Monday, June 11, 2012

Garlic, gardening, and the results of growing kitchen scraps.

We were finally able to harvest our garlic.
The French Mild is on the left, and the Khabar is on the right.
The growing tips from Filaree Farms, where I got the seed, said to harvest when only the top four leaves were green, but I knew we had and unusually mild winter and the bulbs were already quite large.  I was afraid if I left them in the ground any longer the bulbs may begin to split and then they wouldn't keep well.
I was glad I made that call because a couple of the bulbs had started to split.  We'll just eat those first.
See?  Most of it was quite a bit bigger than store bought garlic - remember, I have large hands.
Here again the French Mild is on the left and the Khabar on the right. It looks like the French Mild is larger, but it's not.  The heads on it are just kind of flattened, so it's oblong as opposed to round.
We did start pulling some of the onions too.
Interestingly enough, some of the largest were ones we had planted (on an whim) in the openings of the concrete block.
We discovered this little volunteer tomato while we were getting the onions.  
Not sure he'll do good there.  That opening is kind of small for a tomato.
The tomatoes we planted intentionally are doing well.  This is just one bed, the other has only Romas in it for canning.  Hubby decided to give these supports a try this year.  They hinge at the top, so they'll be able to fold flat for storage if they hold up well.  We have a couple smaller ones for cucumbers.
Baby tomatoes,
and baby peppers.
Green beans.
And I gave in and agreed to give corn a try this year.
The only time I've grown it before, it was nearly all eaten by squirrels.  I hope this fares much better.
We also planted potatoes this year.  Half this bed is red and half is white, but I can't remember which is which.  I think I have it written on the garden map I drew out, but I'm just too lazy to go find it right now.  We started with the potatoes in very shallow soil, and we've been filling the bed with dirt as the potatoes grew.  It's completely filled now.  I've never used this method before, so we'll see how it works.
And this is my lemon balm.  That thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.  
I really need to split it up.  That side of the deck is perfect for things in the mint family, but my other mints are in pots that are buried in the ground.  I need to pull them up and put them in bigger pots, but I don't think that's happening this week.
Around the front of the deck I've planted some flowers and zucchini.
We recently pulled out the peas and I'll put more zucchs and flowers over there (hopefully) this week.
The herbs are planted along the back wall of the house.
We also have okra, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin planted.  There are strawberries too, but they've pretty much quit.  I was so tickled to have so much more gardening area this year.
We were only able to plant this much because we found a really good deal on the raised bed kits.  We couldn't have purchased the cedar for what we were able to get these beds for at their sale price, and yes, they are made of cedar.  As you can see, we got four 4x4's and two 4x8's.  The 4x8's have one side that's the regular depth, and one side that's 12" deep.  We used one of the 12" sides for the potatoes.

And now on to the kitchen scraps I tried out.
The celery is a bit underwhelming.  It started off great, but maybe I don't have it in the best location.  We also got a couple of reasonably cool/cold snaps after it was planted; the thing I read said not to set it out until the ground was consistently 40 degrees and I'm sure it didn't stay there after I planted it.  I don't know if that may have impacted it, but personally, I just think the root end of the cut celery isn't adequate enough.  I may give it a try again sometime though.
But I've been pleased with the green onions.  They grew quickly and well.  I decided to let them go when I saw they were shooting up flower stalks.  Maybe I'll get some free seed out of this deal too.

I've linked this post with the Homestead Barn Hop.
Run on over and check out what everyone else is up to.

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