Saturday, June 2, 2012

Garden Update- June 1

Things are really starting to get going here in the garden.  I harvested a few pounds of beets the other night, and we have been eating a lot of spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard lately.  The zucchini and crooked-neck squash should be ready in a few weeks, and after that the eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers are sure to follow.

The tomatoes are looking nice.  Some even have blossoms.  These tomatoes came from the greenhouse.  Despite my best efforts growing tomatoes from seed, the transplants could not stand up to the tough winds we've had on the plains this spring.  I may try these water walls for next year.  They seem like they would keep the heat in well and serve as a good windbreak, while still letting in light.  A few people around town have them.  I'm curious to see how their tomatoes look later in the summer.

Spinach and Salad Bowl Lettuce
We are enjoying BIG salads nearly every night.  My parents have taken home several large sacks of spinach and lettuce as well, hardly making a dent in the crop.  The lettuce is ready for its third cutting, so I will probably replant in a week or so since it gets a bit too frilly after a few cuttings.  I plan to blanch and freeze some spinach next week.  

The shell peas will be ready for harvest soon.  

The way Wade and the rest of my family love beets, there can never be enough.  Don't throw away the beet greens!  They are great served up Southern style with some hot sauce or red wine vinegar.

Carrots, Bush Beans, and Leeks
I need to do some weeding in this last bed, but everything is coming up nicely.  Leeks apparently take a long, long time to be ready to harvest, so it will be fun to watch them grow throughout the summer. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pictures from Early May

The garden is now getting into full swing for summer.  We've been enjoying radishes, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard from the garden for a few weeks now.  The red beets look like they will be ready in a couple weeks.

Here are some pics that were taken around the first week of May.  More pictures to come later in the week.

Bottom, Left to Right: Spinach, Salad Bowl Lettuce, and Radishes (what's left)
Top, Left to Right: Shell Peas, Green Onions, and Bright Lights Swiss Chard
The very top bed is red beets.
Peas, Green Onions, and Swiss Chard

Spinach, Lettuce, and Radishes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Garden Update

Last week my Dad came up and we spend the afternoon building four more raised beds in the garden, bringing our total up to eight.  

The yard is looking a little worse for wear at the moment.  Before we bought our place it had sat vacant for nearly a year.  And the previous owner's weren't much for taking care of the yard anyway, so nearly everything was dead and the weeds became overgrown.

After moving in to the house last summer we focused most of our attention on making the house livable, so the yard was more of an afterthought.  This summer our focus will shift to getting the yard in good shape.  We have big plans for this year, including a new fence, lilac bushes, and hopefully a patio.

The weeping pussy willow we planted last year is waking up for Spring.

Here's a close up of the buds.  They feel so soft!

The tulips I planted around the foundation are coming up nicely.

I wasn't sure the rhubarb was going to make it, but it's starting to poke up too.

We have been having such nice weather lately, so I went ahead and planted spinach, lettuce, radishes, peas, green onions, and Swiss chard.  My Dad is very picky about straight rows (that's a farmer for you!) so I used a tape measure and some yarn to make sure that they stayed nice and straight.

Happy spring!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starting Seeds Indoors: Peppers and Tomatoes

This is my second year of gardening.  I was so excited all winter long about starting the garden again in the spring.

We have had a pretty non-existent winter around here.  Several days in January were approaching sixty degrees!  That is practically unheard of for Colorado.  But while many others were lamenting the lack of snow I was happily enjoying the "spring-y" fee in the air.

To get a jump start on gardening I like to start the pepper and tomato plants indoors 2-3 months before transplanting so that they are nice and big come the end of May.  I may jump the gun a bit with starting seeds, but last year's tomatoes were started super early and they produced like nobody's business.

Last year I grew twenty-four Roma tomato plants, a few yellow tomatoes, three bell peppers, two Anaheim peppers, and 2 jalapeno plants.

This year I plan on growing, preserving, and freezing a lot more hot peppers.  We put peppers in nearly everything and our supply of frozen roasted chilies was depleted by the middle of October.  I also plan on canning more diced and whole tomatoes this year because we do not have enough to last us until tomato season starts up again at the end of the summer.

Last Sunday (2/12/12) I planted the following:

24 Roma Tomato Plants

8 Yellow Jubilee Tomato Plants

4 Boston Pickling Cucumber Plants

4 Anaheim Pepper Plants

8 Jalapeno Pepper Plants

8 Bell Pepper Plants

Not Pictured: 8 Poblano Pepper Plants

Everything mentioned above was planted in peat pots that I found at Big Lots for $2.50 a pack.  What a deal!  I am reusing the two large Jiffy plastic greenhouse containers from last year.  The seeds are planted in Miracle Grow seed starting soil.  Last year the plants started in the Miracle Grow soil germinated very quickly and grew into big, healthy plants.  I also like how this potting soil has a moisture control formula that helps new gardeners like me avoid over or under watering the delicate seedlings.

The greenhouse containers are sitting on the kitchen counter right beneath a west facing window.  So far they seem to be getting plenty of sunlight and it looks like a coupe of the cucumbers are starting to poke through the top of the soil.

Photo Credit: