Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Companion Planting

This year I have worked very hard to put certain plants together to try to repel some of those evil plant killing bugs.I have to admit, there is not a total reduction but a significant one so far. It is still early though. Those buggers can multiply quickly! If you companion plant, what do you pair together and how is it going for you?
corn planted with squash and beans ( you can barely see the beans over to the top left.)

Borage with the tomatoes. The verdict is still out on this one. I found a worm on the tomatoes right behind the borage! And I see signs of others that I cannot find.

Cucumbers planted with flowering radishes.

Squash planted with Nasturtium and Marigold.

And lets not forget my friendly bug eater...Hello Mr. Toad.
 I also have onions planted all over the garden! Except in the bean bed. And carrots with the tomatoes. The cilantro is in full flower! I guess we will have to see how the season goes to see if it worth so much extra planning and planting things I don't really care for, like radishes. But they flower so it doesn't matter. How is your companion planting going?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Harvest Monday 6/27

It's Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions!
My first Celebrity tomato. Third tomato of the season. Might be a while for the next though.

Made a dinner for my friend who just had a baby. Used some onions, garlic and cilantro from my garden. And some hot peppers from last season's garden to make some salsa and enchiladas.
needed another onion for her meal...

basil and raspberries
Chard. Starting to get a bit of the Rainbow Chard out of the garden now. It is growing slower and smaller than the white variety.

Picked all the garlic, as you can see all the stems were yellowing. It is all drying. The first carrots of the season! The kids and I each had one for lunch and they were yummy! And of course, my daughter gets ALL the raspberries!
First broccoli! Hoping there will still be time to get more before it gets too hot. The brassica bed is still full and healthy looking in the pop up with the shade cloth, even with the dry 90's we have had. This one was tasty. Only enough though for each member of our family of five to get a couple of little pieces!
Happy Harvesting!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Am I the only one...

who likes to stare out my window at the garden in eager anticipation as if my garden is going to magically produce a great harvest right before my eyes?

View from the window
 Let's take a look at a few things in the June garden.
The corn bed that suffered the most from critters, cutworms, birds, maybe both. Compare to the bed planted a few days later below.
The corn is growing much taller here. This is the bed directly behind the playset. There are squash and beans planted among all the beds of corn. There are 4 small beds.
A view from behind the playset. The popup hides a lot.
In March, my kids and I went tadpole hunting in the nature preserve and brought home a bucket full of them. We fed them cooked lettuce a couple of times, and kept them in clean pond or rain water and they all disappeared over time! They either all jumped out or they ate each other! Ha!
Yep, here is one hiding next to my squash! Eat those squash bugs little toad! He really isn't so little. He is quite a large bugger! Bigger than my fist I think. I am very happy to see him hanging around. I hope I don't scare him too much.

There were a couple of others but I kept scaring them to the point that I no longer saw them hanging around. Maybe they just found a good hiding space!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Harvest Monday 6-20

Nothing as big as last week. But I had some firsts this week.
The first Thyme and garlic scapes from my garden. I used them in my Chicken Pot Pie along with half of my  peas. The other half went to the new freezer! It was a yummy pot pie. Delicious flavor. I had never had garlic scapes before and it was very good in my pot pie.
The very first raspberries! 1 1/2 actually! The birds got half of one. Then my daughter got them, of course! There will be a few more soon enough. Hope I get to taste some of them! There is a nice pile of chard and one tiny, tiny, smaller than the raspberries, strawberry! She ate that too.
Picked my first Big Boy yesterday morning, although, he wasn't very big. But he was good on a BLT!
My first little garlic. Another first ever for my garden! I needed some for a meal and didn't have any in the fridge so I decided to go ahead and pull one.
It had 9 little cloves and it was cute worked great in my cabbages soup! I am really happy to see that it is doing so well!
 We had a pretty windy rain storm on Sunday. Some things in the garden had to be straitened back up and tied up. Most of the corn held up though. Some of the tomatoes got pretty laid out. But most held up pretty well, amazingly. And the garden could use the rain we have been getting the past few days. Hopefully the plants will have a nice growth spurt from the rain water. Stuff grows so much better from rain water than the hose!
I have also been doing some more seed planting of beans and squash and a few transplants. I have definitely put every inch of space to use in the garden, and have taken over some other parts of the yard! If we are lucky we will have produce growing out our ears! I plan on putting that freezer to use!
Happy Harvesting and don't forget to visit Daphne's Dandelions, there is such a nice variety of harvests to be seen!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Harvest Monday-Tables of lettuce

My first tomato if it really counts...it fell off of a transplant I bought! It was green and I put it in the window sill to ripen up!
 I had my table filled with lettuce 3 times this week, over 6 lbs. In the front there is some chard, cilantro, the last of the peas, and a few strawberries!

 My kids wheel barrel full of Red Russian Kale below.  More than 4 lbs! A little chard sitting on top too! And a bucket full of lettuce that also filled up my table! I need a salad spinner! A big one! I blanched some of the kale, and the rest I am going to try making my first kale chips! I might save a little for some sandwiches or something.
We don't normally have salads for every meal, or even often for that matter. So my kids asked me this week if we were going to be having salads every day! Yep, for a little bit! Until it is all gone! I did share some of my lettuce with a friend. 3 gallon sized bags full!

Finally, I was very excited this week to get a freezer! I have added my first garden produce to it! This ought to come in very handy! It isn't a very big one, but it'll be fine for us! Until my boys are teenagers and I can't keep enough food in the house!
 Happy Harvesting and don't forget to visit Daphne's to check out some more garden produce!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lilies, little helpers, and blooms.

My little helper can't even wait to get dressed in the morning before he is out to help me in the garden! He LOVES his Monkey jammies and helping mommy water! He is 19 mo's old now. He does a good job doesn't he?
 The lilies have been in full bloom lately and they are beautiful. They don't last long enough in my opinion! The Achillea looks very nice among the lilies.
 Lilies, dianthus, and moonbeam coreopsis. There are a couple of out of place orange lilies in there that might find a new bed for next year! I love a sea of red!
 With all the pretty colors around my deck, and my deck in the process of being redone, the kids and I are enjoying the back patio so much! It's a great place to just hang out and stick your feet in the kiddie pool!
 Lilies, hostas, and salvia.

Pumpkin Ball Squash

Clematis. Think I could use some more of this along the fence, it looks very nice and is easy to care for.
Bed number 8, Tomatoes, Lettuce, onions, carrots, it is getting full rather fast! The tomato plants look healthy and are blooming and in need of more support!
 I hope everyone is enjoying some blooms somewhere in their garden!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Harvest Monday 6/6

This week, peas, strawberries, chard, lettuce, kale and PIZZA!
These WERE some yummy strawberries. They of course did not last long, as it usually goes with strawberries!

The first Chard, "peanut" buttercrunch lettuce, and Red Russian Kale were picked of the season. There is still plenty more in the garden. We will be having a lot of salads soon! And I plan to try making kale chips!

DD enjoying her "peanut" buttercrunch lettuce. She does like her raw greens!

DS and I made a wonderful pizza with the chard as well as some baby portabello mushrooms and fresh mozzarella! It was good enough for them to want seconds and even thirds. Wish the pic turned out better for ya!
Other news in the garden, I have quite a bit of corn growing despite whatever is attacking. I still am not entirely sure if is cutworms or maybe birds, even though I have not seen any birds over there. So, I covered it with bird net. Figure it couldn't hurt and I will need the net for the raspberries soon enough! I have planted the beans and winter squash among the corn and along the fence and it will soon begin to fill in with the corn! I also put cucumbers in between each corn bed along the fence! I may have to go over to the neighbors yard to collect! And just when I have my garden planted, they once again have a new puppy! Thankfully, this one so far likes to stay close to their patio and is much smaller so maybe it won't tear up anything it can get to through my fence! (lost quite a few pumpkin vines to the puppy they had last year! And the one and only carving pumpkin I had, he thought was a ball and ripped it right off the vine!)

Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions to check out some more harvests!
Happy Harvesting!