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.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garden Update August 7,2011 The Vegetable Garden

Another week of endless sunshine. I know that sounds terrible, but we need rain. We did get 4/10 of an inch Tuesday night, but with temps in the mid 80's and humidity at desert levels, that rain was gone practically the next day.




I picked the final Contender Green Beans on Tuesday and pulled those plants. I am DONE with the green beans. Final tally--42 pint bags in the freezer, a huge vat of green bean and potato soup in the refrigerator and some very happy neighbors too.


I dug the 3 "volunteer" potato plants that had come up in two separate beds. The one Yukon gold plant only had 2 large and one tiny potato and had a good case of scab on them. . The 2 Red Pontiacs yielded over 5 pounds.




The onions look to be next up on the harvest. The tops are starting to fall over. I have stolen 4 out of the garden, as my Copra's from last year ran out early this year. I think that was due to the smaller size of them. I've never ran out early before. I'm just glad I didn't have to BUY one.


A quick trip to the garden was all that was necessary.



This represents our total haul from FIFTEEN BLUEBERRY BUSHES. Yep. Mrs. Robin sure has been busy. It's my own fault for not covering them. How in the heck does anyone get any? I thought for sure I'd have plenty. Wrong!




I think the Yukon Golds are telling me they're ready! This little tent "collapsed" in the past few days.



The Matt's Wild Cherry are starting to come in now. I get a small handful every day. And yes, I've been sharing with Don.





The Brandywines are getting quite large now. Enough growing----Ripen!!! I have bacon to fry!



The Butternut have started to form this past week. I don't eat them--I grow them for my neighbor with the donkeys. Small price to pay for great fertilizer!

The Fastbreak Melon has gone crazy. There must be 20 melons total. I'm really looking forward to these-they're delicious and just the right size for two people.





This is my big screw up...............see those itty bitty seedlings. That's my fall broccoli crop. Yea. I've got less than 30 days until my first frost. Don't think they'll make it in time. Rats!



This is the cauliflower I planted when I was supposed to. Why didn't I plant the broccoli then?????? Well, at least I have this. It's been a terrible year for me for broccoli. I only have 5 bags in the freezer for this winter. Looks like I'll have to buy some this winter.



Hope you're all having a great week. Happy Gardening to all!




32 comments:

  1. Hi Sue,
    You have a very very nice vegetable garden. It's too bad about the blueberries. The birds ate every cherry off my two trees, too.

    Love the first pic of the sky and sunflowers.

    We are finally getting rain today. I hope you get some soon, too.

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  2. Sue, everything looks good despite the lack of rain. Potato harvest is not bad for volunteers. :)
    I can not believe you have only a month for your first frost date. Wow, where did the summer go. Guess I should be getting my fall crop in soon too. I just do not have much room as everything is still coming in. Guess that is the price to pay for planting on the late side, but with being gone a month, what's a girl to do.

    We had the same problem with the birds and the blueberries this year too. Next year, their blankets will certainly be on.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics of your garden. It's lovely.

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  3. I just love your gardens Sue....Winter is fading fast here,and we will have Spring weather very soon.NOT looking forward to a hot steamy Summer!

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  4. Love all the pictures of the garden. You have a nice camera and a steady hand? Love that dark sunflower. And yes, Mr or Mrs Bird sure was busy with the berries, there. I have no idea how people keep birds off their berries. Ours are hidden deep in the woods so I think that's partly what helps us, or maybe that there are so many bushes out there we don't realize how many are mauled by the birds, but...our berry harvest was pathetic this year too. :) All I can say is next year has to be better, right??

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  5. Your garden seems to be producing a lot more than mine. It has been a very disappointing year for me (and lots of others) so I'm kind of looking forward to the fall. Still trying to decide if I want to plant any fall crops or just call it quits. I like your row covers, I think I'm going to try using some myself next year - might cut down on some of the bug infestation.

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  6. First frost thinking already, wow! I am amazed that you get melons up there, that sounds like a great variety! Things look great, I'm sure you will have your BLT in no time, once the Brandywines get that big they ripen pretty quickly. I decided not to do broccoli (I think) this year, I just know the little green worms would probably be atrocious this year anyway!

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  7. Do I spy a purple kohlrabi in the bean bowl? The little 4' row of white ones I planted are being rapidly devoured by us raw in salads. Love 'em!

    Boy, I'd pay big money for those 5# of your red potatoes! We haven't had any since ours of last year ran out about a month ago. And, of course, we have none coming in the garden. The farm where we get our milk usually has potatoes to sell in the fall that I'm hoping to get our supply from them.

    I need to thank the Blueberry Protection Gods for keeping mine safe. We've never had trouble with birds raiding the patch. Last year was the first year I got a full year's supply from our 21 bushes. And they are not big bushes but rather crosses between wild and domesticated berries that only grow 12-18" high.

    Your Brandywines and melons look wonderful. Isn't this stage of big-but-not-ripe maddening? Keeping fingers crossed for red, ripe maters and luscious, sweet melons for you soon.

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  8. Wow!! Those little melons are looking great!! We will have watermelon soon. I tried the Brandywine this summer as a first. Unfortunately, since the weather has been triple digit since May. .I haven't had any tomatos even set fruit. Nighttime temps are now getting back into the upper 70's, with upper 60's predicted later this week. .I am hoping to get SOME by the end of September. And you are counting down till your first frost!! That's what I LOVE about the world of blogging. .seeing the things that are so vastly different than my own little world! Looks like lots of success this summer for you!

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  9. I love the entire look of your veggie garden, quite like a potager, Sue! I had to pay over a dollar for 6 green onions! I will never not grow them again!
    You have less than 30 days left of the growing season? I'll betcha your broccoli might do something, donthca think??

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  10. Zoey-Doesn't it make you wonder how growers do it? Especially cherry trees-my gosh-how could you cover them!! I really thought 15 bushes would be plenty for the birds AND us. Silly me!

    Lorie-I think that month away was WORTH IT! Memories like that are far more lasting than some beans. Thanks for stopping!

    Granny-I sure hope you have a better summer than last year. Best to you!

    MamaTea-I think next year HAS to be better! The past two years have been extremely difficult. I'm voting for skipping the rest of this year!
    :)

    Anke-I hate sounding like a commercial-but I was so amazed by the results this year using those row covers. I kept all my broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage and potatoes covered the entire time and NOT ONE BUG. Hooray!
    Victory is mine!!
    :)

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  11. Erin-That melon-Fast Break -has a 69 day maturity...something very necessary up here. Well, YOU'LL SEE......(eventually!)
    :D

    MamaPea-yup-purple vienna kohlrabi. Hubby eats them like candy. I grew up on them cooked-he only eats his raw. We each think the other is WEIRD....LOL.
    And yes-I am in awe of your berry harvests. Do you sit out there with a flyswatter and go after the birds of what????? Mrs. Robin is really starting to wear out her welcome!

    Melanie-I've tried to find blogs from all regions just because of how interesting it is seeing how long folks can grow, etc. I definately have one of the shortest growing seasons--85 days....but I love a good challenge!

    Sissy-Our first frost is generally end of August--sometimes early September. It's maddening-because then the weather turns all warm and lovely for weeks after. And I sit with blackened tomatoes and peppers. As for the broccoli-well, I have the row covers over, so that might keep them going. We'll see. I need some broccoli for the freezer!!

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  12. Sue~ Great Post!! Your Vegetable garden is amazing!! I definetly want to try the melons you grew..I find that areas with short growing seasons usualy produce intense produce. If I had to suspect why that would be the case. My educated guess would be that in regions with shorter growing seasons you actually give your soil a break and enable it to reset with all the valuable nutrients. Unlike seasons like mine.. I constantly strip it. Although my soil looks good I do think it needs to settle some..

    Butternut squash?? have you tried them with cinnmon sugar and butter? They can be prepared just like sweet yams:)

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  13. Wow, I'm impressed with those Fast Break melons. I hope I can remember to look for them next year. Your entire garden looks great. It's hard to believe you just got started and now you have just a month until it freezes. With luck, I still have over two months of growing season left.

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  14. Looks beautiful but only 30 days till the first frost?!? We're at least 30 days out until we get below 90 degrees!

    I like the looks of those fast-break melons. Thanks for the "heads-up"!

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  15. ATW-my soil gets about a 9-10 month rest. Good for it. Not good for someone who LOVES gardening so much.
    I've tried the butternut a hundred ways--I just love the color of it--so fresh and "pretty" but the taste, hmmmmm. I'd rather have something else!

    AG-The Fastbreak has a 69 day maturity rate and is supposed to give you about 5-6 nice melons per plant. Must be the donkey doo--mine are LOADED. I'm soooooo close to a ripe one now....just a few more days. They are luscious so I've been getting really antzy (and driving Don NUTS!)

    Tami-I have about 85-90 frost free days. Not much for gardening, but I do love the cool weather. I do envy you your long growing season....and the wonderful heat-lovers you can grow! And I'm lucky enough to be able to read about it....so that's good too!

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  16. What a beautiful harvest! You will be eating well for a long time. That's a great arrangement you have with your neighbor.

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  17. Are you sure your not a professional photographer? Those shots of all the veg. should be in a food magazine.

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  18. Sue,
    The photo of the sunflower is amazing! Yes, the darn birds get my blueberries and cherries. But for some reason they don't touch the raspberries. You truly have a garden to be proud of.

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  19. Daisy-he's thrilled to get rid of the "doo"--and I'm thrilled to have something to help this lousy sand!

    Judy-you're funny! It's a point and shoot. I guess we should be praising the camera-LOL!

    Forest-Dweller-That sunflower was really tall, so I just kind of pointed the camera in that direction. Figures one of my better shots was taken "blind"!!!
    :)

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  20. Hi Sue, It is scary to think that frost is not far off and our tomatoes are just starting to ripen. We really have a short growing season. We had rain yesterday but are way off on rainfall also.

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  21. I empathize, but of course, your gorgeous, productive garden far outweighs any little broccoli snafu. I love visiting here...just look at those onions!

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  22. BackRoad-we're so dry here--the grass is crunchy underfoot. I'm surprised things are doing as well as they are. I hope the frosts at least hold off!

    Dmarie-I shouldn't complain about the broccoli, but oh, the wonderful soups I will be missing....
    Perhaps I should look into Onion Soup instead?
    :D

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  23. That wicked word "frost" - how dare you utter it!! We are expecting lows in the 30's next week (hope they are wrong!). I wrap things with the floating row cover material. A portable yard umbrella stuck in the ground can protect plants and you can pin sheets on it to cover more surface. Last year I was still wrapping my tomatoes in blankets (real ones!) in November and we ate our last fresh tomato in February. Of course, our gardening adventure is on a much smaller scale than yours. Everything you have done looks so wonderful! You truly are a gardening wizard!

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  24. Sue, I'm glad you haven't seen my vegetable garden. I'd be so ashamed. I only have 15 tomatoes and a coupla rows of onions, it's sad. I am interested in the row covers, if they helped with the potato bugs, I would try to raise spuds again. We have such a problem here with them, got so sick of picking them off the plants every day, finally gave up.

    It's very clear you are a fantastic gardener!

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  25. 2Tramps-what an excellent idea to use an umbrella! Every year I'm getting closer to having a long-enough growing season. It's a challenge, but great suggestions are helping me move along with that goal. Thank you!!!!!!!!
    :)

    Karen-15 tomatoes? You must can?? I grow 5--3 cherry type, 1 heirloom, and one hybrid that hubby likes. I don't can. I know I should.
    Yes, I cannot say enough good about row covers. Homegrown potatoes are a must!! Try the covers!!

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  26. 30 Days???? Stop it! Well lack of rain or not, your first picture is STUNNING! I adore it :o) I am starting to get little bits of things here and there, but nothing too much worth canning. Fingers crossed those maters start ripening...they are monsters!

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  27. APG-I've got my main stuff done--green beans,garlic,the onions and taters are getting pulled this week. All the rest we just eat fresh, so the hard part for me is done. Hope you get LOTS of good tomatoes for canning (and that the weather COOLS DOWN for that!)

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  28. Great harvest and I love that sunflower shot!

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  29. Wow, Sue, you sure have had a nice harvest this year. It's too bad the birds ate most of your blueberries.

    I may have already told you that I was so excited to get chicken wire around the chain link garden fence to keep the rabbits out, but just as the beans started blooming, they got eaten up by insects of some kind. I'm going to have to learn how to put that netting up. What's it called again?

    I can't even grow summer or winter squash anymore. Even though I put foil around the stems, the vine borers are in the process of killing the summer squash plants I tried again to grow.

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  30. Oh, you asked me if amaranthus is difficult to grow. It seems to be easy enough to grow, but sometimes needs to be staked. You can't predict how tall it will be, either. The different ones I have are different sizes.

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  31. Corner Gardener-I sent you an email about the fabric.
    Sorry about the vine borers--they seem to be a BAD problem for so many in the warmer areas. Maybe it's too cold up here? I've not been bothered by them.

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