Friday, April 27, 2018

Garden Log --- April 27, 2018

And welcome back to another edition of How Does Your Garden Grow! ha! That's about all I'm doing right now, watching the garden grow....

First let me bore you with all my tomato pictures. I'm happy to report that just about every plant in the main garden has little tomatoes on it! Yea!  
 Tomate Silbertanne. These small plants (I think they might be dwarfs) are loaded. 
One has 12 tomatoes and the other has 11. 
 Rumi Banjan. A ruffled yellow tomato from Afghanistan.
 Large Barred Boar. A striped regular sized tomato (red with green stripes.)
Arkansas Traveler. A nice medium little red tomato.

I spent several days this week doing the first pruning of all the tomatoes.  I got most of them done before the nice rain we had this week, and finished up yesterday.  
 Tiny blue bird feather stuck on a tomato flower....pretty!

Most of the okra is starting to poke out of the soil.  They'll grow fast once it gets hot around here.
 Gold Coast okra

The corn is a little slower to germinate. 

I've finally planted the two varieties of vegetables from India that I'm growing for one of my garden groups on FB.  These tiny things are a tiny okra - I think I had 11 seeds and 8 have germinated.  There may be others soon.  I have to send everything that I get from these plants to the group when they are harvested. 
 Today I pulled up all three of the Chirimen Hakusai cabbages - they were starting to bolt.  The chickens and turkeys got much of the outer leaves but I kept the pretty middles and put about 2-1/2 pounds in the freezer for future soups and stir fry dishes.
 Tried to get a close up of the weird flower - there's some longer 
little feelers around it. Very alien looking!

This morning I harvested about 2 pounds of snow peas and snap peas, too.  These all went into the freezer since John and I can't eat all of these fresh. Whew!

 This Amish Snap Pea plant has reached all the way to the top of the 8 ft. squash 
house and embedded itself into the mesh shade cover!
 The Spring Blush Tendril Pea is all that - lots of wiry tendrils! I've 
enjoyed watching this plant make its way.

We've been watching the fruit (and harvesting mulberries already.) The vineyard looks nice right now, but we've had such a hard time with the grapes, I'm not sure what will happen.

Peaches everywhere.  I noticed one of the Rio Grande out in the orchard has peaches that are already turning yellow.  I'm keeping my eye on these! 

Pomegranate Blooms

I found milkweed out in the back of the vineyard on my morning walk - I think this is Antelope Horn milkweed.  I looked for caterpillars on them but didn't find any.  Now I have to go back and look for eggs (I'm watching Angie's posts to find out what to look for!) I'll report on what I find.

Mighty Max has grown!

We got to visit with Max last Saturday and Sunday! On Saturday, JR and Max came over to help John uncover the pool for the season.  It's a heavy job to pull that cover off (and deal with that wire that pulls it tight) so it was great to have help.

Max and I got to spend some quality time together.  He's such a sweet little guy, but he's on the move all the time, so you have to have some stamina!

On Sunday John and I went to sit with him while his parents took care of their rental house.  We had so much fun... and a bonus visit with Colleen and the girls for lunch.  I wish I had taken some pictures of that (all the kids had Happy Meals) but I wasn't on my photo game that day.

Here's a few pictures from the rest of the day:
 Watching the antics of Mickey Mouse and all his friends!

 Dinosaur puzzle!

 Monster Butt!
 Max was all about Grumpy on Sunday....

Max has learned to hug! When I was kissing him, he reached around 
my neck and gave me a hug.  Oh my heart!!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Garden Log --- April 20, 2018

Back from vacation and back into the garden! I missed it, and things have been growing.  We've started picking the snow peas and the sugar snap peas.  Almost half a pound so far between all the different plants.    

 This is why I grow these - so I can pick them young.  I can't stand the stringy ones that they sell in the stores that are way too old. These are sweet, snappy and delicious!
These beauties (Royal Snow) are purple, with such a pretty flower.

I'm picking kale already, too. Several varieties are already big enough for me to pick leaves around the bottom. Another plant I like to pick young and tender.  
 Siber Frill Kale

I came home to our first tomato! Hip hip hooray! Finally. These are on the Tomate Silbertanne plants.  The plant itself has the frilliest tomato leaves I've ever seen.  

They call this leaf type "carrot"
 The second tomato plants to produce fruit was the Karos.  Another one of the plants I'm growing for seed for one of the FB garden groups.  I believe this is a small red tomato, and there are 6 on each truss.  These two plants just look terrible. I think we made the mistake of adding too much of the manure to these, but they are recovering and I think they'll be okay.  I've pruned them and added more soil at the base to help counteract all the manure. On top of that, they are a "potato leaf" tomato, and have the biggest leaves on them. 
Karos Tomato

Updated picture of the Fava beans.  They continue to grow.  I'm going to stake them this weekend and the wind we've been having has been knocking them over.
I picked a few leaves this week (spinach, beet and kale) and made a Skinny Taste cheese stuffed turkey meatloaf with it.   
 Just chop these leaves up and put in the middle of the meat mixture. John even liked it!
 Turkey meatloaf, add shredded fat free cheese and roll up. It was good!

Most of the pole beans are starting to climb their tee-pee supports.

 We have our first tomatillo, too!  This is the Purple Coban, and there's a few on the Yellow also. 

On Thursday we planted the corn and okra out in the orchard field.  I didn't take even one picture, but there's nothing to see yet anyway.  Here's a photo of the red clover that came up that John planted during the winter, there's a few hold-overs out there.

  1. Incredible (F1 Hybrid SE) - Pinetree Garden Seeds
  2. Jackpot Hybrid - Ferry Morse Seed Co.
  3. Treavor's Sweet Berries and Cream - FB Garden Group (Treavor created this cross, so no link.)

  1. Philippine Lady Finger - Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  2. Gold Coast - Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  3. Orange Jing - FB Garden Group
  4. Cowhorn - FB Garden Group
  5. Alabama Red - FB Garden Group

Over in the fruit department --- ha! We've started bringing in the mulberries - they're ripening every day. This could be a lot of work, except that the birds are attacking these two trees pretty hard.  I watched about 8 birds land, grab a berry, and take off while I was working out there today. Arghhhh!!!! I hope they leave us just a part of the bounty this year.

All of the four pecan trees are tasseling now - hope that means more pecans! 
The oldest plum tree is pretty covered in plums. Last year there were hardly any, but maybe this year we will get some.  This is the Methley plum tree - they're not the biggest plums, but they are very sweet and delicious when ripe.
One of the pomegranate's got blooms already.  I don't know which is the Wonderful and which is the Angel Red. We failed to put an identity stake by them when we planted them (BIG FAIL!)  Maybe they will have some indication when they get a little bigger that I can detect the difference. Sigh....
I was so excited to find one pear on the tree this week!  This is the Orient pear, and it's held on through some pretty high winds.  I hope it will make it, wouldn't that be something!?

The baby wrens in the greenhouse are getting so big, they spend the day sitting up on top of their nest now.  I expect they'll take off in a short while, which means I can finally get in there and clean it up without disturbing their little mama.
 Wonder what kind of spider is living in the corner of the squash house? Yikes!!