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 16, 2015

August 1 to August 15 Garden Notes


The Vegetable Garden  August 11

August is always a busy month for the vegetable garden and this year is no exception.

Green Beans-- Daily pickings started July 30 and  averaged 6 to 8 pints a day for the freezer. The bigger ones get done up separately for stews.  When they first started, I didn't think they were the right beans (Blue Lake bush beans) and that the harvest would take longer, but once they started, they just kept coming in strong. I got my 36 pints for the freezer done by Aug 6. We ate some fresh with meals, but the rest were left to go to seed.

August 2--  1.5" rain

August 4  A vase full of Dahlias, Phlox, Roses, Heliopsis, Echinops Zebrina,Physostegia, Cleome and Zinnias.  I never remember to cut any----but today I finally did.  They're gorgeous and all but the Dahlia, Phlox, and rose were grown from seed.

                               
August 6--Picked the FINAL (yay!) four pints green beans for the freezer and got a surprise FIFTH
cutting of broccoli that yielded 4 cups more for the freezer.

August 7--Cleaned the 2 varieties of garlic that had been drying , the shallots, some red onions and dug up 2 stray potatoes that yielded a nice 8 pounds of potatoes for soup and  a Saturday breakfast.
                    Also got 2/10 inch rain

August 10--First of the Green Peppers.  They ended up stuffed for dinner. Yum!
                  

August 12--First Cherry Tomato.  Yep---just one and YES---I gave it to hubby!
                   Rain: 1/2 inch


August 15--The first of the sweet corn--Ambrosia ---excellent taste.  I grew up in Illinois and when the corn was ready, that night's supper was nothing but corn on the cob-slathered in butter.  Now that I'm in Michigan, we have added  Red Haven peaches to the meal. Oh, heavenly delights!  That was, bar none, the finest meal ever!
The top ear is a bit "under-done". I'm hoping someone can tell me how you know when the ears are DONE.   I waited for the silks to turn dark and dry. Thoughts?

A Mishmash of Zinnias and Alyssum

Sidewalk Border Starting to Recover from "Attack of the Deer"
We've had a blast of heat the past 2 days and it's supposed to continue for a couple more days. The gnats, deerfly and mosquitoes have made this summer stand out as one of the worst we've experienced up here......BUT---I've had ZERO pest problems on my vegetables.  Very odd. Last year was miserable with beetles,, this year I've not seen a single one. 

Hope you're all enjoying the summer's bounty.  I'll post again at the end of the month.

38 comments:

  1. With sweet corn, I diary the estimated date based on the variety's days to maturity, then start looking carefully at the ears about a week or so before that. I feel the ears to see if they feel "full" and I pull back the silks (which would have turned dark by then) on a few to check. But we still end up with some that aren't full at the tips. Here we end up with an ear worm in the tip of nearly every ear so we always have to cut off that part anyway, so nothing is really lost.

    Looks like you're having a great summer in the garden. I can't imagine still cutting broccoli in August. That wouldn't happen here. We're hoping to begin planting our fall broccoli this week.

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    1. Bill--thanks so much for the info. I knew if anyone would know-it would be you!
      You can't imagine still cutting, and I can't imagine planting for a fall crop. We get our first frost in roughly 3 weeks!

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  2. Hello Sue, your veggies all look delicious. I loved stuffed peppers, yum! And fresh corn on the cob is great too. I could easily become a vegetarian, I love every kind of veggie. Your vase of flowers is beautiful and I love your row of zinnias and the sidewalk garden. We had a bunch of cherry tomatoes one day and the next they disappeared, not sure what or who ate them. Enjoy your Sunday and the new week ahead.

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    1. Good Morning, Eileen!
      I think you have a critter like a squirrel or chipmunk that's taking your cherry tomatoes. You'll have to sit and watch (with your camera!!). Might be your next critter post! Have a fun day.

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  3. So strange - I'm about to start planting seeds for next summer, and you're finishing with your harvests... :)

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    1. Hi Dani---seems funny, doesn't it , that just 2 months ago I was a planting fiend and now the job is just about done. But the fun continues cuz I get to watch YOUR garden grow!
      :)

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  4. Your garden looks fabulous and I am in love with your sidewalk border!! Beautiful! Your harvests have been pretty good, too. Glad you didn't have a lot of pest problems this year.

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    1. Thanks so much Anke! I just wish the tomatoes would start. Frost will be here soon and still no tomatoes!
      : (

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  5. How do you prepare your beans for freezing? Thank you.

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    1. Hi Tomato Thymes---I cut the ends, cut them into 1 inch pieces, blanche for 3 minutes, chill down in ice water , drain on toweling, then put in vacuum sealer bags, freeze for an hour, then vacuum seal. Easy peesy! Hope this helps!
      :)

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  6. These gardens just keep on giving, don't they? good for our tummies and wonderful winter eating.

    Sue, do you blanch before you freeze or not? I have done both_blanch and freeze and/or pick and freeze. Clearly, there is a difference in the texture.

    Hope you are having a wonderful week.

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    1. Hi Diana--I've always blanched first. My father-in-law never did. I guess it's just a matter of how you learned. They say it's best to blanche first, so I always do.
      Have a wonderful weekend

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  7. Lucky you with all your beans - this was my worst green bean year EVER - we basically got a bowlful and that was it. And congrats on your peaches & corn dinner...double yum! I wish I could help you with the corn - I always thought it would be ready when the silks went brown & dry as well.

    Love the zinnia and alyssum border - you're so talented when it comes to your beds. I have quite a few things growing in mine but 90% were placed there by previous owners & I don't even know what half of them are. Case in point - I recognized that big white puffy flower from your arrangement as I have that one growing in a couple of different spots, both pink and white ones. Looked up the names you gave and realized that they were phlox - I can't believe they've been in my garden all this time & I had no idea that's what they were! One of these days I'll have to do a "what is it" post and have all you seasoned gardeners fill me in on some of my mystery plants.

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    1. Hi Margaret--I'm so sorry you've had a bad bean year. I had that last year and ended up having to buy beans. This year , I changed seed supplier---no more Burpee seeds for me! I had terrible germination from all their seeds last year.

      I think a post on "What is It?" would be cool. I've had to post on a couple of things before too, things I just couldn't figure out, but there's always somebody who does.
      Have a great day in the garden.

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  8. Everything looks wonderful. Fresh green beans would be so tasty. I am going to the farm market next weekend since we didn't get anything from the garden...damn deer. I love the flowers-both cut and in the garden. It looks so cheerful :) As always--great job!

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    1. Hi Tonya---I'm so with you on those deer. I'm ready to start blasting!!! I didn't say that. No.
      :D

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  9. I would love a tour through your garden walking the paths under the wire panels. It is looking good!
    I planted my green beans late. Hoping for enough for a few meals and I'm looking at pickling some. I keep seeing pickled green beans on blogs and want to try them--with a refrigerator pickling recipe.
    Beautiful bouquet of flowers. Your beds are recovering nicely.

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    1. Hi GonSS--I wish our season was a tad longer--the morning glories are just starting to fill in those wire panels. One more month!! That's all I need!
      Thanks for stopping by-loved your latest harvest--very beautiful!

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  10. Sue, your photos are gorgeous, and there is nothing more delicious and refreshing than fresh garden vegetables! :)

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    1. Linda-thank you so much! I really appreciate that.

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  11. I have really enjoyed reading through your garden journal! I bought some of the purple poppy seeds to plant in my own garden, I live in Northeast Ohio so do you have an idea of when I should scatter the seeds? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jessica---I would do as Nature would do----throw them around late this fall---they'll pop up in the spring and be tough as nails! Thanks for stopping.

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  12. No bugs on your veggies? I can't imagine! Hope they stay away.
    Well, your freezer and pantry should be well stocked by the end of the month. I've never grown sweet corn, so that's one I'm looking forward to.

    Enjoy your bounty! You deserve it!

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    1. Hi Daisy---the bugs aren't on the plants this year, but they sure are terrible for us humans. Never can recall a year this bad for black fly , deer fly, gnats , and mosquitoes. I'm really looking forward to frost in 3 or 4 weeks!
      Have a wonderful week

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  13. Your in-house bouquet of flowers is gorgeous! And the picture of the one, lonely tomato made me laugh. Tomatoes (a ripe one, no less) are such a hard-fought-for, precious commodity for us northern gardeners. Once again, your harvest of most all veggies is so far ahead of us. My beans have finally come in though. Put 15 servings in the freezer today. I mix the yellow and green together 'cause I like the way it adds color to a plate.

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    1. Mama Pea-Why am I not growing yellow beans? My gosh--I love yellow beans. I never thought to grow them. It's on NEXT YEAR'S list! Thank you. And the idea of mixing--NICE!
      Still haven't gotten beyond that ONE cherry tomato. Sigh..........

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  14. Sue you are killing me! Your garden is just over the top...it should be featured in a coffee table book...I actually drool!

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    1. Lynda-you are too kind! Thank you!

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  15. Mouth watering for that corn! Your garden is beautiful. You all enjoy the beauty of your summers. Our garden is burned up now...although, the dying flowers are beautiful in their own right.

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    1. Hi Sue--so sad when the garden is "done", isn't it?

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  16. Love is ... giving away your first tomato

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    1. Sue--LOL! So true!
      He also is the only one getting blueberries this year. I adore that man.

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  17. OK I confess to having given up veggie gardening after 50 years Fond memories though...:)

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    1. I guess that's understandable. You can live vicariously through my garden-LOL!

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  18. Thanks for the well wishes! Starts tomorrow for 14 straight days. 5 pm in a town about 45 minutes away. Picc line in the morning. New adventure!

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  19. Wow, you've gotten way more rain than us in August. Less than .2" here all month. Dry dry dry. I toss a couple ears of corn in a covered dish with 1/4" water and nuke it for 5 minutes or less - or just until the yellow kernals brighten. I like mine crisp and hot. I envy your bean harvest and like you I save out the big ones for hearty soup/stews. That pic of alyssum & zins - GORGEOUS!

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    1. Thanks , Kris. That means a lot to me--coming from the QUEEN of glorious flower beds.
      Have a wonderful week

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  20. Looks good to me - your garden is also much neater than mine

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