July 29, 2011

Took a night off from the garden, including watering. It had been thunderstorming for the last 2 days off and on, so watering really wasn’t necessary as the soil was still quite moist – even deeply. Aside from pulling 2 Zucchini out of the garden and wondering whether it was normal to be harvesting pumpkin in August (and not October), not much else happened in the garden. Watering will probably have to start again tomorrow.

July 28, 2011

Pulled a whopper harvest out of the garden tonight, including:

  • 5 Zucchini
  • Okra
  • 10 Yellow Pear Tomatoes
  • Green Beans
  • 2 Pumpkins
  • Lettuce

The lettuce was getting ready to bolt, in which case it would have been bitter and inedible, so we pulled out about 10 heads, which I stripped and rinsed and soaked. We’re waiting too see how it turns out – it may be that we were too late. Honestly, I feel that each year we plant about 50% too much lettuce. We’re not altogether fond of salads, even though we do eat them occasionally.

July 27, 2011

Most of the day yesterday was spent in putting up the bounty received from one of the two local vegetable markets over the weekend. A great deal was found at Kurtzhal’s Farm Market – Zucchini and Summer Squash both at 10 for $1. We bought 20 of each, good-sized suckers. The Zucchini thus far has yielded 10 quarts when sliced on a mandolin slicer, blanched, and put into bags for the winter.

I know that everyone has heard this before, but if you have a a farmer’s market or vegetable stand in the area, it’s worth it to get the locally-grown produce, often cheaper than you would find it at Meijer, Kroger, or a “chain” supermarket (does anyone still use that word nowadays??)

Coming soon – a comparison of the two farm market stands in the area!

July 26, 2011

Another small harvest tonight – the yellow pear tomatoes are starting to come in!

Only gathered 4 yellow pear tomatoes and a couple of beans from the garden, along with 1-2 pickling cucumbers. The beans are/were stagger-planted, meaning that they were planted in rows every two weeks beginning last May 1st. 6 feet were planted May 1, 6 feet on May 15, and due to a small logistical (and mental) screwup, 12 feet were planted on June 1. So while we have beans coming in, others are about 2-4 weeks behind. This was actually done on purpose – last year we planted everything at once and almost drowned in green beans while trying to get them put back for winter. Next year I might just do that with the cucumbers…and remind myself repeatedly not to plant 12 pickling cucumber plants!

The peas are just about done – one 12-foot row that did not yield as much as we were hoping for, maybe two standard-sized bowls, but that was about it. For some reason peas do not do well in our backyard, whether it is because of too much sun or not enough water, we haven’t really figured out yet.

Garden was watered very well, each bed receiving about 5-10 minutes of attention. Thunderstorms are expected tomorrow night, so not sure if the garden will need watering or not.

July 25, 2011

Made it out into the garden a little late today. The plants were all still droopy from the heat. Have you ever heard plants gasp for water or air? I think I did today!

Not a big harvest, probably due to picking over the cucumbers with a fine-tooth comb last night and getting (hopefully!) all of them for a couple of days.

Only grabbed 3 pickling cucumbers (apparently we didn’t get them all, darnit), along with a bunch of dill for making pickles. Like I said, not much tonight, but some days are better than others!

Watered the garden and surrounding trees. Pretty good (and light) day. Spent most of last night and part of the day today making homemade pickles. So far for 2011, 9 quarts of pickle spears and 12 pints of pickle slices have been put up for the winter. Can’t wait for November to crack these puppies open!

July 24, 2011

During the gardening routine tonight, the following were harvested:

  • Pickling cucumbers – too many to count, an entire basket full.
  • Salad cucumbers – 6
  • Okra – Again, too many to count, looked to be about 12-14 pods
  • Zucchini – 1

We skipped the watering as the soil was still relatively moist, being as it rained for the previous three days at least one time, and will begin again tomorrow.