Garden 2021 - Part 1 - Very Late Start
I got off to a late start this year, but it didn't matter. I had two hard freezes in late April, which would have undone everything anyway, so I suppose that actually worked out for the best.
The problem is, after the freezes the weather never returned to normal. May was every bit as wet as last year, and unseasonably cold as well. The... Whole... Darn... Month... I think I was actually wearing a jacket as late as June 1st. I managed to plant some carrots, beets, and kohlrabi in May, but that was all I could do.
I had started taking pics in April for another garden blog this year, but after the weather turned bad for so long I kind of gave up. I was finally able to start the rest of the garden in June, but I didn't start taking pics again until today.
The fence has been completely rebuilt. No rabbit problems so far.
I'll try to post updates every few weeks or so.
April 15, 2021
It felt like spring. Trees were flowering, and I was prepping the soil...
Five days later this happened, followed by two nights of temps in the mid 20s...
Fast forward to today, July 9th...
I planted two Double-Knock-Out rose bushes this year, and another apple tree. The roses survived the weather, but it doesn't look like the apple tree did. It had small green leaves before the freezes, but nothing since. Maybe that, plus the shock of transplanting was too much for it.
Not the greatest looking flowers, but still a nice splash of color in front of the garden.
The gate's open, let's go...
Looking left - Butternut squash. Only two plants this year.
Looking right - Kohlrabi and watermelons. Seedless watermelons on the ends, with a seeded variety in the middle for pollination.
Kohlrabi up close.
Looking left - Beets and carrots.
Looking right - Cucumber. Smaller than it should be. I ordered some fancy seeds and planted them first, but they never came up (figures), so this is a second attempt with my old standby, Marketmore 76.
Looking left - Green beans.
Looking right - Trellised cantaloupe. A different variety this year. I hope it works out.
Looking left again - Two kinds of zucchini...
And regular green.
Red potatoes. Finally some good results. You can't really see it anymore because of the leaves, but I raked up a big raised bed to plant them in this year, and mixed straw into it. Worked great for a change. I guess that's the secret, at least in my garden.
Only five peppers this year.
The blackberries took a beating over the winter. Many of the canes died and had to be cut out, presumably from the -15F cold spell in early February.
Still made a few berries, but not enough to bother with putting up the netting frame.
Only four tomatoes this year.
Empty trellises, due to the bad spring. I'll try to fill them with peas this fall.
The first pickings of the year. The carrots aren't really big enough yet, but I only needed a little to add some color to the slaw I'm going to make out of the kohlrabi.
Here's some unripe blueberries on one of two extremely slow-growing bushes.
Birdhouse gourds growing in the side plot this year, just for fun.
Around the yard...
See you next time. Not sure when that will be. Two or three weeks, maybe.
Big problems with my computer this morning, and not all your photos would open, but enough for me to check out what NT's Johnny Appleseed is doing, and doing so well as usual.
Anoon... don't you just love technology...
Have you missed the many times I've posted "Please beam me back to the early 1950s", even on my membership profile? That was before we had computers and before everything needed "chips" to make them work.
I just switched my browser to Firefox, and everything works - it's miraculous. All the photos open - no problem.
You are before my time..😀😀
"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
All the photos open - no problem.
Great to hear. I used to have that problem on an older computer that didn't have enough ram to handle the newer versions of Google Chrome at the time. I switched to Firefox on that one too, and it worked much better online.
Still, I prefer Chrome. I had to breakdown and get a couple of new machines to keep up with it and Windows 10.
I wish I still had Windows 7. When I had to replace it I had to get Windows 10 and lost the best photo-editing site I ever used. Someone tried to give me a solution to enable me to load the site that worked for W7 (but used a different program for W10 that is chaotic and complex) onto my W10 but it didn't work. I wish I could still access it.
I have copies of Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. They were Thank You gifts from Microsoft for my participation on their Technical Beta Testing Team that beta tested all their new software before releasing them.
However, I use Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate on my desktop and laptop as my primary operating systems, as they are much easier to use and far more compatible with my artwork and editing. They may be outdated, but, I stay with what works best for me.
I haven't gardened in many years.
When I was a kid, my father was a dedicated gardener. Lots of vegetables, and even two fruit trees (a huge Peach tree and a Cherry tree--, and many fruit bushes (Blueberries, Gooseberries, Currents and a big Strawberry bed).. But he was especially dedicated to growing some interesting varieties of Tomatoes. (That was so long ago I don't remember the details now but they were probably several exotic varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes).
As a little kid I had my own small patch-- just radishes and carrots. I think it was because they were supposed to be the easiest to grow?
My mother tended to some beautiful flower beds.
I loved gardening-- one of the things I liked the most in my childhood!
(I think Gooseberries are not widely known in the U.S? I believe they're mainly grown in the U.K. and perhaps Germany and France?)
Thanks for stopping by, Krish.
I loved gardening-- one of the things I liked the most in my childhood!
Yeah, gardening is great. I love growing things. I got my first taste of it as a kid as well. I feel a little sorry for kids who never get a chance to play in the dirt (so to speak).
I think Gooseberries are not widely known in the U.S?
Not sure. They grow wild all over the place around here.
Looking good. I was wondering if you were going to do the garden blog again. Great flower pics.
Thanks, Pat. I was wondering if I was going to do it again myself. The horrible spring was frustrating.
Hey, those blueberries ain't blue...Haha
I don't know what the deal is. The other bush was ripe 2 weeks ago. They're different varieties for pollination purposes, so that must be it.
We have had over 60 inches already for the year.
It is a lot, Dig, many of the rivers and lakes in northern MN have fields of wild rice growing. We are very careful to not damage the root and use a three-prong canoe pole which allows us to push/move the canoe through the water and limiting any damage to the plants. This will continue the cycle of the plant the following years producing the rice.
We had a stretch of mild weather March and April causing farmers to jump the gun and planted corn early, I did do a first rough tilling to mix in last year's trash but avoided planting the garden as did my brother in planting corn and soys, good thing, May we had a week of freezes and several frosts, June warmed up and I planted the garden only to have another frost on the nineteenth, I was able to water the plants but some of the string beans got topped by the frost. Yesterday it made it up to 63 deg with over 2 inches of rain and today it made it to 72 deg. June we barely had a drop of rain and hot, other than that cold snap, now it doesn't seem to want to stop raining and fall has arrived. Weird weather but it's Michigan.
Farmers who planted early had to replant at their own expense, insurance will only pay off after a certain date, May 15th for corn and May 20th for soybeans. The frost on June 19th did some damage, but crops were well on their way and came through it.
A river is our northern property boundary, south of the river we can expect the frost dangers to be over by mid May, but north of the river it can be as late as the first week of June. I just had a farmer yesterday, with a job to do on his combine, ask what the deal was with all the cleared land to the north and east of us that was just grazing land not cash cropped, he wanted to buy or rent for cash crops, I told him about the late spring frosts and early fall frosts, there is too much risk in farming it. We're talking about land only a mile away.
I was going to ask how your garden is doing this year. I've missed your blogs.
I'm currently between crops in my little raised beds. I got a lot of good lettuce and spinach, but it's too hot for them now. I got quite a few strawberries, too. The type I planted are supposed to bloom and produce a bit all summer, but they haven't. Can't complain, though. The berries I did get were sweet as strawberries can be and still taste like strawberries.
Now I'm waiting for cucumbers. They're blooming. I jumped the gun the first time I planted them - too cold, and they didn't sprout. Second time was the charm.
Great to hear you've been having success. I tried planting some spinach the same day I managed to get the kohlrabi, beets, and carrots in. It came up but died shortly after. I wasn't sure what the deal was. You'd think if anything could handle a cool, wet spring it would be spinach.
You'd think. Mine survived some late spring flurries - we also had a cool spring. That was nice, because it took longer than usual for my cool weather crops to go to seed. I remember mine doing the same last year that yours did this year - it came up and just sort of shriveled. I remember you and I discussed seed quality or lack thereof last year. I also thought maybe it was the soil, but it's the same spot where I have my cukes this year, and they're thriving.
How sad, Dig. Fingers crossed that the corn will survive and find its way back upright.
It's mostly come back up in the past when that happened, but my fingers are crossed, too.
Another strong front is supposed to blow through in about an hour.
Well, that was fun. I think it's mostly over now, but it rained harder than it did earlier. There wasn't much wind this time, though, so that was lucky for the poor corn.
I took these a little while ago from the front porch, right before dark.
A river runs through it (my yard, that is)...
Pictures don't really do it justice. That water was moving.
I sure wish we could get some of that rain out here in So Cal. Due to the drought we are being asked to conserve water now, and it may not be long before we will be on water rationing as we were a few years back during our last big drought.
We are desert here in So Cal so water shortages are not uncommon.
Yeah, I've been following that. It's a bad situation. I hope you guys get some rain soon.
It's a very bad situation. Occasionally, during the summer, there can be a bit of rain in the desert, but other than that, realistically, there is almost no chance of rain in Southern California for several months. Our rains used to start in November, however, because of the climate change, they are now being pushed back about a month later than they used to begin. We will be lucky if we get rain in December this year.
I hope you guys get some rain soon.
Thanks Dig. As G said, chances of our getting any real rain West of the mountains is none and zero for the next 5-6 months.
chances of our getting any real rain West of the mountains is none and zero for the next 5-6 months.
So, what's going to happen? Will there be enough for residential use to last that long?
And then there's the fire threat. Goodness.
With an entire ocean right there, and all the evaporation coming off of it, it doesn't really seem right, does it? I'm not up on the meteorology of the southern west coast, so I don't understand why more Pacific humidity doesn't fall locally as rain.
It's a good thing Gulf moisture doesn't act like that, it's the source of an awful lot of rain for much of the eastern half of the country. Quite a bit of my summer rain blows up from the Gulf. It's really a shame that Pacific moisture doesn't do the same for CA.
Hi Dig. When we do get moisture from the Pacific all it does is make the humidity unbearable. Everything is a sticky mess, and we might get a bit of rain during that time. But, that is very rare.
California has fought the Sierra Club for decades to allow the building of reservoirs in the southern counties to help retain some of the rain we do get, but, they claim there are miniscule life forms and/or plants that grow every 10 years or so in the areas they want to build the reservoirs and they can't be destroyed. Building the reservoirs would help provide water in the driest areas greatly. The people of the Sierra Club do not live in California so the endless water shortages do affect them in any way, but, they act like the tiny life forms will all die if the reservoirs are built.
However, the courts always side with the Sierra Club and we can't build the reservoirs. The fight has been going on for decades and it does not look like it will ever be resolved.
We have the same problem here, May 2020 we had a 500 hundred years flood that damaged a bridge over a drainage ditch, so needed to be replaced, it's a major state route and still nothing is happening because during the environmental impact study a fish was found that is found only in that man made ditch. Get this that fish is so fragile that it can't survive the construction project, but can survive a flood with all the tons of crap that came down that ditch during the flood.
I'm all for conservation and saving the animals and plants that are endangered species, but, when it comes to major situations, there are ways to work around them and provide the necessary elements for all involved. But, when one entity refuses to even discuss the options, it makes it impossible to resolve the problem.
I know that California is not the only state that suffers from similar issues, such as yours, that for some reason can't be readily resolved.
Dig, thanks for the inspiration. My garden looks like a wild messy jungle compared to yours. We had my tomatoes to go with ribs and bought corn this evening.
We had my tomatoes to go with ribs and bought corn this evening.
Sounds pretty darn good. I'm probably still weeks away from getting tomatoes.
I really miss my gardens I had years ago. 100ft long by 50ft wide. And I had prolific grape vines and fruit trees as well. What we didn't eat or put up we sold every year. People in the area would watch for our small road-side table loaded with fresh produce. Even some of the police officers would stop by as well. And yes, they got a good discount.
Just checked last night, and my first cucumbers are on the vine.
Blackberries are ripening up finally (a bit later than usual here), so I'm gathering some. Enough grow wild around my yard that I've never bothered planting any.
my first cucumbers are on the vine
I sure hope I start seeing some soon.
If anyone else is gardening, feel free to post a pic or two.