August 21, 2014

A Colorful Late Summer

written by Yvonne

A quick sketch of what to plant in each bed with Fall crops is necessary to keep us on track and to make sure we don't forget anything.  Bed #4 is full of tomatoes right now but will be open in a month or so and we can use that for something else so it's good to have a plan to follow.

After mapping it out, we used stakes to identify what is where, then went about planting all the seeds. This bed is lettuce, kale, spinach and collards. Greens, greens and more greens!

We pulled out the last of the cow and crowder peas. Got 'em all shelled and ready for some fall/winter eatin'.

The berries appear ready to put out another small batch. Cool!  Looks like not nearly as many as in early spring but any amount that comes up is good with us.

These are sunflower seeds I saved from a big sunflower plant several years ago. The seeds certainly germinated but these are about one quarter of the size of the original flower. Still, they are beautiful to look at.

Salsa anyone?  I just love having this kind of variety and colors of tomatoes!

August 4, 2014

Cleaning Up With New Dirt

written by Yvonne

It's already August which means some of the Spring plantings need to get pulled to make way for Fall crops. Here you can see the cucumbers have been eaten alive and are ready to pull. We got a nice amount of cucumbers from these two plants this summer.

The okra will stay in for now, especially since it hasn't produced anything yet.

Just as in the last two years, we definitely have tomatoes, they are just coming in WAY later than everyone else's. And this year we even started them in pots. Nonetheless, we're getting a nice large batch of 'em.

And a few are even starting to ripen!

And this would be your standard HUGE squash plants...

and the annual squash blossom beauty shot.

As far as the herbs go, the dill is super spindly and not producing enough fronds to use. No parsley ever came up. Basil is finally here and being put to good use. And of course more oregano than even Lidia Bastianich can use.

Three very small, stunted pepper plants are hanging on...

and they do shows signs of producing peppers. If these actually turn into peppers, it may qualify for the world's smallest pepper plant.

Tom has been composting food scraps and yard waste for several years now and we decided it was time to put the compost to use. He cut back lots of vines that had grown all around and into the bins while I cut back low-hanging tree branches to make easier work of scooping out the compost. The green monster you see on the left is a squash plant growing out of one of the bins.

Tom emptied out two compost bins to spread over three of the beds. We've had eight compost bins for a while now but we really only use the front four so Tom dismantled two of and we'll concentrate on using just four from here on out.  Honey helped by running like a crazy dog around the beds.

Next you'll see the stages of what we did to each beds.  Bed #1 before.

Bed #1 with compost.

Tom picked up a load of dirt on Friday so we'd be ready to go Saturday filling the beds with new soil.

Bed #1 with new dirt.

Bed #2 before.

Bed #2 with all cow and crowder peas pulled out and compost added.

Bed #2 with dirt added.

Bed #3 with LOTS of grass, one dwarf okra plant (that's what the variety is actually called) and three dwarf pepper plants (not an actual variety, just a description).

Bed #3 with weeds pulled, compost added and topped with new dirt.

Bed #4 is chock full of tomatoes so....

we just pulled the dead cucumber plants and the Swiss chard. I got a good harvest from the chard then ditched all the bug-eaten leaves and pulled up the plants.

When pulling the cucumber plants, these two baseball-bat sized cucumbers were attached to the ends. Tom wants to cut them up and bury them to see if they'll grow. After shoveling compost and dirt for a good while, we were too tired to do any more so we thought this would do for now.

Dirt is all out of the truck. "Ok dogs, let's go for a ride back to the carport!  Olive/Honey place. Good girl Olive. Honey, Place. Place. Place"