Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strawberry Season

Anyone else overdosing on strawberries? You can pick them at the Fruit and Berry Patch now, but I have yet to do that. I've gotten some from Pratt's and from the Farmer's Market.

Here's a website for strawberry picking info and one for strawberry jam! I didn't try this recipe; I used one of my sister's and had ok success. I've used others from this website before, though, and had good luck with them.

The Harvest Continues!

I'm sure Sarah and Curt are harvesting more radishes by now.... I, on the other hand, have yet to plant my radishes. Hmmm....

However, I just picked my first snow peas!! My sugar snaps are taking their time (and only about 1/3 of the plants have even survived to this point). I picked about 1 cup of snow peas, though, and there are more that will be ready soon! I read that you can pick snow peas when they're still flat, but about 3 inches long. I had flowers last week and, boom, this week I have peas--keep an eye on them if you have any.

Here's a website for freezing peas (any kind--shelled, edible pod, etc.). Check it out--you can always pick up some at the farmer's market and do this with them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stephanie's Garden

Stephanie doesn't have a computer at home, so that's the main reason she's not a fellow "author" on this gardening journal/blog. But I took some pictures of her terrific garden this week and thought I'd post them! She's got wonderfully thick rows of sugar snap peas and cauliflower, double rows of green beans and green onions, and a few tomato and pepper plants. To top it off, there were already strawberry plants and raspberry plants on her property! Check these pictures out (I'm envious--anyone else?).

Oh, the Drama....

Anyone else having such a dramatic (and traumatic) gardening experience this spring? Short list of my troubles as of the beginning of May here:

  1. Slugs!!! And not just a few... oh no... my snow peas, in particular, are COVERED in them!!! So, here's a link to a rundown of some organic gardening slug control practices, courtesy of  magazine. Katie, you'll notice that your dad's solution of putting the board down is mentioned.... I'm going to have to try that one.
  2. Cutworms!!! Well, that's Katie's diagnosis for what's ailing my tomato plants and it sounds about right (sigh). Of the 15 plants that I planted last weekend, only 5 have stalks and leaves left. The rest: vanished. This time, the kids aren't the culprits because the plants are behind the garden fence. I've been nursing these babies for months, now, and am so depressed. Again, it sounds like Katie's dad has the popular solution: a "collar" made by a paper cup. This is what Organic Gardening recommends. Katie also suggested tying popsicle sticks to the plants' little stems.
  3. Cabbage Loopers!!! These are ATTACKING my napa cabbage, broccoli, and mustard greens with a true vengeance. They're pretty little things, but, if I'm going to stay organic here, will take more work to get rid of, if I'm following OG's solutions.... (sigh). Stephanie's father-in-law (who is a big-time gardener) also recommends sprinkling sawdust on plants such as broccoli and cauliflower. Since I had some of that in the basement courtesy of my hubby's wood-working habits, that's what I went with tonight.
  4. Mustard greens bolting: not a terrible problem in and of itself, but I'd hoped to get more greens out of the plants before they bolted. We'll be eating them tomorrow, but I doubt I have more than one-two meals' worth. I suppose I'll be trying these again in the fall (incidentally, OG mentioned that there are fewer pests in the fall, so maybe I'll have better luck all the way around with the cabbage family then). 
Hope the rest of you are having better luck! On the positive side, my cucumbers have reseeded themselves from last year.... I can't remember if I'd planted hybrids or not, they're not in the place I'd earmarked for cukes this year, and there are about 10 of them in a tiny clump. But, nonetheless, they cheered me up.