Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rain Fills the Barrels

Parsnip thinnings that benefit from the deep cones and soft soil filled in the holes
Footie apples
Garlic harvest for 2009
Mystery fruits from the Solanaceae Family
Another clue to the mystery fruits
The evil Purslane both big leaf and small leaf - check yours out

We finally got some much needed rain and the rain barrels are full again.

This week I harvested more of the beets but I am not sure that this variety is the best eating. The second cooking lacked any real flavor and had little sweetness that good beets bring. I will try the white beets as soon as they size a bit more. The Alpine strawberries continue to produce a few handfuls of plump very sweet fruits. I noticed when checking on the variety name that the supplier has another variety of white fruited berries listed - maybe for next season. The next lettuce harvest is nice but the slugs have found it too - they are really a terrible pest in my garden. I have tried everything short of slug poison to keep them in control. I won't even go into the saga of last year's slug wars on the sweet potatoes. Hundreds met death in salt water, nightly. The last thinning of the parsnips was this week and as the pictures show, the long roots are already developed so now the rest of the season the plants will increase in size till next spring's harvest. The pole beans have started to twine around the poles and I have one more location that, now we have gotten some rain, I can prepare and plant a later crop. The tomatoes need de-suckering weekly and training but there are a few that have begun to color so we are approaching the first harvest. The basil in the tomato rows seems to flourish. The cucumbers have stated to send out tendrils and with help they will begin to climb up the trellis.

Last year we grew sesame seed with some success. This years crop has been slow to get started but is finally growing and hopefully will make flowers and seed before frost. The three foot plants will be covered with white flowers and I will keep you posted with pictures as soon as I see flowers. I get my seed for this herb from Sand Hill Preservation Center Calamus, Iowa. The first of the garlic (Bavarian Purple) harvest was this week and I am very happy with the crop. The picture shows the garlic from one planting of about a four by four foot planting area. This crop was planted last year in September and harvested now so if garlic is in the plan this year you should have made your order already or make it soon. The potato plants have provided a surprise as noted. The apples have finally stopped falling, and the young fruits are beginning to size. The few fruits that I put in "footie's" are growing too, so I will be interested to see how they do. "Footie's" are the stocking that one uses to try on shoes in the store and have been used by western apple growers as an alternative to plastic bags - so we will see how they do. Backyard science is fun.

Weeding is a daily job in the garden as the Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a constant pest. This weed, yes I know one can eat it, has such tenacity that I dig it and do not compost the plants as the seed is tough and persistent along with being sticky and tractable any place. Observation seems to indicate two varieties - one large leaf type and one small leaf type. But no matter what the type once you have it in your garden you have it forever.

I have been told that posting comments seems to be confusing. Anyone can post a comment and have it anonymous by typing the comment, selecting a profile and then clicking "preview" and typing the code letters that appear in the box. But you do need to make the profile choice for the comment. One does not need a Gmail account to post a comment, just use the "anonymous" setting at the bottom of the select list.

The video this week is a panorama of the garden, Sorry for the speed but you can pause it if it runs too fast.

Happy Gardening,


  1. David...
    Could you comment more on the 'footie bagging method' ? It looks interesting; how are they secured? I take it this is the first time you have used them. What advantages do you see with them?
    The cat lady

  2. Hi, I'm new to the Green Bay area, new to your blog, and fairly new to gardening! Could you recommend some good seed catalogs so I can start planning for next year? I was hoping to plant some flowers and veggies...

    Thanks for your blog & advice!

  3. Hi Heidi,
    Look back in the blog to January and you will see the list of seed sources that I used to make my 2009 seed order. But a quick list would be Johnny's Selected Seeds and Territorial Seed Company - e-mail them for a catalog.
    Happy Gardening

  4. As the apples grow I will be able to better comment on "footies" but for now I found out about this method of bagging from reading some of the material on apple bagging that is being done out west in Oregon and Washington. They have fewer pests than we do. I secured mine with twist-ties and I am looking at them as a possible way to reuse the material. It also might make a difference with storage, so we will see.
    Happy Gardening

  5. Your pictures are fabulous! Especially like the bat under your umbrella. Your blog is educational and fun to read. Thanks!

  6. I head a team of MGVs in Janesville that grow a display garden (located at Rotary Botanical Gardens) of mostly heirloom vegetables (this year:50 varieties tomato, 25 pole beans, 25 each hot and sweet peppers and 25 basil). Kudos on your site. I recommended your site to my group!
    Janice Peterson