Garden – Mid-April – 2011

It’s still a bit chilly outside, at this point in the year. But you can already see the hops, rhubarb & green onions starting to grow like crazy. I can just feel that summer is right around the corner.

At this point I’m shooting for a transplant date of May 20th, 2011, for all the seedlings that are growing in the house. And a few days after Mother’s Days, I’ll start the transplants for the corn & cucumbers, since they only need a day to germinate, and about 4 days before they are big enough to be transplanted outside.

Spring is springing for 2011

We kind of had a little bit of a warm burst of temperature (highs in the upper 60’s) around St. Patrick’s Day, so I removed the large leaf pile from the hop rhizome beds, and tossed it into the compost bin. And as you can tell in the pics, I’ve already got a garden full of green onions/chives, plus the rhubarb & sedum flowers are putting out buds like crazy. And from the looks of things with the rhubarb, it going to be another bumper crop of stalks this year.

But this week the temperature has dropped back down to the lower 30’s. So for now I’ll just have to bide my time with all the seed starting that I need to do inside, instead of any outside work.

I’ve attached, kind of a panoramic shot of the back yard, so you can get the full effect of what’s going on this year so far.

One final thing, which is kind of off topic, but semi related to this conversation. Many years ago I had I picnic table on the brick patio in the backyard. Well I ended up having to get rid of that picnic table, but I never found anything to replace it. And as you can tell in the pics, I have plenty of chairs for the patio, just no table. So this year I thought that I would finally undertake the task of re-laying the patio bricks, and making a “rustic” table for the patio. Since it’s kind of a shame, that I’m not utilizing this space to it’s full potential in the summer time. So expect to see some updates in the future for this little side project.

2011 Seed Catalogs have arrived

Over the last three month, I’ve gotten three seed catalogs in the mail. Two were from Johnny’s Selected Seed, and the third was from Burpee. I was kind of hoping that I would get a catalog in the mail from Park Seed, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards for this year.

I gave my seed inventory from 2010 a quick glance, and it appears that I’m in good shape for seeds this year, especially for seeds to use with the salad table. But for 2012, I’ll most certainly have to restock my inventory of saved seeds, since after this year I’ll be completely out of tomato seeds, certain hot pepper seeds, cucumber seeds (both pickling & slicing) as well as bean seeds (green & wax).

But lets move onto the fun part, seed starting. Last weekend I thought about starting the seeds for my tomatoes & hot peppers, but this weekend it’s going to happen for sure. Since I want some nice and strong pepper plants for transplanting this year. Plus I’m going to pick up some shade cloth for the salad table this year, in case we have another freak hailstorm around mother’s day, (see the Aji drama from last year).

First Snow 2010

Not to be confused with First Blood, but this past weekend was the start of somekind of “blizzard” to hit the Midwest. Which is kind of ironic, since last Friday it was 48F with only some light rain. But then on Saturday, it went from nice to ugly, with a mix of freezing rain, some light snow and very strong winds. I was kind of enjoying this mild winter so far, but as usual, mother nature had to spoil a good time. Welcome to the start of winter, and plenty of shoveling to come.

Garden Season Over – Killing Frost – October 28, 2010

Oh baby was it cold last night. It ended up dropping down to 28F overnight. So when I got home from work ~6pm, it was a mad rush to pick everything worth picking in the garden before the frost hit. That ended up being about eight tomatoes, ~5 lbs of jalapenos, ~2 lbs of aji limon, and all the rhubarb left in the garden (half a grocery bags worth). And with this mad rush of a harvest, the gardening season is basically over for 2010. The only few surviving items in the garden are the Swiss Chard, the green onions and the sage, but other then that, everything else it dead. Continue reading

Garden – Late-September 2010

I took these late night shots of the aji limo last night, since for a while there I was worried that they weren’t going to turn yellow. But as you can tell in a couple of the pictures, slowing but surely the aji are going from green to yellow. You can even see a couple of the jalapenos going from green to red.

I had a couple of ideas that I might test out this weekend. But seeing how I only have about 2 or 3 weeks before the first frost hits. I better get cracking on these ideas.

Idea #1, is to take all the red jalapenos, and make a red jalapeno hot sauce, using the latest version of the hot sauce recipe.
Idea #2, would be to make some hot sauce from the green aji.
And finally idea #3, would be to try drying out some of the peppers (aji or jalapeno) for homemade hot pepper flakes.

First Sweet Corn of the Year – July 26, 2010

I just picked a couple of ears of the sh2 sweet corn that I planted this year. And I think that I might have waited to long before starting the harvest. Don’t get me wrong, the corn still tasted great. And I don’t think that I’ve ever eaten sweet corn 30 mins after it was picked. But it did taste like it was starting to go from the “milk” stage to the “early dough” stage, in that the corn had a little bit of a starchy taste. But with all that said, it was still better then any corn that I’ve gotten at the grocery store or farmers market. Continue reading

Garden – 07/08/2010

Look at the green garden monster grooooooow. Its been raining on and off for the last couple of weeks. So I really haven’t needed to use the irrigation system that I set-up around the yard. So for now, I’ll call that a bonus. Continue reading

Garden – 06/16/2010 – Setting up the trellis

The tomatoes are starting to get fairly tall and a couple already have blossoms, so I think its about time to setup the trellis system for this year. In years past I’ve left the upper crossbars in place and them tried to space the plants under the crossbars. But at the end of last season I took down all the 1/2″ EMT conduit crossbars, since it really wasn’t the best setup for what I was trying to do. Continue reading