Monday, August 22, 2011

What's Been Going On In The Garden.

It's the time of year when the harvests dwindle down, so last week I didn't have a new post for my blog.  This year, the tomatoes have done very poorly. I guess I'll attribute that to the heat we had.

This week, I'll share the info on harvests I've picked since my last posting.

Roma Tomatoes     28 each     3 1/2 pounds
Big Boy Tomatoes     12 each     3 1/4 pounds
Patio Tomatoes     4 each    1 ounce
Brown Turkey Fig     1 each     1 ounce
Okra      4 each     3 1/2 ounces
Marconi Green Peppers     5 each     10 ounces
Sweet Banana Peppers     42 each     2 pounds
Jalapeno Peppers     2 each     1/2 ounce
Raspberries     4 3/4 ounces

Now to the garden activities:

Our grandson spent the week with us, so I thought it a prime opportunity to get him into the gardening mode. Here he's helping me rake smooth a freshly tilled area so we can plant Vates collards plants.

Here we are after finishing the raking. He loves to use his own rake in the garden!

Here is a video of me showing my grandson how to use a push-plow, or high-wheeled cultivator as the newer terminology calls it.

Before you watch it, just let me say, don't listen to what he says...

I'm innocent!

Now we have to get those plants in the ground so they can begin to take root while the weather isn't as hot as it has been.

Here we are working as a team planting more collards in the other plot in our back yard.

After they're all planted, it's time to water thoroughly so we don't stress the roots too much. He really enjoys this part.

Here are the freshly planted collards. I'm getting a much earlier start with them this year. Hopefully I'll get a few pickings before Christmas.

These are my okra plants which I have in a half-barrel. They are now doing very well, but during the hot weather, I had to give them a full watering can twice a day to keep the leaves from wilting.

Here are some up close shots of the blooms and actual okra growing. I hadn't grown it before, so I didn't realize that the flowers would be so beautiful!

I hope for a great okra harvest this year.

This is my two year old Brown Turkey fig tree. It's come a long way since I planted it when it was 30 inches tall. It looks like it really liked the compost I blended with the soil before putting the root ball in the ground.

I was amazed to see that my grapes are coming back for a second round! I didn't expect that since all the first crop of grapes have been long gone.

Hopefully the grape vines will produce more this time than they did for their first actual picking earlier this year. The vines are in their fourth year and according to the books, it should be a bountiful harvest. It hasn't been so far for the grapes, but maybe this will change my records since the weather will not be as hot.

I had planted Straight 8 and Marketmore 76 cucumbers three times this year and wasn't able to harvest a single cucumber from either of the types. I suspect the 100 degree temperatures for several days took its toll on them even though they were watered regularly. They were burned to a crisp.

I'm giving it one more try this year with Burpless #26 cucumber plants from Norfolk County Feed-n-Seed. Perhaps the blistering heat is over for this year. We'll see how these do. While my grandson was here he watered them each morning and night using the watering can.

Here are my giant marconi green pepper plants. Notice the lightweight clothesline rope that I have on each side of them to help support them from falling over in the wind.

The sweet banana pepper plants continue to load up with really nice peppers. They have done very well this year. I also have them tied up with the lightweight clothesline rope. Like the fencing and the green posts, I put the clothesline away inside during the winter. I have been using most of this clothesline rope for four years. Storage out of the weather really pays off in the long run. As I recall, the clothesline rope is about $12 for 100 feet of it.

Now you know that if I get cucumbers from the new plants, I've got to have tomatoes to go with them! These are three Cherokee Purples that I found available at the feed-n-seed, so I bought them.

I hope to get even a few tomatoes off these vines.

They're blooming and there's even a marble-sized tomato on one of the plants already.

It's cleanup time in the bean patch. It took about half an hour to clean the vines off these two rows of fence. Four more rows to go, then I'll pull the fence and roll it up and store it in my shop for next year. The same with the posts. I'll pull them because it helps them stay in good condition longer when they're out of the weather when not in use. I've got to protect my investment.

That's the current status of our garden. I'm aiming to get some broccoli and cauliflower in there as well as some cabbage in the next couple of weeks. It should end up being a good year for the garden.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued interest in my back yard organic vegetable blog.

Have a great vegetable gardening day!

Veggie PAK


  1. Wow - great recap of everything. Your gardens look great and it is wonderful you are involving your grandson!

  2. It's great to see you instructing your grandson in all those important gardening techniques. It gives us old folks a lot of pleasure to do things like that, doesn't it?
    I'm not keen on eating Okra, but I agree with you that the flowers are beautiful. I have also had very little success with cucumbers this year, but for a different reason. We certainly haven't had excessively hot temperatures.

  3. Enjoyed this update, Veggie Pak! How great that you're planting with your grandson -- he'll apply the skills you're teaching him for years to come!

    I also have a two year old fig tree, but it looks nothing like yours. Wow, it is a really happy one! Love that okra too.

  4. I see a future gardener there! You are very lucky to have such a great helper!

    It's been a tough year for everyone out there. Some things are good and some are bad! I think your garden looks great and hopefully the fall garden will give you some bountiful harvests!!

  5. A lot of work, but everything looks great!

  6. Your grandson is a darling and the newly planted rows look great! Had to laugh at the video and your disclaimer. ;)

    Your garden looks great and I enjoyed the update on how it is growing. I just hate the end of season process of removing the spent pole bean vines from the supports - what a tedious job that is.

  7. I remember my grandmother showing me how to garden (and embroider.)

    My cucumbers have not done well this year, either.

  8. Nice garden and good to see your little helper. Peppers look great and thats nice the grapes want to give you a second harvest. I love okra flowers and once they start producing you will have to pick everyday, I am growing for the first time too but I use them a lot.

  9. Very nice update! It is always good to get kids interested in gardening... I am sad to think what my life would be like now if I had not been exposed to it at a young age. I am glad you are influencing the next generation in such a great way!

    Sorry to hear about your cucumber failure. Hopefully you can get something out of the ones you just planted.

  10. Wow! What a great recap of everything that you have going on. The plots look great!! I'm glad that you're involving your grandson! Gotta get em hooked early!

  11. I put in two figs, one of them is Brown Turkey. But the plants were so small (about 6" high when planted). And they took so long just sitting there. But now they have started taking off. I can imagine that next year they will get even larger. I can't wait for figs.

  12. Allison at Novice Life, Thanks! I love getting my grandchildren involved with vegetable gardening. They will know how to grow some of their own food because Poppa showed them.

    Mark Willis, Teaching the grandkids does give me a great deal of satisfaction. My fourth try for cucumbers this year was going well, but Hurricane Irene is affecting their continued success.

    JGH, I'm happy that you enjoyed it! I love getting the kids into the garden! The fig is really getting whipped by Irene.

    Robin, I think that I'm lucky to have him too. Irene is watering it for me now. I shouldn't have to water it for 3 or 4 years! I hope the wind treats you better than it is treating us!, Thanks!

    kitsapFG, The video made me laugh too. I just had to share it! Yeah, the bean vines are tedious, but it's gotta be done to make room for the next crop. I look forward to that!

    Karen Anne, Aren't those the best memories? My mom used to embroider and I remember as a child I thought the things she made were beautiful. They were so colorful. I think embroidery is almost a lost art.

    sarada, I hope my okra begins producing heavily. I love the stuff!

    Prairie Cat, See? You know how important it is to share our knowledge with the following generations. They'll really appreciate it later in life!

    Ben Czajkowski, Thanks! You're right! Gotta get 'em early to plant the seed of interest.

    Daphne, I've watered my fig every time I've watered my garden and it looks like it likes it.

    Thank each and every visitor for stopping by my blog and also for those that shared a comment with me.

    Good luck with Hurricane Irene!

    Stay safe so you can plant tomorrow's crops.
    Veggie PAK