Radish and pea seeds were sown about one week ago. Received my onion plants from Dixondale about 5 days ago and then it proceeded to rain heavily for 2 days. The garden soil is still very wet, but I went ahead and planted out the onion plants today in the mud (see picture below), taking care not to disturb the soil too much. I planted about 170 onion plants (about 1/3rd were Red Candy Apple and 2/3rd were Candy). The weather has been anything but normal around here. Because of the colder than normal late winter and early spring, I am at least two weeks behind a normal spring planting schedule. Because of the cold temperatures I delayed starting some of my seeds for fear of losing them in the cold frame. Hopefully the worst of the cold is behind me. I will not be able to transplant any of my lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage seedlings for at least another 2 weeks. Oh well, every year there is always a different challenge when it comes to the weather. Here’s hoping for drier and warmer weather!!
Candy and Red Cany Onion Seedlings Planted on 4-6-14
Seedlings Growing Inside Cold Frame, 4-6-14
The overwintered lettuce seems to be greening up a bit under the hoop. I checked out the plants thoroughly for the first time a few days ago. They seem to be doing fine (see picture below). Hopefully these lettuce plants will start growing bigger leaves within the next month. I planted radish seeds and some onion top sets around these lettuce plants 2 days ago. With any luck I should be harvesting fresh radishes in another month or so. I will be starting my green pepper seeds today along with a few more lettuce seeds. I emptied both of my compost bins yesterday and spread it onto the garden beds. Some of the compost in the bigger bin was still frozen, but I was able to chop most of it up with a shovel. The last big frozen clump of compost I lifted into the wheelbarrow and rolled it into one of the unoccupied garden beds to thaw. Wow, shoveling and moving compost is a big job!! The garden beds were even dry enough for me to get out my Mantis tiller and work them over a bit. The weather was been colder than normal, but at least the snow has melted and my soil has finally unthawed and dried out. My onion starts should be arriving from Dixondale in another week. I am hopeful to be able to direct plant my peas out into the garden in another 2 weeks. Happy Spring Gardening!!
Overwintered Lettuce Greening Up, 3-21-14
I am hopeful that spring is finally here (knock on wood). Most of the snow here in Central Indiana has melted so I put up my cold frame today and will start some lettuce seeds indoors in a few days. In about another five days I will start broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and celery seeds inside. After all seeds germinate I will move them to the cold frame. I peaked under my plastic hoop the other day and it looks like most of the lettuce plants have survived the winter outside under the hoop. I might try to plant some radish seeds under this hoop within the week. The fall planted top setting onions are starting to show some green top growth. Wow, am I ready for spring this year!!! Happy Early Spring Planting!!
The late December garden in still producing. The last of the late summer planted carrots were harvested on December 28th (see pics below). There were about 35 carrots are varying sizes. Theses carrots, variety Scarlet Nantes, grew fairly well under the plastic covered hoop. Even though it was very cold for about 2 weeks prior to harvesting, the soil under the hoop did not freeze. If you have not tried growing carrots in the fall, you should. Carrots that mature in the cooler fall weather are as sweet as candy! Over the last month I have also been enjoying fresh cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts from the garden. Now I am anxiously awaiting spring. My mailbox has been filling up with seed catalogs. I will be inventorying all of my seeds and ordering new seeds, as needed, within the next month. Make sure to order early for the best selection.
I would like to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous 2014!!
Carrots Before Harvesting that were Growing Under Hoop
Carrots After Harvesting
Happy Veterans Day! My November garden is still producing, although at a much slower pace. Harvest started on the Brussels sprouts about a week ago and more will be harvested today. Low temperatures are predicted to be in the low 20’s in a few days, so I will be harvesting the remaining broccoli today and maybe one or two heads of cauliflower. The cauliflower has not grown that well for me this year. The plants are really big, but the heads have been slow to develop. I might harvest a few more heads of cabbage today. The cabbage plants are currently growing under a row cover. The “beauregard” sweet potatoes were harvested about 3 weeks ago. Some of the potatoes were close to 1 foot long! Harvest has continued on the lettuce, which is now growing under a plastic covered hoop. Since the forecast is for really cold temperatures, I might go ahead and harvest the rest of the mature lettuce today. The other smaller to medium sized lettuce plants I will leave growing under the hoop all winter and, with any luck, some of the plants will survive the winter and give a decent early harvest next spring. The August planted carrots are also growing under another hoop. The carrots are starting to get some size to them, but I will leave them in the ground for now. The top setting onions were planted out about 10 days ago. Half of these will be harvested for green onions early next spring and the rest will be allowed to grow for new top sets for replanting in the fall of 2014. Check out my Facebook page for more updated pictures taken today.
Good Sized Brussels Sprouts Ready for Harvesting
The early October garden is growing really well. The garden has received some much needed rain, HOOORAY!!! Harvest has been continuing on green beans, celery, tomatoes, and peppers. Speaking of peppers, my pepper plants are nearly 4 feet tall. I should be calling them pepper trees!! Needless to say I have been picking loads of peppers. The green beans growing in the old corn plot are almost ready to harvest. The early August planted broccoli and cabbage are ready to harvest (see pics below). The cauliflower plants have not begun to grow small heads, but the plants are really large. Go over to my Facebook Page to see more updated pictures of my fall garden. The frost looks like it will hold off for at least another week to 10 days.
Cabbage Ready to Harvest
Fall Broccoli Looking Good
The garden finally received some decent rain 2 days ago, just over 1 inch. That is the first measurable rain in 3 weeks and the most in probably 6 to 7 weeks. The weather has been really hot and I have been watering most plants about every week. I am REALLY glad to see the rain. Despite the bad weather conditions, the garden is doing relatively well. The early August planted seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are growing well and I think they are on schedule to produce a nice fall harvest starting in early October (see pics below). The King of the Garden pole lima beans have exploded into growth and the vines have really filled out on the trellises. I have also been harvesting these lima beans, and they are sure good to eat I have also started to harvest some of my Sierra lettuce which was transplanted out into the garden in late July. The roma tomatoes continue to push on new growth and mature fruit. The tomatoes have really grown well for me this year, despite the dry conditions. The early August planted carrots are growing, but more slower than I like. Harvest also continues on the hot banana and green peppers, green beans, and celery. I hope most of you have planted or are starting to plant your fall garden. Fall is an excellent time to garden.
Early August Planted Broccoli Growing Well
Early August Planted Cabbage and Cauliflower Getting Bigger
All of the cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower seedlings were planted out into the garden on August 5th and the lettuce seedlings were planted out a few days later. Scarlet Nantes carrot seeds were planted around the 1st of August and have since germinated. Here is a little trick that works really well when planting carrot seeds in dry hot conditions. After planting the carrot seeds, water the area really well and place boards over the area. This keeps the soil from drying out. After about 6 or 7 days remove the boards, as this is about the germination time required for carrots. You might have to water the seed bed some more before germination. The last of the Silver Queen white sweet corn was harvested and green beans were planted out into this bed on August 10th. Hopefully I will get a harvest from these before the first fall frost. The first harvest of pole lima beans was yesterday. These beans are growing like crazy now (after they got a good watering) so more lima beans will be maturing soon. The roma tomatoes are starting to mature and I plan on harvesting a whole bunch for processing in a few days. Conditions remain very very dry in the garden. Most of the rain over the past 3 weeks has missed the garden. I have been watering the garden about every week now. The of lack of rain in my Indianapolis garden reminds of the old song, “Little Green Apples” by O.C. Smith
“God didn’t make little green apples
And it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime”
My garden continues to miss out on all of the rain, so the conditions remain very very dry. At least it has cooled down a bit. I continue to water about every 4 to 5 days. Lets hope for some rain soon! I pulled up my onions about 2 weeks ago and let them cure about a week. I think it was a decent onion harvest this year (see pic below). I continue to harvest cabbage, celery, hot banana peppers, bush green beans, and broccoli side shoots. The Silver Queen white corn is just about ready to harvest……YUM. All of the Red Norland potatoes have been harvested. They are really flavorful this year. I am still waiting for the first ripe roma tomatoes. There are many green tomatoes on the plants, but no red ones yet. I suspect that they will be ripening up within the next 2 weeks or so. The fall seedlings (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce) continue to grow in their little cell packs on the back porch. Hopefully they will be big enough to transplant out into the garden in another 2 weeks. I will be planting carrot seeds as well as more bush green beans within the week. Happy Late July Gardening!
A Decent Onion Harvest
Happy 4th of July everyone! Well, it finally rained on my garden, Yahoo!! The plants have really responded to the rain as well. Everything is growing really well right now. The bush green beans have flowered and small beans are now growing on the plants. Harvesting will probably begin on the green beans in about another week (YUM). I started harvesting a few stalks of celery a few days ago. Just about all of the onion tops have fallen over, so I will be pulling those up and letting them cure in about another week. The roma tomatoes have grown to the top of their 3 foot cages and I saw little clusters of green tomatoes starting to form on most of the plants. The cucumber plants have started to push on small cucumbers, most are about 2-3 inches long right now. The peppers plants are growing like mad. The green peppers have really started to grow are just about ready to flower. The Hungarian hot banana peppers are still producing peppers, but the plants have really started to get bigger over the last few weeks. The Silver Queen white corn is tasseling. The Red Norland potato vines have almost all died back, so harvest will begin on those soon. Harvest finished up on the spring peas, so I pulled up the plants and planted bush green beans in their place.
The Golden Acre Cabbage is ready to harvest, so I harvested 2 really good sized heads this morning. Wow, my spring cabbage has grown probably the best it has ever had. Usually the spring cabbage gets lots of damage from slugs, but I have not seen any slug damage so far this year. The 2 heads harvested were about 8 to 9 inches in diameter and weighed about 3-4 pounds each. I still have 6 more heads to harvest (see cabbage pics below).
I started seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce on July 1. These will be planted out into the garden by the first week of August for harvest in the fall. Wow, this summer is really going by quickly and fall will be here before you know it.
Cabbage, Notice Splitting Outer Leaf, Time to Get This One Harvested
Two Mature Cabbage Plants (1-Foot Spacing Between Plants)
8 Cabbage Plants Growing Along the South Side of Plot (Competing Fairly Well with the Broccoli)