Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garlic: Something to Watch For

Growing garlic here in New England is mostly trouble free. Good amended soil, water, and some weeding is all it needs. There are not many pests or diseases to look out for until now.

This week's MOFGA's Pest Report is about two diseases that can harm Allium production forever in your garden:
Garlic: Growers have either harvested their garlic, or will be harvesting soon. There are two diseases that are not common here in New England and we want to keep it that way. Now is the time to look and see if you have either of them. As you harvest, please inspect your bulbs carefully. Both of these diseases are devastating and long lasting in the field, preventing future garlic production. And, both are spread with the garlic seed pieces so it is of the utmost importance that anyone with this problem not sell seed.

Read more at the MOFGA's website.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Harvest Monday: July 25, 2011

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

This past week seemed to zoom by. Not much gardening was accomplished except for daily deep waterings. Like most of the country, we exceeded heat records towards the end of the week through the weekend.  There were some new items harvested for the first time this week:

The first Kennebec Potatoes! These weighed 14 oz.
Summer Squash, Zucchini, and the first Cucumbers
More Zucchini, Summer Squash, and the first Japanese Eggplant.
Red Barron Onions

Sunday the heat officially “broke” but it was still a very warm day.  I ventured out to get some much needed weeding accomplished.  There is still so much more weeding to be accomplished.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harvest Monday: July 18, 2011

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

The garlic was harvested over the weekend. Most of the bulbs were pretty good sized. Last year I had some loose heads, but I think I caught it at the right time this year. They are hanging from the rafters in the shed to cure.


We enjoyed the first summer squash this week. These were simply sliced and sautéed with some fresh garlic and olive oil and served as a side dish. I am looking forward to trying some new recipes this year.


Most of the harvest below was added to a quick stir fry this weekend.



Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watching the Garden Grow

The weather here in Maine has been a boon to the garden. We’ve had some rain and some really warm temperatures.  According to the weather predictions, the warm temperatures are supposed to continue into the weekend with some thundershowers here and there. With some supplemental watering it is just what a growing garden needs.

Herbs, onions, and garlic are harvested for meals as required, but there were no major harvests this week. I feel as though I am just waiting for the harvests to come.

I may not need to wait long for some summer squash. Both zucchini and yellow squashes have fruit growing:

The first Zucchini

The first Yellow Summer Squash

The pole beans have winded their way to the top of the trellis and beyond:

Pole Beans have reached the top of the trellis

Winter squash is vining and blooming. Soon this entire end of the garden will be overwhelmed with squash vines:

Squash bed
Pumpkin

The first eggplants and peppers are forming:

First Eggplant

First Pepper

The garden still remains a little later in maturity than last year but it won’t be long before we reap the rewards.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Slowing Down and Enjoying Summer

Even though the long holiday weekend was busy, I still found time to slow down, relax, and appreciate a bit of summer. Most early mornings began outside with coffee, some reading material, and the sounds of nature around me including various birds, a rooster crowing from a distance, a woodpecker’s drumming, the buzz of bees and wasps collecting nectar, and the hum of dragonflies swooping past.

If I stand still, no one can see me.

A chipmunk would play hide and seek with me each morning. Freezing in place as I glanced up from my magazine or book to look at him, then resuming his hopping towards the bird feeder when I looked away. Once at the feeder, he would stuff his cheeks full of sunflower seeds, jump down, and make his way back across the lawn to his den. I swear we have devoted at least a 40-pound bag of sunflower seeds to these little rodents and all they are doing is stashing it away under ground somewhere. At least it keeps them out of the garden.

Squash bed

I mostly enjoyed the lack of sound as the neighborhood continued its slumber. There was no loud music, no yelling, no barking dogs, and no rumble of lawnmowers and other various lawn trimming equipment. It was so peaceful in those early morning hours and I was able to relax, contemplate the tasks ahead, and decide how I would spend my day.

Cucumber Blossom

As the morning progressed, the sun would peek through the trees and eventually rise above the treetops and reach the garden. Once the morning dew evaporated, I would begin to leisurely putter in the garden…weeding, checking for pests, harvesting, trimming, taking photos, and appreciating the signs of ongoing development. Most garden chores were completed before the heat and humidity of the day took hold.

Dark Red Norland Potato Blossom

Over the weekend, all the beds were weeded and given a generous drink of fish emulsion; the tomatoes’ lower branches and leaves were trimmed to allow air to circulate; and the paths in between the beds were mowed. Mother Nature provided a good watering overnight Sunday and by Monday morning the plants showed significant growth.

Roma Tomato

It is back to work today but it is a short workweek. Soon the weekend will be here. Summer is too short to miss out on enjoying the season.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Harvest Monday: July 4, 2011

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

The Carouby de Maussane Snow Peas have begun producing. So far there have been a few pickings resulting in enough to toss into salads and stir-fry. Mostly, I just snack on them while I am in the garden.

Carouby de Maussane Snow Pea Bloom

Carouby de Maussane Snow Peas

The first zucchini bloomed this week but there were no male flowers to pollinate it so it was harvested, chopped, and added to a salad flower and all.

Baby Zucchini and Carouby de Maussane Snow Peas

The first Heritage Raspberry was plucked from the plant. Its red gleam burst from the green foliage like a promise of what is to follow from our canes planted one year ago. Luckily the camera was handy and the photo taken quickly before the raspberry was shared between K and I. It tasted very good and we are eager for more to ripen.

Heritage Raspberry

A need for garlic and onion for a meal resulted in pulling a smaller garlic bulb and a young red onion. The garlic bulb was about 2-inches across. The others are beginning to look a bit ragged, so the major garlic harvest will probably happen in the next few weeks.

Purple Glazer Garlic and Red Barron Onion

The crisper draw in the refrigerator is still full of lettuce from the garden. Some was harvested as they showed signs of bolting and some pulled because they were only serving as a play ground for slugs and earwigs. The spotted lettuce escaped the pest damage and had formed beautiful loose heads:

Spotted Lettuce from "Bon Vivant Lettuce Blend"

The remaining spring lettuce is down to only a few loose heads in the garden but a second planting will hopefully keep us in salads through the summer. I have also planted some in pots that can be moved to the shade when the temperatures heat up.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Coming Soon: Freshly Dug Potatoes

The potatoes will be blooming soon. Then I will be able to dig down and raid the plants of some baby potatoes. I can't wait.



This is only my second year of growing potatoes. Last year, July 4th was my first potato harvest. Even though this years planting time was almost a month later than last year, the plants have caught up in growth.