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, July 15, 2012

Garden Update- July 15, 2012

Harvested the garlic Tuesday, July 10.  I planted less garlic than the previous year and though they  all survived, the cloves were much smaller than in the past. I don't know if this was due to our terribly dry winter or what.  I won't be saving any to replant this fall. I'm using this as an opportunity to try a new variety. I'm not sure where I'll order from yet. If you've had great luck with any grower, please let me know. I'd love to find a SMALL company to order from.


My first ever Brussels Sprouts!! I've never grown them before so I'm not sure if they're coming along as well as they should  or not. I guess we'll see this fall when they are done. But aren't they cute????

This is the hybrid "Fast Break" melon I started from seed. It's literally just SITTING there, not growing. WHY?



This is the heirloom variety of melon "Hearts of Gold". It's doing fantastic in comparison.

Melons are not my only problem in the Hybrid/Heirloom range. My favorite carrots--the hybrid "Mokum" had nearly a 95% germination FAIL .  The cheap-o heirloom carrots I sowed--perfect germination. Is there something going on with the hybrids or is this just a fluke?


The cabbage are "heading up"....and how pretty this variety is.

And here is my oddball in the garden. I always let a patch of milkweed grow---it's not only good for the Monarch butterflies, but the also seem to keep the bad bugs so busy that they leave my vegetables alone. Well, look what popped up---an ALBINO milkweed. Have you ever seen one before? I don't know how this happens but I'd be interested in any info I could find on it

Yesterday I scrubbed out the two water troughs in anticipation of storms heading our way. It was not to be. Though we heard thunder, no rain fell. Our last rain was July 3. It's been in the upper 80's/low 90's with sun every day. I suppose if I were one of the many vacationers in our area, I'd be thrilled. As a gardener, I'm not. We need rain, at least a few inches. I'm glad I didn't plant up any of my tubs/barrels/planters this year. I guess it was a good year to not garden after all.
Hope all of you have better luck. Me? I'm hoping next year will be "The Year".

Have a great week. Stay cool (and if able, please send rain our way) Thanks!
: )

26 comments:

  1. Everything looks so good. We don't harvest garlic here until the tops have died back in the fall.

    We finally had rain last night but we missed it as we were off looking for the crazy balloon guys...

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    1. Hi 2Tramps-loved seeing that about the balloon guys. I don't think I could do something like that!

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  2. I like the Savoy type cabbages a lot. They are so much milder than the regular types and great for cole slaw with apples and raisins. I think I have seen some very pale-ish yellow milkweed, but I think they typically "color up" eventually. A true albino plant would have no chlorophyll, but milkweed will runner to some extent, so I would assume it is sucking sugar from the momma plant over by your raised bed.

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    1. Rachelle-this is my first try with those cabbage. I'm sort of debating when they are "done". It's easy to tell with regular cabbage--on these the heads seem sort of loose.

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  3. How cool--Albino milkweed. You mentioned heirloom vs. hybrid germination, what I noticed is all the plants I started from seed (as opposed to the fill in plants I purchased) have done much better surviving this year....hmmm

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    1. Tonya-I noticed that a lot of the seeds that had come up from last year (self sown) did VERY well. None of my hybrids are doing well at all--it could be because I was gone.

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  4. Hi Sue,
    Your garlic does not look small to me. I have hardneck garlic that was planted by my mother-in-law when it was her garden over 25 years ago. It was thick when I started gardening here, and I had to decide where I was going to let it grow. It took me awhile to figure out I needed to take the scapes off, and replant in the fall, but there was so much that had come up from seed, that I was never without some. I have decided that I am going to change where I plant this fall, and put tomatoes where they have been growing. Oh, my! I need to finish this up! Anyway, yes, your brussel sprouts are cute. I need to try growing cabbage again. In the past, the cabbage worms got them. One of these days, I want to get a hoop house.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my GBBD post. I am hoping next year is going to be better for gardening, too.

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    1. Sue-I never thought about letting them go to seed-I shall definately try that. How neat to have kept the same garlic patch going.

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  5. My garlic was also small this year, too. I definitely think our lack of a proper winter in MI is what did it. As for a small place to order garlic, I'm going to order from Annie's Heirloom Seeds. Not only are they small, they are MICHIGAN! I think near GR somewhere.

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    1. Dorothy-thank you. I shall definately check them out. Love supporting our "neighbors" here in Michigan.

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  6. Hi Sue, I hope you some rain soon. It has been a little dry here too. Very cool to grow you own garlic. I hope you stay cool and have a wonderful week ahead.

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    1. Eileen-thank you-hope you have a great week too and can fit in some fine birding too!

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  7. When did you enable comments again? And why are your Brussels sprouts growing better than mine? Like Tonya, my direct seeded plants are doing way better than the ones I planted as seedlings. My cantaloupe finally began going absolutely crazy, but I don't see any melons yet. If you need any more milkweed, I'll be happy to loan my next door neighbor to you. She grows the best! Last night I hollered at her that she had some trees growing in her fence, so she came over to chat. She asked if those were weeds, and I told her everything along the fence were weeds! Shamed her into pulling about four 6' tall milkweeds, a mulberry tree, a sycamore and a walnut tree....then her phone rang and that was the end of that :-(

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    1. I'm waiting to see if that Hearts of Gold melon produces heavily--it's certainly putting out runners galore. Too bad about the neighbor--but maybe, just maybe she'll continue???? I sure wish you'd get your old friend back. Shame you have such a great looking place next to WEED-topia!

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    2. She's been out there all afternoon, pulling weeds! I think I must have shamed her into it, but I showed my pleasure by giving her a bag of zucchini, summer squash, potatoes and cherry tomatoes.

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    3. OMG--I'm SO thrilled for you! Yay!!!! And, what the heck can I do to earn some taters and tomatoes??? Sheesh. I never get the GOOD neighbors like you................

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  8. I have never seen an albino milkweed. Interesting!

    Your Brussels Sprouts are cute. I bet they will be tasty, too.

    We got some rain last night. I was out of town so don't know exactly how much. When I got home around noon, I went out to do my usual plant moving and it appeared that the ground was wet about a half an inch down. We need more!

    My MIL usually gives me garlic for the winter. This year she is not able to garden. I will really miss having her fresh garlic. I envy you having your own. I will have to buy that jarred stuff just so I have some on hand.

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    1. I'm glad you got some rain, Zoey. Wish we would have gotten some. It's SO dry. Hit the farmer's market for garlic---no jarred stuff, please!
      :)

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  9. The albino milkweed is really interesting!
    That cabbage is huge. Mine seem to have stalled. Staying small. The brussel sprouts are cute for sure. Love how you're harvesting the garlic. Mine just lays on the patio. I don't even know what variety of garlic I'm growing. My in-laws gave me some one year. I threw some cloves in the ground and have kept it going each year from there. Hoping for rain for us all!

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    1. I don't have a clue as to the variety of garlic--I got it years ago. But, the stuff I grew this year is so dinky, I'm using that as an excuse to try something "different". Take care and have a good week.

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  10. I am sending rain your way, as we are supposed to have a deluge this afternoon!

    Love the cabbage and brussel sprouts coming up! Never seen an albino milkweed. Wow, how unusual!

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    1. Daisy, I'd give anything to sit on the porch and listen to the rain pour down. Lucky you! My idea of the perfect start to the week.
      :)

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  11. We tried cabbages this year too. .and I am pleased to say that they are actually growing and starting to make heads too. .though not as big as yours yet. Grant and I harvested potatoes last night. .so he can get some together for our county fair. Tonight. .carrot harvest!! Our tomato harvest has already been better than all of last year. .we have harvested ONE tomato. .not stellar..but a start ;-) We are praying for rain too!! And I'd take your temps any day!! The last week of mid 90 degree weather has felt "cool" in comparison to those 108 days!! Sad, but true! Enjoy your Monday!

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    1. Hi Melanie-One tomato? Hmmm. I think they probably COOK on the vines, don't they? Gosh, you really have some brutal temps. But, I know what you mean about feeling "cool" compared to previous weather.

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  12. Your garlic looks great! Our Brussels sprouts didn't make it. It's been way to hot!

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  13. We've been in the 90's the past 10 days and it's starting to take it's toll. Well, that and the lack of rain. Glad you got some!

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