Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Sunday, September 03, 2017
|Plums as of 9.3.17|
I didn't know what would happen with Sweet Treat. There isn't much info out there on pollinators. All I had blooming when Sweet Treat was in bloom, were Hollywood and Crimson Spire plums. Apparently that was enough. This is about year #4 for this tree, first substantial crop, a couple dozen plums.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
|Blueberry Pie. Mid Aug, 2017.|
I'll come back and add some text later, but here are photos from the past couple of weeks.
The blueberry harvest was great. The difference between this year and previous years, was bird netting. Made all the difference in the world.
I wondered if there would be sweet corn, due to the slow and irregular germination. Plus rabbits eating a lot of the plants. Now, there is a good harvest of sweet corn.
|Sweet corn, beans, chilis. Mid Aug, 2017.|
Peppers are doing great in their cement block raised beds. They do have deer protection fencing.
Two of the chestnut trees that I planted late winter, put on 3 to 4 feet of new growth. The other one put on about 3 inches. I'll sort out the varieties later. They are well protected by deer fencing.
I wondered if I planted the onions too early. They did amazingly well. Huge onions. The biggest were Ailsa Craig. Growing from seeds, and planting early, definitely worked.
|Sweet Corn, various planting times. Mid Aug, 2017.|
|Russet Potato Harvest. Mid Aug, 2017.|
|Chilis in cement block raised bed. Mid Aug, 2017.|
|Chestnut tree, first year, mid Aug 2017.|
|Chestnut tree, first year, mid Aug 2017.|
|Ailsa Craig onions. mid Aug, 2017.|
Thursday, July 27, 2017
The Rudbeckias are second year now. I'm glad they survived another season.
I don't know that bigger is always better, but the current batch of onions is the biggest I've ever grown. The ones in the ground are even larger, but the tops have not fallen over yet, so I'm waiting to harvest them. The brown-wrapper onions are the hybrid "Patterson". The white ones, which are the largest and the biggest of those not yet ready, are Ailsa Craig.
Monday, July 24, 2017
I used old seeds, turnips, Chinese radish, Chinese cabbage, Daikon.
That was last week. They do need daily watering, but otherwise no special care. Some rows have germinated nicely. It's possible that some seeds were too old, and I intend to replant today.
I didn't label the rows. I think some of the Chinese cabbage did not germinate, and one of the two rows of turnips. Those seeds were 5 years old.
The current raised bed arrangement is 12 4 X 8 foot raised beds, 1 foot high, separated by mowed grass paths about 3 feet wide. Those paths are too narrow for a riding mower. The plan, which will develop as crops mature and are gone in the fall, is to replace the 2 middle rows with 1 middle row. That will make paths wide enough for riding mower, which really reduces maintenance. The sides will be higher, with edge as described for this bed. Most of the wood will be reused from either the old beds, or from a deck that I tore apart this Spring.
|Red Norland and Yukon Gold Potatoes. 7.24.17|
I had not watered the Methley plum tree, so the plums are smaller, sweeter, and more flavorful. Almost like moist candy. This tree is about 6 years old. When we bought the Battleground place, I moved it from the old yard, at about 1 year old at the time. This is the first year with more than a couple of fruits.
|Methley Plums. 7.24.17|
|Illinois Everbearing Mulberry. 7.24.17|
|Illinois Everbearing Mulberries. 7.24.17|
|Red German Garlic. 7.24.17|
I thought birds would get all of the mulberries this year, but yesterday the tree was loaded. We picked a big bowl of them.
I did not nurture the garlic as well this year. Less water and less fertilizer. The bulbs of most of the plants are smaller, but the Red German turned out nice.
Summer squashes coming on line now. Some great fritters!
|Zucchinis and Summer Squashes. 7.24.17|
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Started digging potatoes last week. Had some hash browns and likely potato salad tomorrow. Red Norland and Yukon Gold plants are turning brown, and getting some nice potatoes.
Some of the slicer onions are bending over. I've dug some of those for use fairly quickly. Tasty in all colors, red, white, yellow.
The absolute largest of the onions are the Ailsa Craig, that I started from seeds. Those are huge, but not falling over yet.
Nice time of year in the kitchen garden.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
|Developing Yates American Persimmon. 7.10.17|
|Developing Nikita's Gift Hybrid Asian:American Persimmon. 7.10.17|
Nikita's Gift and Saijo have a couple of dozen fruits each, fine for 5 year old trees.
|Developing Saijo Persimmons. 7.10 17|
I'm excited to see persimmons forming. I'm trying to decide if some need thinning, due to several fruits on the same twigs. They might do better if they are further apart.
I've tried tying some persimmon branches to guide them, but they are so brittle they break off. One of the Chocolate Persimmon grafts also did that. I had tied the little branch to another one to guide it, and the wind broke it. Fortunately, there is a second Chocolate persimmon graft that is OK.
|Prairie Star Persimmon Sapling. 7.10.17|
|Georgia Collard Greens and Squashes. 7.10.17|
|Chili Peppers and Scallions. 7.10.17|
Chili pepper plants are small, but starting to take off. Some are blooming.
|Vates Collard Greens. 7.10.17|
|Ripening Onions. 7.10.17|
Sweet corn seems further behind this year. The first two batches had poor germination, and I transplanted seedlings together in groups. The later ones did better, even with rabbits eating off many of the plants. There is still a good chance for some nice sweet corn later this year.
Both potatoes and onions are almost ready for harvest. I dug some potatoes yesterday, and there are some nice ones. I have also been using some of the onions, on an as-needed basis.
Tomatoes and beans are making good progress. There are small tomatoes on some of the plants. The pole beans are starting to climb. I gave them some bamboo poles to climb on.
|Sweet Corn, Various Start Times and Sizes. 7.10.17|
The one disadvantage is the plants don't get growing as fast as new starts. But when they do, they are much bigger and more floriferous.
When there is one with nice form and color, it is worth keeping it going.
I have a couple that don't look as good, and will not keep them this winter.
I don't know what I will do with them during the winter. Maybe put the container in a shed.
Friday, June 30, 2017
|Fenced Apples and Blackberries. 6.29.17|
|Ebony King Blackberries. Year 2. 6.29.17|
|Blackberry Columbia Star. One year. 6.29.17|
The varieties are:
Ebony King - old variety, probably diploid, some thorns.
Prime Ark Freedom - new variety, tetraploid, thornless.
Columbia Star - trailing, thornless. I'm guessing this is tetraploid but I don't know yet.
Arapaho - tetraploid, thornless.
Triple Crown - I think tetraploid, thornless.
|Blackberry Prime Ark Freedom. 6.29.17|
I expect to taste some Ebony King in a few weeks, from the one plant, of three, that is producing this year. All of the Ebony King are producing primocanes now, more vigorous than last year, and I hope my enclosure prevent loss of growth this time. There may be a taste of a couple of Columbia Star blackberries, although only a couple from canes that survived the trauma and winter. Prime Ark Freedom is primocane bearing, so there is a chance to sample those in a few months.
|Blackberry "Arapaho" . Two Months. 6.29.17|
|Blackberry Triple Crown. One Month. 6.29.17|
Of the new plants that I started this spring, Arapaho is getting off to a good start, and both plants have nice primocanes emerging. They are in protected cages. I may rearrange the beds this summer or fall, for better access and neatness. The Triple Crown was blooming in the nursery pot, at only a foot tall. There is a nice primocane emerging from that one as well. I will leave the berries on the plant, to get a taste, if they develop.
If all goes well, there should be a taste of 4 varieties this year, maybe a few bowls of berries in 2018, and a good sized crop in 2019. That is a big "if", but life makes no promises. Gardening is always a bit of a guess, a bit of a gamble, some promises, some science and information, some work and some luck.
|Ginkgo Tree, 19 years from seed. 6.29.17|
|Persimmon "Nikita's Gift". Planted 2013. 6.29.17|
I found that with my water pressure, two quarter-inch holes work OK.
Top photo is a ginkgo tree that I moved here in 2012 from the seedlings that I started in 1998. It had a slow start due to initial bad location but has taken off and is becoming handsome.
The rest are persimmons. Saijo is done blooming. I can see the start of fruits forming in the flowers. Nikita's gift is just a little behind Saijo. With a few 100 degree, dry, days, the flowers are brown. I don't know if that matters for parthenocarpic (bear fruit without pollination) persimmons. Yates is the third to bloom, and is an American Persimmon. Yates was smaller and I planted a year or two later compared to the others, but has caught up in size. There are a few flowers, just blooming, also petals looking singed from the heat. Yates is sold as parthenocarpic as well.
At this time of year, new persimmon branches are very droopy. That puts them in range of deer browsing. I widened the deer cages. The ultimate goal is, trees tall enough that I can eliminate the cages for easier care and mowing. Picking might need a ladder and good health insurance, or a fruit picking device on a pole, but maintenance will be easier.
|Persimmon "Saijo". Planted 2013. 6.29.17|
Deer browsing has been significant this year, but so far these persimmon cages are helping. I expect to see a little damage at some point, but hoping it's minimal.
|Yates Persimmon Flower. 6.29.17|
|Yates American Persimmon. Planted 2014? 6.29.17|