Green Beans and Sweet Bell Peppers in the New Garden

We had the delusion that we could get a good size garden planted this year even with the move. We thought the first year we would have a smaller one than the garden we had at the old place, and then by next year we would have double! But with all of the moving, projects at the new house, and keeping the old house up so it can sell…it didn’t seem like any garden was going to happen at all. This was just unacceptable because our stored canned goods are running quite low and we just wanted our garden! So although it was later than planned and thrown together Jon just got out there in the side backyard and just tilled up one row for some green beans and a couple of sweet red bell pepper plants a couple of weeks ago.
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Mint to Repel Insects and Rodents Around the Chicken Coop

Mint is one of my favorite scents and plants. It has such a crisp, clean, fresh aroma. We have a nice mint patch growing at our old house. Mint self propagates rapidly. This is a blessing as it is so easy to grow. However, you do want to give considerable thought to where you plant mint as it will spread and could become a nuisance if planted in the wrong location. Two months ago I dug up several of our spearmint and orange mint plants at the old house and put them in temporary pots. Those mint plants set for two months before I finally got around to transplanting them at our new home.

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Establishing a New Herb Garden

Since moving to our new home we have been working hard to get our plants established. We were quite blessed at our last home and had accomplished a lot. So in some ways it depressed me to have to start over. However, we learned a lot during that time. We learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We are able to apply what we have learned as we establish our plants at our new home. Our herb garden must be near the kitchen and easily accessible. We decided to start our herb garden around the well house which is to the side of the house close to the back door at the kitchen.

Oregano, Marigold, Sweet Basil, Lavender, Garden Sage, Snowball Bush, Herb Garden
Start of a New Herb Garden: Oregano, Marigold, Marigold, Sweet Basil, Marigold, Lavender, Marigold, Sweet Basil, Marigold, Sage, Marigold, Snowball Bush (Left to Right)

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Seeds of the Month Club

Are you as tired of winter as we are? Jon and I are both so ready for spring. We are as tired of the snow and ice as the chickens are. Although I understand the importance of winter and that every season has it’s place, I am just not a fan. We have done our winter chores, planned our garden, and ordered our seeds. And still we wait during another snow and wintry mix. Sigh.

Last year, I thought long and hard about joining The Seeds of the Month Club, but did not. I just do not join things on a whim. The more I pondered it the more, I wanted to join. When you look at the price per seed packet for these Non-GMO heirloom seeds it really is a great deal.

Seeds of the Month Club

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New Pepper and Tomato Beds

As we continue to add things we want to grow, and wanting more of the things we already grow in our garden, space is becoming a big issue.  We fenced off a corner of the back yard for our garden to keep the chickens and the dog from digging up our produce and now we have filled up that little space with our annual crops and find that we need more space.

Last year, we almost tripled the size or our garden.  We installed permanent fencing around our garden area because we have a line of pine trees that prevent us from expanding the current garden area any farther.  Expanding the fenced in area, as we did last year when we went from a temporary movable fence to our current permanent fence, is no longer an option.

We decided that the next step in adding some more garden space was to install a couple of beds for our tomatoes and peppers.  This would be a simple and easy addition to our gardening area.

First, we cut down a couple small but tall and straight pine trees from our land in an area that we are needing to clear any way.

Nice and straight logs for the edge of our beds.

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Fall Around Our Place

You would think that now it is fall things may be slowing down around here and I would have a little bit of time for blogging. But it seems my paying job, church, and Sarah’s ever busy calendar has kept me on the go. I must admit I am looking forward to slowing down a bit and trying to get back to a little crocheting. But I cannot seem to be still long enough for that or when I do have a moment, I’m just so darn tired and brain dead.

Sunday afternoon I had a couple of hours to myself. I walked around and took inventory of how everything was looking around our place. I honestly have not done much of that lately. Jon has been doing most of the lingering garden tasks as things were still growing and coming in. I decided to take a few photos as I did my walk about.

The Crabapple Tree is Loaded Down
The Crabapple Tree is Loaded Down

 

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Bare Root Raspberries 8 Month Progress

Back in February we planted 2 Latham and 2 Heritage Everbearing bare root raspberry canes. We were pleasantly surprised when they began growing and did not die like our attempt last year. But what was even more amazing to us is that the 2 Heritage Everbearing canes were putting out fruit! A few weeks ago we were doing our evening walk in the garden and out of the corner of my eye I saw bright red over at the raspberries.

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Harvesting and Curing Onions

Knowing the proper time to harvest veggies from the garden can be difficult.  Luckily, with onions there is no guess work.  You can harvest onions throughout the season to use as you need them, or you can leave them in the ground to get bigger bulbs.  Once the tops of the onions fall over and dry out, the onion bulb will stop growing.

Harvesting the onions can be as simple as grasping the stalk and pulling.  The bulb should pop right out of the ground.  If you have a stubborn onion, you can simply stab a small hand spade under the onion and pop it out, just be careful to not hit the onion.

Once the onions are harvested, they need cured prior to storage.  It is best to harvest the onions on a warm sunny day, so you can let your onions begin to cure in the sun for a day or two.  After that, or if the weather is not cooperating, they need to be placed in a shady location with good airflow.  Good airflow is very important so make sure they are spread out and not stack on top of each other.  We used a short, wide crate with lots of air holes.  You can lay them out on a table, or even braid the stalks of several onions together and hang them to cure.

Onions curing in our crate.

After curing for two to three weeks, the roots and any stalk remaining should be dry and brown.  Also the skin of the onion should be very dry like paper.  After this onions can be stored in a cool dry place.  Onions properly cured can be stored for up to six months.

More from the Winter Onions Series:

Our First Winter Onions
4 Month Update
5 Month Update (Comparison to Annual Onion Sets)
6 Month Update
Harvesting and Curing Onions
One Year Update

It’s NOT the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

No, it’s NOT the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! However, we did officially have a “pumpkin harvest”….barely.

Last year we only planted mini pumpkins. They started out great, but the stink bugs destroyed them literally over night. This year we had higher hopes. Cornfield Pumpkin and Connecticut Field Pumpkin seeds is what we planted this year. As par for the course, we do not remember which we planted where. So, as they grew we did not know what we had. Does anyone else do these kinds of things?!?

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