Monday, May 23, 2011

Harvest Monday

Thanks for hosting Daphne! Check out what everyone else is harvesting over at Daphne's Dandelions!

Here's what we harvested this week!

 My women's group from church met at my house this week for a potato bar, so I contributed the baked potatoes (not from garden) and scallions...

These were a great addition to the potatoes!

It's nice to get to use them even though they've gone to seed!

I had a few more berries this week! They've started to get sweeter as it's gotten a bit warmer.

Even though they don't NEED this now, this is probably still one of my favorite ways to eat them... since I have to bring them inside to photograph them, and all... :)

We had a GREAT lettuce harvest this week, and we made some huge salads on Saturday, and have some left in the refrigerator.  It was nice to have a full plate worth of food from the garden! We added a store bought tomato to the mix, but not until after I'd taken the picture

I pulled a bunch of radishes to make room for some lettuce transplants... so they went into the salad too!

This salad included our first harvest of SPINACH! My first harvest of it ever. Considering how much I planted, I should have spinach enough to make the neighbors smoothies, and spinach pies, but not much of it did anything. The texture of what we did get was fantastic though!

I even had a little BOWL of berries Sunday!

The Garden In May

I felt like a full look at what is going on in the garden was appropriate, as May is coming to a close. Hard to believe when it feels as though it has JUST started to be warm...

Things are progressing, but not at the same rate as last year.  Hopefully, we don't get a slow down due to ridiculous heat this July like last year.

Anyway, I was able to spend several hours in the garden Saturday morning because the hubby was giving three different students guitar lessons.  The weather was beautiful! (especially since I was expecting rain)  I bailed on a garage sale with good friends, just needing some time at home.  I have been sick in some capacity for the past three weeks as of tomorrow, and really enjoyed some refresher time in the garden.

I fed everything, watered everything, cleaned up all of the tomato plants, and extra transplants that I had lying around.  I even CLEANED all of the trays and seed starters, and put everything AWAY!  I finished up with pruning out my tomato suckers.  My blog isn't called Megan's MESSY Garden for no reason, that work is not something I willingly embark upon without much drive. I feel very satisfied when I walk out there now.  Some of the extra plants that I didn't have room for in the garden were haphazardly planted in the turtle pen near the compost pile. If they grow, then great! If not, then I didn't kill all of my "babies" without giving them a chance.

Here are some pictures of the garden progress so far:

Strawberries are growing like weeds, and are now sweet, thanks to a bit of a heat up! Many are small, and some are strangely shaped, but I guess that's what I get for not picking off the blossoms last year. There is certainly no lack for berries though!
side note: Sunday, I saw a pesky squirrel enjoying a BRIGHT red strawberry perched on the corner of the strawberry patch cover... which was the perfect incentive to repair the netting that was attacked by the weed whacker last year... so that job is done. No more sharing of my berries.

My scallions have all gone to seed, but they're pretty neat looking, and I still eat them, the center stalks can be a bit woody, but the rest is great. I'm planning to replant as I start to use them up.

Here are my four okra plants (still need to thin them...), and my beans that have some sort of slug or other pest damage

Newly transplanted lettuce

Onto the tomatoes: with the lettuce/spinach down the middle that is getting harvested more and more

See the runt Green Zebra, top right? Looks like it's starting to recover...

The Celebrity plant below is the only plant that I ended up using with from my $.50 nursery back ups... it's turning out to be a really nice plant, and is currently the only plant that I actually have open blossoms on... I want to take a picture of the first from my OWN starts though for it to count :)

Here are my only other two runt tomato plants. As time progresses, the difference is pretty marked.  The little Pineapple is actually recovering, I'm still waiting on the Cherokee Purple to bounce back, but they've both been fed again, so I'm hoping.  The really LUSH Pineapple plant below is from my saved seed, which is kind of rewarding.  

Zucchini and Squash are growing like crazy.  A couple of leaves on the zucchini plants have been damaged, and I'm considering removed them.  They had loads of eggs of what looked like plain old gnats on the bottoms of them. I couldn't decide if they'd be harmful, but those are the leaves that are damaged.  Live and learn.  I'm not sure how I would have gotten rid of them though, the eggs were numerous and TINY!  I can see several female blossoms that will be coming shortly. I don't normally see those until much later, so there might even be early harvests (pending there are males to back them up when the time comes!)

Pretty little lettuce heads. I harvested the top left one after the picture! It was delicious!

Here are all of my pepper plants: jalapenos in the back, and bell peppers in the front.  We tend to harvest the jalapenos in big chunks for jalapeno poppers, so I put them in the back to not be in the way of traffic.

The last of the radishes, and a little cilantro.

More lettuce... and a small basil plant.  Red lettuces are my favorite this year!

Cayenne pepper plant is loving it's little pot! It's actually much bigger than any of those planted in the garden.

Broccoli: still much smaller than my friend's, but the bottom left head was about to bolt, so that was harvested today, though will be saved for next week's Harvest Monday.  The top left has started to form a little head. Those are both nursery starts, so I'm hoping the ones I planted will eventually form heads too...

Peas as beautiful as ever!

There are little peas all over the place. Some not so little too, we'll be getting our first harvest of peas tomorrow!

Sorry it was so picture heavy, I just want to TRY to keep good records this year! Hope everyone is out enjoying their gardens too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turtle Eggs

She did it again! Eleanor started digging test sites in our compost pile last Friday, and this morning, last night's test site was all covered up.  I took a peek, and here's what I found...

We can't really leave them there because there are all kinds of risks to the eggs... other turtles, bugs, potential rodents, and the fact that she lays her eggs right on top of the compost pile that we frequently turn! :) 

This is Eleanor's third year laying eggs here, and so far none of the eggs have been fertile.  We're hoping third time is a charm, and she definitely had males present all of last year, so the possibility is there!

Here they are in their new home.  I used extra coconut pellets that I had from my seed starting for the mixture and put it in these deli containers.  Each egg was marked with a marker to indicate the top (if turtle eggs are turned the embryos can drown).  They were placed in indentations in the mix, and now we wait!  (Anywhere from 45-90 days!) There is a fifth egg not shown, but that one is in its own container.

I'm really hoping to see some baby turtles this year!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Harvest Monday

Yep! I've got one of those today!  We had food from our garden this week!

The husband had two salads in his lunch this week from this one.

My husband, brother-in-law, and I shared this baby slightly making up for the incredibly UNHEALTHY hot wings that my husband made to go along with it.

Salad included this pretty bunch of radishes

Finally, I've enjoyed several of the first strawberries of the year! They're not as sweet or soft as I remember from last year, but it's still early.  I'm not sure if that means anything, or if the fact that a few of the days I harvested them the temperature was around 55, but they definitely weren't everything I remembered from last year.  Beautiful, and another harvest nevertheless.

First one!

Second batch!

Third picking-- left this one on a day longer for extra redness, but was still tart...

If you want to check out what others are harvesting this week, pop on over to Daphne's Dandelions!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pretty Little Peas!

First pea blossom- showed up yesterday!  I love these little guys! Four more today!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Broccoli and Turtles

I didn't really have much of a harvest this week. I pulled one radish. I also pulled one from Mandi's garden to try it (hers are all ready!)

I did, however, find this little baby growing in the garden when I was doing my morning walk about.

The plant is rather small, and this is perhaps the plant "bolting", but this is my THIRD year planting broccoli, and the very FIRST to see any sort of broccoli head forming.  I'm hoping it does well!

I figured it's been a while since I posted about the turtles, and I was out feeding them today, so I decided to share some pictures.

Feeding, as it was today, consists of taking my hand shovel out to the compost/turtle area, and starting to dig around a little.  It doesn't take much to draw the attention of Eleanor (our second turtle).  She is the least shy, and has a very large appetite.  It took no time at all for her to start in on the action, and Bernie (the SHY guy) decided to join in.  It wasn't long before Margaret (our first turtle) wanted some worms as well.  They eat anything that moves basically. They love earthworms, and will eat all sorts of grubs.  They all have their own personalities.

Eleanor the Dinosaur (as close as my husband will get to one anyway...)

She thinks my fingers are worms... she's very curious

Look at how pretty Solomon's coloring is!

Eleanor and Margaret digging/waiting for me to dig worms

I've been keeping an eye on Eleanor these days, she's laid eggs the past two years at this time, and it could be any day now! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garden Update

I've sick as a dog for the last six days, and finally got the time/desperation to go to the doctor yesterday.  Turns out I'd had strep for five days, along with an upper respiratory infection which made that sore throat feel all the worse. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since last Monday, so blogging (and gardening) hasn't been my first priority.

There really isn't MUCH left to do this growing season for a while. I still have to transplant spaghetti squash and watermelon, and will eventually be seeding another round of green beans, but it's good that my tomatoes were already in the ground. I'm glad I didn't have to worry about them this week! From the looks of it, they have recovered, their foliage has turned green, and I already have a couple plants that are giving the glorious nursery start a run for its money!

The strawberries are going bananas

Snow Peas are growing like crazy! I think I'll be seeing some blossoms soon!

Zucchini in their pots

I rode my bike over to check on Mandi's garden this morning (I'm "garden-sitting" while they're on vacation!).  It still amazes me how much her broccoli has grown compared to mine!  Even the nursery starts that replaced two of my plants haven't caught up with hers. Her peas however, are kind of yellowing, whereas mine are flourishing.  Her lettuce looks a lot better than mine, but I kind of expected it to be further along than it is even still.

I was VERY sad to find that the Cherokee Purple seedling I gave to her has been eaten almost to the ground.  Several of her tomato plants have been chewed on, two of her peppers have been annihilated as well.  I guess she's going to need some more chicken wire to go along the chain link fencing.

I don't have any extras of this plant, but will be replacing it with something before they get back!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there! :)