Monday, March 28, 2011

Harvest Monday for March 28th, 2011.

The temperatures have been in the mid 30's every night this past week, so not much growth has been taking place in the garden.  This morning we had a heavy frost, but with warmer weather coming this week, it's possible that it was the last frost for the year.

I was able to harvest a couple of vegetables that I really like:  Broccoli and Collards!

Although it wasn't much, I did get 8 ounces of broccoli. I doubt I'll get any more as it's beginning to go to seed, but that's a good thing! I've never harvested broccoli seed pods before, so I'm looking forward to this experience. My plants are Waltham 29's. I can already see the seed pods forming, so it shouldn't be too long before they are ready... I hope.  At least they're in the area where my tomatoes are going to go, and neither the weather nor the soil temperature is anywhere near ready for tomatoes, so the broccoli can stay for awhile.

My old favorite is the Vates collards. I was able to pick 5 pounds of them, and I didn't even get halfway down the two rows. They too, are starting to bolt, so they don't have much longer to stay. In an attempt to slow down the bolting process, I cut off the tops of the stalks where the flowers would be forming. I don't know if that will work, but I'll find out soon enough.

That's all for this week except for the fact that the beets are still trying to grow roots (but aren't!), the salsify is about two feet tall, and I have Green Beauty Snow Peas (from Michelle in CA) that are about 16 inches high and growing in a half barrel. They look very healthy. Now that I'm thinking about the vegetables, my grapes are also showing buds all over the vines, my 5 heritage red raspberry bushes are now 12 bushes, my blueberries have hundreds of buds all over them, and I have a new blueberry shoot that is 42 inches high and looking good! That came up during the winter, apparently from the root of the other plant. I believe I have 2 volunteer salsify plants that came up in the broccoli rows. I must have thought they were weeds, but now they are shooting up fast! We'll see how they do.

The compost is looking good. I've been needing some green grass clippings to really start the pile cooking. I have another 27 pounds of coffee grounds from Starbucks in Portsmouth, and just tonight I was able to pick up three 30 gallon lawn bags full of fresh, rich, dark green grass clippings from a neighbor. That will all be going into the pile tomorrow.

Now that's REALLY all for this week! Thanks for visiting and feel free to share your comments.

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK

Monday, March 21, 2011

Harvest Monday for March 21st, 2011.

There were slim pickin's for this Harvest Monday, but I'm thankful for it just the same. No pics of the harvest this time since we hit part of the three pounds of broccoli picked today for a side dish with supper tonight. During the last couple of weeks, we did enjoy some home canned green beans as a side dish with pork chops and tomato chutney. On another night, we used some homemade tomato soup I had put up as the base for a homemade spaghetti sauce. Both were very tasty! From our canned stock we've also been enjoying dill pickles, apple butter and crabapple jelly/syrup. We are down to the last half pint jar of peach preserves.

Currently I'm waiting for the salsify to mature (planted last year) as well as the Brussels sprouts. The Detroit dark red beets are another story. The leaves are about six inches high, and the root is hardly as big as a pencil. They just refuse to grow for me. So, that will be the last time I plant any of those three vegetables. I'll be planting something that I know gives me good harvests.

Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cure For Spring Fever.

It's Wednesday and the temps are in the low 50's today. Storms are coming tomorrow, so I chose to till my garden before the ground was saturated with the coming rains.

Some of the Brussels sprouts didn't make it, so I pulled out the roots before I tilled in all that compost that I had spread out. I didn't want to encourage pests with the old roots.

I have the fence material at just the right height so that I can pass the side of the tiller under the fence to thoroughly till up the soil with the compost on it. I worked it from both sides of the fence and then went down the center of the space between the rows.

The collards greens are looking good! In another couple of weeks or so they will be ready to pick. Only one Brussels sprout plant survived in this plot, but there are several broccoli plants that are doing pretty well.

All the compost throughout the garden tilled in very nicely. The soil really looks good. I can't wait until I can plant the seeds!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
Veggie PAK

Monday, March 7, 2011

Harvest Monday for March 7, 2011

It's time again for Harvest Monday! My broccoli plants are all out in the open, and have been all winter. I feel blessed that I am able to enjoy a tasty picking at this time of year.

This week's harvest was 2 1/4 pounds of broccoli. There are many small florets on the plants, so we'll see how they progress for future harvests.

I got a different type of harvest this week in addition to the broccoli. I was very happy to have been able to place 75 each 5 gallon buckets of pressed down, cured compost throughout my garden. According to recommendations, I am supposed to place 6 each 5 gallon buckets on each 100 square feet of area in the garden per year. I lacked 9 buckets of being in compliance with that recommended compost application  rate for this time alone. In 60 days, I'll have a full bin to distribute over the entire area and in another 60 days after that, there will be yet another bin full ready to be distributed. My garden soil will be very rich by year's end.

In other news, the giant pumpkin seeds will get mailed out tomorrow to those that requested them.

I hope everyone has warmer weather coming their way. It has been a long winter!

Thanks for visiting, and for all the comments that have been shared.
Veggie PAK