Posted by: ceara08 | August 17, 2009

Garden Update

Well thought I would add an update.

We got to harvest a few cabbages, but then earwigs moved in and turned the cabbages into brassica swiss cheese.  So I had to toss the remaining 8 cabbages.  *sigh*  When I got to the last cabbage and started to twist it, something moved and squeaked!  I jumped back in a hurry, went and got a long stick and poked the cabbage with the stick until it flopped over.  Seems like a scene out of “The Blob” but all I saw was a teeny tiny young bat.  Called over the brother in law and he picked up the bat with gloves and moved it to a safer spot away from all the pets.  I was too chicken to go anywhere near it.  But bats are our friends and help keep down insect populations so I did not want to hurt it.  Just didn’t want to get too close to the thing!  It’s funny… I can be outside near sunset and the bats are flying all around and it doesn’t bother me.  Just something about it crawling on the ground and squeaking really freaked me out.

Kale is a trooper!  Still going and going like the energizer bunny. I have several freezer bags full of the stuff in the freezer after it was steamed.  Good winter chow there!  Kale is probably one of, if not THE, most nutritious vegetable out there.   Next year I want to get some purple types that are shaped kinda like a palm leaf.

Broccoli was awesome!  Never had broccoli that tasted like that before.  Indescribable!  About 4 broccoli plants are setting seed now.  I wanted to save a lot of it but it was just too good and I think we ate it all fresh and made soup with the rest.

The Swiss Chard was interesting.  The heirlooms are still producing, whereas the commercial hybrids have already bolted.  We are letting them finish the seed cycle on purpose.  Even though they bolt earlier than the heirlooms, they tend to send up more leaves.  So it’s kind of a toss up.

Carrots did not do well.  I think the seeds were too old.  Yellow beets, same thing.  Kohlrabi also got attacked by slugs and we have only one kohlrabi.

Pole peas are still producing but we are letting the rest go to seed.

The seed production of the Tom Thumb and Little Gem lettuces is going well.  They are about to bloom.  I should have plenty for the seed bank, and enough for keeping to grow next year and for trading.

The Don Collis pole beans are producing, but the weather is NOT cooperating.  The other pole beans were damaged beyond hope by the evil slugs.  I won’t be able to put those back into the seed bank unfortunately.  Which is a shame because they were rare varieties.

The heirloom perennial leeks petered out.  Don’t know why.

Bush peas are still producing.  We are into the third sowing now.  They are tasty but the pods are small with only 3-5 peas per pod and we’re stuck bending over picking which is hard on my back.  (Doctor says I have beginning stages of osteo artritis in my spine.  Joy.)

The heirloom potatoes are amazing!  Just had my first feed from two varieties last night.  Only pulled a few from just underneath the surface.  They are nicely hilled up and no sign of blight.  The flowers have been pollinated and are making the “fruits” at the top, so I will be able to hopefully harvest some true potato seeds (TPS) to sow as an experiment starting next year to make my own hybrid.  Am excited about that.

Cukes aren’t doing well.  Our soil is too poor I think and needs more organic matter incorporated.

Pinto beans are 50/50.  Will they or won’t they make it?  Not sure.  I think our Zone 4 is probably past borderline for good production.  Will see how it goes.

Tomatoes are setting.  Got a good little harvest going.  If only the weather would cooperate.  Hopefully we won’t have to ripen indoors again like last year.  Should have enough for two pots of tomato sauce.

Corn didn’t do well.  The dreaded evil slugs again.  They also destroyed the pole beans that were supposed to climb on the corn.  About a dozen corn plants are lef and they are setting tassles now.

The squashes and pumpkins are so-so.  We are in drought mode now so we have to chug water around every two days until the rains come again.

All the perennial flowers but on an amazing show this year, with more stuff to come.  Oriental Lilies about to open, then the Trumpets.  The Echinacea is taking off and the new pink and purple Monarda are doing well.  Pink has started to bloom but purple is a bit behind.  That probably has something to do with the fact that I pinched out the tops to make it more bushy.

Got some true Tiger lily stem bulbils in the mail.  But to my surprise, what should I find in the bag with the bulbils?  The dreaded nasty red lily beetle.  Yikes!  Such a tiny bug can sure make a lot of noise.  I squashed the adult lily beetle in the bag and put both bags in the fridge until I can figure out if the bulbils can be saved or if I should toss them in the garbage.  I have probably over 300 lily bulbs and cannot afford to set the lily beetle loose into a lily buffet.

Well I think that about covers it.


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