Today was a beautiful day. We had temps in at least the 50s, and it was sunny. The snow is melting, and I planted a new bed full of perennial vegetables. Here are some pictures from this nice spring day:
Here you can see our yard is on it’s way to being snow-free. It’s taking awhile. This picture is taken from outside of our dog fence, near the garage. On the left you can kind of see my garden, which is still half covered. The garlic bed started to peak out of the snow today, and that was the deepest part of the snow in the actual garden.
Here is the house with some snow around it – we have a metal roof so the snow falls around the house and those snowbanks always take longer to melt.
Here is our chicken-coop path currently. It’s a low, muddy mess. Luckily we have muck boots to wear when we go to the chicken coop. The ducks love this area – they dabble their bills in the puddles when they pass though. (When the snow is all melted and the ground dries out, the “path” actually disappears, but it’s been a pathway for the last several months).
Here is a new bed I’m creating near the garage for some perennial flowers and vegetables – I originally planned for just sunchokes and crosnes in this area but I think I will put some milkweeds and gogi berries as well since there is enough room. This is a good spot in case the sunchokes go a little invasive, as I’ve heard they can. This area is out of the way, just grassy, and it could use some nice flowers – sunchokes are supposed to have yellow flowers and be nice and tall. I set this up last weekend, and I thought I would have a week or so for the plastic to kill the grass, but I did not; the sunchokes and crosnes arrived sooner than I thought they would.
Here are the sunchokes – they arrived the other day. I got two kinds, a red (on the left) and white fuseau, on the right. I got three tubers of each kind.
Here are Crosnes (aka Chinese Artichokes). These are pretty small but they are supposed to be delicious, and a very easy to grow perennial. I read that you should cut the plants before they flower in order to get tubers of decent size though, so I plan on doing that. I ordered 6 tubers – I think I actually received 8 but some were very small.
Here is the sunchoke and crosnes portion of the bed planted. I left the rest of the bed with the plastic on it so it can continue to cook in the sun for awhile. I laid fencing over the bed to keep chickens out – it’s very sandy and they would love to make this into a dust bath area. I will fence it soon and then will be able to take this cover off.
I went wandering the woods and yard a bit today – I found some moss that had greened up already – here is a bug’s eye view of the moss.
We have crocuses blooming! Here are some white flowers.
Here are some purple crocus. We have daffodil leaves emerging too.
There has been a lot going on this August, and the garden is still growing well. We have tomatoes but none are ripe yet. We have had an overabundance of cucumbers and starting to have a ton of summer squash. Here are some cool pictures of our farm from this past month:
My onion crop! We got 103 yellow onions. I also planted some red onions late in the season, I am not sure if those will be ready this year or if we’ll have to wait till spring. This is my second time growing onions from sets, and the best harvest I’ve had. Last year the chickens kept dust bathing in the onion patch – this year the onions were not where the chickens could go.
I got a good garlic harvest too – I think there were a couple that didn’t grow though; I planted around 40 cloves from last year’s harvest, which grew into 36 bulbs, and these were mostly pretty large sized. I am saving a couple of bulbs for replanting, and also ordered some more garlic – a couple of Porcelain strains to try. Those have really large cloves – like 4-6 per bulb on average, so that will be exciting. I ordered my bulbs from Filaree farm. (filareefarm.com)
My tomato and squash jungle. I will be cutting the tomatoes back soon to let things ripen up. They don’t get a lot of sun in this spot except in the afternoon, so I think that is holding them back a bit – these were all early (60-65 day) strains, but they are just sitting green currently. Some large tomatoes though!
Here is another view of the squash and tomato bed. You can tell the sunnier part of the garden (toward the cars) since the plants are a bit taller there.
Here you can see the big beefsteak tomatoes sitting on the plant, in the center of this photo.
Sunflowers at the back of the house.
Here is our tallest sunflower, I’m guessing this one is about 10 feet or so – it towers at least 4 feet over my head.
A better view of the tallest sunflower plant. This is a rogue that grew in the middle of my garden. Sometimes those seem to grow better than the ones I actually planted. Although I have a few very tiny ones that grew from the birds dropping seed in my yard. Those are cute and about a foot tall.
A bee hanging out on a sunflower. We have a lot of native bees here – I used to want to get hives for honey, but I’ve been rethinking it the last year or so – I’ve been trying to do more to support the native bee species we have around here.
Here are three sunflowers, each with a bee. The bees seem to really like to hang out on these. I think they get a “sunflower coma” – like a baby would get a “milk coma” if that makes sense – like their bellies are full and they are tired so they take naps on the flowers.
Here are two bees napping on a coneflower. The bees are cute.
We’ve been harvesting tomatoes left and right. We’ve gotten a little bit of zucchini. It’s funny how you plan for the year and things just grow how they want, with no regard for your planning. Last year I was overrun with zucchini and yellow squash, so this year I grew one plant of each. They have not done well, so I’ve gotten 2 zucchini and it’s already October. With the amounts of rain we had this year (and it’s not done) the garden has been a little hit or miss for some things. Here are some newer pics of our garden:
Some of our many tomatoes
Some very tiny cherry tomatoes. These are very tasty, and super prolific. I even had some sprout from last year’s lost broken tomatoes (I call them rogue tomato plants).
Some of our purple tomatoes. I thought these were Black Krim, but as I had others ripen I think these darker ones are actually blue beauty. I remembered Black Krim having a lot of green and these don’t.
The largest pumpkin I’ve grown, shown between my feet. These were supposed to be pie pumpkins. This is more jack-o-lantern size.
Another view of the pumpkin.
A nice sunny sunflower. This grew in my yard (not in the actual garden bed) , in an area that didn’t get mowed this year. The chickens didn’t eat it before it had a chance to grow either, so that was lucky. I think the deer have stayed clear of my yard with all the dog and chicken activity.
The ducks enjoying a nice day in the back yard.
Here is our garden at the end of September.
Another view of the garden, from the porch.
Another large pumpkin. This one was hanging from our fence but I picked it so it could finish ripening on the porch. I like how the leaves look still attached here.
Downey checking out the porch. There are other pumpkins behind him.
A bumblebee on a sunflower.
A view from inside the garden in early October.
We finally are getting some cauliflower heads! I had given up, but then a few days ago I saw a white head. I tied the leaves up on the plant, like you’re supposed to. A day later I found another of my plants has a head, so I did the same thing. This is my first year growing it.
A pretty sunflower.
Here are the rest of the tomatoes. We are supposed to get down into the 30s tonight, so I got spooked and figured I’d rather bring the large ones in. It was a little dark when I picked them, so there may be others out there. These will ripen on the table. There are still a ton of cherry tomatoes outside.
Another Bee on a bright red sunflower.
A butterfly on our zinnias. There has been a lot of bee and butterfly activity on all the flowers lately – I think some are getting ready to migrate somewhere, or store up food for winter.
The garden is starting to wind down a bit. We still have a lot of stuff to harvest, but most of it will be ok if we get frost. Carrots and beets are still getting larger, and I have some Kale to pick. We also have peas and beans, but I’m letting those dry on the vines. I’m hoping I get enough peas to make a little bit of pea soup. I usually don’t let them go that long (they are so yummy picked earlier) but I want to give it a try.
We’ve been up to a lot this last month – it still just keeps raining way too much, so everything tends to be sopping wet. Some veggies are finally starting to produce/ripen. I’m hoping the rains don’t hurt the harvest – I’m worried about tomatoes splitting. Oh, and we’ve also already had frost warnings – some areas near me actually had frost a week or so ago, but we lucked out at the house and didn’t get any frost. Here are some pics from the last few weeks:
The garden mid-August. You can see the soaked muddy ground here.
Another pic from mid august.
We found a visitor in the garden. He was huge! I wish the picture had turned out less fuzzy.
Here are the chickens coming to see if we brought them any treats.
A bubble – my son got a bubble wand from a birthday party, and we took some photos.
Here is about half of the potato harvest. We harvested the last 4 (out of 8 or 9) bags. We really didn’t get a lot – I will try a different method next year (and keep the plants away from the chickens) – the food bags didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. I think we planted more seed potatoes, weight-wise, than we harvested.
A fuzzy picture of our raspberries. I put them in a couple years back, and finally got a decent crop, BUT they don’t taste like raspberries. One berry had a hint of raspberry flavor. I’ve tried letting them ripen more but those just rotted, so it’s not that they’re not ripe enough. I’ll have to research this variety more. They are good, just not what I want them to taste like.
Our first ripened tomatoes of the season, on one of the cherry tomato plants.
Early Girl tomatoes – these are the next to ripen – this pic is from a few days ago but I noticed one is a little pink today.
Black Krim tomatoes. These will get red on the bottom when ripe. They keep this nice dark color on top.
Blue beauty tomatoes. They are more of a purple tomato when ripe.
Some beautiful Zinnias.
A question mark made from potatoes – my husband set these up, using this silly shaped one we got.
A large pumpkin waiting to ripen. It’s supposed to be an 8″ pie pumpkin variety, but this one is a bit larger than that.
Here is a smaller pumpkin.
We sold some hens today – our 3 year olds and a two-year old. We’re trying to bring our food bill down for the coming winter. Here the ladies are waiting for their ride this morning. We now have 22 chickens (20 hens and 2 roosters). And 3 ducks.
I took this really nice picture tonight – The sunflowers have some really nice flame colors.
Thanks for checking out our late summer pictures. Hopefully this rain will let up a bit and we’ll have a nice fall harvest.
A lot of things in our yard are in bloom right now – we have many different wildflowers, and I planted some flowers in the garden that are currently in bloom. Here is a tour of the flowers in our yard this month:
Here are some Snapdragons and Pansies I have growing in a barrel on our porch. I’ve never grown snapdragons before. I like them, they are very colorful.
Here is some yarrow that is growing next to my not-yet-bloomed lilies in a barrel. We have some wild (like this one) and some that I believe my mom said she planted that comes in different colors.
I am not sure what these are, but they grow on the side of our house and they are pretty.
I’m not sure what this is, it’s a wild daisy-type flower that grows in my yard. The plant is about 3-4 ft. tall, and these flowers are about the size of a quarter.
Here is one of my marigolds. I have a few of these scattered in the garden, and in some flower barrels on the porch.
One of my Calendulas, now in bloom. This is the first year I’ve grown this, I really like the flowers. They are very bright.
One of our many hollyhocks. We have a tiny hollyhock “forest” near our side door – my mom planted some years ago and they keep coming back each year. There are probably 10-12 plants, and this is one of the first to bloom this year.
A large Mullein growing in our asparagus patch. This is a medicinal plant, and it’s probably about time to harvest it – I need to do some research on the proper method of doing that.
These clematis grow near our rose bush. Last year was our first spring here, and I stole their support fence for a different spot, because I didn’t know they were growing there. They are in an area where the grass gets really tall, so that is what is supporting it at the moment. I plan on giving it better support here soon.
Here is my Black Eyed Susan Thunbergia, growing up my fence.
Thanks for checking out some of my flowers.
What a difference two weeks makes! I love watching my plants grow – it’s nice to look back at pictures of what it looked like a few weeks ago.
The left shows my garden on June 24th, and the right is my garden today, 7/12/15.
My plants are doing really well in the garden.
Here is my corn. The older batch, shown here, is just over a foot tall now. I have some on the other side of the garden that I planted 2 weeks later, when I noticed that the original seeds I tried to plant didn’t take. Those are about 6 inches or so now.
Here are my brandywine and beefsteak tomatoes.
Here are my black krim tomatoes. I have not tried these, they are supposed to be an almost black / purple tomato that tastes really good.
A sunflower that somehow ended up in the corn rows. I don’t care, I love sunflowers. I must have dropped a seed while walking in the garden.
A mystery squash. Could be a zucchini, yellow squash, or acorn. I’m not sure yet. I lost track of where they were planted with my efforts of re-seeding in empty spots when seedlings died.
A calendula plant – it’s forming a flower. I’m excited, I haven’t grown these before.
More sunflowers. These ones were planted on purpose. The taller plants on the lower left of this picture are Amaranth.
My beans are doing really well, and are starting to climb the strings I put in to support them.
The artichokes are doing well also.
Here is one of the pansies I put in amongst the vegetables. This one has really pretty coloring.
I really enjoy seeing my plants get bigger. Thanks for taking a look.
Lupines – we have these growing near our mailbox, and they are growing across the street as well. When I was a kid, there were some at only one tiny spot in the area I live in. Now they are in ditches along the road all over the place.
Here’s a new flower – I don’t remember these from last year. I don’t know what it is but it’s pretty.
A purple flower. It reminds me of a balloon flower (maybe that is what this is.)
Our pink peonies. My parents planted these years ago and they are still going strong.
These barrels are on our porch. Last year I tried to grow beets and carrots here, and nasturtiums. The Nasturtiums did ok, but my son found out they were edible and kept eating them. I planted a bunch of different flowers in them this year, along with some herbs.
Here are some more barrels, just off our porch. My mom planted lilies in them, and they’ve slowly stopped producing. We got one nice lily last year. I divided them and put the big bulbs in only one barrel (the right one here) – there is also a yarrow growing in it; the left barrel has other flowers: Echinacea and black eyed susan and others.
Here is some lemon balm growing in one of the barrels on the porch. It smells so good.
Here is our back yard. The leaves have filled out on the trees.
Our side yard with the rose bush. The roses are blooming now. At the nearest post, I have a wisteria planted. It’s about 5 inches tall, and doing well. It’s inside the little round cage you can see at the base of the post. I don’t know if deer eat wisteria, and don’t want to chance it.
Some pretty flowers along our house. Wild Daisies and some kind of yellow flower – not sure if that was planted or if it’s wild. The white/green variegated leaf plants are “snow on the mountain” – they have taken over a lot of the flower beds and we are trying to eradicate it. It’s even growing at the edge of the woods now in spots.
Here is my son’s tiny garden. He wanted his own space, so I gave him some seedlings to plant. He’s got tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and flowers. And Mint. He’s excited about the mint because he can eat it right from the garden.
Here are my chickens in their muddy nasty run. I’m going to have to fix that, possibly sooner than I was planning. It’s driving me bananas.
Hello! Here is one of my Brahma chicks.
This is my tiny rooster. As he is growing, his comb is getting wonkier. The back portion is attached to his head off-center, which adds even more to the floppiness of it. He’s been really mean to the other chicks lately. Maybe they make fun of his goofy comb.
Here is my white brahma, which I actually think is a “Splash Brahma” – I love his/her coloring.
Here’s one of the blue spruce I planted this spring. It’s about 5 inches tall. It’s going to take a really, really, really long time to get as big as I want it – I have it in the front yard as a screen to give us privacy. It’s not doing its job very well. Someday…
Here is one of my elderberry trees. I have two (you need two to get fruit so they can cross pollinate). I have put this near my blue spruce so that I actually get the screen I want in a more timely fashion. These are fast-growing.
Here are some of the remaining forget-me-nots. We had tons of these earlier in the year, as splashes of blue all around the woods and the edges of the yard. When I was a child, these only were growing at a camp two houses behind our house. I moved back and discovered they grow all over our yard now.
Here is a giant mullein plant growing in our supposed-to-be asparagus patch. Mullein is a great medicinal plant so I’m letting it stay. This thing is about 3 feet tall right now. The big leaves are 1 ft long.
I hope you enjoyed my photo tour. I like my yard, and watching the changes it goes through during the warm months.