Tag Archives: spinach

August Harvest

Cleaning Up the Small Garden

Both the big garden in the back of the yard, and this small garden are all out of sorts. I have taken on a couple of extra consulting jobs to save a little extra money before school starts, and the garden got the short end of the stick.

This morning I started working on catching up. Here’s the small garden as of this morning. The grass in the front-right is where Sophie threw a handfull of grass seed into the carrot plot.  The bare spot front-left is where the onions were supposed to be growing.

Small garden before
Small garden before

We have been eating carrots for the last two weeks and they don’t seem to be growing any more, so I decided to pick them all, clean out the weeds, and plant a new crop of spinach.

Here’s the carrots, we also found a few tiny onions that were struggling to live.

Bowl full of carrots
Bowl full of carrots
Small bowl of small onions
Small bowl of small onions

Our initial crop of spinach went to seed really quickly, probably because of how hot it was earlier in the summer. We only got a couple of small salads out of it. I cut some of the dried seed stalks and put them in the basement near the dehumidifier where it would be relatively cool and relatively dry.

Today when I went to use them they were nice and crispy. It was and simple task to rub them off the stalks into a bowl.

Dried Spinach Seeds
Dried Spinach Seeds

I rubbed them off into a bowl, winnowed them a little bit so that it was mostly seeds, then planted them. I also planted a new crop of lettuce and swiss chard (someone gave me the seeds) along the path to the spigot.

Spinach seeds ready to be winnowed
Spinach seeds ready to be winnowed

The little garden looks pretty respectable again.

Small garden all cleaned up
Small garden all cleaned up

 

Other Harvests

Despite the lack of attention, the garden has been doing pretty well. We have been eating as many beets as our kids can stand — about once a week. Here’s the final harvest. There’s no more in the big garden now.

 

The final beets
The final beets

We have had a couple small bowls of green beans (and purple beans), but today was the first big harvest.

First big bowl of green beans
First big bowl of green beans

We have been picking the cherry tomatoes every 3 or 4 days for the last two weeks and end up with a bowl about this full each time.

Cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes

The two big sunflower in our garden were volunteers, and they were doing great at first — they grew to about 8 feet tall. The minute the seeds got ripe enough for birds to eat, the birds attacked them, and now they look like this.

The birds ate all the sunflower seeds
The birds ate all the sunflower seeds

I’ve still got a little bit of extra contract work to finish up next week, so I won’t even pretend that I’ll have lots of garden news. After those two gigs are done, I should have a short reprieve before school starts in September.

Happy gardening!

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Horseradish and Other Vegetable Progress

I was gone last week at a conference for work, and I feel like the garden is getting away from me! There is weeding, thinning, planting and other work to do as soon as possible. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks here.

Horseradish Root

I love horseradish sauce on my meat sandwiches, and decided that it would be a good perennial addition to the garden. Caroline picked up a horseradish root at the grocery store, and the boys helped me plant it in the garden the next day.  I forgot to take pictures before and during planting. The root was about 1 foot tall and already had some small green buds on top. as can be seen in the picture.

Horseradish Root
Horseradish Root

Beans

We planted the same Purple King pole beans as in previous years. The boys helped me take back the bean patch from the creeping charlie and cover that had popped up this spring. We only finished planting this one little strip so far. I’ll get to the rest this week.

One patch of pole beans
One patch of pole beans

Garlic

The garlic I planted last week is now 3 or 4 inches tall. Hopefully it will get along well with the rhubarb.

Garlic Sprouts
Garlic Sprouts

Sunflowers

These sunflowers sprouted from the seeds I collected from the sunflowers we grew last year. The seeds seemed so small I wasn’t sure if I had collected them too soon, so I planted extras in hopes that some would sprout. I’ll need to thin these out this week so they’re not competing with each other.

Sunflowers to be thinned
Sunflowers to be thinned

Spinach and Peas

The spinach and peas are both coming along. The spinach is coming in nice and thick.

Spinach Growing
Spinach Growing

Not all of the peas sprouted (possibly due to squirrels?) so I’ll sow some more pea seeds in the bare spots this week.

Growing Peas
Growing Peas

Flowering Rhubarb

One of our rhubarb plants is flowering. This fall I’ll collect its seeds and start them inside next spring. Most rhubarb related websites seem to discourage planting rhubarb from seed saying that most rhubarb these days are hybrids and that the seeds won’t be true to type. That may be the case but I’m willing to see what will sprout.  I’m not picky about the color or size of the rhubarb, as long as it tastes good. This rhubarb plant was grown from seed and the stalks are good. Hopefully its seeds will also produce something good.

If your rhubarb is flowering and you aren’t collecting seeds, you should cut the flowering stalk so that it doesn’t waste energy on flowers and seeds. Cutting the flowering stalk will give you more edible stalks.

For the curious, the rhubarb flowers smell like some kind of unpleasant industrial soap.

Flowering Rhubarb
Flowering Rhubarb

Tomatoes and Peppers

The tomatoes and peppers are still under lights in the basement. The tomatoes are starting to reach the lights.  I need to start hardening them off so they can live outside, or raise the lights some more. 4 of the 18 tomatoes didn’t sprout.

Tomatoes under lights
Tomatoes under lights

6 of the 18 peppers are coming up. This week I will replant in the cups where they didn’t come up yet.

Peppers
Peppers

 

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Planting 2012, Round One

I did it! I started planting. I put in the peas, onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, corn and beets. I put them in on Wednesday (the 4th) but I just haven’t had a chance to write it up.

Calvin planting peas
Calvin planting peas

Calvin, my almost 4-year-old was my helper buddy. He was very deliberate with planting, and put the seeds just as far apart as I told him to. With the beets he would just take 2 seeds from the tin at a time. He was excited to be helping because he had taken a nap, and got to stay up later than his older brother.

My happy helper
My happy helper

While we were planting I noticed that our apple trees are budding. I have high hopes for our apple trees this year. This will be their 3rd summer and the general consensus is that they take till their third year to start producing. We had a couple apples their first year, but nothing substantial. Last year the birds ate all the flowers. This year we’re not putting out bird seed in the feeder till the apples have set and have been bagged for protection. With the extra care and a little bit of luck I think we’ll have a decent crop.

Apple buds starting to come out
Apple buds starting to come out

Happy gardening!

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