Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fruit retrospective

Some images of fruit from this past season. This was the first year for peaches and grapes.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Autumn greens, willow, and apples

My daughter started some kale, lettuce and chard for me in a pot on September 5. As the photo from October 6  shows, the seedlings grew well through the fair weather of September; however, something devoured all of the lettuce shortly before transplanting. Fortunately, the kale (~40) and chard (~12) made it into a garden frame and under cover before the cold weather started (Oct 20). We won't be able to pick any of the greens this winter but we will have an early start in the spring. The kale would need to be planted in late July/early August in order to be mature enough to nurture and harvest through the winter cold. Maybe next year...

I ordered several varieties of willow this spring, but didn't get it planted until September. After spending several months in the refrigerator I didn't hold out much hope for them, however more than half of the cuttings sprouted leaves and appear to be thriving.

We picked about 50 lbs of Gala and Braeburn apples from our trees in late-October. They have a lot of blemishes but these are mostly skin deep and the sweetness and crunch of the apples once peeled is unexcelled. These apples will last us into January with daily consumption. The best place I have found to store apples is in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. Technically the best storage conditions are 32 degrees F and 90% humidity, but the refrigerator will keep them in good condition until we have finished eating them in January.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rising from the ashes...

I guess it is fairly obvious now that I had to take a break from gardening this year. We have a new property in North Buffalo that came with raised beds that were overrun with weeds. After the move, I couldn't stand waiting any longer and spent five hours reclaiming the garden last weekend. My hope is that we will be able to nurture some lettuce, kale, and other greens to maturity before the really cold weather hits in November. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Eggshells for slug control

I noticed an article on LifeHacker that references a Popular Mechanics article stating: "Crush eggshells into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the soil. Slugs, cutworms, and other insects are put off by the crunch when they crawl over the sharp edges and will leave for softer pastures. You can also toss the crushed shells into your compost heap. They break down quickly and give your plants a much-needed dose of calcium, which can help with bottom-end rot, a calcium deficiency found in some plants." I will have to try that out when I get back to the garden.