Thursday, May 22, 2014

In The Meantime

 Thankfully the garden has not taken a vacation and I was pleased to see some major growth in things when we returned.  Some things are doing really well and some things, not so well this year.  I think we will still get a decent harvest out of most of the crops though.  It just got pretty warm fairly quickly, and then cooled off again, so it kinda put a unwelcome spurt of growth in the cool weather crops when they did not need it.  This photo doesn't show the rows of potatoes over to the right and they look like they are going to do well this year.  A lot of people say they have trouble with potatoes but we are lucky in that they grow really well for us with virtually no pests; knock on wood!  I hill them up every so often and keep them weeded and that's about it.
The tomatoes in the foreground are doing well.  Can't wait for those babies to start coming in.

See how my broccoli did?  I was hoping the heads would get just a little bigger before I cut them and I messed up.  I should have cut them before we left because I suspected they were on the edge of bolting but my greed got the better of me.  I did harvest 2 good heads and will probably get a good mess of side shoots off these but for the most part they are chicken feed.  Oh well, at least they will still serve some purpose.

The cauliflower is growing like gangbusters but no heads!  I've never been successful growing this stuff so I have no idea if it should be heading up by now or not but I suspect it should have long ago.  Chickens may get a bunch more greens!
The cabbage is heading up good so maybe I'll at least get enough to make a good batch of sauerkraut this year.

But the peas are a great success and they love the string trellis!  I picked half a gallon yesterday in no time and made a great beef/ snow pea stir fry tonight.  It was quite tasty.  I'm leaving some of the peas on the vines to mature and experiment with using them for chicken feed.  Of course, these vines are not enough to produce a substantial amount of feed but it has been an experiment for me and for them.  I didn't know if either one of us would enjoy eating them!  I have found you can produce a good bit in a small area though, due to them growing mostly vertical.

The strawberries and lettuce are still going good and the green onions are coming in now, so I got a decently assorted harvest yesterday at any rate. I saw a very plump squirrel run out of the garden yesterday, with one of my very plump strawberries, so it looks like we are not the only ones enjoying them!  I can't blame them; the berries are very tasty.  I'm glad I ordered these varieties, rather than what they carry around here.  Has made all the difference in the world.  We give all the strawberry discards, trimmings etc. to the chickens and they really love them too.

I transplanted these iris up here from the creek last year and they are really taking off.  They do much better in more sun.  This composition always makes me think of VanGogh's iris paintings.

Of course, these are not the same iris he painted but they are one of my favorites.  I love the vibrant color. Allen bought me the first clump of these several years ago.


JO said...

Looks like you had a nice vacation I love the ocean and beaches.

Your garden seems to be doing well and I love the Iris in deep purple. My friend is going to have to so some clearing out and will give me some when the season is right.

texasann said...

Your garden is looking beautiful, and I'm jealous of the strawberries! Mine in the flower bed just get appreciated by the local wildlife before they are of a size for human consumption. Of course, your ladies get their share of whatever you grow - and appreciate it, I'm sure.
Love the irises - favorite flower of our (mine & Hermit Jim's) late sister... Glad your up to blogging & gardening - love the photos!

Ed said...

I'm not familiar with Alabama planting seasons but I think up here, we would start getting cauliflower in early to mid-july if we got the garden in towards the late part of April. Two and a half to three months is what I remember from the time you transplanted to you harvested it. So my guess is you still have plenty of time.

I should say that we never got those tightly formed heads like what you see in the grocery store. they were not as big and more loosely formed too.

Ed said...

I should also mention that when I went down to the farm to hunt for mushrooms, I checked in on the rhubarb plants that were as old as me that I told you about awhile back. They didn't come up this year. My mom said last year they had looked sickly and this year they didn't come back. So perhaps they do have a finite lifespan. She was going to plant some more in the same spot.

MamaHen said...

Hey Jo! Yeah, we had a great time but I was happy to get home in a way. Busy time of year!

Hey Ann! thanks! yeah, the girls love any scraps from the garden; they are spoiled!

Hey Ed! Well I'll give the cauliflower a little more time; they are not taking up too much space.
It's a shame ya'll's old rhubarb died! but yeah, I guess they wouldn't last forever.

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

Your garden is amazing! I have potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. Wish I had room for more. The strawberries look absolutely perfect and so much better than store bought!

Island Rider said...

Love those shades of purple in the iris!

MamaHen said...

Hey Fairhope! thanks so much! yes, those fake strawberry from the store can not compare! lol!

Hey IR! that is about my all-time favorite iris. love the color.