Archived Monthly Posts

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

2015 Fall Garden Producing Very Well

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

Broccoli Head Awaiting Harvest, 10-9-15

Very Large Cabbage Head, Variety Golden Acre, 10-9-15

Very Large Cabbage Head, Variety Golden Acre, 10-9-15

Green Beans, Variety Derby, Growing Nicely, 10-9-15

Green Beans, Variety Derby, Growing Nicely, 10-9-15

Kohlrabi, Variety Kossak, Nearing Maturity, 10-9-15

Kohlrabi, Variety Kossak, Nearing Maturity, 10-9-15

Early Fall Garden Update - Desert Dryness Continues

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!!!

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Broccoli Plot

Broccoli Plot

Cabbage and Broccoli Raised Bed

Cabbage and Broccoli – Raised Bed

Cauliflower Raised Bed

Cauliflower – Raised Bed

Green Beans - Raised Bed

Green Beans – Raised Bed

Harvesting Continues, Fall Garden Planted

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

Food Strainer Processing Roma Tomatoes on 8-7-15

Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed One

Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed One

Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed Two

Red Norland Potato Harvest from Raised Bed Two