would help keep the insects down. I don’t see that they helped much, but they made the garden look happy. When the spring crops finished, the marigolds were still going strong, so I just left them. Now they’re overflowing.

The parts of the boxes not overflowing with marigolds look like this. My strings that we strung to demarcate the squares in each box were killed by the combination of water and sun. I’ll use a different kind in the spring. I just went out and sprinkled seeds for the fall garden and hoped for the best.

I also started a seed starter tray with peat pellets in the house. They sprouted, but were looking anemic, while the seeds in the garden were looking better. I decided to try putting the tray out on the deck where the seedlings could get more sun and maybe some rain. That turned out to be a mistake. The seedlings croaked, so I cleaned out the planter tray and put it back in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse, by the way, is still showing 120 degrees inside today, so it’ll be awhile before I try starting anything in there.

The raised bed square foot garden box above shows one single spinach plant, radishes, and two types of lettuce.

Only one plant resulted from the spinach seeds, but it looks good. I’ll try to plant some more around it, just to see if they’ll come up and produce, now that the weather people are saying we’re due for cooler weather next week.

 

This is a closeup of the Simpson Lettuce.

 

Radishes

 

New celery plants

 

Celery plants that grew more celery after I chopped the whole top off out in the garden!

 

Carrots

Bibb Lettuce

The only other veggies I have going for the fall garden thus far are two tomato plants offered several weeks ago. They still seem to be doing fine.

 

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A Little Bit of a Fall Garden

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Today I went out to what I hope will be my fall square foot garden. I haven’t been out there since I planted some seeds about three weeks ago.

The ones I planted in the plant starter tray are still looking really fragile. I guess I’ll move them outside on the deck where they can get more sun and hope for the best.

There were a LOT of weeds in the garden. I made a first pass on the weeding and will spend a lot more time out there later. I wanted to take some celery plants I started in the kitchen out there and basically see if ANY of the seeds had sprouted.

I’m going to stop here and go take some pics so that you can see what’s happening so far.

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I’m back.

I planted things fast, and not how I’m supposed to in a square foot garden because I really didn’t expect anything to come up. We had no rain – not even a drop – in September, confirmed by our weather people. We also had hotter and more humid weather than usual for the month. Not a great combination. I’m encouraged that I have ANYTHING growing at this point, particularly after getting rid of a gazillion weeds today.  This is Bibb Lettuce.

 

Carrot sprouts.

 

Celery. One neat thing I learned this year is that you can continue cutting stalks off, even to the point of getting pretty ruthless, leaving very little, and the stalks will start growing again!

 

The most successful plant in the garden this year was marigolds. They didn’t do much of a job of keeping insects away, but they look nice.

Two different ages of celery plants.

 

Radishes.

Simpson Lettuce.

One lonely spinach plant.

I’m going to do another round of planting seeds directly in the garden, since they did better than the ones in the planter starter tray. I’ll keep working with the ones in the tray to see if they will get large and strong enough for transplanting. If they’re still slow, they may be the first things I try to grow in the greenhouse!

I also have two tomato plants that are about a month old now. One has some blossoms. I don’t know if they’ll do anything before the first frost. If not, I’ll put them in the greenhouse, too.

I was a bit disappointed to find that no one was carrying the plants I wanted for a fall garden this year. Now it’s turned into a really fun experiment, where if I get anything at all to work, it will be more than I expected. :0)

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Serial Seed Killer Tries Again

Since I wasn’t able to find plants that I wanted for my fall garden, I planted some seeds and will hope for the best.

I planted some inside in a big planter starter thingie with a plastic top and it’s living on one end of our dining area table where it can get some sun. The others I planted directly in the garden, again hoping for the best.

I planted Bibb Lettuce, Simpson Lettuce, and Spinach inside, and planted those, plus radishes, carrots, and 4 celery plants I started inside. There isn’t anything to see yet, so no pics.

Since I’m aptly named the ‘Serial Seed Killer,” I may not get much, or anything, but I’m hopeful that ONE of the methods I used will be successful. Here’s hoping!

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Cleaning Out the Garden for the Fall

The Best Years in Life

This weekend I’m cleaning out our raised bed, square foot garden planters, getting ready for the fall garden. I harvested some more spaghetti squash, and I’ll show you pics of those later.

Amber went out with me to ‘help.’ We discovered she likes to play with grape tomatoes! I would throw one to her every once in a while, and she would happily treat it as if it were a toy. But then, after half an hour, she got bored and started to dig under the planters. I couldn’t allow that, so we came in.

I’ll cool off for a bit, drink some cold water, and then head out there again. I want to be ready in case we find some lettuce and spinach plants in Fort Smith when we go on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, if I can get the garden cleared out, I’m planning to set out 4 new celery plants, and plant some carrot and radish seeds. I’m pretty sure the radishes will do well, but I haven’t had any good looking carrots yet.  I’m not going to plant a lot this year. I told you recently I started two new tomato plants, in the hope that they’ll produce before it freezes. If I can get those, and some spinach or lettuce and radishes, I would be happy.

We’ve just had too many projects, plus trying to spend lots and lots of time with Amber, to try to do a large garden.

Are YOU growing a fall garden?

 

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Yesterday’s Harvest

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August 12, 2017 · 5:55 pm

Heat Index

The Best Years in Life

 

Since I wrote this morning, the rain stopped and the temperatures soared. It’s only 90 degrees F. outside now, with humidity around 65%, but if you’re working in the bright sunshine it’s HOT.

I’ve been doing a first-pass session of weeding in my raised bed, square foot garden. With all the wonky weather we’ve been having, the weeds have tried to take over.

I harvested some grape tomatoes, some celery stalks,  and a spaghetti squash. I’ll take pics in a bit and share them. I spent about 45 minutes, and that was really all I could do. I’m drinking cold water and wiping off my head with paper towels now, I’m so wet. UGH.

Still it was nice to know that some things are still doing well in the garden even now.

The new celery I’m starting, and the new experiment with the tomato suckers, and anything else, will stay in the house until it’s time to transfer them to the fall garden or the greenhouse. I’m supposed to be starting lettuce and spinach from seed at the end of August or the 1st of September! I’m hoping to have some nice, healthy transplants to go out in the fall garden and I’ll move any happy tomato plants into the greenhouse this fall. (Right now the thermometer in the greenhouse is still ready above 120 degrees F.)

I’ve had a lot of fun with my garden this year. As usual, I’m still learning a lot of what NOT to do next time, but I’m encouraged that I actually got celery and spaghetti squash to grow for the first time, and we had a really nice season of fresh tomatoes. I got a real harvest of sweet Georgia onions for the first time this year. They’re hanging in mesh bags in the pantry so that I can simply reach in and get one any time I would like. :0)

I’m hoping to have a nice crop of lettuce and spinach for the fall. Last year I lucked out and was still cutting leaves for salads into January!

Still reading about what else I can plant for the fall garden, and when I need to starts seeds. Will report back later.

I hope you’re having a happy day.

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Coming to the End?

I just harvested 3 more tomatoes while Amber and I were taking a walk, but they’re smaller and not as pretty. I’m grateful for whatever we can get at this point. I’m going to try to get some suckers from the tomato plants and plant them in pots in the house or on the deck for now. It’s still too hot to put them in the greenhouse. If I can keep them alive until they can go in there, I MIGHT be able to keep harvesting tomatoes for quite a while! Can’t wait to start the experiment.

I showed you two spaghetti squash(es) I harvested a week or so ago. I cooked them a couple of days ago and was able to freeze them into individual size servings – enough for 10 meals! I have about three more coming in the garden.  I also am still able to harvest handfuls of grape tomatoes – a fun thing to throw into salads or have with dip with celery and carrots.

I still have some celery growing, and have more on the kitchen counter getting ready to put out. My celery doesn’t look like what you buy at the store. I have read that I’m supposed to be tying the stalks together. I’ll try that one of these days, but I’m just cutting off stalks and bringing them in.

 

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Multi-Shampoo Day

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Heat index is 110 degrees F. today. UGH.

Amber and I went out to the garden to plant 3 celery plants and take pics of my squash. Then we walked out to the greenhouse so we could take pics of my husband’s ham radio tower which now has THREE sections together. By the time we got back to the house, my head was not only wet, it was dripping. UGH. It’s always hot in Arkansas in the summer ( July and August are the worst). We’re used to that, insulating ourselves from the heat as much as possible. This year, though, we’ve had a lot more humidity than usual. I’m too old for humidity, I find. I refuse to wash my hair more than three times a day, though – so if you’re coming to see us, I might look like an exploded dandelion.

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Since I  planted my first celery this year, I’ve learned two things:

Thing One – I’m supposed to be giving them a lot more water than the rest of my garden plants. I’ll keep using the irrigation system, but will also arrange to add extra water to the celery a couple of times a day.

Thing Two – I’m supposed to be tying the stalks together tightly as they grow. I’ll give that a try, but I’m not sure that’s a workable thing. I may just continue to come out and cut some stalks when they’re ready and let the plant do its natural thing.

I planted two spaghetti squash plants grown from seed taken from one bought at the store and sprouted in a glass in the kitchen. I now have FIVE spaghetti squash(es)! I’m not sure what the plural of ‘squash’ is. Anyhow, they’re looking great. Pics below.

I spent about an hour in the raised bed square foot garden yesterday trying to catch up on the weeds. I got things pretty much under control. Even with irrigation, the heat is stressing plants out now, so I’m feeling lucky to have anything still alive. I’m concentrating on trying to keep the plants as comfortable as possible, growing where and how they want to.

This grape tomato plant spread out all over one whole 4’x4′ square planter. Since it has blossoms all over it, I’m just letting it take over the planter.

 

The marigolds are happy. They don’t have very many plants to protect right now. Such happy-looking flowers! (Celery plants are along the back of the marigolds.)

 

Two of the spaghetti squash. I’m just pulling up the vines that spill over the box, spreading the vine carefully over the dirt and letting them go where they may. I put special plastic melon holders under the squash for support. I guess I’ll harvest these soon, as they’re getting to be the size of some I’ve bought at the store. They have blossoms on the vines, too, so I may get more!

 

Three new celery plants planted this morning.

 

 

Two more spaghetti squash(es). you can see a couple of yellow squash blossoms.

 

And this is a dog plant……

Amber went with me to plant the celery and take pictures this morning. She loved walking around under the planter boxes, enjoying the new world…  she got hot, too, and jumped into her pool on the way back from taking pics of my husband’s tower.

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And How Does Our Garden Grow?

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This is one of the celery plants in my garden that I started from the end of a stalk I bought at the store. I’m going to cut some of the stalks today and see if they taste good.

 

This is one of two spaghetti squash vines I have growing right now. I grew this from a seed I saved from a squash I bought at the store. It’s a bit larger than a softball now.

 

We have lots of green tomatoes, and this one ripening one. It should be ready to bring in in a couple of days.

 

 

Here are two celery plants that have been growing in water in my kitchen. These are ready to be planted in the garden.

 

Can tomatoes be ‘cute?’ If so, I think THESE are. These are grape tomatoes and this is today’s harvest. It may be awhile before I have enough for a salad….

And finally, this is the first thing I’ll do in my new greenhouse – try to grow tomato plants from suckers.

A ‘sucker’ is a sprout from the juncture of two branches. If you look carefully at this picture, you can find the juncture of the tall vertical branch on the right side of the picture and the horizontal branch going out to the left at the bottom of the picture. The ‘sucker’ is the smaller branch with leaves growing right out of the juncture.

 

In the next few days I’ll get some glasses in the greenhouse so I can put the suckers in the water and see if they’ll sprout. Fingers crossed!

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How Does My Garden Grow?

simply u photography

I just spent an hour and a half in my raised bed square foot vegetable garden. The fact that I can work in it without having to bend over a lot, and can plant, weed, harvest, and pull – a ll at about chest level  – is really, really nice. That said, I’m still old and I still get really hot working in the sun. :0)

We had a really odd combination of a cooler than usual spring with lots and lots and LOTS of rain and not much sun followed by blazing sun and 90 degree temperatures. This has resulted in my lettuce bolting, my spinach doing the same (both shooting up to about 4 feet in height and going to seed on the top.) The only thing to do with the lettuce at this point is save the little bit that I can and pull the rest of the plants. At the beginning, my plants were looking really good. Even with the best growing medium and supplements, square foot gardening, etc., some years your plants simply don’t do as well as you would hope.

The last storm also made the tops of my onions bend over and start to yellow. I looked at things today and decided to go ahead and harvest them. I pulled them all out, cut off the tops, and left them in a few piles on the planter while I came in to rest.  I’ll read up on how to dry them for storage.  I have 4 of the six planters cleaned up, pulled up, or pruned. I’ll try to finish in another session out there today.

It looks as if I’ll actually get at least a small spaghetti squash or two! I have a long vine with blossoms and two actual squash bulbs. I spread it out, allowing it to go where it will and do whatever it wants. I’ll take a pic later.

My celery plants are still growing, but they don’t look a thing like a bunch of celery you would buy in the store. I have no clue what I’m doing, but the plants look great! :0)

Our tomato plants on the opposite end of the house are looking good and we have lots of small green tomatoes now. We’re keeping all appendages crossed that we have a good year for red, ripe, sliced tomatoes at any meal we like…

I’m hoping we’ll get the greenhouse finished soon and ready for me to start seed for my fall plants. It’ll be such fun to try to grow plants to transplant out into the garden at the proper time. Again, I have a LOT of reading to do as to when to start the seeds in order to have them ready for the fall.

This spring I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do next time. If I live long enough, one of these times I’ll know what I’m doing!

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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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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ashevillage

 

Here is one row of our garden. You can see three ‘boxes’ from front to back tied together by the irrigation system, which is on a timer we can control. Most of the garden is in now.

 

This is the second row of the garden with another three boxes.

I just went over and hugged my husband again, thanking him (1) for the idea of our building a raised garden (when he saw how very hot, tired, and achy I got getting up and down, planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden on the ground), (2) for all the time and energy he spent building and installing the boxes, cutting and welding the support tables that hold up the wooden boxes, designing the irrigation system, (3) for encouraging me to spend what I needed to get – and keep – things going in the garden.

 

I visit the garden at least once a day – covering or uncovering the plants in protecting them from freezes, pulling the weeds that install themselves even up in the air, pulling off dead leaves on the plants, taking pics, and – the best part – when I can actually start harvesting what we’ve grown!

 

I’ve planted Georgia Sweet Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, celery, and spaghetti squash. Probably next month, when the stores have a good selection, I’ll get three tomato plants. In another three weeks, I’ll get three more, making a total of six. We have two brick planters on the east side of the house converted to square foot gardens, filled with Mel’s Mix, ready to receive the plants.

 

We’re off to a good start!

Do you like to grow veggies? I would love to hear from you, comparing notes on how you do it.  I would love to hear about tips you have on getting a healthy crop, suggestions you have so that I can do a better job. I’m a real novice and appreciate all the help I can get. :0)

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A Tour of My Refurbished Window Sill

I told you that during a severe thunderstorm last week, one of our dining area windows we didn’t latch blew open, carrying half of my plants and other goodies off the window sill and onto the floor, all in a heap.

I have re-potted what I could and planted more.

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Two celery plants: the one on the left was undisturbed. I re-potted the one on the right with fingers crossed.

 

 

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Three more celery plants.

 

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The large leafed plant is a spaghetti squash that was dashed to the floor. I think it MIGHT live! The other plants here are celery plants.

 

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This is a long-lived plant that I started years ago. Happily, it was just to the left of the window that blew open.

 

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One of my dear friends gave me this orchid a couple of years ago. It was looking sad, and suddenly it had these two blooms!

 

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A newly started group of spaghetti squash. No action yet.

 

 

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A newly planted bunch of spinach seeds. No action yet here, either.

I’m hoping I can transfer some of these plants to the garden mid month. I’ve never had celery grow before, so I’m excited to see if I can actually do it. The spaghetti squash is an entirely new try, too. I saved the seeds from the squash I bought from the store.

I haven’t found ANY spinach plants locally, so I’m especially eager for the new seeds to do well. I was really sad when the ones I had growing were thrown onto the floor. They were about 2 inches high. Fingers crossed!

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Potted Cat

pc2

This potted cat is definitely ready to harvest. I don’t know why Abby loves to sleep in a pot under the table on the back porch, but she does it every time we’re enjoying airing out the house, as we are today.  We could have saved a LOT of money on cat  beds.

In other plants, the celery is continuing to do well. I now have seven plants in soil on the window sill. I’m planning to move them to the garden mid-March, if they’re still alive then.

My spinach seeds still weren’t sprouting. One of my books suggested putting the seeds in water before planting for about 30 minutes. I did that this morning and then put the pots on the window sill. Fingers crossed.

I’ll plant my Sweet Georgia Onion sets this week some time. I’m hoping, but don’t really believe, that we’re past killing freezes yet.

Meanwhile, I was checking this around the yard and had a big surprise. My daffodils are not only sprouting – they’re BLOOMING!

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I’m really ready for spring. We’ve had a wonderful winter, with hardly any ice. I would love it if we could simply sneak into spring now, allowing the sprouting plants the longest possible life without getting zapped. These sweet daffodils really raised my spirits today.

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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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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.

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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

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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 –

 

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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!

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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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