A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, September 2, 2016

End of the Month Round Up--August

The Vegetable Garden Sept 1, 2016. Mostly empty now......

Well, August has come and gone in a flurry of harvesting. It was all about the Corn and Tomatoes and Zucchini and Potatoes and Onions. Pans full of goodness daily...so much so that we were able to share with our many neighbors.  I find that the most joyful part of gardening--being able to share the harvest.

The vegetable garden is just about done. I have just a few more ears of corn to harvest and of course--the Brandywine tomatoes and SunGold tomatoes.  The Brussels sprouts are tiny yet--I've never grown them before and don't know quite when they will be done.
There is also 4 more rows of Mokum carrots that will be harvested on an "as needed" basis-usually a pound or so every few days.
The broccoli has had 3 cuttings and there's another ready. I've been giving it away as I have plenty in the freezer to last all year. I'll pull it after tomorrow's cutting.

Even though they aren't done yet, the Green Peppers will be yanked this week. Even the neighbors won't take them anymore. Enough with it!!   The Kale--same thing.  Enough!

The freezer is stuffed.  I have ALL the broccoli, green beans, green peppers I need for the year.
I only have 5 pints of corn---there is no way I could grow as much as we would need, but my corn is
"saved" for SPECIAL occasions--holiday meals and birthdays, so that's ok too.

I did not freeze ANY berries this year.  I went so overboard last year, that I still have some to clean up.....namely peaches, applesauce, raspberries, and blueberries.

I also have in the garage ALL the onions, garlic, and potatoes we will need for the year. I actually gave away quite a bit--it was a banner year for potatoes, that's for sure!

I'll be back at the end of September with another update, then the Winners and Losers for the year.
Until then---have a great beginning of fall (hooray!!!!).
A  "Thank You" tray of goodies for Neighbors Ed and Carol for taking us to Muskegon August 13

Beautiful flowers behind my ugly deer fencing

The Phlox was finally able to bloom after the great Deer Munch-Off

Morning Glories enjoying the cool weather

The Sunflowers were crazy beautiful this year. This one had 25 (!!!) heads on it!

A Bowl of Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Mokum carrots and the first of the fall lettuce

Now--MY boring notes.  Go away!

August was MUCH warmer than normal--most days were mid 80's --a far cry from our normal high of mid 70's.  The hottest day was 90 degrees. The coldest night got down to 47 degrees.
There were 23 Sunny Days. We got 2.65 inches of rain--though most of that fell in one day.
There was also a LOT of humidity this month--something we typically don't have. Good for the corn
and tomatoes, but I'll be glad to see it go.

August 1  1 pound Patriots, 2 gallon ziploc of beans---Gave to neighbors
August 2  1 pound BluRays(ours!), 1 pound Patriots-neighbors, 2 gal. ziploc of beans-neighbors

               Onions flopped
               Potatoes starting to collapse
               HORNWORMS on Tomatoes        
               Garden extremely dry. Had to water. Ugh.

August 4  HOT-95 degrees, Still no rain. Gardens are in desperate need of water.  I water the main                      things, but am letting the green beans go.  We're not using any more, they are just about
                  done anyway.
               2 pounds Blueberries, 2 zucchini, 1 pound Mokums,
               Don picked another 2 gallon bag of beans for various neighbors

                PULLED GREEN BEANS
                1 pound Chandlers--very tart this year--they are early, that might be why so tart??
August 6   Watered and watered and watered some more. DRY as toast out there. The lawn is
                 crunchy , and everything is in poor shape.
                Zucchini started back up again.  BluRays and Patriots still going strong. Chandler
                  blueberries are turning but are so sour this year that no one wants to eat them.   ???

August 7   Crookneck squash, zucchini, BluRays,1 pound  Mokum carrots.
                Celery is looking FANTASTIC,  dug three of the stray potatoes--5 pounds Yukons
                First sowing of corn is getting close to being ready. Hooray!
                PULLED COPRAS

August 8   3 pounds CHANDLER blueberries--though not the first batch, it is the first sweet
August 9   1 pound Mokum carrots, 2 Zukes, 1 crookneck
                 Matt's Wild Cherry, SunGold tomatoes continue in dribbles
                 90 degree temps, still no rain.

August 10  Picked the LAST OF THE BLURAYS--2 pounds.  A sad day indeed.
                 2 zucchini , pound of mokum carrots
                 90 degrees and still sunny. Lawn completely dead, trees look terrible, birch shedding

August 11  Sunny, 90 degrees
                 Wild turkeys sitting under our trees--wings held out trying to stay cool.
                 2 crookneck, 2 zucchini, 1 pound Mokums, lots o' cherry tomatoes--Sungold and
                   Matt's Wild Cherry.    Corn getting very close now. Raccoon trap baited, just in case.

August 12   RAIN--1/10th inch  What good is that after all this time?
                  Zucchini x 2 , 1 pound Mokums, 1 pound blueberries
                  BLACKBIRDS FLOCKING UP???  Had HUNDREDS in the yard this morning.
                  Moments after they left--dozens of Robins

August 13  RAIN 4/10th inch
                 Played hooky-Went to Muskegon with neighbors

August 14  Dug first bed of Yukon Golds.  Very nice. 35 pounds
                 Came out to the garden to find a raccoon in the live trap.
                 Best indicator the corn is ready and he was right!!!
                 3 pounds Chandler Blueberries

August 15  CORN !!!!!!!   9 ears. Picture perfect. No corn worms this year-thank goodness!

               Also picked 1 pound Mokums, second bed Yukon Gold potatoes-30 Pounds, 2 gallons                           Broccoli side shoots, 1 green pepper, kohlrabi, and of course zucchini

August 16  1 pound Patriots, 1 pound Mokums, 1 pound mixed cherry toms (SunGold and Matt's)

August 17  RAIN  1.25 inches (all in about an hour. WOW)
                 Corn 6 ears, ACORN SQUASH-1--had to throw away, had something boring in it, 1                            pound SunGold toms, 1 doz Copra onions from the "extra" bed to give to Carol, zucchini

August 18  PUMPKINS--10 nice ones-each about 8-10 pounds,  Pulled vines, Manured area
                  2 pounds Patriot blueberries, 2 pounds carrots, 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi
                 Gave Carol and Jackie large trays of blueberries,carrots,cherry tomatoes, potatoes, onions
August 20  Corn-16 ears--this FINISHED CORN PATCH #1
                 Patriot blueberries 2 pounds
                 Dug third bed Yukons.  Had a rodent chew up quite a few of the potatoes. 25 pounds
August 21  Picked early before leaving for Indiana--I'm taking a box of vegetables for Susan
                   TONS of Kale, yellow crooknecks, 3 green peppers, 3 pounds potatoes, onions

August 21 and 22  Trip to Indiana to bid Lorna a fond farewell and wish her the best as she embarks
                           on her new life in southern Indiana.  What great fun we had. I shall certainly
                            miss her gentle kindness. At least I can still pick on Susan!!    :D
Sweet and petite Susan (L), Lorna, and Me-the Jolly Giant at 5 foot, 6"
August 23  Came home to lots and lots of picking--including--TA DA----1st BRANDYWINE!
August 23  First of the Brandywines!!!!!  
                 Also got a 2 gallon sack o'broccoli, 2 yellow crookneck, 2 pounds Patriot blueberries
                   and a quart of SunGold tomatoes.

August 24  1 quart SunGold tomatoes, 1 pound Mokum carrots, 4 crookneck squash. 6 ears corn
                   from Patch #2

August 25  1 Qt SunGold tomatoes, 1 pound Patriot blueberries, 1 pound Mokum carrots, 1 Celery

August 26  1 Brandywine tomato, 6 ears Corn--Patch #2

August 27  1 pound Patriot blueberries, 3 green peppers, carrots , crookneck squash (4) , 1 qt cherry

August 28  6 ears corn from Patch #2,  3 pounds "stray" potatoes, 2 gallon sack o' broccoli shoots
                Took a tray of Tomatoes, Peppers, and crookneck squash to the neighbors

August 30    Moikum carrots,  first of the fall lettuce, Corn-6 ears for supper

August 31   Dug rest of German Butterball potatoes 10 pounds
                  Pulled Crookneck Squash
                  Gave all the tomatoes a severe cutting back--we only have 2 weeks left before frost
                  Got a load of old straw from Nancy---will put on this years Tomato Patch when empty
                  Put the good pieces of Agribon into garage for the winter, the rest (torn) gets burnt

I've started dumping pots of flowers--and this coming week I need to start bringing in the geraniums for the winter. It's starting to hit the 40's at night.  Houseplants will also come back inside.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

End of the Month Round Up-July

Vegetable Garden July 31, 2016

Flowers amongst the Vegetables

Potatoes and Onions are already starting to "flop"

Wow-another month has come and gone already.  Where does the time go?
Harvests for storage for the year are already completed for garlic, red onions, and broccoli
Green beans are coming in fast and furious. It's a madhouse in the kitchen in the morning with
chopping, blanching, and packing things for the coming winter.
The Vegetable Garden "Explodes" into growth this month

Pumpkins, Sunflowers, and Corn 
Joe Pye, Agastache, Cleome, and Filipendula Rubrus are keeping the Hummingbirds happy on the East Side of the House

Out Front, Monarda, Heliopsis , Daisies, and Autumn Clematis Fill in 

Cart O' Petunias Filling in---wrapped in chicken wire against the deer

New Variety (for me) of Snapdragons---University Mix.  Very happy with them!

Petunias and Juncus in front of the garage
All right---that's pretty much what's going on here.  The following notes are for my reference.
Hope your August is filled with whatever makes you happy.  I'll see you next month for an update.
Happy Gardening!!

July had  19 sunny days. We had 4 inches RAIN   Temps were very warm. We had a very hot streak
   for most of the month--temps in the upper 80's.  Bugs were the worst I've seen in years.

July 1-7   Salads and Sugar Snap peas continue. Best year EVER for peas. I even have stockpiles
               in the refrigerator.  Best method for keeping those peas crisp and delicious--glass
                 refrigerator dishes with tight fitting lids!.  Even 2 weeks after harvest, they remain                            snappy and crisp!

July 1--RAIN--4/10 inch.

July 2-Sowed Row 6 of Mokum carrots and a row of buttercrunch lettuce.

July 6-  Good planning in February, a freezer, and a whole lotta restraint ensured my
             FAVORITE pie -European Truffle-for my birthday celebration.  I am lucky this
              is only available once a year or I would have serious weight issues.
900 calories of EXTREME chocolate!
Why yes-----yes it is!!
July 7--RAIN  7/10ths inch

July 8--RAIN   1/2 inch

July 9--Dahlia "Fleurel" from Longfield Gardens was ready for cutting.  FIrst year buying from them and I am very pleased. An excellent company with great customer service.
Dahlia Fleurel--in a TWO GALLON water can. MONSTER size bloom -a full 11 inches!

July 11--HARVESTED GARLIC--Persian Star and Chesnook Red.  Heads were pretty small.
              I'm a bit disappointed in the size, but I have plenty for the year.

July 12- RAIN -1/2 inch
             Combined with a LOT of heat and humidity, the corn shot up a lot today
Don standing in the corn patch. Second sowing of corn is behind him--about half the height.
 July 13--CUT DOWN SUGAR SNAPS.  I have 2 giant casserole dishes full in the fridge, plus
                   a few random vines left for in-garden snacking.

July 14--BROCCOLI--3 large heads (7-9 inches) ready.  Cut/blanched and in the freezer (7 pints)
             This is "Green Super Broccoli" from Fedco. Best broccoli I've ever grown. Compact
              plants, tight green buds that have held up to high heat. We'll see how side shoot production

 BLUEBERRIES!!!  Roughly 1 pound of the Patriots  They're bigger than last year.

July 15--RAIN  2/10 inch

July 16 -ZUCCHINI  joins the party.  First of the MOKUM CARROTS. 2 More Broccoli. 1 lb                       Blueberries
I also harvested the last of the garlic--the original variety (unknown) and of course, it's the
biggest heads and best quality of all three varieties.  Should have stuck with the original I guess.

Last of the garlic hanging in my "shop"

July 17   RAIN--1/2 inch
             Sowed 1 Row Valentine Mesclun Mix

July 18   Harvested : 2 heads broccoli, a large head romaine, misc lettuce, and a big bunch of Kale
                Not shown are another pound of Blueberries and another zucchini

July 19  Corn shot up from recent rains and is now as tall as me and is starting to send up tassels.
            Green beans flowering heavily

July 20  Harvested 5 heads broccoli (2 given to Carol, plus 6 bags for the freezer), misc mesclun,
               3 zucchini (2 to Carol, 1 for lunch!) and 2 pounds Patriot blueberries (not pictured)
July 21  RAIN  1/4 inch. Hot and humid. Blech.
             Blue Ray blueberries begin. 2 pounds. Size is huge this year. Why?  Taste is outstanding.

July 22  RED ONION harvest--pulled 1/2 of them, roughly 23, hung in garage to dry
            Two heads Broccoli, 1 pound BluRay blueberries, Zucchini
             92 and humid.  Can't say it enough---I HATE SUMMER

July 24  RAIN  2/10 inch
            FIRST OF THE  GREEN PEPPERS--3 large.. That beats last year's first harvest  by a full 3                  weeks!  (Freezer)
          Blueberries now being picked daily --roughly 1 pound a day (Trying to conserve to keep it                   going)


            3 more huge green peppers--freezer
            and of course, blueberries-1 pound

July 26  Blueberries-1 pound
July 27  Blueberries 1 pound
            First cutting of side shoots of broccoli--2  pint bags for the freezer
            Wait for it---------ZUCCHINI. LOL!
            1 Green Pepper for the freezer
            HOT and HUMID.

July 29 GREEN BEANS begin!

            Picked a dishpan FULL--11 pints in the freezer by 9 am!
            RAIN 1/4 inch
            Blueberries-BluRay-1 pound
            Yukon Gold potatoes-3 pounds snitched for Saturday's breakfast and lunch
            2 Kohlrabi

July 30  Green Beans-6 pints for the freezer
             1 green pepper (freezer)
             2 cauliflower
             Broccoli--3 bags (freezer)
             2 pounds blueberries

July 31  Green Beans-9 pints (freezer)  That puts me at 26 pints. I'm quitting with that---I still have
               5 pints left from last summer . This is the earliest I've ever been done.
            2 pounds blueberries
            CROOKNECK SQUASH--1st one

Friday, July 1, 2016

End of the Month Round Up-June

Overview of Vegetable Garden July 1, 2016

Well, I had full intentions of breaking down my notes into two posts this month, but who has time??
So---I will put up pictures of what's been going on this month and you can disregard the notes, as it's just for my records--not an attempt to induce a nap......though, really, at this time of year , who couldn't use a nap????   So---pictures first and then boring notes for ME afterward!
Have a great month, everyone.

New Asparagus beds, plus potatoes, onions , green beans and cole crops under Agribon fabric tents

An excellent year for the green beans--perfect germination
It's been a terrific year for the Foxglove and of course, Stachys

New Asparagus bed--Jersey Knight from Nourse Farms

Pumpkins and Sweet Corn

Zinnia Border in the Vegetable Garden

Taters and Onions Doing Well so Far

Delphinium in West Border opened on the last day of June!

Foxglove and Feverfew

Sidewalk Border from Back Door

All right--That's all.
It's time for MY notes to self.
Have a great July everyone
: )

June had 22  days of sun.  We got a total of   2.6 inches of Rain.  Our warmest day:June 19, it                                  reached 86 degrees.   Our coldest night was June 8--it was 36 degrees.
NO frost this month. That's the first time in 9 years of living here.  It got close, but didn't. Weird.

June 1--Locked unplanted flowers in the garage so we could have a day "off". No one can hear their                 muffled cries for water in there.  So good to have a day free from the constant watering.

June 2  Planted East border of the house
           Sowed third row Mokum Carrots
           Watered and Fertilized Barrels out by road
           Green Beans popping up

June 3--Planted:  Five Dahlias
                         Pumpkins (2)
                         Crookneck Squash (2)

           Zinnia Zahara Starlight Rose along sidewalk started to bloom :  Supposed to look like this--

           Instead--it looks like THIS:
No offense against burgandy, but my ENTIRE color scheme is PINK, blue, yellow and white.  It looks "pink-ISH in the picture. In real life --dark burgandy. --a total clash.

          The alyssum along the sidewalk was supposed to be a mix of purple, lavender, and white.
             The only color appearing is white.
         I am LIVID over this. I wasted how much in SEEDS and potting mix and running my
            grow lights. ARGH!

          NOTE TO SELF:--Next year BUY flats of Zinnia Starlight Rose and Alyssum IN BLOOM

June 4--Planted Six Dahlias,  2 flats mixed annuals,  1 dozen sweet potato plants,  5 leftover Russet
              potatoes that sprouted in the pantry,  another 6 celery,  and 2  Hearts of Gold Melon
                 and a partridge in a pear tree. Not really. Just seeing if you fell asleep yet.

June 5-Planted up Cart in front of barn that hubby made for me
          The big news of the day: RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       1/2 inch.  
"Splurged" on the branded petunias--hopefully this will fill out to become a cascade of pink and white.

June 6-Planted one flat Giant Yellow Zinnias (thanks, Daisy!!)
                      one flat White zinnia short variety
                      one 9 pk Phlox Moody Blues
                      Last tomato-Prudens Purple (had to rip out spinach--it bolted)
                      2 bush cucumbers
                      6 pack Cosmos Sonata
           Mowed the lawn--Bah!   Reason #34,236 summer is my least favorite time of year.

June 7--High temp of 52 degrees, Low of 36  Tomatoes, Peppers, and Sweet Potatoes need sweaters!
            A 1/10 inch rain. Whoop-de-do

June 8-Asparagus (Jersey Knight) arrived from Nourse Farms. Followed their extremely clear
            directions for planting. I've never seen asparagus roots before, but these looked SO
             thick and healthy.  Also received a  Nelson Blueberry bush--a late season producer
               with (supposed) EXCELLENT flavor and freezing qualities--will hold until tomorrow

           FROST WARNINGS issued for tonight. Covered 1/2 the garden. The rest is on it's own

June 9--No frost--thank goodness. Low only hit 36, thanks to some late cloud cover.
           Replanted all the Zinnia Starlight Rose along the sidewalk.  I was lucky to find a flat leftover
             at the local (47 miles away!) nursery.
          Planted Nelson Blueberry bush from Nourse Farms--mulched heavily with Pine needles
          Planted 2 more flats of flowers.
          Still cutting lettuce every other day---enough for two HUGE salads. Still not tired of it!  : )

June 11--Starting to Bloom:  Clematis, Columbine, Wisteria, Peach poppies, and Nepeta
Clematis this year was amazing

Wisteria by the Blueberry patch

June 11-- 1/2 inch rain last night---much needed. I was just about to drag out the hose (my arch                        nemesis!)   Saved again!  The hose continues to gather dust!
             Planted Second patch of Ambrosia Sweet Corn
             Planted 4th row of Mokum Carrots
             And with that I am  FINISHED PLANTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which means:

June 12-15 Trip to Dubuque, IA to rest up from a very busy month!        
Relaxing after a tough few weeks of planting---Kent, Illinois
June 15--
Arrived home to find the deer had breached my ugly fence barricade. Mowed down all my phlox,
sunflowers, daisies, asters and rudbeckia.  Will spend my first full day home trying to figure out
a new plan.  It may involve a shotgun.

          Also---BEETLES INVADE--every kind you can imagine. Japanese, Colorado Potato, etc etc.

          RAIN!!  1/2 inch , and while appreciated---PLEASE SEND MORE!

June 16-21  Clean-up of my stall--washed about 58,000 pots and flats to put back in storage

June 21--Sowed 5th row Mokum carrots.
              Finding lots of Colorado potato beetle eggs on uncovered potatoes--I check every other day

              Salads continue--a huge bowl cut every other day.  Spinach has bolted.  Radishes are
              beautiful now, thanks to advice from blogger Margaret about keeping them from being
              shaded.  Thanks, Margaret!


June 22--Secured the west border from the deer--so they went to the barn and ate all the
               outrageously expensive branded petunias in the grape cart.  Getting harder not to curse!

June 23--The hose makes an appearance. My least favorite thing in the world---watering---but
                  we are so dry that I simply must .  Drats. And I'm actually "thinking" much worse.
                   I try to be a lady just in case Mama Pea is actually READING THIS.  She does
                     that sometimes.  I wouldn't want to offend her delicate nature.

June 24-FIRST OF THE SUGAR SNAP PEAS .  Crisp, delicious. They don't make it to the house.
             Hubby doesn't eat them. I snack on them while I'm in the garden-one big handful every day.

June 26,--RAIN!!!!!   9/10 inch rain---so  badly needed. Most if it just ran off, as the soil is so dry
                it's actually repelling water.  The weeds in the aisles sure took off though!

June 28--Continuing fight with Potato Beetles--but I do seem to be keeping up with it.
             Salads continue--still getting LARGE bowl full every other day--but I miss the spinach

Jun 30--Garden has hit it's "boring" stage, with just slight maintenance daily--plucking the
            occasional weed or bug while having my morning coffee. Nice!  I have my days back.
            Celebrated with not only our usual 3 mile walk, but also a 10 mile bike ride. I'm
            going to sleep pretty good tonight, I think!