August 24, 2009

Garden Progress Reports

I mentioned that would show you how we're doing on next year's big garden.

Here's how it looks at the moment (before shot here). The white building is the back of the carport, (see vegetable garden on the master plan). At the moment I'm still raking roots from it. There was a lot of blackberries and poison ivy there, as well as quite a few saplings, morning glories, grass, etc. I'm trying to get as much of that out as I can.

I have also started sowing buckwheat as a green manure cover crop. I've never planted buckwheat before and learned that it needs to be buried a half to an inch to do well. All I'm able to do at the moment is rake it in, so I'm dubious as to how well it will do. Still, it only cost a buck for the seed and I figure something is better than nothing.

We will till it again after I get the rest of the roots out. We will add lime then and it needs to be worked into the soil. My soil test came back and the soil in this spot is more acidic than in our current garden (more on that below.) I'm including copies of my report for anyone who's interested.

As you can see, we also need to add phosphorus. For that we need to add something like bonemeal or rock phosphate. Which one I add will depend on which one costs less! Our cooperative extension recommends dolomitic limestone to raise the soil pH. This will also add the needed calcium to the soil as well.

When DH first turned the soil, he unearthed a bunch of bulbs...

Don't they look like daffodil bulbs? We weren't here in the spring when they would have been blooming, so I can be sure. I'm going to plant them somewhere else to see what comes up.

And this year's garden?

This year's garden
It's doing pretty well.
  • I started off with a diligent spraying schedule for the powdery mildew, but that went by the wayside with so many other projects and now it's winning.
  • I discovered squash and bean beetles too, but Pyola spray seems to really have taken care of that problem.
  • One of my tomatoes is suffering from early blight and I'm trying a copper spray for that.
  • The cucumber leaves have spots too, but I haven't identified that yet.
  • Green beans are losing leaves but producing!
  • Finally getting enough okra for a meal
  • Winter squashes doing great! If all continues to go well, I hope to have a dozen or so to store.
  • Pumpkins - still aren't producing much except flowers.
  • Fall broccoli is coming up.
  • As are fall carrots. Not a lot, but some.
  • Need to finish fall planting.
  • We're enjoying tomato & cucumber sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread every day for lunch. :)

As I mentioned here, I'm not getting a lot of extra produce, but we're enjoying good garden eating. And I'm just enjoying having a garden again.


Woolly Bits said...

your basket might not be overflowing - but then you are busy anyway at the moment? fresh cucumbers and tomatoes are so nice that I am always tempted to eat them on the way back to the house:)) I haven't planted sweetcorn this year, but I think you can expect better crops if you don't plant them in rows but in "squares" (better pollination apparently...). it all looks pretty good already - given the fact that you just moved in and have so much work around the house! maybe you could plant potatoes into your new field next spring? they are supposed to leave the ground nice and loose and crumbly...

Julie said...

We really need to do a soil test! I'm having problems with my flowers and tumble weed keep coming up! Your garden is going to be great!

Flower said...

You are going about the garden in such a great way! We just dumped all of our chicken poo in the garden and it worked! We have red dirt. It's the biggest, craziest garden ever!
I dried some zucchini...they don't taste the best and they look worse. :) Maybe the taste will improve when thrown into a soup!

Renee Nefe said...

I need to check into that spray for the squash bugs..there are ugly grey bugs on my squash and before they sucked the place dry.
your garden for next year is looking great!

Sharon said...

My parents had an enormous garden because we ate from it but always they had an over-abundance. Are you thinking farmers markets in the future or will you be able to make use of all of this? Mom didn't can or dehydrate - we ate it as it came.

I can remember a spanking for hiding in the peas and eating them raw, thus removing them from the dinner table. I love your posts!

Anonymous said...

The gardens are looking fab!

Leigh said...

Bettina, I am thankful for every little veggie we get from our garden.

The sweet corn is actually planted in threes, i.e. a row of threes rather than a single line. Afterwards, I thought I should have planted to rows of triads for better pollination. It's almost ready to pick, so we'll see. More next year for sure. And potatoes next year for sure!

Julie, I think having a soil test done and correcting your soil will make all the difference in the world! They're inexpensive as well as invaluable.

Flower, I would love to have a bunch of chicken manure to add! We have red dirt too. Not as red as some areas, but not at all what I grew up with (black Illinois gumbo.)

Disappointing about the dried zucchini. I'm sure soup would be a good answer for it.

Renee, I was really impressed with the Pyola. Unfortunately, I haven't had a regular, diligent spraying schedule. The green beans are still bug free, but I just lost my summer squash to some little wormy burrowing in the fruit!

Sharon, I think DH would love to sell any extra produce! It seems almost too large of a garden to me, but since I've learned about covercropping, I am less concerned about how big it is. Unplanted portions can be sown with buckwheat, which is an excellent green manure crop, and tilled in as needed. One thing I want to do more of next year, is sequential planting to extend the harvest season of things we like fresh. If I plant a new row of cukes or a new section of corn every several weeks, we should be able to enjoy those kinds of things longer. That's one of my goals anyway.

Molly, thanks!

bspinner said...

Your new garden looks great!!! As does the basket of veggies. We've been eating fresh veggies too thanks mostly to the local Amish produce stands in the area.