Soooo......I still haven't participated in a Harvest Monday since leaving my Arizona garden. My time will come though, and in the meantime I'd love to see your harvests over at Daphne's Dandelions!
********The quail made a run through the east garden this morning, and mutilated some of the lettuce, so I'm glad my main crop is protected under the netting. I sure hope they don't get the peas, I guess I'd better construct something to keep them out.
Yesterday I caved and planted both pole and bush beans. Checking my notes from 2009 (spring 2010 was too warm for a good comparison), I had an excellent crop of both when they were planted this early. I figured it was worth a try, as I have an awful lot of seeds. I put in my second planting of carrots, too. I'm going to plant a new carrot bed every time the previously planted one sprouts, and hopefully have enough to keep the family happy this year.
I was busy all day today! I finished constructing my indeterminate tomato fortress, a lot of work for three plants! I can't believe I put seven big plants in that bed two years ago. Last year even four were too many. Anyway, I got the 8' support posts pounded in and screwed to the cross bar, then wired the tops of the double decker cages tepee style (Mr. Granny hung on to me so I wouldn't nose dive off the ladder....the tops are over 8' from the ground!) Then I strung heavy garden twine about every 8 inches across both sides of those X shaped fence posts, which should provide lots of support for all the branches. I filled the wheelbarrow with garden soil, then added an equal amount of compost, a bunch of perlite, a half cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer, a pint jar of the pulverized egg shells + old calcium tablets + aspirin, and even tossed in a packet of powdered milk (read that one somewhere on GardenWeb), then filled the three bottomless tomato buckets with the mixture. Heck, all that added stuff might not help, but it can't hurt. Something made them grow over 10-feet high last year! I forgot to add the cornmeal and alfalfa pellets, so I'll dig some of that in tomorrow. Then it will have 2-3 weeks to settle and begin its magic (or not) before I plant the tomatoes. There are only ten more tomato planting spots to be prepped by May 1. Yes, I'm holding my tomatoes down to only 13 plants this year, surprise, surprise!
I filled three 1-gallon milk jugs half full of compost, added some alfalfa pellets, cornmeal and molasses, then filled them with water and set them out on my three hill squash-patch-to-be. They can brew into compost tea and do double duty by warming the soil underneath for an early planting of squash. I kept the lids next to the jugs, and every time I walked by them, I put on the lids and gave them a good shake. I figure they'll be ready to use by Wednesday morning, when I'll dilute the contents with more water and add some fish emulsion.....then I'll give all the plants a good drink, except for the few that got the foliar spraying of fish emulsion today.
I had another dozen shallots that were beginning to show green shoots, so I planted those between the three big tomato buckets, and I moved a columbine from the side yard to the kennel garden. It has never grown well in its old location.
That doesn't sound like I did that much, but it took me all day! Mr. Granny took one look at me when I came in, and said it was a good night to order pizza, so we did.
Anyway, I'm bushed....think I'll head to bed early tonight.
Does Mr. Granny ever cook?ReplyDelete
He's a good man to know when to order a pizza, but I was curious about his cooking abilities....
I think I would just about fall over if my Don ever set foot in the kitchen-LOL!
It's hard to make comments when your jaw is dropping with admiration ! WOWZERS!!!!!!ReplyDelete
That does sound like an amazing amount of work. You should be very proud of yourself. I'm impressed. Get some rest and I can't wait to see the fruits of your labor all year long.ReplyDelete
As for no harvest, I, well my kids, harvested a handfull of carrots from the over-wintered garden and after pealing off the stringy roots, I fed them to the kids with dinner (they're idea). Other than that, nothing's ready to harvest this year yet either. Don't feel bad.
Sue, Mr. Granny fries. When I let him, that is, because I get to clean up his greasy mess! I usually limit him to Sunday breakfast, when he cooks (and eats) fried sausage, fried eggs, fried hash browns and white toast with big chunks of solid margarine. I, perfect person that I am, watch him with evil eye as I eat my raisin bran with skim milk, and occasionally throw all caution to the wind and consume cracked wheat toast with real butter ;-)ReplyDelete
I have to admit, I also let him cook lunch today as I was outside working my butt off. And yes, the deep fried corn dog and French fries tasted pretty good.
Kris, LOL! You probably worked harder getting those bargains at Walgreen's than I did in the garden! Good job, girl!ReplyDelete
Sinfonian, I have had several harvests....chives! They don't weigh enough to count, but we've eaten them fresh in salads and omelets and potatoes. LOTS of them!ReplyDelete
My over wintered carrots were inedible (they had frozen solid), but the rabbit liked them.
Oh my! You really made the best of your weekend. I made compost tea, too. I use a plastic barrel, worm castings, mushroom compost, fish emulsion, alfalfa meal, molassas and kelp meal. I put everything in the barrel and fill with water then put in a big aquarium bubbler and let it *perk* for few days. Yummy stuff for the veggies!ReplyDelete
I still haven't planted my tomatoes...just too many other things pulling at me this weekend.
Lynda, I need to invest in an aquarium pump. I know shaking the jugs isn't quite as effective as aerating! I wanted to use a five gallon bucket, but would you believe all twelve of mine have the bottoms cut out? LOL!ReplyDelete
Sounds like you got a ton done!ReplyDelete
You post a lot of good hints here. Thanks! I begin to understand why I don't get much of a harvest; I don't do enough work beforehand. Now, if I could just find a little more time somewhere . . .ReplyDelete
My goodness Granny...no wonder you're tired!! I am happy to hear that Mr. Granny made a nice and healthy lunch!ReplyDelete
I have never made any compost tea...I guess that I should make some this year!
I admire your restraint in only planting 13 tomatoes this year! Every year, I lose my mind on tomatoes and plant way too many. Maybe I need some of your self-control.ReplyDelete
David, about as much as I can handle in a day! If I were only ten years younger......LOL!ReplyDelete
Dianefaith, I have that "time" problem, too. It's a good thing it's been so cold this spring, or I'd really be behind. I haven't even begun to clean up my front and side yards yet, and I have those three big, new, empty planters out there just begging to be filled and planted!
Robin, I was just reading that foliar feedings didn't do much good, but I rather disagreed with it and looked up the source of the citation. It looked to me like the author was speaking of large trees and shrubs, not tender vegetable garden plants and flowers. I always see an improvement after a round of fish emulsion and/or compost tea. Of course, I also drench the ground around the plants too, so there is some uptake of nutrients through the roots.
Katie, I've lost the fence line to the new neighbors and my east garden reconstruction. That's where I always planted my determinates, so I really don't have room for more than 13 plants this year. I'm also spacing the ones I do grow farther apart than in previous years, putting three plants where I normally grow four. I'm still going to have quite a few leftover seedlings, as I planted 2-4 of everything, so I will tuck in an extra one or two if space is available.
I still have so many jars of tomato products in the pantry from last year. I'm trying to convince myself that two people do not need 500 pounds of tomatoes every year!
Sounds like you have lots of good stuff going on. My first carrot sowing is a bust, I think I need new seeds.ReplyDelete
Kelly, carrot seeds don't stay viable for long, that's for sure. On the other hand, I think lots of times we just get impatient, as they are sooooo slow to germinate. I know mine usually take a good 20 days to show up after seeding. Last year I had spotty germination in the 2-year old seeds, so I bought new and reseeded. All of mine are seeds from last year, but I'm hoping, by keeping them refrigerated, they are still good.ReplyDelete
Say it ain't so Granny. Surely you will have more than 13 tomato plants. I hear you claim to only want a dozen, but then you plant 40 or 50. lol no no really 13 is fine. I had 13 tomato plants last year. It was a good amount for me. So don't ask me why I'm putting in 20 this year. I don't know. But then again, they don't seem to be germinating well or the peppers. I think maybe the thermostat from the heating pad died or something and it is over heating them. I've turned it off for the time being. I hope I get some plants.ReplyDelete
Daphne, you heard me correctly. Thirteen. I have twenty plants growing, but I really haven't room for all of them. I put the lettuce bed where four plants grew last year, and I don't have Pat's little strip by the fence any more. That was seven plants, I think. I won't have any dwarf plants in pots this year, and it looks like only one cherry tomato, a Matt's Wild Cherry....the Sungolds didn't germinate, except for one that finally sprouted in a paper towel, but refuses to grow more than about 1/2" tall. At best, I can add one more next to the patio (#14) and maybe squeeze four next to the fence instead of the three I'd planned on (15). That looks to be the very maximum.ReplyDelete
In Indianapolis, we have a plant swap. I always take my extra seedlings as well as my spring divisions to the swap. I wonder if there's a swap in your area.ReplyDelete
Katie, I don't think I'll have to worry. I'm finding more places for those tomato plants already ;-) I think I'm up to 17 places for the twenty plants I have.ReplyDelete
It's so nice to think about plants growing. It feels like it will be forever until that happens here! If I ever get plants in the ground, they will be treated to the fish emulsion too. It's the only fertilizer I use but my plants thrive on it...Thanks for the inspiring post. : )ReplyDelete
Elle, I just did an application of compost tea mixed with fish emulsion on my onions and one of the brassica beds. I'm going to compare the results with the brassicas that just got fish emulsion. I still haven't harvested any of the lettuce, it's so pretty I hate to pick any of the leaves off! I'll do it soon, though :-)ReplyDelete