July 2. 2010: A Stroll Through the East Garden

My neighbor, Pat, forgot to turn off her home alarm before she went outside for the morning paper, so I was rudely awakened at 6:30 sharp. Not wanting to waste a cool morning, I jumped out of bed, put on my dirty clothes from yesterday, made a pot of coffee and headed for the garden for another day's work. It has to be done soon, as my weekend will be taken up with shopping and cooking for our Fourth of July family get together, and we're expecting temperatures in the mid-90s by Wednesday.

First I picked the green beans, then I cleaned out the former snap pea bed, amended it with composted manure and 10-10-10, then planted it with 2 rows of Top Crop bush beans (45 seeds). Next I trimmed Pat's hedge where it grows into my garden space. She has it professionally done, but they don't come into my fenced back yard/garden to do that section like her old gardener always did. While I was in that section of the garden, I pruned low hanging and dead branches from the lilac tree, and removed as many spent blossoms as I could reach.

Back in the main (east) garden I decide it was time to pull the last of the Walla Walla sweet onions.


The stems were all down, and the tips of them were turning brown. It's a good thing I pulled them when I did, as two had already rotted in the ground.


I hung them on the fence to dry for a couple of days, then I'll tie up the stems and finish curing them in the garden shed.


They sized up nicely, didn't they?


Then I pulled most of the lettuce from east bed # 8. I kept 2-3/4 pounds of it, composted the rest. I don't know where I'll put the lettuce, the fridge is full.

With the onions pulled, and the empty space from pulling the broccoli yesterday, I decided the basil, which was looking a bit puny in the pots, would benefit from being planted into the garden. One pot was very close to being root bound, so I'm sure it will appreciate its new home.

I cleaned up all the prunings and clippings and bolted lettuce and their trimmings, filling the compost barrel clear to the top. The garden looked a bit bare, but neat and tidy. A good day's work, and I was finished by noon. I think we're ready for a stroll through the east garden!




video




We finished our stroll just in time....here comes the rain! It never rains here in July. So much for drying the onions today.

25 comments:

  1. I can't believe how big your onions are!!! I think that I made a mistake by only planting onions from seed this year. I did however, plant some potato onions.

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  2. Granny, it's beautiful. Just absolutely inspriring.

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  3. You have such a wonderful garden, thank you for the tour!

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  4. And I was so proud of my onions. Oh well. They look beautiful.

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  5. Either you have an extremely small hand or that is one nice sized onion. I really liked your choice of music for the beautiful garden video tour.

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  6. Robin, I've never heard of potato onions! I don't get such large onions from sets, only from the plants.

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    Thank you, Ribbit. It has a few bare spots now, I need to decide what to plant for fall! I have enough green beans, cabbage and beets planted already. I guess I can always use more carrots.

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    Nartaya, thank you! And you're welcome :-)

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    Johanna, I'll bet your onions taste just as good as mine. I had a lot of smaller ones that I harvested earlier.

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    Mr. H., of course I chose the biggest one to hold, but most of them are a nice size. The one in my hand weighed 1 pound 3 ounces.

    I should have cited the performer for the music in my video. It's Chris Thile, the song is "Raining at Sunset" from the album "Not All Who Wander Are Lost". He is also 1/3 of the group Nickel Creek, which is now evidently on hiatus or defunct.

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  7. Those onions are beauties! Are they good keepers? Love the video, one of my favorite parts of blogging is taking "tours" and seeing what others do. It's so great to see what is growing in other climates and get design and trellising ideas... there's never too much info, is there?! I know what you mean about getting the work done early - we too are enjoying a 5 day stretch of great weather so I feel like it is a race to get it all done before the steam oven temps return. Crazy busy, but for those few moments at the end of the day after hard work, shower and tools are put away, Wow, it feels great!!

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  8. Alas, I do not think my onions are going to size up for me much this year as they are pretty puny and should be bigger by now. Lack of sun I think has much to do with it. However, I can admire your beauties and wish I had a patch full of such good looking specimens! They are perfect!

    The video was a nice overview of the garden - everything looks so neat and tidy.

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  9. Erin, in a word...NO! They are not good keepers at all. In fact, I'm going to go looking for an onion dicer this week, so I can chop most of them for the freezer. They are so mild and sweet though, we'll use up as many of them as we can in the next month or so. It's too bad I can't find "Candy" plants, which are almost as sweet, and much better keepers.

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    Kitsap, I almost wish I'd planted more. Those came from a tiny 2'x4' bed, so that was a pretty good yield. I did plant a lot more, but closer together. Most of those have already been pulled and used....my youngest son has a passion for them!

    The east garden, in the video, looks a bit empty. I should have taken the video before I pulled most of the lettuce and onions! It will all be replanted in the next few days. I still haven't decided just what I want to plant!

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  10. Granny, you sure did accomplish lots in one morning! I've been trying to get up by 6, and be out in my garden by 6:30. Sometimes I make it, and sometimes I don't. Do you have a favorite carrot you plant? I've been thinking of trying them for the first time, and don't know which seeds to get.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    ~~Lori

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  11. Lori, this year I'm planting Red Cored Chantenay, which is a nice, sweet, short but fat carrot. It's good for heavy soils, as it doesn't have to grow deep. My soil is sandy, not heavy, so I grow it for the flavor. I'm also growing Ingot. It's a longer, prettier carrot, with a really good flavor. I planted Short 'n Sweet, but germination wasn't great, and they weren't as sweet as the other two. I generally just buy mine from the seed racks, at the best price I can find. Our local Fred Meyer store always has a buy one, get one free sale early in the spring, so I take advantage of that and usually buy whatever is available from Ed Hume seeds. I also buy the $1 Burpee seeds from Wal-Mart.

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  12. Wow those onions are giant! I can't get mine to a quarter of that size.

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  13. Kelly, I'm anxious for them to dry so I can weigh them! I've already exceeded last year's onion poundage by 10 pounds. So far I've harvested and weighed just over 25 pounds.

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  14. I like the video tour too. Gosh, you make me wish I had more room for planting.

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  15. Cheryl, the point of the video was to show just how small my garden is. That east garden is only about 35' long and 11' wide, including two 2' wide paths. I have to milk it for all it's worth to get as much from it as I do!

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  16. I've set off our alarm getting the paper too. It does wake one up in a hurry!

    Must say I am seriously jealous of your onions. Way to go, they look great! I can never manage to grow big onions. Maybe I will sow some this fall, over winter them and then maybe I will get some big ones.

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  17. I too was swimming in lettuce, and was getting tired of eating salad three times a day, so I made lettuce soup, I left out the cream so I could can it. Now when I want a bowl of soup I just open up a jar and add the cream. You can eat this cold or hot. I love it cold in the summer. Nice garden tour. By the by, have you found a difference by planting by the moon this year?

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  18. Dan, I'm so happy with the onions this year. I'm anxious to weigh them once they've dried enough to trim off the tops. I'm already way ahead of last year's onion harvest.

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    Debbie, I gave up on the moon phase planting after strictly adhering to it then having beet and carrot failure. Now I'm back to Granny phase planting ;-)

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  19. Wow, those are some impressive onions! I liked the video - do you ever eye the lawn area for garden expansion?

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  20. Foodgardenkitchen, I eye it, but Mr. Granny puts his foot down on taking more of "his" grass. Actually, I do 100% of the gardening (and picking, and preserving) myself, and at 71-years old, what I have is about all I can handle. The video only showed about a third, or less, of the entire garden area.

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  21. Those onions are impressive. I hope they got a chance to dry out. :)

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  22. Granny, thank you for taking me on a stroll through your garden. It gave me some ideas for shading some of my plants which are roasting in our heat! My eyes did a double take when I saw that onion in your hand. WOW!!

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  23. debiclegg, I have the supplies to make a better shade structure for the lettuce, still using the lattice. I'm just waiting for the temperature to go below 100 before I start construction!

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  24. Well, I look forward to hearing your plans for a better shade structure. I have 1 1/2 in PVC pipe in the corners of my boxes that allow me to create a frame to form a teepee with plastic for my winter garden. I am so glad my husband put them there because we are finding they are very useful. I think I can use them to create a shelter for my plants in the heat. They are getting too much sun!

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  25. debiclegg, I'm going to use 1/2" PVC to form arches (a hoop house structure), but I'm going to lash the vinyl lattice to it, so it will be removable and can be replaced with plastic at freezing time. I'm only going to use one panel per bed, so it won't make a complete cover. It will shade the west side and half of the top. The plants were getting too leggy when they were completely covered, although it was cooler and cloudier right after I put the lattice on. It was also hard for me to remove the lattice to get to the bed. This way I will be able to work under it, without removing it.

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