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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Garden Update Aug 20, 2013

I'm away from blogging this week--my son and grandson are up visiting, but I needed to post an update for my records and say HI to all.  I'll be back to your blogs next week.

The Chandler blueberries are incredible this year despite the lack of rains.  I've kept them "tented" and since Mrs. Robin is unable to eat them all--we have plenty.  The size has been incredible---some up to a quarter sized---none of them smaller than a nickel.  And ALL of them very sweet and mild.
I've been getting a bowl  full each day--approximately 3 cups. I don't freeze any of these--we eat them all fresh. I pick one bush each day, then prune out any dead and water it.
It's working well.   At this time, it looks like another week of GOOD picking, and then they should be about done. The Chandlers were definitely our favorite.

The BlueRays are on their last leg...... most of the berries are done. I don't bother picking them anymore. I have 65 bags of berries in the freezer. That's enough. The birds can forage through these as a reward for bug patrol.  The BlueRays had the most "intense" flavor of the blueberry varieties.

The Patriots--the first blueberries to bear --are completely done.  This was the lowest producer of the three varieties. They had a tart taste-which is great for baking or smoothies.

I still have another batch of side shoots to cut on the broccoli.   Normally I would have pulled the original plants and planted new ones in early July, but with the LATE start to the garden this year (snow on Mother's Day, for goodness sake!) , I didn't have time to do that and so I am just cutting side shoots. It's still pretty good production and I'm happy overall with the broccoli this year. I have a 3 month supply in the freezer. It will have to do.

I have 2 watermelons on the vine--one looks to be about ready, but I'm not sure of when it's ripe. I'm going to let it be for a bit.

I also have 2 cantaloupe---but those aren't quite ready yet either.

There's quite a few butternut squash but they don't look even close to being ready.

Of the 120 corn seeds I sowed, the 12 that germinated are looking good. The tassels have started to die back and I'm going to harvest some this week.

About half the onions have fallen over--I'll wait until rain is called for to pull them. It's easiest to let them dry out there as much as possible .

Carrots are doing well. I've been pulling some every day for snacking (the Mokums). The Danvers look fantastic and will be a welcome addition to stews this fall. I don't care for them for snacking.

The Yukon Gold potato vines are mostly shriveled. I've dug quite a few for potato soup. The production is better than last year, but still disappointing.  The Red Pontiacs have not started to die back yet. I'm hoping for a much better yield from them.  They were not bothered by potato beetles. The Yukons were---despite being covered-- they found their way in and I didn't see them. That may be why the potatoes are already died back.  My fault.

Cherry tomatoes are finally starting to come in good.
We've had about 4 big tomatoes from the Lakeside plant. They're lousy. Watery and not a good taste at all. I won't try them again. 
The Brandywine is loaded---but will they ripen in time??????
The Early Girl I planted to replace Don's Jetstar that died is also loaded......but again, none are close to ripening.  Looks like I have (had????) a hornworm, but I cannot locate the bugger! Perhaps the birds got him?

Stuff is so horribly dry. We've had no rain in 3 weeks, and even the last rain doesn't really count because it was only a 1/10th of an inch. The perennials around the border of the garden are really suffering.  The lawn is burnt off (yay-no mowing!) and I'm at the point of just being tired of sunshine every day and watering,watering,watering.   I'm looking forward to the final harvest and being done with it all.  How can that happen in just 2 months?  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tent City and Some Dahlias

 The Garden on August 4.  Broccoli under tents has been cut--yield was good. Not enough time to plant new plants so I'm letting these ones stand and hoping for a good crop of side shoots.  Also under fabric--the Chandler blueberries, which just started and are HUGE. The birds are not getting a single one of these.


 Dahlia-Klondike    The blooms are VERY large.  One of the new ones from Dutch Gardens this year.
I wasn't sure about an all white one, but this is very pretty and I'm happy with it.

 A bee "passed out" on this one.  He slept there for quite awhile before flying off.

 Something is chewing on this one but it's still pretty.  Love how the pink fades to white.

 Same plant---showing the different colorings.  The blooms are not as large as I had hoped, but wow-the coloring is BETTER than expected.

The most dreamy shade of apricot--fading to a yellow center.   This plant is in its second year. I may have extra tubers to share from this one this fall.  Nothing beats sharing plants--I love to think of my plants in gardens all around the country.....and I've been on the receiving end of many myself. What a joy to look at them and think of the person that shared them.

Have a wonderful week!