It’s been awhile since I posted an update of my garden. I’m slowly beginning to transition my fall/winter garden as my summer crops are finishing. I noticed in particular that most of my onion tops had fallen over, so I decided to go ahead and harvest those.
This was my first year growing Copra onions by seed and I’m so proud to report that I did it! I direct-sowed these in early April and I harvested just under 40 onions yesterday. They are currently curing on my deck for storage. I will say I got much bigger bulbs from growing Copras as sets, so I might consider that again next year. There is a different in cost – the package of seeds was $3.50 versus about $20 for the sets, so that’s something worth considering as well.
I added two container blueberry bushes this year and we finally got to try a few blueberries! It’s not much to write home about – we got maybe 20 berries so far total, but they were also small bushes and it was our first year. They were extremely flavorful though! Good thing we have free blueberries from Charlotte’s to supplement with!
I have about 8 miniature pumpkins that look about this color and size. (We had a ton more small ones that were unfortunately destroyed by slugs!) The pumpkins look done to me, however it feels odd to harvest them in August. I’ve never grown pumpkins before, miniature or otherwise, so I’m going to let them hang out on the vines just a bit longer to be certain. If anyone’s got any pumpkin harvesting tips, feel free to share!
Some of you have been curious about the kiwis I’m growing over the arbor at the entrance of my garden. We opted for hardy kiwi (not fuzzy) and purchased them at Raintree Nursery in Morton, WA. The first few weeks the kiwis didn’t do much in their new home. But over the last month or so, they’ve started to shoot up! My goal is to get them to the top of the arbor this growing season. They are so close, and I swear they grow a couple inches (or more) DAILY. We are still probably a few years away from fruit.
Why have I never grown sunflowers before? Because I’m a silly person that’s why! Not only have these beautiful sunflowers been easy to grow, they’ve attracted tons of bees! This is important because my berries, sweet peas, squash blossoms, and nasturtium are all spent. It’s nice to offer the bees a reason to keep coming.
I do hope to harvest the seeds for roasting if I can keep the birds away!
I mentioned I’ve started a few winter/fall garden plants! This is my first year attempting to grow year-round. So far we’ve been eating from the garden since early spring…. so we’ve had something to enjoy from the garden for about the last 5 months. I started several Brussels sprouts plants in the greenhouse, along with corn salad, spinach, kales, and two kinds of lettuces.
I’m growing about 20-25 rutabaga plants under cover in a raised bed as well. The cover is to prevent birds from eating the seeds and cats from pooping on them.
The black beans look pretty good. I just need to let the pods get really dried out and papery and then they’ll be ready to harvest. Growing dried beans is actually pretty simple! You pretty much grow them the same way you’d grow any other beans, except you let them dry out at the end.
So a little good news before the horrible news I’m still trying to come to terms with. My green zebra tomatoes look pretty good. My only question is: when exactly do I harvest them? Since they won’t turn color, can I eat them now?
Now for the sad news. It would appear my tomato container experiment was a total bust this year. All my ripening tomatoes seem to have blossom end rot, which is caused from a combination of uneven watering schedule and lack of calcium. I am beginning to think that the containers just dried out too fast for me to keep up with. I’m beyond disappointed as I currently have 5 heirlooms and 7 Romas.
I was lamenting to my husband the other day and he reminded me this whole journey is a learning process. He’s so right! I have been lucky to have had more successes than fails as a gardener, and if this loss will help me do a better job of tomatoes in the future, then maybe it will have been worth it. However – if anyone has any suggestions for me, please do feel free to share them!
You might have noticed I now have a “Gardening” category in my navigation bar! That’s because over the last several years, gardening has become a huge passion of mine and it’s something I want to share with you. I currently have “foraging” and “preserving” from the drop-down menu there, and may add other gardening related sub-categories as I have the time to do so. You can also still visit my Frugal Gardening page which has many money-saving gardening tips available for you to explore.
I’d love to hear about YOUR gardens now! What are you growing? What have you harvested? I’d love to share your photos, too! Feel free to simply leave them at The Coupon Project Facebook wall or email them to me at angela@ thecouponproject .com. (Please resize them so they aren’t 10MB each though!)