Friday, June 22, 2018

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday!
Here's an update on what's growing in our summer garden.

In March, we put up our potato towers.
This was the first time we've grown white potatoes
(these are the Yukon Gold variety).
We showed you this method here.

The technique was pretty easy.
The towers were topped with dried leaves
whenever the potato stalks showed themselves in the cage.
The plants were fertilized once a month,
just like everything else in the veggie garden.

Over the last few weeks,
the potatoes began to flower.
Once the flowers dropped off, the leaves started to turn yellow.
Over the weekend, we harvested the crop.

The potato stalks were trimmed,
so that the tower could be easily lifted off the pile.

The pile of leaves were put to the side,
and used to cover the spot where the potatoes had been growing.
We will be redesigning the garden for fall,
so this was a good time to add the organic material.

The spuds were found at the ends of the stalks.
After gingerly digging them out of the pile,
they were placed in a bucket.
They will be cured for 2 weeks in the coolest place I can find.

Here's what the spent seed potato looked like after harvest.
This material will be added to the compost pile.
There is no waste in this method to growing spuds.

I would consider this a success.
We got enough spuds to last us a few weeks.
The towers were easy to manage and 
the potatoes were easily harvested.
The towers were almost too short for the growth,
so I might consider changing the design in the future.
I will definitely be planting potatoes again,
making sure to increase the number planted.

Elsewhere in the garden,
some things are winding down
while others are just getting started.

 The cucumbers are getting some size to them.
This plant was a gift from a friend.
She showed me her first pick the other day
and it was about twice this size.
Good enough to eat!

 The turtle beans are coming along.
This is the first time I've grown drying beans,
but it won't be the last.
It would be fantastic to have a pantry full of dried beans
to make any of the vegetarian dishes on the "Scratch Recipes" page.

The watermelon and cantaloupe plants keep climbing
the wire arches.  There are lots of flowers, but not much fruit.
I think I have some investigating to do...

Unlike most of us, the okra is relishing the heat!

Sweet potato slips were purchased at the local hardware store.
This is the first time I've bought them.
These are the Beauregard variety that grow so abundantly here.
They are getting a late start in my garden,
but we should still be able to get a good crop.

This is my tried-and-true method of starting sweet taters.
Creating your own slips is easy,
I just didn't start them early enough.

This thyme has found its sweet spot on the back deck.
It's as happy as can be in this icing bucket.
I'm thinking about getting some hangers for the railing
on which to grow my lettuces, kales and herbs.
It would save space on the deck top and the conditions out there are perfect.

 Some of the butterfly attractors are coming alive.
We are working toward getting certified as a wildlife habitat,
to add to our Monarch Way Station certification.

 Although a handful of Mammoth sunflowers were planted
along the back of this bed, only one has made it this far.
New flower seedlings are being started in the trays to the left.
If I can keep the doggone squirrels out of my pots,
maybe something would grow!

 The heat of summer looks like it's here to stay.
I'm thankful for lots of shade trees
and time in the early morning hours
to get outdoor chores done.
And lemonade.
And air conditioning.
Oh yeah.

Happy Summer, y'all!

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