Pictures from the garden


A Bunch of Raspberries
A Bunch of Raspberries

Been picking Raspberries for days now. Today there were so many from the three year old plant I am thinking I will be overwhelmed when all four plants are mature. Fran is going to make a Raspberry Peach pie.  Stay tuned for pictures and the recipe.

The previous two years I bought ladybugs to deal with aphids, no aphids this year, so far.

Did a lot of weeding these last several weeks, I will try cloth mulch, wish me luck. The cabbage tunnels appear to be working. Gonna do more weeding later today in 90+ degree heat.

Beets are coming up fine this year, another couple weeks, no bunnies this year. The first planting of Snow Peas only grew a foot or so, odd, the second planting is doing fine. Only about 10% of the Edamame germinated, reseeded a week ago, some success. The Zuccs are doing great, will pick the first in a few days. The Pole Beans are doing great, wish I liked beans more.

Spent some time with the garden planner software, all the plants are identified, planters, tunnels and notes added. I have to spend some time dressing it up, trouble coloring inside the lines. I have some ideas for user fields, properties, and processes, more later.

Learned something new on the cruise, how to dry tomatoes on a barbeque. I probably made most of the mistakes on the first go, turned out excellent anyway.  I like things that work easily. The batch I did are also smoked, I had to throw some wet wood chips on to lower the charcoal temperature. Again, I like to focus on things that work easy, next year many more tomatoes to dry.


Each year is a battle with the cabbage worm and butterfly. It is enough that I have thought at times to give up on cabbages and caulis.  This year I am fighting back with the Tierra Garden 50-5030 Haxnicks Easy Micromesh Tunnel, Giant. I have the package here open, looks simple enough.  Comes in a nice reusable bag for winter storage.  It is funny tho, where tunnels are being discussed no one says when to deploy the tunnel. Well I choose today, May 22 is the proper day to set up the tunnel, right after weeding.


That went easy, just pull out of the bag, stretch it out and stick it in the ground. It would extend twice as far as I have stretched it out, next year I will change the plan to best utilize the capabilities of the tunnel.

Here is Fran & I on Vacation.



Six Foot Tall Rhubarb
Six Foot Tall Rhubarb

Fran & I have just come back from a cruise with a couple days on each end, we were gone for almost two weeks. I won't announce a vacation in advance on the web, but maybe it was obvious from my hurried preparations to be able to leave on April 30th. Well, we returned late on May 13th, and looking at the garden I could see most everything lived. One or two of the last minute transplants failed, but as many as were done, pretty damn good! The Asparagus went to fern and the Rhubarb exploded into six foot tall flowers. Awesome to see, but, deleterious to the Rhubarb yield.

There was no rain in the forecast when we left so I soaked everything and used water filled inverted wine bottles stuck into the ground next to the plants, worked well.  I will be investigating irrigation.

You can't expect to have a two week vacation in prime gardening season with no problems. The garden tasks were stacked up before blogging in the TTD queue.

  • Planting late season pole bean and edamame seeds on May 15th.
  • Thin the seedlings.
  • Transplanting from the to be thinned to the died spots.
  • Watering. I heard we had no rain while we were gone, so my prepreations and the Holy Statue in the Raspberry patch prevented the parching of the garden.
  • Cut down Rhubarb flowers.
  • Reseed the herb pots on the deck.
  • Weeding, up close with the steel finger nail and the plots with the hoe (are we still allowed to say "hoe"?). This is a steady maint item but was high in the TTD queue.
  • Buy a replacement for the dead plum tomato plant, got a gold pear plum tomato, cool.
  • Buy a fancy sweet gold cherry tomato plant for the Topsey Turvey.
  • Transplant the Cherry Tomato into the Topsey Turvey and hanging the planter.
  • Weed whacking the weeds grown up in the paths. Amazing growth in just two weeks.
  • Harvesting Radishes, Asparagus and Rhubarb.

Raining lightly out now so catching up on the blogging. The remaining identified tasks are:

  • Hedge trimming, the garden is up close to the property line.
  • Bag garden waste and get it out.
  • Weed & Thin again.
  • Mulch
  • Fence in Zukes.

So far this year pretty much everything is working, a good sigh. The pole beans have sprouted in just 6 days.

The above ground portion of the Fig tree died again over this last winter. Where is my global warming? The Fig tree is now showing fresh spouts at the roots of the dead tree.



Starting to fix the fence. Last year the fence was not tight enough, that is how the bunnies got in to the garden, it was a disaster, destroyed the Beet crop.

Big plans this year, I have got a bolt cutter and I am cutting up the broken cone shaped tomato support cages and using them it is raw material to make fence stakes to reinforce the fence.  Previous years I just used the sticks from the bushes to strengthen the fence line but sticks wind up rotting in about a year.

The Tools of Fence Mending. Also support cages to be cut up into fence stakes.
The Tools of Fence Mending. Also suport cages to be cut up into fence stakes.

Update: The thought was that it will only take a few hours has proved wrong, maybe as much as six hours.


the Artisanal Triple Hooked Fence Stake
the Artisanal Triple Hooked Fence Stake

Update(2): Yes, took 3.5 hours more of bending, scrunching, kneeling and sitting on the ground to work on the foot of the fence. Also cut up several more support cages, all had broken bits but one. The cutting up the cages is just a few snips for the bolt cutters. I then bent the cut T or Cross shaped scraps with pliers into two or three hooks spread about for the resulting fence stakes. This Hand Crafted, Artisanal Tiple Hooked Fence Stake™ works well with chicken wire fencing.

The actual mending of the fence is the replacing the sticks with the 3 hooked stake twice between each fence post. Now, the foot of the fence can't just be "nosed" under by an Evil Bunny.

I would like to think I have gone all Roman with the fence, but, Bunnies. ...continue reading


The last cucumber is in the pile with the last cantaloupe
The last cucumber is in the pile with the last cantaloupe

Coming to the end of the season. Picked the last Cucumber & Cantaloupe.  The last Zucchini was weeks ago. We had a surprise Cauliflower, I didn't even see it grow, it was among the Butternut squash, I was counting the squash and there it was, right in the middle. I harvested right away, not like the last one that I allowed to get buggy. I love Cauliflower, Fran roasts it with other veggies, great!

Artichoke flower
Artichoke flower

Beans are still coming in strong, Tomatoes both Plum and Heritage every day and an occasional Eggplant. The Hungarian Hot Peppers are a regular now, the big Peppers are turning red. By being lazy I have allowed the Fennel and Artichokes to go to flower.

Update: Fran has made four Butternut Squash Pies now, they get better and better.  We get two pies out of each larger squash, so, at least a dozen more pies.


the Excellent Butternut Squash Pie
the Excellent Butternut Squash Pie

We have eaten the pie. Mother in-law and Daughter agree, excellent. I, myself, think I need more sample pies to decide if it is better than Pumpkin Pie. We are able to get two pies out of each squash, and there are many Butternut Squash(es?) left in Fran's Victory Garden, so, we will have a decision by the end of the season.  An added bonus, the seeds can be salted and roasted just like pumpkin seeds.

Anyway, check back for the final decision in this great quandary.


Butternut Squash and Other Bounty

The Butternut Squash, a variety of Winter Squash is bountiful now, perhaps I harvested too soon, I think they get yellower. As you can see from the pic, pole beans are still coming in strong and the tomatoes are just starting. I have to pick the tomatoes when they show color, the squirrels like them. Recently, I was reading about Butternut Squash Pie, it is supposedly better than Pumpkin Pie.  Fran is making two of them now, can't wait.


Baby Fig on Reborn Fig Tree/Bush
the Reborn Fig Tree comes back as a Fig Bush
the Reborn Fig Tree comes back as a Fig Bush. Deadwood remaining makes a nice song bird perch.
Dead Fig Tree with Garden background
Dead Fig Tree with Garden background

This past winter global warming killed the Fig Tree planted at the beginning of the garden.

The Fig came back as a bush, but you read about that back in Bad News, Good News back in June. A couple weeks ago, I pruned the Fig Bush to force growth to the figs instead of growing the branches. This seems to have worked, don't expect a bountiful harvest, but some will be nice.

...continue reading


Raspberry Rhubarb Pie FixingsNot enough for a Raspberry Rhubarb Pie, but Fran will stretch it with strawberries.

Picking Cucumbers.  Still picking Beets & Snow Peas.  Zuccs soon.

Here are some more pictures of the garden.

The garden at the side of the deck
The New garden behind the deck


Gardman R700 5-Shelf Steel Frame Greenhouse. March 17, 2014 at 10am

I'm sure my search for a greenhouse is still fresh in your memory. My search led me to the Gardman Greenhouse line of products.  My choice was the Gardman R700 5-Shelf Steel Frame Greenhouse .

...continue reading


Green Tomato Pie fresh from the oven and cool enough to serve
Green Tomato Pie

Fran baked a Green Tomato Pie, tastes like apple.  I asked her, what are we going to do with the green tomatoes.  A minute on Google, action in the kitchen, and an hour later, a delicious Apple (?wait this doesn't look like apple) pie.

Remember, she won a Ribbon at the Fair for her Pie.

We are expecting our first frost any day. Picked the last Eggplants and Peppers, and ripped the plants out.  Still picking Snap Peas and String Beans.  Today's plan is to start clearing out the garden.