Aug 1, 2012

Gardening Update last week of July 2012 and July Produce Tally

Tomatoes in Garden A
Our gardens been doing pretty good lately.  I spend most my time just cutting back overgrown plants, weeding, training, and harvesting.  I luckily haven't had to water much, every time I'm about to it rains.  Our biggest harvest has been peas lately (about 4 oz of peas every few days) but they are dying out now.  We are starting to have or tomatoes ripening (we've harvested 5 so far) and I picked 4 huge cucumbers so far.  I'm so happy that they are doing well (it's been about 3 years since we've had a good cucumber crop).


 
Garden A  
Tomatoes
Our tomatoes are just starting to take off and I'm preparing for what will hopefully be a massive harvest.  Our broccoli has not done well it's too shaded and doesn't have enough space to grow.  It's produced some, just not much compared to prior years.    We learned not to put broccoli in the middle rows of large shading plants.  Last year we learned not to put more than 4 plants in our 5 sq foot row.  You learn something new every year!  Our broccoli in our front garden bed was more room and has not yet produced (we planted it weeks later then the broccoli in Garden A).  

Carrots
Our carrots are barely seedlings because it's too shaded. 

Garden B 

Garden B: Our diseased and dying sugar snap peas

Sugar Snap Peas
Our sugar snap peas have been producing well, but alas it seems there time is up to let our beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers shine.  As soon as I get a chance I plant to cut back the peas and plant some in the same spot.  I plan to cut back the peas to about a foot high, just in case they grow back still (sometimes when they look dead they still have some life in it).  We planted 3 rows this year (15 sq ft), last year we did 2 rows.  I think the extra row was needed.   

Garden B: Purple Pole Beans
Pole Beans
Our beans are growing like crazy, but haven't yet started to produce.  I'm having to train it to it's trellis every few days.  I think soon it will start producing heavily.  I can't wait to see what the heirloom purple pole beans we got from seed savers will be like.  It's our first time growing them. 

Garden B: cucumbers
Cucumbers
 The photo to left is just what I could fit in the shot.  It's full of new cucumbers to come.  I'm waiting until the rest get big so I can juice it and make more of my cucumber limeade.  I had or 4 big cucumbers we harvested in 2 days.  I might just water that square a lot to see if they get bigger faster.

Basil 
Our bail is really taking off both in our container and in the garden.  We ended up having one basil plant survive from the seeds we threw down this spring (so it's green and the same as the one in our planter) in addition to the purple basil seedlings we purchased. 

Peppers
Our jalapenos have a few growing and so do a few of our sweet pepper plants.  They seem to be struggling, but I think they might survive.  A few of our pepper plants in a different square (with the peas, fennel and rutabaga), are not doing as well.  They are small and most leaves have turned brown and fell off (pictured below), and they have no peppers yet. I don't think they've even flowered.    I think it was due to my reluctance to thin out plants.  I keep hoping I can keep both, but I'm realizing you need to pick one or the other or you'll only have two small plants that never produce well.  What I think happened to our peppers at least in this square is that the rutabaga I planted was way to close to the peppers and I just kept trimming the leaves back hoping they could live in harmony together.  I gave up and pulled out the tiny roots that went straight to the compost pile.  I'm really bummed that we might not get much for red peppers.  I love them and red peppers like candy.  I've learned two things from this for next year , don't be shy with thinning, and plant more than you want as insurance in case you have a bad year.  More lessons learned for next year! 
Garden B: Our Struggling Bell Peppers


 Back Yard
Backyard Our New Garden Bed: Our Pumpkins are going crazy
  Our pumpkins are going crazy and vining on our fence.  I'm so happy, not only are they covering our fence which blocks out the ugly view of or alley, but hopefully we'll have lots of pumpkins.  It'll be interesting to see how these produce because they're suppose to be early and smaller.  I so want to have lots of pumpkin this fall because they're so expensive fresh and canned pumpkin has BPA.  

July Produce Tally
  • Radishes 1 lb 12 oz
  • Basil
  • Beets and greens 1 oz
  • Sugar Snap Peas  2 lbs 7 oz
  • Broccoli 8 oz
  • Cucumbers 2 lbs 13 oz
  • Tomatoes 1lb 8 oz
 Produce Tally July = about 9 lbs
 Produce Tally Year To Date = 32 lbs

This Months Harvest Compared to Last Year
I looked at our July tally last year and we produced about the same amount as last year, only last year our raspberries were included in the July total (3 lbs), this year we were finished with our raspberries before July.  We also produced more broccoli 1 1/2 lbs last year as opposed to 1/2 lb this month.  I harvested 1 lb of kale last year, and none this year even though I could have.  What we produced about 1 1/2 more peas this year over last July, and just under 3 lbs of cucumbers, almost 2 lbs of radishes, and 1 1/2 lbs of tomatoes, all of which we didn't have any of July of last year. 

  I plan to start focusing on planting for fall soon.  I planted leeks in our backyard side bed only to realize that was stupid because we get stray grass and crab grass growing in there and leek seedlings look the same.  So I never planted anything in that bed and it now full of weeds (including a monster huge dandelion) since the leeks never did grow.  So I need to do some major weeding and planting in that bed, and I plan to plant the peas (as mentioned above) and attempt to transplant the lettuce I never thinned into containersI also plan to harvest our turnips and plant them again.  If you need help planning your garden this fall and are in zone 4 check out  my posts  Fall Veggie Planting Schedule Zone 3-4.  What are you planting for fall?  How is your garden going?  I always love to here your comments!



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