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
A Truly Giant Head of Cauliflower Just Before Harvest, 11-19-15
My Hens Cleaning up the Broccoli Plot, 11-24-15
The fall garden, edition 2015, is growing very well and producing an abundant harvest. I harvested the first fall broccoli about 5 days ago, with many more heads to come. The cabbage is just about ready to harvest and the green bean plants (growing in the old corn raised bed) are overflowing with bean pods. Some of the kohlrabi is nearing maturity, but the cauliflower is still about one month away from harvesting. The weather remains desert dry, but at least the temperatures have been a little above normal. Looking at the weather forecast, it now appears that the first fall frost might only be about 5 days away. Time to get some row covers ready! Also been harvesting what now appears to be the last peppers of the season. My 2015 fall garden harvest will probably finish a little bit above average.
Broccoli Head Awaiting Harvest, 10-9-15
Very Large Cabbage Head, Variety Golden Acre, 10-9-15
Green Beans, Variety Derby, Growing Nicely, 10-9-15
Kohlrabi, Variety Kossak, Nearing Maturity, 10-9-15
Well, I should have known, the record July rainfall has been followed by nearly no rain for the period August through mid September. Despite the dryness, the early fall garden is growing fairly well. The early August transplanted broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi, are doing just fine (see pics below). I have been watering them really well once a week. Most of the broccoli looks to be on target for an early October harvest, with the cabbage soon to follow. The cauliflower and kohlrabi will probably not be ready until late October or early November. The weather has not only been dry, but also hot for the last few weeks. It has cooled down a bit over the last few days. The early August planted carrots are doing okay, but they still look a little small right now. I planted some radishes about 3 weeks ago and they are just starting to get some size to them. Harvesting continues on green beans, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and celery. The last planted green beans growing in the old corn raised bed have just started to flower, so harvest will probably begin on them in another 3 weeks or so. The first fall frost is probably another 3 to 4 weeks away. Happy Fall Gardening!!!
Cabbage and Broccoli – Raised Bed
Cauliflower – Raised Bed
Green Beans – Raised Bed
Harvesting continues in the garden despite the record July rainfall. The weather has finally turned more “normal” for August and the garden has responded nicely. A decent amount of roma tomatoes were harvested and processed for sauce using my food strainer (see pic below). Two of the six roma tomato plants are almost totally devoid of leaves, but the other plants look okay for now. There are still many red tomatoes on the plants. The two 4ft by 4ft raised beds planted with Red Norland seed potatoes produced about 2o pounds of potatoes (see pics below). Harvest also continued on the hot banana peppers, green peppers, super chili peppers, and poblano peppers. I finally was able to get some bush green beans to germinate after replanting several times due to all of the rain. The last of the sweet corn was harvested about 2 weeks ago and bush green beans were quickly planted in that bed. All of the lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kohlrabi seedlings have now been transplanted out into the garden. Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds were planted out into the garden at the beginning of August. Out of 11 brussels sprout plants planted in the spring, only 3 have survived due to the very wet July. I will be planting some radish seeds within the week.
It is hard to believe, but the first fall frost is less than 60 days away. With decent weather, I am hopeful for a good fall harvest. Happy late summer gardening!!
Food Strainer Processing Roma Tomatoes on 8-7-15
Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed One
Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed Two
My garden has received way too much rain over the last 2 weeks, nearly 8 inches of rain!!!! Needless to say, parts of my garden are suffering from too much moisture. My broccoli looks really bad, but at least the main heads have all been harvested. The wet soils combined with the slugs have pretty much done in my spring planted cabbage. The Jade Cross brussels sprouts look really bad right now, but there is still a chance that they will pull through. The celery continues to struggle with a few more plants developing blackheart issues, probably due to all of the rain. One of my Roma tomato plants has developed some yellow leaves because of all of the rain…..go figure. Both the bush green beans and the pole lima beans are also suffering due to too much rain. There is some good news to report, I just harvested the Red Norland potatoes that were growing in the fabric grow bags. Despite all of the rain, they grew really well (see pic below). The other Red Norland potatoes growing in the two raised beds will be harvested in about another two weeks. The cucumbers are growing pretty good and I harvested enough to put up 11 jars of refrigerator pickles about one week ago. The Silver Queen white corn is growing really well and it looks like some of the ears will be ready to harvest in about another week. The onions were pulled up about 5 days ago and if we get a few dry days in a row, they should be ready to store by the end of the week. The onion crop looks to be only fair this year. The hot banana peppers have really started to mature and I harvested quite a few yesterday. Here’s hoping for better weather for the latter part of the summer and this fall.
Red Norland Potato Harvest from 4 Fabric Grow Bags
Cabbage, Broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts Look Really Bad
Silver Queen Sweet Corn Looks Really Good
Wow, things have been pretty busy in the garden over the last month or so. It has been pretty dry here up until the last 5 days when it has turned tropical, with rain every day and high humidity. Started harvesting the kohlrabi, variety Kolibri on June 8th. Most of the harvested kohlrabi were around 4 to 5 inches in diameter. It was super easy and fun to grow. I liked how it tasted. I thought it tasted similar to cauliflower. Also been harvesting a few hot banana peppers, lettuce (of course), the last of the radishes and green onions, and the first heads of broccoli on June 17th. With all of the heat, most of the lettuce plants have or are starting to bolt (sending up a seed stalk). When lettuce bolts, it starts to get bitter. I have some new lettuce seedlings to transplant out when the older plants get pulled out sometime this next week. The warm season plants (corn, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) are really starting to grow. The garden peas are are nearing harvestable size now. The spring planted onions are growing fairly well and are starting to bulb up. The cabbage is growing okay, but it is getting a little crowed by the broccoli. I will be removing broccoli leaves near the cabbage as I harvest the main broccoli heads. The Silver Queen corn is already 3 to 4 feet tall. The Red Norland potatoes are starting to really grow and some of the vines have started to flower. The potatoes in the fabric bags are growing like crazy and are a little ahead of the one growing in the raised beds. The potatoes in the fabric bags will probably be ready to harvest in about another 3 weeks. The celery is also growing well, but one of the plants has developed “blackheart” (https://nevegetable.org/crops/physiological-disorders-0) and will be pulled up. I have been having issues with this on my celery plants for several years now.
The first official day of summer is tomorrow, June 21st (the longest day (daylight) of the year). The first week in July is fast approaching, so I will be starting seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi then for the fall season. That is right, I said FALL. I posted a few pictures of my garden below. More pictures can be found on my Facebook Page. Happy Summer Gardening and Harvesting!!
Kohlrabi, Variety Kolibri, Just Before Harvest on June 8th
Nice Head of Broccoli Just Before Harvest on June 17th
Garden Peas Almost Ready to Harvest
Wow, I have super busy in the garden over the last month. My spring garden is now fully planted. I just finished planting seeds of pole lima beans and bush green beans yesterday. The spring garden is growing really well so far. I started harvesting my spring planted lettuce on May 10th. Wow, is the lettuce growing fast. I think the leaves grow 2 inches a day!! Homegrown lettuce is far superior to any store bought lettuce. I have also been harvesting a lot of radishes and green onions. Hopefully in another month I will be harvesting broccoli. I have attached a few pictures of my garden below.
I now have four new chickens (hens) that are about 8 weeks old (see pic below). The 2 whites chicks are Delawares, and the 2 orange colored ones are Buff Orpingtons. They are as cute as can be. They will be integrated with my existing flock of 6 hens when they get a little older.
Happy Spring Planting!!
Spring Lettuce is Growing Well
Silver Queen Sweet Corn is Already About 3 Inches Tall
Red Norland Potatoes Starting to Poke Up Through the Soil
My New Spring Chicks
Spring planting is moving right along so far. Most of my lettuce seedlings were transplanted out into the garden on April 15th. The peas were directly seeded out about one week ago, and a few have started to poke through the ground. The radishes planted under the plastic covered hoop house in late March are starting to grow. I will be planting Red Norland potatoes today as well as starting my cucumber seeds in small pots to place in the cold frame. I will wait another week to plant out the cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi seedlings. The weather has been pretty decent over the last week or so, but the weather forecast is for cooler weather over the next 5 days, with a chance of some light frosts in the mornings. I was able to harvest some green onions yesterday, with many more to come.
A Look Inside my Cold Frame on 4-15-15
Newly Planted Lettuce Seedlings on 4-15-15
Radishes, Onions, and Overwintered Lettuce Growing Nicely on 4-15-15
I cannot believe we are nearly halfway through April already. Spring planting is a little behind for me this year. The only things I have planted out in the garden are onions and radishes. I will be directly seeding some peas today. Lettuce seedlings will be transplanted out into the garden in another 4 or 5 days along with some Red Norland potatoes. The soil here in Central Indiana is very wet due to all of the rain. Hopefully, the weather will start to dry out a little. At least it has been relatively warm. The broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprout, and kohlrabi seedlings are starting to get to size in the cold frame and I anticipate on getting them out into the garden in about 10 days. The topsetting onions planted last fall are growing well and the first harvest of green onions will probably begin in about another week.
Welcome to the “official” first day of spring!! Lettuce seeds were started indoors on 3/14 and all of those have since germinated and were moved outside to the cold frame. Seeds of broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, celery, and kohlrabi were started indoors yesterday, 3/19. I am growing kohlrabi for the first time this year. I should be receiving my onion plants next week. I am thankful that the weather has been more like normal for the past week or so. I noticed that my topsetting onions that were planted last fall have started to push on green top growth and the perennial chives and oregano have started to green up. In fact, the first harvest of chives might begin in another week of so. I might try to directly seed some radishes under my plastic covered hoop in the next few days. Happy spring planting.