Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Oh, dear. To long gone.

It has finally frosted. With a vengeance. Last week it was still 36-7 over night, last night it was -7F, Brrrrr. The load of bagged leaves I picked up Sunday evening is still in the truck which is O.K. as it adds weight to get through the SNOW, about 6 inches.

Garden On (in yours Dreams if not in the yard)

Monday, October 18, 2010


The weather prognosticators predict the overnight low to be 30F tonight. It's been trying to freeze for the last week with lows in the mid 30s but hasn't quite got that low. Though have had an icy windshield on the truck in the morning.
The parents came down from Spokane Sunday afternoon to get the rest of the Citron I grew. So Saturday evening the wife and I went out the pick them. I don't think I need to grow Citron for a few years. We picked 45 of them. Add the 15 from a couple of weeks ago, that's a total of 60. Didn't weigh them but estimate they weighed 300 lbs total (all 60, average 5lbs).

Also dug the Sweet Potato bed, got 19 lbs of taters. Now I need to process them for freezing/canning seeing as they didn't get cured.

Cleaned the pole beans up today. Have been neglecting them for a couple weeks so have a few more than needed for seed me thinks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

The last few weeks have been busy in the yard/garden. I have had 3 truck loads (about 25 yards) of wood chips delivered since the last post. I have been spreading them about after work when time and weather allows. The plan is to cover the side and front yards with chips to hold the weeds in check and to start getting some organic matter built up in the soil. Some chips are reserved for the garden paths as weed control/mulch and for composting.

Piles of wood chips

I have finally picked enough tomatoes at the same time to can some tomato sauce. The wife had purchased some Mrs. Wrights Pizza Sauce seasoning mix, so I used that. Got 4 pints of that made on Thursday.

Then on Friday, Mom and I started doing Citron Preserves. Citron is a watermelon like fruit that the rind is used to make the preserves. I remember eating toast with preserved citron on it when I was a lad of 10 or 12 at grandma's farm. It's basically 3/4 inch cubes of rind boiled in syrup with spices (mainly cloves and/or cinnamon) until the rind turns clear.
On Saturday a batch of apple butter was started in the crockpot. Then some bananas and apple slices put in the food drier. Then another batch of Citron was done for total of 13 pints of Citron and 4 apple butter.

A sampling of the preserved goodies

Sunday Mom raided the garden to share with my sisters in Spokane, scoring 43 lbs of Moon and Stars watermelon (20,13 and 10 lbs), plus 25 lbs of Jalapeno peppers, Banana Peppers, Tomatoes, Cantaloupe,cucumbers, green peppers and carrots. Plus 8 more Citron to make preserves to share with the sister's families.

Trunk full of Goodies

Oops, forgot the dried onions done a week ago, 4 largish onions, coarsely chopped and dried.

Garden On.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello World !!

I have the Internet. After 2 weeks of waiting I'm reconnected to the world, Yay.
Though sometimes I think the Internet is a HUGH black hole that sucks up all my spare time and some to that is not spare. But I did miss all your gardening adventures. Got a lot of reading done in the last 2 weeks, several novels, Gaia's Garden, The One Straw Revolution and the first third of Edible Forest Gardens Vol.1.

And speaking of gardening (ha ha), the last 3 weeks the garden has been producing like gangbusters. The Clear Pink Early tomato plant has been making 3-4 ripe tomatoes a day, the cherry (don't remember the variety) has made a few a day with a random yellow pear thrown in. The Eve Purple Ball tomatoes are just starting to bear. Boy, are they good, thick fleshed with few seeds.
The peppers are producing so heavily that the plants fall over.
Next year I will NOT be planting 8 cucumber plants which is 4 to many. Though I think I will plant more than 4 Moon and Star watermelon (nicely sweet,large melons).Watermelon 19.5 lbs Have harvested 3 so far, a 20 lb, a 19.5 lb and a 13 lb., with 7 more to come.
The cantaloupe are doing well, 6 picked so far. They are on the smallish side, which is O.K. with me.
Garden On.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I have been back to the stone age. My internet has been down for two weeks. The repair guys is due out tomorrow, so maybe I can get back online.

Will post some more later.

Garden On

Monday, August 9, 2010

Harvest Monday 9 Aug 10

And coming in in last place in the Harvest Monday race is DaBeardedOne!!

Without pictures (or not many, anyway).

Have harvested CORN (3 ears, which Mom took home), many, many cucumbers, Green beans, an onion, Tomatoes, peppers (green, yellow, and JalapeƱo)and chard (Mom, again).

some of this weeks harvest

This was a busy day. Started by baking the loaf of 5 minute bread that the wife mixed up yesterday. While that was baking some of the cucumbers were canned as dill pickles. The 7 pints joined the 6 half pints of low sugar peach jam I made Saturday.

Had just finished the pickles when my parents showed up. They were on their way home after visiting with Moms brothers and sisters in La Grande, OR. Mom took 3 ears of corn, a few cucumbers, some tomatoes and chard.

More canning is on the agenda for tomorrow. Going to make some of Annie's Salsa to use up the tomatoes and peppers. I made some fresh salsa last week, which turned out pretty good until I added too much garlic.

Garden On.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ovay - it's been 3 weeks !!

My my, where does the time go?

The garden is growing like gangbusters in the heat, it's been in the high 90's the last 2.5 weeks (finally). There have been a couple of windy days the the last 3 weeks, one of which reduced one of my eggplants to this state.

Snapped off by 55 mph wind :-(

The rest the garden survived the winds well, the corn was listing a bit but the next day was back standing tall. It's now 6-7 feet tall with tassels so should have sweet corn in a few weeks.

The melons and cucumbers are loving the heat and sunshine.

This is a Moon and Stars Watermelon, the largest one growing on 4 plants.

There be tomatoes here!! Picked the first tomatoes on the 21st, three cherry. Boy, was they yummy. The peppers are also producing well, have picked two of the Quadrato Asti Giallo so far.

The rhubarb is growing nicely, when planted in early June it was just a few 2-3 inch long leaves.

The harvests of the last weighted in at 2081 grams (4.68 lbs) and includes 5 peppers, 5 cherry tomatoes, a handful of beans, 3 cucumbers, some chard, a 1 pound broccoli and 3 small sticks of rhubarb.

In the last post, I showed a loaf of 'No Knead Bread'. Last week I tried a variant with cut oats which turned out well ( No picture , sorry). If you would like to try it follow the Link and scroll down to the cut oat recipe.

Garden On.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This and That

Happy 4th of July.

I baked a loaf of 'No Knead Bread' yesterday. Was easy to do and tasty. Will make some more.

Went to the farmers market Wednesday morning, getting 2 pounds of raspberries and a couple of zucchini, as I am not growing either in the garden (but will next year). The wife made the berries into one of the Raspberry pies that Anne's Granny made last week. Yum. One of the Squash was made into a loaf of Zucchini Bread, also Yum.

In the picture above, the jar is full of Dried Cabbage. Was going to make Sauerkraut but decided that it to warm in the house to do it now. Will try krauting this winter. That jar holds 5 lbs of cabbage. Speaking of cabbage, have had to harvest two cabbages, because they exploded ( split really). Both in the 4 lb range.

Weeds, I hates 'em. To remove the hated weeds I have purchased a shuffle hoe. A Rogue 6 inch Shuffle Hoe from Earthworks. Boy does it work well!!! Cuts things off at or just below the ground. All three edges are SHARP.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Harvest

I was off by 2.75 oz.

I can hear you. "Off on what?" say you.

In yesterdays post was a picture of a cabbage with a caption stating that it weighed 4 pounds. I was incorrect, it weighed 3lb 13.25 oz.

Cabbage on scale

3.86 lbs on scale

On other matters, just finished reading THIS, which I found interesting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finally, It's Summer

The sun is starting it's trip south again and it finally is getting warm in the lower Columbia basin. It was partly cloudy yesterday with 10mph winds with a high of 70. Today - it's dead calm and clear, with a temp of 80F and still still 3 hours until peak temperature. High 80's to low 90's forecast for the rest of the week. YAY, I can almost see the corn and 'maters growing. Speaking of 'maters, I have some :-).

Tiny 'maters make me a happy fellow

Harvested some snow peas (about a dozen pods), some more lettuce and a smallish cabbage (it was spliting)(950grams) this last week. Keep forgetting to take pictures, sorry.
Still have 6 cabbage growing, with this bad boy being the biggest.

Guessimation of weight - 4 lbs

The 75% of knee high corn,

A little bitty pepper

The wifes flowers are growing and blooming nicely.

Edited to add the new link on the LINK widget. Please check out the (re)building soil link, it's could be a great help if you have a newish house or a yard that has been destroyed by septic field failure (raises hand).

Garden On

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Erin of 'Garden Now - Think later!' asked us to post our composters, so without further ado I present ... Composters of DaBeardedOne.

I have three ways to make compost. First, the put it all in a big pile and wait method. Really cheap, ugly ugly ugly, but never gets full. This pile is mostly greens, waiting for fall and the leaves to drop.

Next is the pallet bins. Easy to turn. Cheap to build. Easy to manage. Not pretty but better than the pile.

Then there is the 16 feet of field fence in a circle. Neat, not too ugly and easy to turn. Could be used as a planter, imagine it covered with squash vines.

When I checked last week they were all in the 140F temperature range.

Garden On

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turnip !!!

I checked the turnip on Thursday, it was 2 inches or so in diameter. Checked it again Saturday, it's 4 inches, argh. There it is, all washed up, ready to go in the house.

That is a 15oz can next to it for size comparison. It's the only turnip to reach maturity, the others were either bug food or didn't grow. I will try some more in a few months, maybe the bugs will let me harvest a few.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harvest Monday and Tuesday

Harvest Tuesday, this week and last, another 1896 grams of Lettuces for a total of 4000+ and 295 grams of second planting Radishes (second planting as the first bolted as soon as they got bigger than a pea). The picture below are the radishes I pulled last week, this weeks are about twice the size.

I asked the wife to goto the farmers market on Saturday before last and get some Rhubarb if they had any. She got a pound and half. I haven't had any Rhubarb in so long, the Rhubard Pineapple cobbler she made from my Moms recipe was SO good, Yummmm.
Monday before last my parents came down for a visit, bringing 5 sets of Rhubard for me, which are now growing. Dad helped with a couple of things in the garden, weed whacking the fence line, cleaned out the back of the truck after we got a yard of manure and some digging of a new beds.

Thats two new beds and one extended bed, another 280 ft^2 of space, with another 300 planned. I'm soooo slow in getting things planted, with the cool weather and rain of the last few weeks. Those are the peppers and eggplant in the foreground of the new bed picture. They have been spending their nights in the cold frame.
Garden On.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Harvest Monday

First, the first Harvest Monday, 400 Grams of assorted lettuce. Add that to the other harvests this week, 686 grams total (24.5 ounces for you non-metric people). Sorry, no picture again, it was blurry :-( Imagine two one gallon zip bags full.

I have been working on getting the hills for the squash/cucumbers/watermelon/cantaloupe done so I can get them planted. They are getting so large. Also pulled one of the beds of cover crop and planted some sweet corn. Noticed this morning that some has spouted, Hurray. Still need to pull the cover crop off the second bed so the tomatoes can be planted.
The future tomato bed

When I was clearing the corn bed I found this. Anyone have an idea what it is?

In the back ground of the first picture is the attempt to make a trellis my the beans. I say attempt because the beans would be to far away from the strings to do any good. I'm going to take it apart and use the uprights as stakes to run strings between.

I'm thinking I will not use "composted" manure straight out of the bag again. It appears to be unfinished, the bean bed seems to have a nitrogen deficiency. The tackweed wouldn't even grow well, turns a sickly yellow color. Put some fish fertilize on the peas and beans and they started to green up and grow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Harvest

First a comic break, yesterdays Hagar the Horrible (remember to look for May 3's strip).

Next - I had my first harvest of the year, 10 grams of lettuce. Sorry, no picture, as the wife had it about in the sandwiches when I got there with the scale.

The weather as been against any outdoor doings the last few days. Yesterdays 35 mile per hour winds (with 60mph gusts) with 50f temps. The sky was dark gray with clouds and brown with dust below the clouds.

Visited with Annie's Granny for a bit in the afternoon yesterday. Viewed the damage that the wind was doing to her garden. It wasn't to bad, one branch from a neighbors tree and some plants blown over.

Was afraid that the wind would do more damage to my garden than it did, as my beds are perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction with no wind breaks near. I have cardboard over a future bed location at relocated to the far side of the yard. The largest of the turnips and some of the carrots looked like they were getting up rooted. Lost one carrot to wind damage.

Was able to get something done last night, put together a reinforcing wire and conduit trellis for the peas. Still needs some finishing touches, the upper corners trimmed and the legs shortened and the rebar to put in the ground installed. Thinking of using some more for the tomatoes.

The wind has stopped blowing, YAY. Now the temperature is to drop to the low 30s over the next few nights, Boo.

Garden On, DaBeardedOne.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

There be Beans here!

The wife showed me todays Blondie comic strip when I got home this evening. If you haven't seen it click this link then access the May 1 strip. I thought it was very appropriate.

I finally have beans up, Kentucky Wonder Pole. Planted last week. How tall of a trellis will they need?

And the Pok Choi have bolted, bah.

And under the light, there are Butternut squash, Moon and Stars watermelon, Cantalope and two varieties of cucumbers.

Now if the wind would stop (or slow down anyway) blowing. I was out in the garden this evening when I started sneezing and coughing, which stopped as soon as I got in the house. There is something on the wind that my sinuses can't handle. Bah, sure makes gardening hard when you can't be outside :-(

Friday, April 23, 2010

Red Spots

This is one of my Pepper seedlings, the first leaves have reddish spots on them. The other 3 of that variety have no spots. Should I worry about them, wait for the first leaves to show, or get rid of it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's a bust

Well it didn't work as well as I would hope :-(
Put the concrete in the mold Tuesday evening, a thinner mix than the first batch. Wednesday morning, on the way out the door heading to work, I checked it. It was cracked, not all the way, but cracked :-(. That evening I took it out of the form, at least it didn't break into 20 pieces like the first one did. Only one break and the crack, I think I can repair it. The crack is near the stick.
I will get some chicken wire to use as reinforcement on the next try. If that one breaks, I'll have to rebuild the form so the plank is thicker, probably should do that anyway.
On growing things, the seeds that were planted 4 weeks ago have finally started to grow. Some have doubled in size the last day or two, probably because of the weather turning warm and sunny. Now if the peas would grow, as I am Jonesing for some fresh peas.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Doings, the 2nd week of April

Here it is, my Monday again (having Monday and Tuesday off, Wednesday is Monday).
Lots of pictures of my doings of the last weekend.
First is the cold frame with temporary cover, a large double walled bag (originally a airbag used to buffer lumber loads on freight cars). Only thing in it at moment is the snow peas that haven't spouted yet.

The next is the spouted snow peas. These are the ones that spouted in the house within 24 hours of being planted in paper pots. I am NOT having luck with peas, they are not spouting, either in the ppots or in the ground. Of the peas that were planted 4 weeks ago only 5 have shown any green.

Next, the strawberries and the wifes flowers. Didn't really want to plant the berries there but they were get to big for their pots. Over the summer I'll build the pyramid to transplant them to. Now where to put it?

At the same time that I got the strawberries, I got a six pack of Pac Choi, which got planted next to the cabbage. As you can see something is chowing down on them. I'm assuming that it's cutworms so will collar them and the cabbage with rings like the garlic. Next to the milk jug is the last of the grown from seed cabbage, don't think it's going to make it, after cold weather, insect attack and being blown away.

As I have 6 large beds and hope for more, I need a rot proof and cheap way to border them. It would take five 10ft and an 8ft board to enclose each of my 25x4 beds. So, I am trying concrete. Will make 4ft long planks of concrete which will be joined together to make the long sides of the bed, with one across the ends. It measures 4ft by 11 inches by 1.5 inch and takes about a third of a cubic foot of concrete. This is my second attempt at making a concrete plank.

I'm using 80lb bags of Quikcrete, which makes about a half foot of concrete so I have a bit left over. This extra goes into the large bucket to make a stepping stone ( first one is on the upper left of picture).
This is the results of the first attempt, fill for the wind blown hole in front of the container door. I think I took it out of the form too soon.