Thursday, November 11, 2010

Waiting for Daikon Radish

According to the seed packet, this Daikon Radish is supposed to be a fast grower and be ready to harvest in 45 days.  Well, my radishes obviously didn't get that memo.  It's been over 75 days since I planted the seeds and I'm just now starting to see signs of some root growth.  They don't look very big to me, though, compared to how I had envisioned them.  Maybe they don't like the heavy clay soil in this small in-ground garden, even though I tried to amend it as much as possible by adding some "good" dirt.

Daikon radishes are going be one of my last harvests from the Indiana garden this year, so I'm trying to be patient.

Ack, I'm so not good at being patient for garden harvests!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The New Garden is Ready... for next spring!

Keith and I braved the cold weather last Saturday morning (28 degrees F when I checked at 8AM) to drive over to the dirt place (twice) to pick up a total of three and a half cubic yards of special soil to finish filling the last two raised garden beds.  Okay, so we didn't actually manage to leave the house until 9:45am, but I'm not sure that it warmed up all that much between 8AM and 10AM.

However, it warmed up A LOT (or maybe it was just me who warmed up) once I started shoveling dirt from the truck bed to the wheelbarrow.  Funny how that works, right?

Here's our finished vegetable garden.  It was a lot of work, but I'm really looking forward to the extra growing space next year.  There are six new raised garden beds, each 4 ft x 12 ft x 10 in.  The two beds on the left have have some lettuce, spinach, and Halloween-planted garlic, so we covered them up with straw for the winter.  We also covered all paths with cardboard (until we ran out) and straw.

Now I just need it to be next spring already so I can start planting the new garden!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11/8/10 Harvest After The First Snow

We had our first snow on Friday, although it didn't stick.  Temperatures dipped down to the mid-twenties on Friday night, but I'm happy to report that what little left of the asian greens in the garden (with emphasis on little) survived the cold night.

These are the survivors, including a lone radish.  First, they survived the relentless attack of the cabbage worms (but not without battle scars consisting of big holes and missing chunks of leaves), and now they have survived their frost and snow.  I stir-fried these greens for lunch.  They were really tasty, but so little in quantity to just barely whet our appetites.  I really need to figure out a way to grow these better and to protect them from pests next year!

Also surviving frost and snow are some volunteer parsley that have been growing for the last two months.  They seem really hardy and healthy in the outdoor garden.

I supplemented this week's garden harvest with some cilantro and basil from our indoor grow box.  A single Jelly Bean tomato (also from the grow box) somehow made its way onto the harvest plate, too.  I chopped up the cilantro and mixed it in with some freshly cooked brown rice.  They added a nice flavor to the rice!

I also picked the last handful of green beans from the grow box.  While it was kind of cool to find out that we could grow green beans (bush variety) in our grow box, I have to admit that they were still very cramped in there and did not grow to their full potential.  I'm not sure if I'll grow them again in the grow box.

The harvests are definitely getting smaller, but we really appreciate every little bite that makes its way into our kitchen.

Check out Daphne's Harvest Monday to see who else is still harvesting in November!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Last Two Raised Garden Beds

In addition to decorating the house for Halloween last weekend, Keith and I finished building the remaining two raised boxes for the new garden.  They are not filled yet - that's this weekend's project.  If you'd like to see some "before" and "in-progress" pictures, please see my post on Building New Raised Garden Beds.

You can see in this picture that the ground slopes down from right to left.  To level the raised beds, we had to dig trenches in the higher side of the ground for each of the beds, which was very difficult with the hard clay soil.  Now that's all done, I hope I never have to dig any part of this garden ever again!  Well... unless I decide to build more raised garden beds.  I can already hear Keith yelling "NO MORE RAISED BEDS!!!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Planting Garlic on Halloween

After seeing pictures of other gardeners' beautiful garlic harvests earlier this year, I knew that I wanted to try my hand at growing garlic, too. I especially wanted to plant some hardneck garlic so that I could grow and enjoy some delicious garlic scapes in addition to the better flavors of homegrown garlic.  But I didn't realize that seed garlic would sell out so fast from reputable online vendors. I also didn't realize that shipping costs for seed garlic would be so expensive!

Long story short, I did not get around to buying any seed garlic cloves for hardneck garlic varieties this year.  However, I wasn't about to let this deprive me of my garlic growing experience.

So I decided to take the frugal and late-to-the-game approach to growing garlic:  I bought some plain garlic from the grocery store. Yep, the unknown softneck variety.

I took 22 of the best looking garlic cloves and soaked them overnight in some baking soda-and-water solution.  The next day (Halloween!), I peeled the cloves, rinsed them in water and proceeded with planting them in the corner of one of my new raised beds.  I planted them 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart in all directions.  My designated garden fork (formerly known as a dinner fork in the kitchen) worked great for digging 4-inch deep holes for the garlic cloves.  I will mulch this area with some straw next weekend.

I have no idea if any of these supermarket garlic cloves are going to grow and develop new garlic bulbs.  But I do know that if I didn't try, I would never know.  So here goes, my Great Garlic Experiment of 2010-2011!

Monday, November 1, 2010

11/1/10 harvest - Fall Salad

With the temperature rapidly dropping in Indiana, the garden offering seems to be shrinking.  This week, I barely managed to harvest enough lettuce, parsley, Jelly Bean tomatoes, and one radish to make two dinner salads. 

The salads were topped with some home-grown alfalfa sprouts.  Although the harvest was small, I did have a proud gardener moment when I realized that everything on these plates came from our organic home garden (pat myself on the back).  After taking this picture, I further dressed the salads with some sunflower seeds, golden raisins, slivers of goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Head on over to Daphne's Harvest Monday for more fall harvests from other gardeners!

P.S.  During my first year of vegetable gardening this year, I have learned my lesson that a part - okay, MOST - of the effort of keeping an organic home garden is dealing with a huge variety of garden pests.  Even after the arrival of the first frost late last week, I'm still seeing yucky pests in the garden.  I picked off (effective) several cabbage worms on my asian greens and rolled my eyes at (not effective) the aphids on my lettuce.  At this point, I've pretty much given up on the battle against the garden pests, at least for this year.  I'll be better prepared next year with row covers and a variety of different organic pesticides like Bt.  Enjoy it while you can, bugs!


Related Posts with Thumbnails