Tag Archives: chard

Real rain arrived…

winter Solstice 2015

It’s the season for growing rain puddles!

Just realizing the last post requested some real rain; wow, four months ago!  We moved into most of fall without substantial moisture, and then it started to be a little more serious in mid-November.  It joined us in Hawaii, too; the Big Island having one of its wettest years.  Weather shifts everywhere!

Frosty and frigid temperatures came by during early December, making the lettuce and chard stress; frost wilt has an interesting look.  A move into the December deluges we have going now, is balancing out the summer drought, but required a harvest of the lettuce, which was giving up due to a bit of rot and slug problems.  The beets are surviving the fluctuating surface ponds, and the chard is in some sort of stasis…

It is, after all, the season of rest now that we have reached Winter Solstice in our part of the world.

Wishing everyone a bountiful, healthy, peaceful, and enjoyable holiday season!

Animated_Starry_Tree

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Erego…we grow…

A wonderful year of production, and of course, a bumper crop of tomatoes, because we did not track the bounty!  So much gratitude goes forth to everyone involved, including all plant devas and Elemental beings who tended everything so perfectly, while we got so busy with life’s various activities and demands.

It is the usual wind-down time of rest for all.  Some lettuce, kale, and chard are braving the battering of November winds and rain.

A glimpse of some bounty as it occurred along the way.  Enjoy!

Luscious Green Beans

Luscious Green Beans

Bodacious beets!

Bodacious beets!

Jul 30-12-3

Harvesters in action!

Jul 30-12-4

Gaston is a wizard at sowing very even stands of radishes!

The intriguing purple tomato cultivar ‘Indigo Rose’

Full glory garden! Where’s Juni…where’s Aspen?

Didn't forget the corn!

Didn’t forget the corn!

The first summer bounty!

Garden mascot and art sculpture…a zucchini seal.

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Ultra-prolific ‘Early Girl’ tomato; no greenies to be had on this vine!

Wind-down and clean up as flaming fall glory sets in..

Wind-down and clean up as flaming fall glory sets in..

Prime time in the house yard!

Prime time in the house yard!

Dazed and confused

Hot, hot, hot…many plants are feeling stressed….what is with the high-heat wave this far into September?!  Record-setting 100° on Sept. 10.  Usually there is a day of moisture in there somewhere.  Oh wait, that was what was happening in July, on the driest day of the year.  But, seriously, we could do with a good cleansing rain…for just overnight or a day.  Smoky skies have been around for almost a week, with un-contained wildfires in the Mt. Washington wilderness due east of us.

CG running rampant!

Mildew arrived in late August to pester the squash; not abated by the heat.  A heavy load of acorn and delicata squash seems to be lurking under all the leaves.  Tomatoes are very happy with the warm nights of the last week, ripening beautifully; fortuitous it is!

New veggies for fall crop

Breathing space exists in one area of the CG again, for some cauliflower, chard, arugula, and lettuce.  A riot remains in the other half, with squash, cucumbers, and melons sprawling amongst the corn and tomatoes.

Clamoring for space

Bambie has earned her own private gate now….to look through.  The portal is now closed every night.  She isn’t bothering the veggies much, save one night of pruning beans when the netting wasn’t anchored, but she occasionally wants to sample inside the house yard.

Gate at the Portal

We also say goodbye to Jessie today, as she moves to her own new home, where she’ll have her own garden.  Congrats, Jessie!  And, thanks for being an enthusiastic part of this project.  Keep checking in on the bounty this fall!

August harvest tally:

  • Basil: 9 (pounds)
  • Bush beans: 23.5
  • Beet roots: 29
  • Corn: 11 (9 ears)
  • Cucumbers: 12.5
  • Endive: 2
  • Lettuce: 7.25
  • Scallions: 2
  • Summer squash: 9.5
  • Swiss chard: 4.5
  • Tomatoes: 5

Total: 116.25 pounds
We give thanks to all Beings who assisted in manifesting this bounty!

On the driest day of the year…..it rained…

Yes….the garden is growing!  In spite of very inconsistent spurts of summer! The almanacs show that on July 12, typically the driest day of the year (.001 inch of rain in the records) we received about 0.7 inches overnight, setting a record.  Didn’t need to water for a few days!
Tomato jackets came off July 3rd….and they are now doing wonderfully; many blossoms and a few small fruit on one plant.  A plethora of beets, spinach, and lettuce have been pulled, and the inconsistent warmth we have seen has allowed a prolonged lettuce season.

July 4: starting to kick in for biomass

A bright sunrise....tomatoes love it!"

Oodles of Chiogga beets (red and white interior; almost like radishes)

A most inconsistent corn stand emerged, and there was no way that the corn was knee-high on the 4th of July; but now there are some plants that are waist-high, while others are shin-high.  Crows picked off some squash seedlings, so had to replant at a late date, and slugs knocked off a couple of melons.  So, we feel behind in some aspects, and yet catching up very quickly during this last week.  An overnight rain just left us 0.5 inches of rain, when we normally see none at this time of year; everything is different!

July 16: Lush greens

July 16: Growth in full swing!

June harvest tally:

  • Beet shoots: 3.25 pounds
  • Kale: 9
  • Lettuce: 14.25
  • Swiss chard: 4.75

Total: 30 pounds
And on we go….with gratitude to all Beings involved!

Solstice solitude

Solstice greetings of increasing Light to everyone!

Whew!  November and December have flown so fast!  Some well-meaning friends are already asking if I have ideas for next season.   No, not yet; it is really the season of rest right now, for both humans and plants, and soil.

Although I do think it is time to consider a cold frame of sorts to help weather some lettuce and spinach a bit longer.  If California starts to have climate trends tending to flooding (or interspersed with droughts), produce prices will skyrocket.  Fortunately our local producers are doing well, given their newer methods of winter gardening, but demand sometimes exceeds the supply in our locally-supplied markets.

The older kale plants are looking a little wobbly from wind and soaking rains a couple of weeks ago.  Some of us will probably pick off one plant at a time and pull it out when used up.  The crop planted in fall is surviving very well, as is the chard, but they are both small.  Older chard seems to have survived the cold frosts of earlier December, but is in a “holding” pattern, not looking particularly anxious to grow!  Who would, on the shortest day of the year?

But now, the life-stimulating energy of the sun starts to expand just a little more each day, though our coldest days have yet to come.

Happy holidays!  I’m hoping that some magical elf will bless me with the gift of a hori-hori knife (Japanese multi-functional gardening tool, meaning did-dig).

Yule-tide resting time....Where's Aspen?

Last Tomato Standing

….for the moment.
It has been a time for progressive clean-up, given the cool, but vibrant fall weather of the last two weeks.  After hard rains on Oct. 10, it was time to remove the thrashed summer squash, cucumbers and melons, and harvest the nearly 150 pounds of winter squash.

Our beautiful mild fall weather since has helped ripen more tomatoes, wrapped in their red jackets, while a few more cucumbers have eeked out their full figures.  Basil is now typically spotted and un-pretty, especially after a mild frost.  The mixed lettuces are very happy, being the perfect size for gourmet greens as they are thinned.  Kale seedlings are poking along.  Hoses are finally put away for the season….alas.

A favorite for kitties: over and under the deer netting!

With impending heavy rains, all the tomatoes were removed, save the “yellow pear”, which still has a few fruit, and more blossoms.  It’s always good to have a sentinel for awhile.

Prepared for fall rains beginning in earnest

 

They really exist!

Thanks to one of our natural pest controllers, who decided to quit being so shy, we had beautiful bounty, even if the tomatoes are still slow, and the summer squash are slowing down!

An elusive friend mantis making a brief appearance

September bounty:

  • Basil: 6.5
  • Bush beans: 2.75
  • Cucumbers: 6
  • Grapes: 2
  • Charantai melons: 16
  • Margarita melons: 8.75
  • Delicata squash: 8.5
  • Spaghetti squash: 6.5
  • Spinach: 2
  • Swiss chard: 2.25
  • Summer squash: 26.75
  • Tomatoes: 41.25

Month’s total: 125 pounds (rounded)
Season total: 400 pounds

Spaghetti squash near harvest