Peas & Beans (2017)

This is a super low-photo post, but I hope to update you all once things start growing.

PEAS

Initially, I planned to get the Peas sown around the beginning of May (as they can take a little cold and frost). But, as you can tell, I’m writing this post on May 22, and I just finally got around to¬†sticking them into the ground yesterday.

I was going to sow a few different varieties. I do have a good collection of seed to pick and choose from. However, I stopped myself at 2 varieties because I was struggling to find homes for them all. I had some self seeded peas popping up, conveniently right where I wanted to put a little tee-pee. Since they are probably ‘Sugar Snap’, I sowed more ‘Sugar Snap’ around them.


The second variety is ‘Blauwschokkers Blue Podded Pea‘. I grew them last year, and while they are not the best tasting pea, they are beautiful. Plus, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I never got around to tasting them as a mature, podded pea.

BEANS

Since I never got around to sowing any Beans last year, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss them this year. Beans are one of my favourite garden treats. I sowed 4 different climbing/Pole varieties, and 2 different bush varieties. Since some of my seed is quite old, I over seeded in the hopes of good germination.

Bean Varieties this year (and some quick notes in the brackets):

  • ‘Enorma’ Runner Bean (green with HUGE pods, if you let them grow)
  • ‘Cobra’ French Climbing Bean (green beans… delicious taste, lots of beans)
  • ‘Trofino Violetta’ Pole Bean (beautiful purple beans. Personal Favourite)
  • ‘Scarlet Emperor’ Runner Bean (green beans, large pods if you let them grow….with beautiful red flowers)
  • ‘Royal Burgundy’ Bush Bean (deep purple, good taste, LOTS of beans)
  • ‘Gold Rush’ Bush Bean (yellow beans… First year growing them)

I am always amazed at how different beans are. Since my hands were covered in dirt, I didn’t manage to get a photo to show you just how different they all were, although I wanted to. I would recommend grabbing a few different kinds of beans for your own garden. You can grow a rainbow of varieties. You’ll never want beans from the store after you have grown your own. Bonus… they are one of the easiest things to grow.

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Sometimes getting photos is hard when the feline is starved for attention. Such a good helper-cat. ūüėČ

Someday I will have a HUGE garden where I can have more than a handful of each plant.

Peas & Beans Update (July 6/2015)

I just finished a 5 day break from work, but head back today, so I thought I would get a post in before I get overwhelmed with all the things that didn’t get done while I was away. Just kidding, I’m sure everything is fine there.

  
The Peas in the container are doing well finally and starting to put on some growth. I’m not sure on which variety is in here, but I know it is a shorter more winter hardy one… Possibly ‘Alaska’

  
The taller climbing Peas are almost up to the top of our window sill, and are just starting to put some flowers out. These are a mix of ‘Sugar Snap’ and ‘Wando’ varieties.

  
The Broad Beans are starting to make little Beans. They were not as covered in flowers this year, so the crop won’t be huge… Or maybe they are just getting a slower start, but hopefully they are doing what I really want them to do and fixing some nitrogen so I can just dig the roots into the bed in the fall.

  
The Climbing Beans that I started in newspaper pots are doing amazing. I will have to remember to do this again next spring, because it really gave me a jump on the season. The 2 left canes are ‘Enorma’ Runner Beans, the middle 3 canes are ‘Cobra’ French Climbing Beans, and the 2 canes on the right are the purple climbing beans that I grew last year, ‘Trionfo Violetta’.

  
The Pinto Beans are doing well. They are starting to get flowers down close to the base of the plants. I am questioning whether we will have a long enough summer to get these to dry out enough to store. But we will find out I guess.

  
Along the fence, I have ‘Kentucky Wonder Wax’ Pole Beans. I direct-sowed them, so there should be a good succession of beans throughout the summer.

  
In the fence bed, I also did a random row of Bush Beans that I had from the past few years. There are some ‘Royal Burgundy,’ ‘Green Crop,’ ‘Tendergreen Improved,’ and ‘Contender.’ I don’t know which is which, and the only ones I will be able to tell apart are the Burgundy ones. Which, in the end doesn’t matter, as long as we get beans to eat.

  
In the bed by the house, I also have more bush beans. Same varieties as above, but also a few ‘Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco’ Bush beans. I have a semi-3 sisters thing happening in here with the corn and squash all near each other.

Well, that is all my Peas and Beans this year. I have a few things to change for next year, but that is always the case isn’t it? I hope the squirrel doesn’t like peas and beans as much as he likes Strawberries, otherwise I won’t have much of a crop to speak off.

Greenhouse Garden Update – June 28, 2014

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I have been trying to get this update written for over a week now. There was a huge storm this evening, so I cut my evening of after-work gardening short and ran home to work on this post instead.

I am working on some videos for my YouTube channel, so stay tuned for more updates with that. I’m not 100% sure what they will be, but we’ll see where the creative process takes me.

In addition, I have upgraded my iPhone 4 to and iPhone 5s, so my photos should look a little better. At least until I can get myself an actual camera. But lets cut to the actual garden update:

Starting inside:

Tomatoes
These are all doing so amazing, and I will actually have some tomatoes to show for it probably by the time the next update is posted.

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Peppers
There are tiny little Cayenne and Jalapenos on the plants, and the Hungarian Wax hot pepper has flowers and a lot of buds. I think it will be an excellent crop of those from the greenhouse. The Medusa and other Sweet Bell Peppers are starting to put growth on and hopefully we’ll see flowers on them soon.

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Ground Cherries
These are COVERED in fruit. Every night I check them to see if any have fallen to the ground yet so I can finally taste them.
Tomatillo
This is putting on some decent growth. I am very interested to see how it does. I’ve never tried a tomatillo before that hasn’t already been made into something, so this is another fun little experiment.
Eggplant
The Italian (Violetta di Napoli) is fantastic. It’s spiky and yet has these delicate little flower buds happening.
The Asian (Ping Tung Long) is a little less exciting right now. It has massive leaves but no little flower buds just yet.

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Turnips/Carrots/Kohlrabi/Pickling Onions
These are all plugging along. I massively thinned out both the kohlrabi and the turnips, so they are much less crowded now. The carrots are becoming carrots under the ground, so I will have to thin them out very soon too. The pickling onions are doing well, and I may have to start searching for a pickled onion recipe. If you have a good one, let me know in the comments below.

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Peas
The sugar snap and Wando are nearing 7 feet tall. They have a ton of little baby peas. I’m so happy with this variety that I will definitely be looking to grow it again next year. The Laxtons Progress are putting flowers on, and are doing great. However, there is just something more satisfying about growing really REALLY tall pea plants. But that is just me.

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Pickling Cucumbers
The cucumbers are all putting on their true leaves. Soon it will be time to train them up the trellis.

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Melons
The cantaloupe is doing great! I couldn’t be happier with it right now. It has put on a ton of growth I the last few weeks.
The watermelons seem a little stunted. One is fairing better than the other, but I hope they start being more lively soon.

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Summer Squash

The inside squash area is starting to take off. You can already see the little baby zucchini forming on the few that will be female flowers. In this area is one of each: Dark Green Zucchini, Gold Rush Zucchini (yellow), Sunburst (Patty Pan) Squash, and White Scallop Squash.

The herb garden area
I picked up¬†a couple of new additions for this, but I haven’t found room for them just yet. I have had a few harvests from the parsley, sage, lemon balm, spearmint and catnip. Which are all very satisfying, since nothing else is ready to harvest just yet. My mom uses dried parsley in a couple of recipes that she makes regularly, so I am excited to give her a bottle of my own!

Moving outside now, where there have been sooooooooo many changes since the last update, that it is becoming hard to keep track of everything.

The winter squash
These are all starting to show noticeable daily growth. Although I don’t want to give too much away about the giant pumpkins until I write up their dedicated post.¬†The Small Sugar Pumpkin has recovered and is putting on growth after the wind nearly ripped it out of the ground. Which is why you see that little white tent in the very top photo. It is a wind break for the poor little pumpkin. The Butternut Squash is hanging in there, but I’m not expecting much of it.

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Potatoes
All of these are doing great. I would guess there is a bounty of baby potatoes under the soil in the first row that went in Mid-May. The others have all been hilled up once now, and I will probably aim to do it again in a couple weeks.

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Summer squash, Pinto Bean and Rattlesnake Bean Area
All the squash seeds have finally sprouted. Should be flying along in no-time.
The pinto beans are all starting to show up. And I can see the soil disturbance where the rattlesnake beans are trying to break through.

Leeks/Onions/Garlic/Shallots

All doing very well. As I mentioned before, a few of my shallots have bolted. I decided to just let them flower, and see what happens. I know they wont have much in the way of useable vegetable matter, but bees seemed to love the onion flower I had in my backyard last year, so I’m sure they will like the shallot flowers out at the garden.

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Corn

My corn is doing so fantastic. I am so proud of it. I really hope I get some cobs to show for all of this.

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Beet/Turnip Areas

The seeds in these sections have all sprouted. I will need to thin them all very soon also.

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Carrots

The carrots I sowed in the beginning of June have all started working on true leaves now, and soon they will all need thinning also.

I sowed a second area on June 25, so we should have a somewhat decent carrot crop.

Runner/Pole Beans

The Scarlet Runner beans are doing fantastic and starting to look for something to climb, the Kentucky Wonder Wax Pole beans, should start searching for something to climb very soon too. The other two varieties are a little slower, but i’ll keep my fingers crossed that they will actually make an appearance soon. I really need to weed this area! The radishes and arugula will need thinning soon as well.

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Brussels Sprouts & Purple Cabbage and Cauliflower, Dinosaur Kale & Green Cabbage

I bought these as clearance sale seedlings at the local garden center. Which were ALL on my list of things I really wanted to grow, but that I never got around to sowing OR I couldn’t find the seed for it. Stay tuned, because I am really excited about all of these.

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Parsnips and Bush Beans

These all seem to be slow and having trouble getting going. Some of the beans sprout, but then never get their first leaves. Some are doing just fine. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’ll try and get to the bottom of it. If you can help me, just leave a comment below.

The parsnips are just slow, they are there, but tiny. I love parsnip in stews and I really hope I get at least a handful of them for winter.

Peas

These are all sprouting and starting to climb. The second sowing will be in next week. I also sowed a row of ‘Alaska’ ¬†just over a week ago, and they are starting to show through the dirt. I hope I will have peas coming out the wazoo soon.

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Broad Beans

These are just amazing. I can even see little beans forming where some of the first flowers were. I can’t wait to try them. The ants seem to stand watch over them.

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Wildflowers/Dill/Sunflowers/Fennel

These are all doing their thing in their respective areas. I tried to keep the fennel as far away from other plants as I could, as I have read they are terrible companion plants for almost everything. I just couldn’t resist picking up a pot of them for only $2. Hopefully they grow well.

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As you can see, weeding is very high on my “GET DONE ASAP” list. And I only have one very small area left to dig and fill with plants or seeds. I will try and update more often throughout the summer, and not let so much time go by between the updates. I’ll leave you with a photo of the greenhouse from the door.

 

 

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Peas – Varieties I‚Äôm Growing in 2014

In keeping with the Bean and Potato posts I wrote, I thought I would keep up the trend, and write one about the Peas I am growing this year.

Sugar Snap (Edible Pod)– sown April 12 inside, and June 7th outside.

“Heavy¬†Yields¬†with a deliciously sweet¬†flavor¬†and crispy texture characterize this All America Award winning variety. The 6′ vines provide¬†an¬†abundance of scrumptious 3″ pods, which are completely edible. Support with netting or a trellis. Tastes great raw, stir-fried, steamed or in salads.”

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Wando – Sown April 12 inside, and June 7th outside. I chose this because of it’s description:

“An all around excellent pea plant, yielding 3″ pods with 7-8 delicious peas per pod. Tolerant of both heat and cold, this is an ideal variety for early sowing. Enjoy the bounty of peas from with vigorous grower.”

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Laxton’s Progress – Sown May 7th¬†¬†inside and June 7th outside.
I chose these because I wanted to compare the more dwarf-type peas to the more vigorous ones like Wando. However, I have to say that there is something slightly more satisfying about nearly 6 feet tall pea plants. Unless these ones taste amazing, I will probably not grow them in the large garden next year. I do think they would fit in well in a small backyard container where you are short on space. Here is McKenzie Seeds description: “One of the earliest maturing peas, with a dwarf habit. Produces 4-5″ pods with 8-10 large, sweet peas. Good yielder.”

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Sugar Sprint – sown June 7th outside, with a successional planting planned for the end of June.
I picked these up last year for my small, mostly container based backyard and just never got around to planting them. The description reads: “A bush type habit that is wilt resistant. Can be grown in small spaces or containers. The pods offer a delicious taste and are very flavorful. Ideal when eaten fresh from the garden, steamed or in stir-fries.”

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Mr. Big – sown June 7th outside, with a successional planting planned for the end of June.
These were chosen solely based on their name, but their description also sounds great. I’m excited to try these: “High yielding variety of giant dark green pods 4-5″ with 9-10 delicious sweet tasting peas per pod. The large strong vines (3-4′) do not need any support, however, trellis may be used to keep the pods from touching the ground and easier to pick. An excellent resistance to race 1 fusarium wilt.”

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Lincoln Homesteader – sown June 7th outside, with a successional planting planned for the end of June.
I picked these up because they are available from nearly every seed company, and are the standard go-to pea of most old time gardeners. This package is from Mr. Fothergill’s, an their description is: “Delicious green pods containing very sweet, tasty peas; A¬†favorite¬†heirloom that produces¬†heavy crops!”

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Alaska – I haven’t sown these just yet. In fact, I just bought them yesterday, but I hope to have them in the dirt by the end of June. I will likely save most of them for next Spring. They are described as: “A very early and very heavy yielder. 6-8 sweet peas in 2-3″ pods. Disease, wilt and cold resistant. Prolong the harvest season with successive sowings every two weeks until mid-June or sow with mid and late season varieties to ensure a continuous supply of fresh peas.”

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So far I am REALLY impressed with the Wando and Sugar Snap inside the greenhouse. They are as tall as I am and just starting to set flowers. There is really no way to distinguish the two, other than knowing that I put the seeds in those places. The Laxton’s Progress peas that were sown on May 7th, are not¬†tall, but they are setting some flowers also. I will be interested to see the difference in taste and flavor. All of the outside planted peas are just starting to poke through the dirt, so it will be exciting to watch them all grow.

Part of my plan of planting so many peas, is that there will be hope of some making it home for cooking/freezing. When I grow only a small number of plants, they only ever make it into my mouth.

As with the beans, I will try and do a pea-specific update, but until then, you can follow along in the regular greenhouse garden updates.

 

Greenhouse Update – May 18, 2014

There is a lot going on over at the greenhouse these days. It is hard to keep up with everything, so here are some ramblings about the majority of things growing out there.

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Kohlrabi seedlings

Outside, I have planted a row of potatoes. They are left overs from last years potato crop that I saved to use as seed potatoes. I’ll update you again once they start to show through the dirt.
Also outside, is a row of red hardneck garlic, and “french gourmet” shallots… Both of which I started early in newspaper pots so they could stand a better chance against all the birds. Then I added in a mixed row of White and Spanish Onions. (Sorry about the picture, its hard to realize there is hay shoved in your phone case when its sunny out and your horses are harassing you for their dinner… I’ll get a better one for the next update)

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I also planted out the broad beans I started back on April 10. They need some support right now, so I made a little trellis with sticks and baler twine. They should perk up more soon, now that they can spread their roots and get proper sun light. I am pretty excited for them. Here is an over head shot of them in their baler twine trellis.

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Inside, the herb garden is doing great and putting on new growth. I will have a few additions to it soon, as soon as space (and over night temperatures) allows.

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The radishes are starting to turn into little radishes. The turnips will turn into little turnips soon. The kohlrabi will turn into little kohlrabi soon. The ‘Atlas’ carrots are a little slower in their growth, but are coming along. The Spinach is putting true leaves on, and we should be able to harvest some baby spinach leaves¬†by the end of the month.

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Radishes (before weeding happened)

The ‘Sugar Snap’ and ‘Wando’ peas I sowed on April 12 Are growing nicely. As are the climbing nasturtiums I sowed at the end of this pea row at the same time. To keep up with succession planting (so we don’t end up with one large harvest), I sowed some ‘Laxtons Progress’ peas on May 7th, ¬†and they are just starting to poke through the surface now. I slipped a few more climbing nasturtiums in here also.

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‘Wando’ Peas and Climbing Nasturtiums

At the front of the greenhouse I put in some of my Cayenne and Jalape√Īo pepper plants, and one of each eggplant I started. It will be interesting to compare these with the ones I will be keeping in my backyard. We also added in some of the Ground Cherries here. One plant has tiny flowers starting already.

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‘Jalapeno’ Peppers and ‘Violetta di Napoli’ Eggplant on the end
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‘Cayenne’ Pepper and ‘Ping Tung Long’ Eggplant on the end of the trellis

Last night, in a big gardening push (we finally got around to weeding the entire greenhouse), we planted the little cantaloupe seedlings. Fingers crossed the transplanting wasn’t too hard on them, and they come through it just fine, and make a few lovely cantaloupe.

Before I run away, here is a quick look at how the Birdhouse Gourds are doing… I’ll give them their own update after a little more growth.

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Next on the To-Do list is to plant some more of the tomatoes, and get some pickling cucumbers growing. And tackle the entire outside garden and plant ALL the potatoes. But we’ll get to that when the time comes.

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Tomatoes and Peppers still tucked away in frost protection. They can be planted out soon hopefully.

 

Previous Greenhouse Updates: May 4 and April 20