Archived Monthly Posts

Early Summer Garden Update - Fall Garden Seeds Started

Greetings, sorry for the delay in updating my garden activities.  This spring has been very challenging weather wise.  We had one of the coldest Aprils here in Indianapolis followed the warmest May on record.  Adding to the hot May, I have had not had anywhere close to normal rainfall in my garden since about the middle of May.  The spring planted onions and peas suffered the most in the dry and hot conditions. The peas did not produce at all as the vines withered and died in the intense heat. The onions suffered a bit as well due to the lack of rain. It looks like my onion crop this year will be a little smaller than normal.  The spring planted lettuce did okay.  All of the remaining lettuce plants have bolted and were pulled up, except for the ones I am letting go to seed for seed saving.  The broccoli and kohlrabi grew fine this spring. All of the kohlrabi has now been harvested along with all of the broccoli main heads. The broccoli is now continuing to produce side shoots. The spring planted celery has also struggled a bit in the hot and dry weather. Harvest has started on the Red Norland potatoes growing in the fabric bags. The potato production from these bags seems to be fairly good this year despite the heat and dry conditions. I was watering these bags every other day to keep them from drying out. The warm season plants, including the corn, cucumbers, peppers, beans, and tomatoes are really starting to grow now. I will start harvesting green beans very soon.  Unfortunately, my Roma tomato plants have started to develop a leaf disease. The Hungarian Wax peppers (Hot Banana Pepper) are growing like mad right now and I have been harvesting some of these already. Harvest has also started on the cucumbers. The Silver Queen corn is growing really well and the silks have started to form. The corn will probably be ready to harvest in another 3 weeks or so. The japanese beetles have arrived with a vengeance.  Luckily, they are not doing much damage to my vegetable garden, other than the fact that I have seen them on the corn silks.  Summer is flying by pretty fast now. Now is the time to start planing your fall garden. I planted my fall seeds of lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, and cauliflower in cell packs on July 5th. I am waiting for them to germinate inside and then will move them outside to my covered back porch. The seedlings should be ready to transplant out into the garden starting the first or second week of August.  I will be planting carrot seeds out into the garden by the first week of August.  I have posted some pictures of my garden below.  Happy Summer Gardening!!

Very Tall Silver Queen Corn Growing in a Raised Bed

Very Tall Silver Queen Corn Growing in a Raised Bed

Onions Pulled and Drying

Onions Pulled and Drying

Hot Banana Peppers Ready for Harvesting

Hot Banana Peppers Ready for Harvesting

Roma Tomatoes Starting to Turn Red

Roma Tomatoes Starting to Turn Red

I am Back - 2018 Spring Garden

I have returned to my garden blog from a year long hiatus.  Lets get right to it. The weather this spring in Central Indiana has been very cold and wet. It seems that the weather has finally turned more normal. Because of all the cold weather, the garden is a little behind schedule. I was able to get my lettuce seedlings planted out into the garden a few weeks ago. They seem to do be growing fine right now, but I am probably at least another 2 weeks from harvesting anything from them right now.  My over wintered Sierra lettuce did remarkably well, and I have been harvesting this lettuce for 2 weeks now. Harvest has also begun on the my overwintered top setting onions. These green onions are fantastic tasting this year, probably due to all of the cool early spring weather we have had so far. I was able to get my other onion transplants into the garden pretty early this year (about the 3rd week in March). After planting these, it promptly snowed about a foot and buried them. They seemed to come out of it fairly well and have started to get growing recently.  I planted seed potatoes in fabric bags about two weeks ago, planted out the broccoli and kohlrabi seedlings out into the garden about one week ago, and planted brussels sprout seedlings a few days ago. Because of the cold wet soils, I delayed planting the peas until about the middle of April. They have since germinated and are doing fine. I will be planting the rest of my garden (celery, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans) within the next few days. The corn was planted in the raised bed on May 5th.  Happy Spring Gardening!!

Overwintered Sierra Lettuce Awaiting Harvesting, 4-26-18

Overwintered Sierra Lettuce Awaiting Harvesting, 4-26-18

Spring Lettuce Seedlings, 5-5-18

Spring Lettuce Seedlings, 5-5-18

Top Setting Onions Ready for Harvesting, 5-5-18

Top Setting Onions Ready for Harvesting, 5-5-18

Candy and Red River Onion Transplants Starting to Grow, 5-5-18

Candy and Red River Onion Transplants Starting to Grow, 5-5-18

The 2017 Garden Season is Off and Running

The 2017 gardening season has officially started in my garden.  The weather so far this spring has been pretty good, with the exception of a very cold spell in early and mid March.

About 100 Onion transplants from Dixondale Farms were  planted out into the garden around the last week of March.  Lettuce seedlings were transplanted out into the garden on April 8 under a plastic covered hoop. Hopefully I will be able to harvest some of the lettuce leaves in another 10 days.  Pea seeds were planted in the first week of April and radish seeds were planted out the second week of April. Planted seed potatoes (variety Red Norland) out into 8 grow bags on April 9.  I plan on transplanting the kohlrabi, broccoli, and brussels sprout seedlings out into the garden within the next few days.  I have been harvesting the fall planted top setting onions, for green onions, for about a week. Harvest will continue on those for about another 3 weeks or so (see pic below).  I will be moving my pepper seedlings to larger pots very soon. They  will continue to be kept in the cold frame for about another 3 weeks or so. Will also be planting my cucumbers seed in small pots which will also reside in the cold frame until the chance of frost has ended.  Happy Spring Gardening!!

Overwintered Top Setting Green Onions Harvested on April 14, 2017

Top Setting Green Onions Harvested on April 14, 2017

Wow, What a Great Fall Garden!

My 2016 Fall Garden has turned out really well!! I started harvesting broccoli about the 3rd week in September, but harvest has ended after the hard freeze of last week. I covered the cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi with row covers and they came through the cold just fine and I am still harvesting them (see pics below). The kohlrabi is giant, with some about double the size of a softball.  Here is what I have been harvesting in the garden this fall:  lettuce, radish, green onions, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and broccoli. My carrots are not doing all that well this fall, but I do still have them growing under a plastic covered hoop. I should get some harvest from those in about another month or so.  With luck, I should continue to harvest some kohlrabi and cabbage over the next few weeks.  Spring is about 3 months away, but I have already started to receive a few seeds catalogs in the mail.  Happy Late Fall Gardening!!

Giant Kohlrabi Still Growing in the Garden on 11-10-16

Giant Kohlrabi Still Growing in the Garden on 11-10-16

Cauliflower Awaiting Harvest on 11-10-16

Cauliflower Awaiting Harvest on 11-10-16

Kohlrabi and Cabbage Growing in Grow Bags on 11-10-16

Kohlrabi and Cabbage Growing in Grow Bags on 11-10-16

Challenging 2016 Growing Season, Fall Garden Planted

It has been a very challenging growing season so far. Many issues have plague my garden this year, from too much rain in the early spring, to too little rain in the middle part of the summer, to flooding rains in August. Also, garden pest and diseases have also been an issue, from cabbage worms and bean beetles, to blackheart on the celery, and septoria leaf  spots on my roma tomatoes. Despite all of these challenges, I have been able to get a fair harvest from my garden.  Overall, harvest has been below normal.  Here are my overall results so far:

Onions: Candy yellow onions did pretty well, Red River red onions, pretty poor
Beans: Derby bush beans below average due to bean beetles and weather. King of the Garden pole lima crop failure. I am leaning toward not growing these anymore as I cannot get the vines to produce beans.
Lettuce: Decent spring harvest.
Peppers: Fair Hot Banana harvest, poor green pepper harvest, fair Poblano and Super Chili harvest so far.
Tomato: Roma tomatoes poor harvest due to leaf disease.
Celery: decent early on but all plants developed blackheart disease and died by early August.
Corn: Silver Queen corn harvest fair.
Cucumber: Diva cucumber harvest fair.
Potato: Red Norland harvest in raised beds was fair, very good in fabric bags.
Broccoli (Spring): Decent
Kohlrabi (Spring): Kossack kohlrabi pretty good, Kohlibri kohlrabi crop failure.
Pea: Mr Big pea, fair harvest.
Radish (spring): fair harvest.

The fall garden is fully planted and growing right now.  The early August planted carrot seeds were washed away with the flooding rains, so I replanted.  Most have now germinated, but the carrots are pretty small right now.  Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi seedlings are now growing in the late summer/early fall garden (see pics below).  With decent weather I should have a good fall harvest this year.  The first fall frost is only about 3 to 4 weeks away now.  Happy Fall Gardening!!

Broccoli and Kohlrabi, 9-16-16

Broccoli and Kohlrabi, 9-16-16

Cauliflower "Snow Crown", 9-16-16

Cauliflower “Snow Crown” Hybrid, 9-16-16

Sierra Lettuce Awaiting the First Fall Harvest

Sierra Lettuce, 9-16-16

Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Green Onions and Radish, 9-16-16

Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Green Onions and Radish, 9-16-16

Late Planting of "Derby" Bush Green Beans Almost Ready for Harvest, 9-16-16

Late Planting of “Derby” Bush Green Beans Almost Ready for Harvest, 9-16-16

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage, 9-16-16

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage, 9-16-16

Two Giant 5 Foot Tall Poblano Pepper Plants, 9-16-16

Two Giant 5 Foot Tall Poblano Pepper Plants, 9-16-16

Early Summer Garden Growing Well

Wow, I can’t believe we are almost halfway through June already.  My garden is now fully planted and growing pretty good.  Just as I thought, we went from having too much rain to not enough.  The temperatures have finally become more summer like and the warm season crops are really liking the heat.  Harvest continues on the spring planted lettuce and green onions and the radishes are about finished.  Some of the kohlrabi is almost ready to harvest and the broccoli is starting to head, so it won’t be long before the broccoli harvest starts. The onions are just starting to bulb up, so I have to make sure to keep them well watered for the next 3 weeks or so.  I got my peas planted a little late this year and they have just started to flower and push on new pods. Not sure how well the harvest will be on these this year. The red norland potatoes growing in two of the raised beds are not doing so well this year. Not sure why, but it might have something to do with growing these in the same beds for multiple years now.  The red norland potatoes growing in the three grow bags are doing very well.  The Diva cucumber vines have just started to flower and the roma tomato and pepper plants are just starting to grow with the onset of the warmer temperatures.  The Silver Queen corn is really stating to grow now and is already about 2 feet tall.  I will be starting my seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kohlrabi  in about another 2 weeks for transplanting out into the garden about the first week of August.

Broccoli Head Starting to Form

Broccoli Head Starting to Form

Early Summer Lettuce Still Growing Well

Early Summer Lettuce Still Growing Well

Pepper Plants Just Stating to Get Some Size

Pepper Plants Just Stating to Get Some Size

Happy Summer Gardening.

Garden More than Half Planted, Too Much Friggin Rain

Lettuce and potatoes were planted about 3 weeks ago, the broccoli, kohlrabi, and peas about 2 weeks ago.  I decided not to plant cabbage in the spring because of all of the slugs problems I have had over the years (planting kohlrabi instead because it is my new favorite vegetable).  I will continue to plant cabbage out in the fall.  I was about one week behind schedule on getting the lettuce seedlings transplanted out into the garden, due to the cold and wet weather.  I will be planting out the brussels sprout seedlings hopefully within the next week or so.  The weather has been way too wet for my liking, but there is not much one can do about that.  With favorable weather, I plan on getting my peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery seedlings planted within the next 7 to 10 days.  I really need for the soil to dry out a bit in order for me to seed my pole lima beans.  I have been harvesting the overwintered lettuce, radishes, and green onions for over 3 weeks now.  My spring planted lettuce should be big enough to start harvesting some of the outer leaves within the week…..Yea!!  I really enjoy my spring lettuce every year.  Happy Gardening!!

Seeds Started, Weather is Getting Warmer

All of my seeds have been started: lettuce seeds were started on March 2nd; broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and celery were started on March 14th; Peppers were started on March 20th.  All of them have germinated, except for the peppers, and have been moved to the cold frame.  The weather is starting to warm up a bit and the rain has finally let up a little.  I should be receiving my onion plants from Dixondale within the next few days and hopefully I will be able to get them in the ground within the next week or so.  Speaking of onions, my top-setting onions planted last fall are really starting to grow now with most plants having 4 to 5 inches of green top growth already (see pic below).  I might start harvesting some for green onions within the next few weeks!!  I directly seeded some radish seeds and a few more top setting onions under the plastic covered hoop that I overwintered some lettuce plants in.  Peas might get planted  in 2 weeks, depending on the weather.  Happy Early Spring Planting!!

Fall Planted Top Setting Onions Growing Nicely - 3/21/16

Fall Planted Top Setting Onions Growing Nicely – 3/21/16

Cold Frame is Up, Starting Seeds Soon, Still Harvesting Carrots

I put up my cold frame up on February 20th, so spring is not too far away.  I do not have anything in the cold frame at this time, but I will be starting some lettuce seeds indoors in about another week, depending on the weather.  Once they germinate, I will move them out into the cold frame.  Shortly after that I will start seeds of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kohlrabi.  Still waiting for the weather to warm up a bit, although the high temperature here in Central Indiana was 72 degrees 5 days ago, it has since cooled back down with even a little bit of snow 2 days ago.  I now have received all my seeds that I needed to order so I am ready to start planting.  I harvested some of last fall’s carrots the first week of January (see pic below), that were growing under the plastic covered hoop, with over half still currently in the ground.  During the last warm spell I emptied the smaller of my two compost bins and spread the compost over about half of the garden beds.

Scarlet Nantes Carrots Harvested on 1/9/2016

Scarlet Nantes Carrots Harvested on 1/9/2016

2015 Fall Garden Update - WOW

Sorry for the delay in posting updates, but better late than never.  I hope everybody had a great Christmas.  My 2015 fall garden really produced for me this year. This might have been my best fall garden ever!!  The weather was great, although maybe a little drier than I would have liked it, and the temperatures were a little warmer than normal.  All plants produced very well: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, carrots, lettuce, kohlrabi, and the late planted beans.  This was my first year at growing kohlrabi, and it did not disappoint. The fall planted kohlrabi (variety Kossak) grew fantastic.  I still have most of the carrots out in the garden under a plastic hoop.  I will be harvesting them over the next month of so, unless the weather turns very cold, then I will harvest them sooner.  I planted my top setting onions about the third week in October and they have started to poke little green leaves above the surface of the soil.  I have included some pictures below of my fall bounty.  My mailbox is starting to fill up with seed catalogs, so you know spring will be here before you know it.  Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Giant Kohlrabi Awaiting Harvesting, 11-10-15

Giant Kohlrabi Awaiting Harvesting, 11-10-15

A Truly Giant Head of Cauliflower Just Before Harvest, 11-19-15

A Truly Giant Head of Cauliflower Just Before Harvest, 11-19-15

My Hens Cleaning up the Broccoli Plot, 11-24-15

My Hens Cleaning up the Broccoli Plot, 11-24-15