Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Life and (Possible) Death of My Peas

This post is going to be extremely picture-heavy so bear with me!

This has been a great year for my peas, which have grown to a gargantuan size. They're now well over 4 feet tall…. or at least they used to be! I usually use tomato cages as supports for my peas and they're never outgrown the cages, but these plants were head and shoulders above their supports and then we got a windy storm at the end of the week. 

So here is a recap of the peas so far, in case they do not rebound from the damage :(

pea shoots and flowers blooming
New shoots and a bunch of new flowers

A tangle of tendrils!

Growing pea pods

Baby Pod!

More baby pictures :)

The tops are blown straight over!

Front view of the damage

My kinda solution to the problem… At least they're off the ground now right?

Some of the stalks definitely appear to have snapped a bit

Or snapped almost entirely off...

A few only look like they got bent though and that's where my hope comes from!

Time will tell on these guys. I'm really hoping that at least some of them are okay seeing as I was really looking forward to some home grown peas!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quick Update

I stopped by my garden on my way home from work and was astounded at the growth over there! No pictures today as it was raining and I didn't want to risk my camera, but I will put some up tomorrow.

In the course of 3 days my peas have gone from 1 flower to dozens with tons of side shoots starting to grow. I'm pleased, but surprised - I've never had pea plants get this big in the past! The sugar snap are about 4 feet tall and still growing up. They've long-since dwarfed their supports. I'm going to need something else to stick in them for support this weekend or they may topple!

All of my recent transplants (peppers, eggplant and tomatoes) are all settling in very nicely. I only seem to be in danger of losing 1 plant (a Wild Cherry tomato plant that is 50/50 on survival at the moment) and I already have a few bell peppers setting fruit.

The bush beans are starting to get some buds on them which is also great news! In addition, I filled in the few empty spots in the bean patch with my second set of seeds so hopefully I'll be able to have a nice staggered harvest this summer.

And finally, most of my squash family seeds are sprouting! I have almost 100% germination on my zucchini and cucumbers. The winter squash is also starting to poke their heads out of the ground (pumpkins and spaghetti squash). I'm very hopeful on these guys this year. I've never had amazing success with winter squash because of squash vine borers, but I'm convinced this is my year!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Harvest Monday - Kind Of...

My Harvest Monday is less of an actual harvest and more of a "look how well things are growing" post. It's been a long, cold and slow spring here in Massachusetts and it has definitely delayed things for me unfortunately.

My (main) garden this year is at my father's house, but I had to do some serious work before planting could happen. As such, the cold exacted an ever greater toll on my planting schedule than it normally would. Additionally, one of the dogs got a bit curious of my seedlings and I lost all but 12 tomato plants. I actually had to go buy pepper and eggplant seedlings for the first time ever!

This has definitely been an interesting spring, but I think we're finally on the right path now as you can see below!

Peas are going crazy, but not flowering yet...

Beans in the front, followed by Peppers and Eggplant

The first pea flower! This is on one of my "Sugar Snap" plants.

Flowers on the Bell Peppers

Cucumber Seedling
Spacemaster Cucumber sprouting :)

First tomato flower of the year!
First flower on the tomatoes! 
This is on the Black Krim variety - a new one for me this year.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Seed Starting: Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant and Broccoli

I finally got around to starting a significant portion of my plants on March 1st. This is much later that I had originally planned, but I was waiting on a seed order that still has not arrived! As a result, I decided to use up all of my old seeds and will have to save the seed I ordered this year for next year.

Technically the broccoli/cauliflower really should have been started at the beginning of February and the peppers/eggplant in mid February. The tomatoes should be okay, though in the past I always just started them with the peppers/eggplant.

They're all sitting on a heat mat covered in plastic to keep the humidity up, now we just have to wait for sprouts! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Seed Order

My seeds have been ordered! This year's garden will mostly be using old seeds from a couple years back, but I also wanted to supplement in some newer seeds as well. I only ordered new varieties of seed and will attempt to use up all my old seeds this year and then save what I can at the end of the year.

The shopping cart was:

DescriptionUnit priceQtyAmount
MISTICANZA MESCLUN (30 days)$1.75 USD1$1.75 USD
BIG RED PEPPER (75 days)$1.50 USD1$1.50 USD
CUBANELLE PEPPER (65 days)$1.25 USD1$1.25 USD
TOM WATSON WATERMELON (90 days )$1.25 USD1$1.25 USD
COUSTRALEE TOMATO (heirloom)$1.50 USD1$1.50 USD
OPALKA TOMATO (83 days)$1.50 USD1$1.50 USD

I ordered from Pinetree Garden Seeds located up in Maine. I ordered from them one other year and was very happy with the quality of what they sent. Plus, they have amazingly cool seed envelopes!

Now comes the hard part… waiting for my order to arrive and then waiting to plant things at the appropriate time. I just want it to be July already!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What I'm Growing - Onions, Sprouts and Leeks

Yesterday I started my first seeds of the season. I planted some onions, brussels sprouts and leeks. Though I will say I'm not expecting too much, as I decided to try to use up some of my old seed instead of buying a whole new bunch of seed packets in an attempt to keep the costs of restarting the garden to a reasonable amount. So instead of new seed, I sowed thickly and am keeping my fingers crossed!

Onions - Southport Red Globe

These seeds were supposed to go in my 2012 garden, but I unexpectedly ended up without garden space that year. There is widespread agreement that onion seeds are only good for a year and any that are not used up should be thrown away. However, I say bollocks to that! Mostly because I don't yet need the seedling tray they are currently occupying for anything else. So why not try and see what happens?

Brussels Sprouts - Long Island Improved

Despite using old seeds (again from the 2012 garden that never came to fruition), this is a new plant for me and of course I am already experimenting! Hopefully, these seeds should be fine. Based on my research most sources estimate a viable life of 3-5 years for sprout seeds.

It appears that most people only plant sprouts for a fall harvest. But…. I say why not try for both a spring and fall harvest? I'm not expecting the spring harvest to work, but it will certainly be a nice surprise if it does. Plus, it gives me a practice run at growing sprouts before my "real" go at them this fall.

Leeks - American Flag

This is another new plant in my garden - well, kind of. I started growing these for the 2012 garden, but they were never planted. I'm not quite sure what to expect from these. It looks like opinions tend to vary about the longevity of these seeds. Some places I looked categorized them with the short-lived onion seed, but others gave it a 1-3 year range. I sowed thickly and am hoping that the 3 year range isn't just dreaming!

What has everyone else started so far? Has anyone had any experiences using old leek and onion seeds?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I'm Back!

It has been a couple of years since I last posted here. Mostly because life got busy and in the way of my gardening. I have not had garden space for the past 2 summers due to traveling and then moving to England for 8 months. However, all of that has officially changed!

This past year I graduated from university, got a grown up job and was able to talk my father into letting me rip up part of his lawn to grow some vegetables. Only condition being that he gets to reap some of the rewards!

It has been far too long since I've had a garden and as such I probably should take this season slowly. However, I am way too excited to be cautious! I've got the blueprint sorted for the layout and have gone though all of my old seeds to check what is still viable and which need to be tossed out.

This past week I even made final decisions about what new varieties of veggies I will be growing and will be officially finalizing my seed order shortly.

It may only be February, but I already can't wait for the summer!