14 min

Our 2015 Backyard Produce Garden

Notes about our backyard gardening.

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Apr 11

On Sat, Apr 11, 2015, I cleaned out our garden. It was loaded with oak leaves that fell in the garden, along with a lot of leaves that I raked onto the garden. Other debris, containers, and firewood needed removed.

I worked the soil with a small shovel, smoothed it with a rake, and worked it again with the shovel. I removed roots.

When I removed the thick layer of leaves, I found two sorrel plants that were growing. Small leaves, about 2 to 3 inches long, grew on each plant. One plant grew in the west bed, and the other grew in the middle bed.

A couple strawberry plants seemed to be okay, but I'll probably remove them.

Apr 13

On Mon, Apr 13, I worked the soil again with the shovel and smoothed it with a rake.

Then I mended the fencing. In some areas, the screening had broken free from the chicken wire, so I reattached the screening. Some of the chicken wire bent and leaned into the garden because of the piled snow this past winter. I used wooden stakes to hold back the fencing in the east bed.

Then I planted five rows of lettuce, five rows of carrots, and five rows of arugula. All from seeds that we bought last September at the Country Living Festival in Columbus. The seeds overwintered in plastic containers, located in the garage.

My Apr 13 plantings filled the east and middle beds. I have no idea if these seeds will perform. Good test.

I needed to do all of this about two weeks ago, planting at the end of March or the first couple days of April. I missed the good rain last week and now the warmup over the past few days.

Shortly after planting, a brief rain shower moved through. We may receive some additional light rain late today, Apr 13.

Photo taken after planting on Apr 13, 2015. The little ditch lines marked the boundaries of the rows. The planting occurred between these lines.

The garden area back in Feb 2015.

Late March 2015 with the final pile of snow on the flower bed.

Possible Planting Plan

I'll keep it simple this year by planting:

  • sorrel
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • green beans
  • peppers

I'll use the four containers to grow tomatoes again. I might plant six tomato plants in the garden. Then 6 rows or approx 24 squares will be devoted to beans and peppers.

May 2

I bought lettuce and pepper plants at the Toledo farmers market, and I bought pepper, tomato, and strawberry plants at Titgemier's.

I planted everything on Sat afternoon, May 2. The four tomato plants went into the containers. Everything else got planted in the western bed. The other two beds contain the seeds planted above, which are doing very little, and I'll probably add plants to those beds.

For the seed rows, the carrots sprouted a week after planting. The lettuce and arugula sprouted later. The chilly weather over the last half of April probably slowed things. If little progress occurs with this week after the week-long stretch of 70s and some 80s, plus watering and rain, then I'll plant something else this weekend.

If I replace the seed rows, I'll plant:

  • bean seeds
  • carrot plants
  • pepper plants
  • maybe more lettuce and tomato plants

May 11

On Sat, May 9, I bought four tomato plants, two pepper plants, and three packets of green bean seeds from Titgemier's.

On May 11, I planted the tomatoes and peppers in the garden. I planted the bean seeds from one packet in the garden.

To make some room, I removed the carrots that had grown very little from seed. And I removed some greens that also had grown very little from seeds.

Some lettuce or arugula seeds have grown decent, and those rows, approx four, remain. If these continue to grow, I'll leave them.

I would like to plant more bean seeds, pepper plants, and lettuce plants if room exists. I have some room left in one garden bed.

May 18

I harvested some lettuce from the plants that I bought at the farmers market, and I harvested some sorrel that overwintered. I created small salads for DD and me that included some fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and parm cheese. Tasty.

Sat, May 23

harvested lettuce and arugula that grew from seeds planted in early April.

Tue, May 26

harvested more lettuce and arugula.

Sat, May 30.

another harvest of lettuce and arugula, biggest haul yet. need to eat one or two small salads a day now. nice.

Wed, Jun 3

I picked a lot of arugula and some lettuce.

Plus sorrel. I've always picked some sorrel on each of the harvest days mentioned above. That plant produces well. We have two plants that were planted last year.

Tue, Jun 9

Today, I harvested a lot of lettuce from the garden and a little sorrel.

The arugula has been flowering this week. I've been snipping off the flowers. I need to pick more arugula.

A few small, green tomatoes have formed on the plants, growing in the containers.

The green beans are growing well. These grew from seeds planted some weeks back.

Fri, Jun 12

Harvested more arugula, along with some lettuce and sorrel.

Mon, Jun 15

Picked one sweet banana pepper, our first of the season.

I removed the other banana pepper plant because it has struggled for weeks. It produced a small pepper, but the pepper went bad.

Thu, Jun 18

I harvested lettuce, sorrel, and a smidge of arugula.

Plenty of arugula is ready to be picked, but the mosquitoes were gobbling me up this evening, since I wore shorts, sandals, and a short-sleeve shirt, since it's summer.

The rain over the past 10-days has excited the mosquitoes.

Late June

I continued to harvest, lettuce, sorrel, and arugula through the last half of June. The last arugula was picked at the end of June. We've eaten a lot of tasty salads in recent weeks. With all the rain and the cooler weather, the greens have done well.

July 4

I picked a handful of bush green beans, the first of the summer.

I planted more bush green bean seeds. I used the space that grew the arugula.

Rainfall update

From May 30 through July 14, my rain gauge has recorded 12.23 inches of rainfall. !!!

Toledo averages around 36 inches of liquid precip each year. Approximately one-third of that fell over six weeks.

Week of July 13

I picked more lettuce, which is still doing well, thanks probably due to the wet and cooler summer.

I picked a lot of bush green beans. And I picked our first tomatoes of the season: four plum/Roma tomatoes.

Jul 24

On Fri, Jul 24, I harvested lettuce, green beans, 4 banana peppers, and a tomato.

Jul 28

On Mon, Jul 27, I picked a handful of tomatoes and a few more green beans.

Jul 29

I watered the garden for the first time in several weeks.

Aug 3

For my black bean burger, I picked a tomato and a different kind of pepper that was small, crinkled, and red. I need to check the tag. The pepper had some spunk.

Wed, Aug 5

I picked 9 tomatoes, including the first yellow-orange tomato from a plant that produces such tomatoes in the tennis ball size.

I also picked some green beans, a small amount of lettuce, and a couple peppers.

One pepper was a banana pepper and the other was an orangeish pepper. Again, I need to check the tags.

The green bean seeds that I planted in late June and at the beginning of July have not done well. The late June ones, however, are starting to bloom. Not all the seeds sprouted.

The lettuce is nearly done. I should probably remove it soon and give more room to the nearby peppers.

At this point, it's mainly green beans, peppers, and tomatoes.

I picked a lot of green beans in July. We have been steaming them. They're tasty.

I was hoping to have green beans into October. I don't know of I can plant green bean seeds now. I may try in the area where I remove the lettuce.

The tomato plants are producing well this year. Both the container plants and the tomato plants growing in the garden are doing well. I have eight tomato plants, and only one is struggling a little.

The tomatoes have been tasty exceptional. One of my favorite things to eat, a fresh garden tomato. The plants are mainly the roma or plum tomatoes. I might have two of those plants that produce the large-ish yellow-orange tomatoes.

The strawberry plants that I planted in May started blooming in July, and now they are producing strawberries.

Thu, Aug 13

I harvested produce from our garden, including 6 sweet banana peppers, 1 Roma or plum tomato, some green beans, a little sorrel, and a small amount of lettuce which was the last. I removed the lettuce plants and did a lot of weeding.

Mon, Aug 17

I harvested a nice haul, maybe the biggest thus far, of green beans. I was surprised by the amount. The 0.58 inches of rainfall on Fri, Aug 14 must have helped a lot.

The green bean seeds that I planted in late June and early July have started producing. The green bean seeds that I planted in May are still producing well.

Today, I picked two strawberries, a large sweet banana pepper, and a small amount of sorrel.

For lunch, I ate a Morning Star black bean burger, steamed green beans, some of a decent-sized orange tomato from our garden, two sweet banana peppers, a little sorrel, and the very last of the lettuce, which I picked recently. That's the end of the lettuce for 2015. The plants were very
productive.

Fri, Aug 21

I picked more green beans, a couple sweet banana peppers, and one small strawberry.

Thu, Sep 3

I picked produce at the end of August and then again on Sep 3.

Sep 3 haul. Those small red peppers have a kick. The yellow-orange tomatoes taste amazing.

Fri, Sep 11

I picked beans, peppers, tomatoes, and a strawberry. Oops, I forgot to cut sorrel.

The May green beans are still producing well. I noticed the plants had more flowers.

I picked a handful of sweet banana peppers.

Then I picked two medium-sized green peppers of some kind. First for these of the season, whatever they are. The tag said they are suppose to turn red. They've been at this size for a week or two, but they are still dark green. I'll get variety info from the tag.

The strawberry plants that we planted in May continue to produce strawberries. I pick only a few each week.

Wed, Sep 23

I harvested:

  • green beans
  • three kinds of peppers
  • a tomato
  • a little sorrel

No strawberries, but the plants are still producing flowers.

The May bean plants are still producing big beans. The late June and early July bean plants are doing okay.

By September, the garden receives no direct sunlight. It won't receive sun until the leaves drop from the oaks in November.

Sat, Oct 10

Between Sep 23 and Oct 10, I harvested more green beans, a sweet banana pepper, and a tomato.

Today, Oct 10, I harvested a small amount of green beans, one sorrel leaf, one roma-style tomato, and a small orange pepper.

This is prob the last of the May green beans because this week, those plants dropped most of their leaves.

The late June and early July bean plants are still looking decent with some producing flowers.

I did pick some May green beans today, and they were still large-ish. Those plants were major producers. Of course, I didn't note the variety of those green beans like I should have. And it may have had to do with all the rain we received in June.

The strawberry plants have several whiteish berries and more flowers. I need to check daily for nearly ripened berries because something eats the red-ripened ones.

From here on, the garden will produce a few green beans and strawberries, but mainly it will be tomatoes and peppers.

Over the past few years, I pick for the final time at the end of October or early November when we receive a hard frost or freeze in the city.

Sad to think that the produce garden may only have two to three weeks of production left for this year.

Although once the leaves drop from the oak trees in November, our backyard will be awash with winter sunshine, therefore I may try growing greens under plastic this winter.

Thu, Oct 15

Had a nice lunch, comprised of three types of peppers, two types of tomatoes, green beans, and a sorrel leaf, all picked from our garden a few days ago.

Fri, Oct 18

I picked a few green beans, final ones, probably, a sorrel leaf, and one sweet banana pepper.

Sat, Oct 17

Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., I picked all remaining tomatoes and peppers, regardless of size.

Yesterday evening, I watered the garden and then I tarped it.

I set alarm for 4:00 a.m. I checked the web and saw temps within and around Toledo were in the upper 20s to low 30s.

At 4:30 a.m., the air temp under the tarp at the edge registered 31.7 degrees.

I removed the three tarps and picked the produce. I watered the garden and tarped the pepper plants which were still producing flowers.

Inside, I washed or warmed the produce with lukewarm water.

Temp at 5:10 a.m. near ground level near the garden was 31.5 degrees.

Tue, Oct 27

I picked around a half dozen green beans while I cleaned up the garden a little.

The strawberry plants are still producing new flowers and new berries.

Some of the pepper plants are still, slowly producing peppers.

I removed the tomato plants, stakes, and cages from the garden and from the four containers that rest on the driveway.

Sun, Nov 1

No harvest today. Past few days, I've been eating produce from our garden, picked earlier.

Today at 1:12 p.m., I ate the last green bean from our garden. I had around dozen green beans left that I steamed lightly. Tasty. I'll miss them.

Warmish weather this week. Maybe I'll find a stray green bean late this week.

Today and the past couple days, I've eaten red and yellow tomatoes, light green sweet, mild banana peppers, dark green zippy peppers, and orange peppers that are my favorite. I've eaten a couple big salads the previous two days, using greens from a local farmer bought last week at the Toledo farmers market.

Good stuff.

Thu, Nov 19

At 5:25 p.m., I picked the last produce from our garden, which included a handful of green beans, several peppers, and a half dozen small sorrel leaves.

This evening, I'll cut the lone, still-blooming Black-eyed Susan plant, since it has two or three blooming flowers and a couple blooms yet to open.

It's forecast to be in the upper 20s tonight, although it will probably be a few degrees warmer in our neighborhood.

We still have some tomatoes to eat from our garden that I picked weeks ago. They all ripened up.

#home - #garden - #blog_jr

By JR - 2588 words
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