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Its Been a While: I’ve Started to Harvest!

July 25, 2013

Its been a month since last I posted and a lot has happened since my little stay-cation.  Some good things have happened, some sad things have happened but all in all, things have gone pretty well in my little gardens.  This being my first year of trying to cultivate vegetables and our second year of having an herb garden, I think we’re doing famously. On to the updates.

The Good:

I’ve had a total of 5 deep red, almost black raspberries from our canes. I know its not much, but as they haven’t had any care for several years (I have no idea when they were planted originally), I am genuinely happy and hopeful that with some more pruning and loving, they will bear more fruit next year.  A few berries were shared with the local birds etc. but I can’t begrudge them their share, they get up before I do!

My single cherry tomato plant is bearing little green tomatoes like mad and yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing the fruit start to ripen:

ripening tomatoes

I am now most impatient to have a taste. With the improving basil, I am envisioning some nice salads and other possibilities.

My garlic was the earliest of my ‘veggies’ to show up, poking its way through the snow after having been planted in the fall. Today I decided that with the weather was cooperating and the lower leaves turned yellow, I would harvest my first ‘crop’!  Small though it is, I have seven (and one dual bulb that was an accident of squirrel mischief) nicely shaped garlic bulbs. I have laid them out to dry on the bed for the day and will hang them downstairs to cure tomorrow or the day after.  Same goes for the onions, although they were only in the ground for 75 days (I only calculated this AFTER I pulled them), the tops had fallen and near the top of the bulbs they were soft so… out everything came.  I may have been a little premature…

Garlic looking about ready to pull Onions and Garlic Onions looking ready to pull

I’m still excited that a few of the onions are well, onion-sized!  Also never realized that garlic had such a lot of hairy rootlets. Everything was pulled by hand and they’ve been laid out separately to dry a bit before heading to the cool dark of my basement.

Additions to the container garden: (L-R) shiso, both red & green, mint gladly donated by a friend’s dad, and my resurrected ginger.

Shiso!2 wk & 3 wk Donated Mint - 7 July replant Happy Ginger with a second shoot

The Bad:

We went from a tidy little herb garden to a mildly overgrown herb garden to…

IMG_2459 Flower Sage

Tragedy! We trimmed back the flowering lavender, walking onions, flowering sage, flowering sorrel and tarragon ourselves, but the basil and sorrel were attacked by … something.  Fortunately after we sprayed it with soapy water, it managed to fend off the bug to some extent and is mostly healthy. The sorrel however, never recovered. It was too weak (due to my machete-like destruction) and is no more.  I’m hoping it will sprout again in the spring because it is quite tasty in soup and chili.

And the Ugly:

I planted a few pickling cucumbers late, after nursing them inside far too long. Too long to the point of them flowering and I really couldn’t have them fruiting inside. So I planted them near my garlic in the hopes that it would help ward off any critters. Not so much.

Bunny culprits Poor little cuke

The picture on the left are the bunnies (the one in the back left of the photo is hard to see) but I swear the one on the right looked at me before jumping to his left into the raised bed. The picture on the right is the aftermath.  My struggling little cucumbers!  One was squashed and broken, the other had its top lopped off and left dropped on the ground beside the stem. Sadness.  Even the tomato cage I put around it was insufficient protection. Next year its gonna be chicken wire for sure.

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