Tag: vegetables

Garden Update June 9

If you want to compare from the last report, you can go here. Progress is slow, or at lest seems slow to me! We have survived two 90 degree days along with NO rain. The grass on the front lawn is crunchy again. We did get a 1/2 inch of rain, and a thunderstorm with .2, but there has been a lot of hoses moving in an effort to get the seedlings to the point that they can be mulched before we leave for graduation.

The big news for this report is that the grass is up! Not a lot yet, but a definite twinge of green, especially in the shaded area. I am guardedly optimistic, that we will have lawn by the end of the summer, though sooner would be so nice.

At this point the only no shows are the pumpkins and the strawberry cuttings; I think the pumpkin seeds were not good, either immature, or didn’t like the freezer, and the strawberries may not be OK in the barrels. We may have to do real plants in order to get them what they need.  The beets and garlic are not doing well, not sure they will make it, but we can hope.

The morning sun is so bright, it is hard to get good contrast, but hopefully you get the idea! We are still too early to yell Hurrah, but there’s definitely hope for many of the beds now. South Dakota summers can turn on a dime, and we could still get a heat blast that dries those seedlings beyond help. We’ve lost a lot already, but hopefully these will hang on, especially with the straw coming in this weekend for a little shelter from the hot sun and wind. (15 mph all day with hot temps is difficult to fight!)

How’s your garden growing?


Anticipation…Impatience…How Does Your Garden Grow?

Slooooooowly! That week with highs in the mid and low 40’s really put a damper on a boatload of seeds, and the frost one morning caught a few of the tomato plants on the edges. The seeds have it under control, though, and finally this morning there was enough “action” to get some pictures. I will use this post to remind myself of the progress when I get impatient again!😄

This is the corn and squash patch-not much happening yet. If you look carefully, there are four squash seedlings sprouted, and two spikes of corn have popped up next to a couple of the stakes.

Definitely more going on in this section! The tomatillo transplants remind me of little soldiers, and the chives seem to love their new home! They are sharing a box with the garlic, which is nearly 100% up. The dill in the small square box is a fine fuzz of green. The tire has cantaloupe, nothing to report yet. However, the cabbage, rutabegas and turnips have asserted themselves, with nice fine lines of seedlings. There is a box of onions at the very end, they are looking good! The box right after the turnips and friends is half onions and half jalapeño pepper transplants.

This slightly closer view of the north side doesn’t show as much progress, but things are starting to emerge. Just off camera are the bell pepper transplants; they came through the frost unscathed, probably because of the protection of the mini greenhouse. The first square box has beets, which are nearly all up, but still too difficult to see. The next box is spinach and baby romaine lettuce. If you look carefully, you can see some of the spinach spikes. The far long box is all green beans, and they are just beginning to pop. I think they need some warmer days to encourage them! Along the side you can see the sunflowers we just transplanted; most of them are now standing up tall and straight.

Along each edge of boxes is a row of carrots. I was amazed that these came up in only a week, usually it takes them about three weeks to germinate! Another space you didn’t see is the tomato field on the other side of the corn. We set up cattle panels on diagonals and that is the home of 48 little tomato plants, which are hanging in there. Several were sampled by the deer before the fence was complete, and we lost 2 to the frost, with a little damage to a few others, but in the end, I only replanted four. We’ll give them all a dose of tomato miracle grow this week and then they should be pretty well established.

At long last, this is a potato leaf! These were planted back in April, and they always take FOREVER! 

I didn’t photograph them, but the grapevines are greening up nicely along the northeastern corner, and I have seen the proof that we will get a few plums this year in spite of finding a blooming pollinator well after the peak blossom time, and we have lots of baby cherries too. The apple tree bloomed, but but not sure yet if we will finally get apples.

The new acquisition was three peach trees that DH is going to train as espalier on the sheltered south side of the house which has a narrow alley with our neighbor’s garage. He thinks it will be protected enough to save them from the desiccating winter winds that can kill even the northern varieties. 

Last, but not least, the mini greenhouse has the herbs that spent the winter in the house, as well as some seedlings that are starting to sprout. The turmeric is very happy as is the cilantro and parsley. We hope the rosemary and basil will be happier outside. The oregano is looking a bit ragged, but we still have hope for it, and the thyme is barely up, so that is still a question mark. 

The only other question marks now are whether the strawberry roots will take in their barrels, and and if the pumpkins will  invade the neighbor’s once they finally sprout in the alley on the north side.

All in all things are shaping up! Hopefully in a week to 10 days the green will be plainly visible.

Garden Dreams

We had some very warm days last week; it melted the snow that arrived in early December. The bare patches of ground, even in February, are a catalyst for dreams of green plants and home grown produce. In South Dakota, our growing season is on the short side. Our average last frost is in mid May, and the average first frost is mid September. It varies quite a bit each year; I remember putting carrots and spinach in the ground as early as late March, and also scraping my car windows on June 3! 

Over the years we have tried to start tomatoes early, but have found that the sunlight we get through our windows is lacking, resulting in some tall and spindly seedlings. Last year, some late cold rains prevented us from getting them out until mid June, and they looked terrible all summer, with not much produce. Granted, it was a bad tomato year, but it was still disheartening!

We do try to grow herbs indoors, and have got a healthy sage and parsley pot, and have restarted some more basil. We have some rosemary and marjoram too, but they are still iffy. The big surprise has been the turmeric! DH Planted the root six weeks ago or more and it finally sprouted!

The Citrus Farm is progressing well, we now have 3 lemon trees and 3 grapefruit trees. No luck with the mandarin oranges or limes yet, but someone gave me some pomegranate seeds, so we may try those!

This year, I want to really work on the garden, and make it really productive, and maybe even beautiful. I think the physical work will be good for me, and the plants will be good therapy for my wounded heart. By fall, I’ll  have a great sense of accomplishment, food to eat for the coming year, and a renewed spirit. Of course, DH will be working along side, and that will provide us a fresh and new task to do together. 

On my list of what to plant:

Spinach, carrots, beets, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, buttercup squash, pumpkins and onions

Other possibilities might be: summer squash, cucumbers, kale, broccoli and maybe cauliflower

We already have some asparagus established, and our grape vines produced for the first time this last year. The cherry tree is producing, and hopefully we will get some apples this year. We lost the pollinator for our plum trees last year so will need to fix that this spring. 

What are you growing this year? Most of you likely have started already! We don’t even have crocus shoots up yet, so we continue to dream!