Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Garden Update

I need to run out and help Daniel with something so this is a quick update:

Notice anything different?
The garden looks empty :) The peas are finished, we tore them all out 2 Saturdays ago (6/4), and in total I froze 37 quarts, we ate some and gave away 3 quarts. I'm happy to have the peas over with for this year! They were a LOT of work and extremely time consuming. I think next year I will see if there's a pea sheller around here that I could haul my peas to and use. That would save boatloads of my time.

The broccoli and cauliflower were pulled out yesterday. I got 3 pints of broccoli frozen, and the cauliflower never did anything. I didn't realize it until too late, but worms were keeping what would've been the "heads" eaten off. By the time I pulled the plants, they were riddled with worm holes. Next year I'll be proactive in keeping worms at bay. Only 1 broccoli head had very many worms, and overall they weren't too bad on the broccoli.

We do have some volunteer peach trees growing :) I hope to transplant 1 or 2, to add to our current 1-tree "orchard".

The tomatoes are still doing well, though I'm not sure what the browning of the bottom leaves is. I know the plants have aphids on them, so that might be it. I have had terrible problems with thrips in past years when I bought my plants, but this doesn't look like thrips. I plan to spray with an insecticidal soap and hopefully that will be a "cure-all". It doesn't seem like a blight.

Blossom End Rot is something I discovered recently, and yesterday I sprayed all the plants with BER spray (calcium). I hope to get some powdered calcium nitrate to side dress the plants with so that I don't have to juggle spraying for both bugs and BER. Last evening I found my first tomato horn worm. He surprised me very much and I let out an "Eeee!" I removed him with a stick and piece of cardboard - and did you know that they spit green spit and make a clicking noise? Me either. They are uuuuuugly! I let Daniel "take care" of him. *shudder*

Here is my corn! The first 2 double rows (very right) I planted before the peas were out. The rest of the rows are where the peas were. You might be able to see little black upside-down "u's" at the far end of each double row. I have 14 rows in all (7 double rows). I am hoping to be proactive in ear-worm deterrent and am waiting to hear back from our county's extension office about what "safe" options might be. I know Sevin dust works, but I'm hoping I can use insecticidal soap.

The bare area is newly tilled yard that we're going to sew buckwheat in to start amending the soil for next year. (Buckwheat will also be sewn where the broccoli/cauliflower was.) The garden is still a bit snug and if I can keep a good garden like this one going in the future, more room will be nice.

My beans :) I weeded the left row yesterday - it took me most of the day since it hadn't been weeded yet this year. It was a lot of grassy stuff (1st year garden space) and was a LOT of weeds! There are some bugs on the beans doing some damage, but not too badly yet. From past years I know it will get much worse, so I plan to spray them with soap spray, too (and the squash, zucchini, peppers and eggplants). Since it's a safe spray, I don't mind using it.

Here are my surprise yellow pepper plants! I have more than I have space for so I'm giving some of them away.

And my surprise Eggplants :) I've never grown them before so we'll see how they do.

The pea vines, broccoli and cauliflower plants. Hopefully this will break down into some nice compost.

The lettuce is finished - I got 2 nice dishpans full and it is keeping well in the frige. We're getting zucchini and squash now :) It is so nice to be enjoying vegetables from the garden!

I know this is a hurried update, but it's been 2 weeks and I wanted to post :) Gotta run!

This post is linked to the Frugal Gardening 101 series hosted by Phoebe, Connie and Amy. Check it out!


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL! I love it! How in the world do you find the time to keep up with it? I'll never know. I've about given up on ours for right now. It's too depressing and stressful for me because I can't seem to find the time to go work in it.

I'm so glad yours is doing so well. I'm sorry about the worms and bugs. At some point, it all boils down to who is going to eat the fruit of your labors, you or the worms? I hope you can figure out how not to share any more of your produce. I think the cauliflower should be enough donation for this year!

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

P.S. Thanks for taking the time to post and put up pictures!

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

@Sally Keeping up with the garden is very simple: turn a blind eye to the housework alot of the time. You saw things when you were here ;)

Gina said... [Reply to comment]

Oh Mariam! Your garden looks so gorgeous! Please tell me how long your rows were - or about how many pea plants you had in order to get that many quarts of peas. I REALLY would love to supplement our diet with homegrown food.

I'm in Missouri and we had a very cool, wet spring. I just didn't get any planted.

I cannot imagine shelling that many peas! You are a pea shelling machine!

I grew up in Florida and there we picked lots of conch peas. In fact, my girls (now 23 and 18) used to love picking and shelling peas as much as they did going to the beach! Go figure! Although, I'm not so sure they would still be so silly!

I just have no idea how much to plant to actually get a decent harvest. And, were your peas English sweet peas? About when did you plant and how long did they take to get to harvest?

Sorry for all the questions, but I really like asking "real" people these things.

Have a great day! Enjoy your sweet Susanna. Mine are almost grown and I wish I could go back!

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for stopping by and for feeling free to ask questions :) Our rows are about 32 feet long, and I had 6 rows. I planted 1 lb. of peas. I think they are English sweet peas - they are the Freezonian variety which was hard to find this year. They are known for their tall vines, long pods (average 7-8 peas/pod), and heavy bearing.

We are in Central VA. where it's not unusual for it to get hot fast in the spring, so I planted the peas Feb. 24th. They are a 90 day variety. These are cool-weather loving peas, so once it gets really hot they don't last - that's why I try to plant as early as I can. Next year I hope to back planting up another week as long as there's not snow on the ground and we can get in the garden. Last year it was so wet we couldn't till, so we planted them in the mud and they didn't mind one bit. I hope this answered all your questions, feel free to ask more if you want.

Woodbury Street Notions & Collectibles said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Miriam,
Your garden inspired me a lot. I love doing a mixed garden of flowers, herbs and some veggies. Usually bugs, aphids eat all the veggies, so then you have to spray, not very organic though? I have done well with strawberries, tomatoes, squash and pole peas. Not as many as you have haha. I end up going to the open market on the weekend and loading up on fresh veggies, loving artichokes, and baby carrots, raddishes yummy in salad. It really makes you want to eat more salad when it taste this good. You are lucky not to worry about housework either. I am obsessive compulsive, always cleaning:-(

I have a really neat story book about veggies in the garden for young kids. Thought you could read it to your daughter. I will gladly send it, if you give me your address. If you aren't sure about giving me your address, I understand. I am the mom from Northern CA. you can email me your address at Would love to gift this to you. I so enjoy your blog.

gina said... [Reply to comment]

THANK YOU MIRIAM! Wow! You answered everything I need to know. Sometimes we can get in the garden around the end of March - a full month after you, but I almost bet I could get a good harvest of peas before my tomatoes and peppers get big enough to make much difference. As cool as its been here in Missouri "off and on" I bet they would do fine.

Where did you get the Freezonian variety? Did you order them from somewhere. The peas I have planted in the past were small and not many in each pod.

Have you ever planted pinto beans? They trellace as well. We eat lots of them in chili and taco's or just with ham and cornbread. You just plant the dried pinto beans you get at the store (think little kids planting a bean seed in a cup). They grow like crazy and you can wait until they are completely brown and the pods dried. You just pick the dried pods, shell them, leave them out on a cookie sheet for a day or so to really dry good, and then store them in glass jars with lids. If you already have the panels up, I bet you could plant some pinto beans.

Just a thought. I know that no one I know of - even the hard core gardeners in my area - plant pinto beans. I have such a great time shelling them - because they are so easy to shell because the pods are dry. I personally like something that I dont have to "stop living for" to get preserved and those pinto beans were a great solution.

I'm a chattebox! LOL. Take care and I think I'm defitely planting a bunch of those peas next year.

Cate said... [Reply to comment]

Miriam, your garden is so inspiring! We put in our first garden this year and it's quite small, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless. I can't believe the sheer amount of peas you harvested! WOW.

Oh, and the pinto beans take up lots of room? We eat lots of pinto beans around here so I was wondering if maybe we should plant some next year!

gina said... [Reply to comment]

I grow the pinto beans like Miriam is growing her peas. I actually have my garden peremeter bordered by cattle panel. I plant the pinto beans about 1 every 3 inches on both sides of the panels. But, definitely if you had room for panels in rows like Miriam, that would be great because they are like peas - it takes a lot to make a lot.

They are vining plants like pole beans. But you don't pick the pods green, you wait until the pods are dry and brittle to harvest (which I love because it takes the pressure off).

I also have a fan shaped trellis by my clothesline and I planted some there to. I love the so much that I would plant them everywhere they could creep and crawl.

Good luck and I have a blog if you want to contact me there:

Guess I should get some pics of the garden on there :)

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said... [Reply to comment]

What a great looking garden!! Ours has just started to have some blooms. How wonderful that you are already getting to harvest!!