Thursday, August 8, 2013

My bucket of Greens! 8/8/13

My bucket of greens in my container garden! Basil, Swiss Chard and cut & grow lettuce!  It looks like a healthy salad bowl! What makes it better is that the basil is from seeds I saved last year! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Finally some squash! 8/3/13

It's a month later than usual but I ally got a yellow straight neck squash! Also picked some blackberries! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today's Harvest! 7-21-13

Today was the first day I can say I really harvested anything from my garden because there was actually a variety if stuff to grab! I picked blueberries from two blueberry bushes, I picked a couple of  blackberries, a few Juliet tomatoes an a few cherry tomatoes! 
6 Blackberries 
3 Juliet Tomatoes 
2 cherry Tomatoes 
8 Blueberries 

It's not much but with a very rainy June and now a very hot July  I'm lucky most o my plants are still alive! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My First Blackberry! 7/18/13

I picked my first apache blackberry on Thurs 7/18/13!  It was delicious! The blackberry bush has definitely been the pleasant surprise of the season so far! 

First tomato of the season! 7/19/13

First ripe tomato of the year is a deformed cherry tomato! It's been a tough spring for my tomato plants with way too much rain!  Also picked a handful of blueberries and a blackberry!  Harvests should become more frequent and plentiful as the month goes on! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Berries coming along! 6/22/13

The blueberries and Blackberries are coming along nicely! I can't wait to eat them! Hoping the birds don't get to them first! 
The blueberries 
The blackberries! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Finally dug up the Radishes! 6/15/13

After a rainy month and planting the cherry belle radish seeds on May 6th I figured I might as well dig them up.  They never got to the size they were suppose to but did bounce back the last week or so. 
They still look really cool and I can't wait to try them!  I dug up 7 radishes today. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Heavy Rain prep and improvise

With the heavy rain of tropical depression Andrea heading our way this afternoon and night I've been preparing my garden.  One thing I wanted to do is tie the lower branches of my blackberry bush up.  I wanted to do this to keep the very new berries from hitting the ground and being covered in mud!  However I was out string so I had to improvise.  So I took some short bamboo stakes I had from last years garden and created crutch like supports for each of the three branches. Hopefully this will be enough to keep the heavy rain from pushing these low branches into the ground! 

Apple Sees Experiment!

As a fun experiment this summer I decided to try out growing some apple trees from seed.  Not that I have any space for apple trees in my yard or the patients to wait up to 10 years for it to bear fruit! As I was juicing organic apples from Whole Foods this past winter after getting my Juicer I was gathering seeds.  I had to remove the seeds from the apples before juicing so I figure why not save them and try to grow them in the spring.  I collected a few granny smith apple seeds (my favorite apple) and some fuji apple seeds.  Neither of these varieties grow well in Connecticut but this is just an experiment.  Although if they were to grow and fruit, they would be safe to eat because they were organic seeds! Anyways I saved the seeds in a glass bowl on my windowsill for a few months.  Then in early May when I was planting other seeds I saved, like my basil seeds, I decided to plant the apple ones just to see if they would grow.  After I planted them I did some research and realized if the seeds weren't exposed to a cold dormant period they wouldn't sprout.  This was a disappointment because I had kept them on the warm window sill for those few months so I wasn't expecting them to sprout.  Well to my surprise every apple seed I planted has sprouted and begun to grow.  Some of the apple trees are already 2-3 inches tall!! It will be interesting to see how big the trees grow over the summer and whether or not i'll have to find a place to plant them!  As I write this I realize this is a perfect example of Growing from kitchen Scraps!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Rosemary Survived the winter!!!

My potted Rosemary from last summer survived the winter! Of course it helped that I put it in my shed for a few months!  Ever since I took it back out in March it didn't show much life at all but I just noticed today some new growth at the top of every stem!  Rosemary can't survive in the ground up here in CT due to the cold winters but leaving it in the pot and taking a little extra care paid off! Now I don't have to buy new Rosemary this summer! 

Staking the tomatoes 6/6/13

With the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea expecting to impact CT Friday and Saturday I thought it would be a good time to stake my tomatoes.  The only reason I haven't done this earlier is that I've been debating what kind of staking I wanted to do.  I could stake them individually, with cages or as rows!  However with the plants growing and 3-5 inches of tropical downpours on the way I needed to stake them before they snap in half! 

Planted Basil 7/4/13

While my basil seedlings continue to grow I planted the small pot of basil I got at Lowes in the ground near my tomatoes.  They're companion plants so they should grow well together! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blackberry bush in Bloom! 6/2/13

The thornless Apache Blackberry Bush is in bloom!  I can't believe how beautiful the flowers (yes I've never seen a blackberry bush in bloom before!) Although the bush is small it's still nice. And notice the branch growing out the middle, that will be a berry producer next year!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Basil seeds growing 5/29/13!

Last summer I grew some sweet basil and allowed it to go to seed at the end of the summer.  Before a frost and Hurricane Sandy I collected the seeds and left them in a glass cup all winter.  They looked just like poppy seeds.  I know I didn't store then in ideal conditions but figured I would try growing them anyways.  I started the seeds in an egg carton.  Before I planted the seeds I let them soak in a cup if warm water for a few hours.  To my surprise they formed a gel coating around the seed just like Chia Seeds do! I wouldn't have been surprised if none of the seeds sprouted but most of them did!  Now I have an egg carton filled with basil sprouts! Hopefully the will continue to grow and I can plant themin between  my tomatoes!  If I get enough plants I can use them in sauces or maybe even try to make pesto!! 

Radishes growing slow 5/29/13

Radishes normally grow pretty fast but when conditions are not quite right they slow down.  Perfect case is my radishes I planted this year.  In optimal conditions the radishes should only take 22-23 days to mature to harvest.  I planted the seeds on May 6th so today would have been a day to harvest, however my plants are still small.  I think it's due to the cool and wet conditions lately.  Even though radishes are a cool spring plant and fall plant, the conditions this spring have been pretty nasty! Hopefully things will change in the coming weeks! 
The radish plants should be close to 6 inches high, they're barely bigger than newly sprouted radish seeds! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Planting Tomatoes! 5/17/13

The first thing I planted once the garden was ready was the tomatoes.  This year I purchased a few more plants than last year.  This year I got 8 tomato plants, all indeterminate.  However one tomato plant had two plants in the pot, so I actually ended up with 9!  Which is perfect because I made 3 rows of 3 tomato plants.  I got 2 Husky Red Cherry Tomato plants.  I had this variety last year but only one plant and it did amazing, producing tomatoes into October!  I also got a third cherry tomato plant called 'Super Sweet 100' Hybrid Cherry Tomato.  The most interesting tomato plant I got was the 'Yellow Pear' tomato, I can't wait to see and taste those!  Then I got a Big Beef Hybrid Tomato plant, a 'Red Beefsteak' Tomato plant.  Another interesting tomato plant I got was one called 'Mr Stripey', an heirloom tomato which has yellow and red stripes and supposedly produces tomatoes up to 1 pound each!!  The last tomato variety escapes me right now but it is also the one that came with an extra tomato plant making my grand total of 9 plants!  I will be swimming in tomatoes this year!  Hopefully I will be able to crush and freeze some tomatoes to make chili in the fall and winter!  

Planting Squash!

After tilling my garden and waiting for temps to warm, I planted tomatoes and squash in the garden.  I placed the squash in the back half of the front garden.  This year I am attempting to grow Straight Neck Yellow Squash.  Notice in the upper left hand side of the picture, all the green leaves are strawberry plants which are growing every where!  I should really try to tend to them better, I would probably get and even better crop of berries instead of it all going to the rabbits! 

Potting Tabasco chili plants!

Blackberry Buds!

After some cool days and rain I checked out my Thornless Apache Blackberry Bush and was happy to see a number of buds on the plant!  I was a little bit surprised because I bought the plant in the fall and wasn't sure if the three canes on it were in their first or second year.  If they had been in their second year then I would have gotten no fruit this summer.  So it looks like I'll be getting some blackberries this summer!! Also the plant is taking off and already growing a nice new cane that will fruit next year!!!  

Cleaning up the garden! May 13, 2013

This post is a little late!  I began to clean up my garden during the week of May 13th.  For years  I've always heard never to plant before May 15th, even though the average last frost in my area is in April.  However this old tip verified this year with cold temps in the 30's at night leading up to the 15th.  This caused me to lug all my plants into the garage and back out on to the deck every day!  Bright side of the cold conditions is it gave me time to find a simple yet fantastic tool.  I found this hand tiller for about $25 at Lowe's, it works amazingly!  It not only saved my back from turning my garden soil with a shovel it also sped the process up greatly.  I actually tilled my whole garden within 15 minutes!!!!  It loosened the soil up great, which is good because it was so compact from the winter. Im hoping the soil is healthier as well because it mixed air back into the soil!  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

So much for the unofficial start to summer! Coldest Memorial Day weekend I've ever remembered! Hope my garden is ok! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Berry bushes budding and flowering!

All my berry plants have begun to bud or blossom.  From the strawberry plants to my container blueberries and even my blackberry bush!  The strawberries are beginning to fruit. The blueberries are in transition, there are flowers blossoming on some branches, while other branches the flowers have fallen off and hopefully the fruit will grow.  Finally the blackberry bush is budding! Just today May 22nd, I counted over 50 buds on my small blackberry bush!  
The blueberry bushes! 

The blackberry buds! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Radishes have sprouted! 5/11/13

I woke up this morning to rain and some radish sprouts! I shouldn't be surprised because radishes grow so quickly but it's first time growing them! And it's always great to see seeds sprouting! 

Friday, May 10, 2013