Community Garden Plot – Update 3

On Canada Day (July 1st if you didn’t know) I had all the gardening ambition finally and after getting the backyard all sorted, I headed to my community garden plot! I also went ahead and got super sunburnt too.

I only had a little weeding to do. That was nice, because I expected to have a ton of weeding with all the sun and rain we have had.

I sowed some ‘Gold Rush’ bush beans, which are going to end up being the only beans I have this year. I totally spaced on sowing them in the yard. So disappointed in myself on that front.

I also sowed some ‘Bulls Blood’ and ‘Chioggia’ Beets, AND some of the onions I sowed from seed back in December!  Here is hoping that everything grows well with the limited summer we might end up with.

Sorry for the blurry pic… I was trying to not fall into the freshly watered garden.

On a more positive note! The carrots are doing well and the potatoes are starting to flower! So I should get something from this whole venture.

Also, check out my neighbors garlic! I’m so jealous of it!

Previous Updates: 1 & 2

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Community Garden Plot Update #1

 May 8th:

After being on the waiting list for nearly 3 years, I finally got a plot in the Community Garden! May 8th was my first time seeing my plot… The soil is not the greatest, and it’s full of rocks, but there is so much potential! I will add some manure at the end of the year and pick out as many stones as possible when I get the chance, but for now, I just plunked things in.

Planted:

  • 2 rows of ‘Purple Caribe’ Seed Potatoes
  • 2 rows of Red Onions that I gave a head start in some old peat pellets I had laying around, and put into in the little backyard greenhouse
  • 1 row of ‘Nantes Touchon’ Carrots.

I also have one more row of room left. I don’t know what I’ll put there just yet, maybe more carrots, or some beets. I’m also tempted to plant some turnips out there, but I’ll need to make some cover for them. Maybe a few bush beans to add nitrogen to the soil… We’ll see which idea makes the cut.

My plan for my Community Plot is to just grow things that don’t require much attention. I want to keep anything that might need covering or extra water or any attention (other than quick thinning or weeding) in my backyard. Anything that I can basically just plant and forget about until it’s ready to harvest can go over there.

I’ll grab more pictures next time.

Container Potato Harvest 2014

I am sorry for the radio silence as of late. A bunch of my vegetables (namely my tomatoes that I’ve been tending tirelessly since February) at the greenhouse garden were stolen. I have been a little discouraged because of it, but don’t worry, I’m back and stronger than ever. It just serves as even more motivation to get our backyard ramped up for vegetables.

But you don’t want to read my random ramblings, so I’ll just get on with the gardening.

I just (literally!) harvested all my container potatoes in the backyard. The tops were looking a little worse for wear, so I chopped them and started digging. And look! So many perfect sized baby potatoes!

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From 6 plants, I got roughly 6 pounds of potatoes. Not too shabby!

They are beautiful gem tones too. It was a mix of a random red potato from last year, A Norland, 1 Yukon Gold, 1 German Butterball (probably the most prolific of the bunch), 1 Russian Blue, and 1 Purple Caribe.

The Purple Caribe was the only one that grew sizeable potatoes in this short time span. I will definitely be growing this variety again next year. They have been consistently good, both in the ground and in the container. Also interestingly, the seed potato doesn’t seem to rot. It stayed strong and was like it was just another potato being pulled… Only the skin turns brown.

The Russian Blue had the strongest tops and probably could have stayed on growing. Next year they will get their own container, so they can keep going even after I pull other kinds. They do have some scab on them, but it’s okay, they are still one of my most favourite. Ideas on how I can prevent this? The soil was all brand new purchased high-quality stuff… Nothing reused from last years potatoes. Just leave me a comment with your suggestions.

German Butterball. The roots were just COVERED in little potatoes. Kind of like a truss of Tomatoes. 100% will be growing these again. They taste awesome, they grow awesome, and their name just makes you want to try them doesn’t it?

As for the other three… Yukon Gold and Norland are trusty stand-byes. I wouldn’t leave them out if I have the room for them. However, I will probably focus on trying new and different varieties instead.

After 2 years of growing potatoes in containers in my backyard, I would, without a doubt recommend it. They don’t take up much space, don’t require much care, and it is very easy to search for your treasure when the time comes. I haven’t had any huge sizeable harvests, but this years is perfect for us. It seems to be the best and easiest way to get consistent new potatoes. I think this would be a great kid garden project. They can take some neglect from you as long as they can get sunlight and some rain once in a while.

I hope you are all having a great summer! Enjoy it while it’s here… Soon we will all be whining about winter again! Soak it up!

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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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Its Official! All the Potatoes are FINALLY Planted

I’m going to do this quick post in the order that all 10 + varieties are planted.

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I planted the very first row on May 12. Which coincidentally was also the day of my first sunburn of the year. They were just all a random assortment saved from last year. I hilled them up on May 26, and they are just starting to poke through again. Once more and I think we will be golden for this row.

Next up is Russian Blue. They were planted on May 26. I suspect they will begin poking through the surface any day now.

Yukon Gold also went into the ground on May 26, and should also make an appearance any day now.

The next row went in on May 31. It is divided in half, with Purple Caribe at the bottom, and German Butterball at the top of the row.

Today, June 3, we got the remaining 6 varieties planted. In this group, there are only 4 seed potatoes of each kind, so there are 3 varieties per row.
First row (Top to Bottom): Alaska Sweetheart; Banana; Candy Cane
Second row (top to bottom): Lindzer Delikatess; Pink Fir Apple; French Fingerling.

So we have a total of 5 rows of potatoes. I will update again when there is more interesting things happening. Have you grown any of these varieties? Do you have any suggestions for us? Put them in the comments below.

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