In the Garden :: May 30

In the Garden 2015 May 30

Things are growing pretty well…for the most part. The onions are still completely choked with weeds, but the garlic is looking really good. I pulled a few garlic hoping to give the remaining plants more space, so we’ll see…

I harvested the teeniest little carrot the other day, while I was working with the tomatoes. These were actually seeds I planted in the fall, hoping for a “winter garden,” but nothing {no-thing} grew. I was very surprised to find these little guys growing when the weather warmed, and even more excited when I harvested a full-size, grocery-store-looking carrot this week! We haven’t eaten it yet because it’s just too awesome. I’ve been “growing” carrots since we started gardening in…2010?, and I’ve never {ever} harvested a dinner-worthy carrot. Accident or not, it’ll be good eats.

The asparagus didn’t look harvest-able for as long as I was hoping. We got maybe 8 pounds? We ate what we harvested and had asparagus every few nights for about 2 weeks. That’s probably normal but still a little disappointing. I was especially concerned when it didn’t seem like any more would grow – so we wouldn’t have anything to leave through the fall to do its thing. Fortunately, there’s a pretty decent stand of asparagus morphing into tiny trees out there now, so hopefully our patch isn’t doomed…

The raspberries should be ready to harvest soon. Lots of fruit growing. I’m concerned about the nasty fruit flies we had last year… I’m also disappointed that even though we worked and worked to tame the canes last fall, there is so much new growth you can barely even see the mature canes, better yet harvest from them without drawing blood. I’ve found a fair number of wineberry canes around the farm, so if we can harvest a good amount from them I may not keep the raspberries. {If it’s even possible to get rid of raspberries – they put out runners 6+ feet away!}

Some of our tomato starts are actually still alive. Most didn’t make it, but a top dressing of chicken house shavings seemed to help a lot. The starts we got from the farmer’s market are way more full and already setting fruit.

My Sugar Snap Peas didn’t germinate very well. Only 50% even though I’m pretty sure I put two seeds per hole… The four plants that are growing look really great, and starting to set some pods. We’ve actually never grown this tasty snack, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for something edible.

I planted black beans again for drying. I had good luck with the plants in 2012 but didn’t plant enough to actually eat any. Practically speaking, I think I would need to plant hundreds of row-feet to grow enough to eat for the year. If these produce we’ll save some for planting next year and enjoy one special beans-from-the-garden meal sometime this winter. I’m still not sure if planting in the ground will be an option for us here – there are SO many rocks! My pasture management plan is focused on #1) producing healthy animals and #2) building up organic matter. {More on that later.}

That dag-on Winter Rye is still persisting! It even put out seed this month! The kids and I hacked it back and I gave it all to the sheep, hoping we wouldn’t have any accidentally seeding itself in the garden. I think I’ll cover the last remaining bed with cardboard and compost and let it sit for a while. Ugh.

I started my first potatoes this month! I’ve never grown potatoes but I had a rather large bag of spuds sprouting in the pantry to I went ahead and put them in the ground. I had very little hope for anything, but they are all {ALL} growing green leaves and looking really good! I honestly can’t believe it. I *think* they are New Potatoes, but I’m not sure if that just means young potatoes, so who knows what we’ll end up with.

How’s your garden growing?

In the Garden :: January

Raspberries Before

Raspberries Before

Our raspberry patch was one of the many reasons we knew this place the THE place. But we’ve never had berries before, so before doing any pruning, Tripp and I started with a Google search… Here’s where we started:

  1. Remove last year’s canes,
  2. Narrow the row,
  3. Cut out the weaklings,
  4. Attach the canes to a trellis.

Then, in the garden, just like I often do, we watched this:

Our biggest question, after narrowing, and cutting, was what to do with the tops of the canes. The Fine Gardening article mentions cutting out the canes with gray, dry bark – but there were none like that in our patch. Nearly every cane had a dry bunch of leaves and dead berries – but all the pictures I’ve seen show NO fruity tops, so we were unsure. We went ahead and whacked them off – I just hope we made the right call!

Raspberries After

Raspberries After

Next, we need to build a trellis to support the canes. A good friend in Doylestown has a sweet little berry patch and I’ve always admired their trellis, so when we moved here I asked for some photos.
IMG_1504

IMG_1510

Bad Bugs

GROSS ALERT: I was in the front yard, chatting on the phone, picked a raspberry and was about to toss it into my mouth when I noticed a small spider on my finger. I shooed the spider and was again about to eat the berry when I saw three small bugs {fruit fly-size} on the berry. In my effort to remove the bugs I mooshed the berry a little bit and inside I found tiny little wormies. I freaked out a little, hung up the phone, and googled it. Spotted Wing Drosophila. The article linked with the photo below says they’re a problem “after late-July,” so I’m pretty sure we’ve eaten them since we moved in. I’m shuddering again thinking about it. My only question now is: what should I do with the remaining canes/berries as we prepare for next year? Will the nasty buggers be stopped now that frost is on the way?

I’ll let you know what I find out.

Spotted Wing Drosophila larvae in ripe raspberries

Spotted Wing Drosophila larvae in ripe raspberries