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Saturday, September 26

Garden Update

Not too much is going on in the garden right now.  I've got less than 30 days until my first expected frost, but with the cool weather we've had all summer, I'm thinking the frost is coming early.

I've been harvesting a couple of snow peas every day and just eating them right off the vine.  I definitely need more plants in the spring to get a decent harvest!

The tomatoes I planted from seed in July look great!  They are finally starting to set fruit.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that at least a couple of tomatoes have time to mature.  Next year for fall tomatoes, I am going to take clones off of my spring/summer tomatoes, so I should be able to keep a constant supply of tomatoes coming all growing season.

The carrots I planted in the tub a little over a month ago are coming on strong.  I need to finish thinning them still.  I skirted a major disaster the other day when we had torrential rains and I realized that I forgot to drill holes in the bottom of the planting tub!  I went out the next day to see the carrots sitting in over an inch of standing water, and I was sure that I had ruined them.  After drilling the holes and draining the water, however, they were completely fine.  Thank goodness!

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the broccoli that was growing under the row cover.  Why is everyone having such a hard time with broccoli this year?  So far I have yet to see anyone get any good, healthy fall broccoli!  Ugh!  So what happened to the broccoli, you ask?  Well, I had the row cover laid over the broccoli with a couple of sticks on either end to support it.  When we had the torrential rains, the cover was pushed down on top of the broccoli.  Then when the sun came out, the row cover was still wrapped all around the broccoli and it just got fried from the heat.  Note to self:  Next year, bother with making the hoops and doing a better job of securing the row cover.

So that's pretty much it for now.  I'll try to get some pics this weekend.

Thursday, September 17

Snow Pea Harvest

I got to eat my first homegrown snow pea yesterday.  There was only one that was ready to be picked, so I just ate it straight off the vine.  Yum, yum!  I have tons of new flowers forming, so I should get a decent amount soon for some stir-fry.

The pods do come in really fast once the flower forms.  Here is the snow pea pod just three days ago.

Then here it is yesterday, when I harvested it.

The actual plants grew really fast, too!  The seed packet says 72 days to maturity, but it has only been 53 days.  I wasn't expecting snow peas for a while, but I'm glad they decided to come early!

Saturday, September 12

Thinning Carrots

If you have ever planted carrots, you know that the seeds are TINY, and I mean extremely tiny.  Unless you have some kind of special tiny seed planting device, it is very hard to plant these evenly.  So when I planted my carrots a couple of weeks ago, I knew there was going to be some carrot thinning in my future.  I had seeds everywhere!

Now, the first thinning should be done when the carrots are about 2-3 inches tall.  At this point, you only have to thin them to about an inch apart.  I usually just look for the one that looks the best and is the tallest and then pull the others around it out.  Once they start getting bigger, you can do the final thinning to about 2-3 inches apart.  The tool of choice for carrot thinning is tweezers.  It's hard to get your fingers in there without disturbing the carrots that you are leaving in.

There are a lot more carrots than it looks like in this picture.  Several are right on top of each other, so they definitely need to be thinned, even when they are this small.
And the finished product...

Wednesday, September 9

Snow Peas Are Flowering!

It's been raining and raining here for days.  My snow peas seem to love it because the vine has grown at least 6 inches in the past 2 days.  Then this morning, I discovered a perfect little blossom.  Snow peas should be harvested about 5-7 days after flowering, so I should have some within the week.  Yum, yum!

Tuesday, September 8

Broccoli Progress

I lifted back the row cover today to see how the broccoli was coming along.  It is really getting big!  And...there is absolutely no signs of bug damage AT ALL!  I love it.

Monday, September 7

Snow Peas for the Fall

I have some empty space in the garden now that the melons are pretty much done.  I started some snow pea seeds indoors a few weeks ago.  Peas are natural climbers, so you need to give them a trelllis or some kind of fence to grow up.  I took three pieces of PVC pipe and tied them together to make a small tipi for them.  They seem to like it and have been attaching their little feelers to it as they grow.

Since the weather has been so cool, they have been growing really well.  However, I have noticed that the few days where it has been in the 80s, they have completely stopped growing.  I think next year, since it will probably be pretty hot still at this time of year, I am going to grow the peas indoors until at least September and then transplant them for the rest of the fall.

Saturday, September 5

Tomatoes From Seed

I started some tomatoes from seed on July 5th.  From what I have read, that is probably too late in my area, but I decided to go ahead and let them grow as long as possible anyway.  The way our weather has been, we will probably have an early frost this year.

I had the tomatoes growing in homemade newspaper pots until a couple of weeks ago.  I transplanted them to 5-gallon containers.  They have really taken off since then.
There is exactly 30 days between these photos.  The first was taken on August 3rd.  The second was taken September 3rd.  Amazing!  These are Better Boys.

Friday, September 4


I thought I would have a couple of weeks to figure out how to keep my cat off my container of carrots, but they have come up already!  I can't believe it.  It usually takes at least two weeks and sometimes three before carrots come up.  I moved the container off the porch and into the backyard, so hopefully that should solve the cat problem.

TIP:  Make sure to keep carrot seedlings watered regularly.  They are planted very shallow at this point, so it is very easy for them to dry out.  Also, make sure to keep the area weeded very well because carrots are so small and tender when they are young that they can't compete with weeds for space to grow.

It's a little hard to see in the picture, but I have all five rows of carrots coming up.

Thursday, September 3

Well, That Didn't Work

I tried a "No Cats Allowed" sign.  No luck with that.