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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mid Month Garden Update August 15, 2014

August 5--Tubs of Vista Bubblegum petunias threaten to take over the world

So much going on this month, I need to have TWO posts just to keep it all straight for my records.

August 2--Received  2/10 inch rain last night.

                On my morning stroll in the garden, I noticed the green beans are starting to "size up".  Perhaps
                  in few days some will be ready.

                Got a nice bowl of new potatoes from the compost pile---there was a potato vine off to the side.
                   That will be good fried up with some garlic and shallots.

                The Mokum carrots are pouring in --we eat them as fast as they come.  I'm glad I planted a lot                          this year.

August 4  First green bean harvest
August 3--Received  15/100 " rain

August 4--Green Bean harvests begin---Day 1 netted 3 panfuls--with not a single flaw on any of them.
                 Tons of blueberries
                 Got extremely sweet thank you note (scribble scribble--LOL!) from 3 year old girl I gave a quart                      of blueberries to.
                Ordered Garlic from Cook's Garden.  Finally replacing the one I've grown for 7 years

August 5--Received 2/10 " rain
                  Tons more Green beans and blueberries
                  Put most in freezer, gave a quart of berries to Darby and a quart to Carol

August 6--More beans and blueberries
                 Flowers are really filling in --the sidewalk border is a riot of color.
Sidewalk border really starting to "pop"
August 8--Took a break from the onslaught of beans to have a "girls day out" with Carol.  Just the break I needed....ready to tackle the beans again. Hopefully tomorrow's picking will be the last I need for the freezer.

August 9--Finished the Green Beans.  Five days- 26 pints and also a gallon ziplock for the freezer.
                    I also "gave away" at least 3 gallons of them.  Bountiful year.
                 Harvested the broccoli. It "got away" from me while doing beans.  I did end up with 6 pints,
                    but I'll bet I composted more than that.  It's ok, though.  Another item I can't eat anymore.
                 My friend Susan from Indiana stopped for a visit with cousin Miriam, Sent her home with a                              grocery sack full of  beans.  I'll be pulling the plants tomorrow.
                 Extra large picking of blueberries. Gave a quart to the new neighbors Tom and Val, a quart to                         the neighbor Louise I yelled at ( her dog barks for HOURS), and a quart to Carol.  Eight                                   pints  for the freezer and at least a quart for hubby to snack on.

August 11--An AMAZING (for us) 2.2 inch rainfall.  After a solid week of sunshine, we finally got some
                    needed rain this evening--though it came down so hard the yard flooded and I doubt
                       much soaked in.

August 12--Rain ALL day--but a soft and gentle soaker.Picked up an additional .65". Put 2 quarts of                                berries in the freezer and gave a quart to Larry for all the "donkey doo" he gives us.

Dug a "test" plant of the Yukon Gem---excellent yield, no scab, absolutely PERFECT
August 13---Potatoes ready to dig.  First year for these Yukon GEMS---Bigger yields, bigger size, and less
                         chance of "hollow" insides.  This is from one plant----about double what I usually got from                              the Yukon Golds..I'm VERY pleased.  Will be planting these from now on. Bought at                                       Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
                   Picked the last of the BlueRay blueberries.  Patriots still going strong . Chandlers giving us about
                       2 quarts a day, but we don't freeze those.  They are just for fresh eating---simply heavenly!

August 14--Coffee with the birds this morning required my HEAVY coat---42 degrees.  High today 67!
                   Started making potato soup base for the freezer.  Best way I've found to be able to have my
                     Yukons in the spring. No more dealing with sprouted, wrinkled potatoes in March-Yay!

                  Sorted big freezer---the one we use for fruits/vegetables.  There is no more room, and I
                    still have to do carrots, applesauce, and Red Haven peaches.  The Meat freezer is needed
                      for a side of beef and 24 chickens due in October.  Perhaps the 3rd freezer (grains) has
                        space???  Can you store TOO much food????   Nah!

August 15--  38  Degrees this morning.  When we went to Cadillac the truck thermometer showed 36.                                      Though I don't mind that temp, that's not going to get us a ripe tomato this summer!

Onions "fell over" last night--shouldn't be long now. All bulbs are extra large this year.

Yukon Gem potatoes ready to dig

Acorn squash 

East border of house. Joe Pye in upper right is over 8 feet tall this year

Hubby made me an extra large window box this spring. I love it on the front porch

Friday, August 1, 2014

End of the Month Round Up July 2014

July 2  First Cutting of Bright Lights chard and, curly kale. The   Lettuce , Spinach , and Strawberries are still coming in.
Rains were plentiful (for here).  We ended up with 3.65 inches for the month.  I only  had to drag out the hose ONCE---hooray!!!!!!!!   I DESPISE watering so you can imagine how happy I am with this summer (and I don't even care for summer so miracle miracle!!)

July 1-5           3/10 inch --3 different days-1/10 inch
July  6-12        1.1   inch--one big rain
July 13-19       1.4  inches--2 separate rains
July 20-26        2/10 inch rain  1 rain
July 27-31        .65 inch rain--1 rain

We had 22 sunny days.

Temps were quite cool. We only had 2 days that hit 80. Most days were in the upper 60's and low 70's....perfect!!   Sixteen nights had lows in the 40's.  I wish EVERY year was like this. It's been heaven!
July 9 Blooms from the Garden
Foxglove, Delphinium, Roses, Dahlias, Heliopsis, Daisies, and Lavender

July 9--Last of the strawberries- it was not a bumper year due to  small, daily rains--
              that created  lots of mold.
                 For all the work involved, not sure if I want to continue dealing with it..............

July 11---War declared on deer.  Came out to see hollyhocks stripped to their stalks.  I've nurtured those
                    from seeds. They completely munched down all the flowers surrounding it.
                      Up by the house, the sedums, rudbeckia , and asters have taken daily assaults and are
                        unable to form blossums--they nip the buds off constantly
                  After a heavy dew, I "gently powdered" all perennials around the house
                   with cayenne pepper.  The next morning---EVERY BIRDBATH was COMPLETELY
                     drained of water.  Ahahahahhahahahhahahahahahha.
                          How do you like those flowers now, Bambi ???  
                               And no, I don't feel bad.

July 12--  8/10 inch rain

July 13--Perennials around house remain undisturbed.  Heavy rain last night, so I re-applied pepper this
                  morning. Too early to declare victory, but 2 days without plant carnage gives me hope.

July 14--   3/10 inch rain
July 15      6/10 inch rain , and a HIGH temp of 57 degrees.  I love it, but the tomatoes and corn do not.

July 18   Sunflowers are all blooming like crazy

Poppy-Laurens Grape has popped up all over the place

The Lavender is crazy beautiful this year.

July 19---HARVESTED GARLIC  and hung in garage to cure.  Good crop this year--actually some size to it!

July 23--Tons of Kale and Chard still coming in--good thing I have LOTS of neighbors to pawn it off on!
              PICKED FIRST PAN OF BLUEBERRIES---the Patriots--they are much larger than last year.

              Back to using Irish Spring on perennials.  Deer seem to like Mexican style (HOT!) food and
              cayenne no longer deterring them.

July 24--Corn starting to tassle up
              Kohlrabi harvests begin--hubby is a happy camper!

July 25 -Blueray blueberries really starting to turn. Picked a half pan of those.  Still getting roughly 2 quarts
               a day of the Patriots.  One for the freezer, one for us!

July 26  Early morning T-storm--our first rain in over a week.  Dime sized hail---didn't do much damage.
              2/10 inch rain--much needed
             Surprise visit from Don's nephew Ed ,who is working for 3 months in Michigan-he's a Wind Turbine
               technician--one of those that "dangles" 300 feet up doing maintenance on windmills across the US

July 27 Storms all day-picked up another   .65  inch rain
            Carol brought her daughter and granddaughter to see the garden. Found another "victim" to pawn
              off Kale and Swiss Chard on--tee hee!!!

July 29--Blueberry crop is especially heavy this year and we feel it's time to "share the bounty"  We decided
                from now on, Tuesday pickings will be given away.  We're getting roughly a gallon a day--plenty
                 for fresh eating AND freezing, so one day a week we'll spread some goodness to neighbors.

July 30--Getting roughly a pound a day of Mokum carrots for fresh snacking. They're so crisp and delicious
                I check the rows daily and just pull the ones whose "shoulders" have popped out of the soil

July 31--July GONE--hooray.  Hordes of  vacationers on dirt bikes and four-wheelers making life a
                miserable hell. Only one more month of summer. Thank God.
Canteloupe growing slowly in the cool weather of July