In preperation for our spring garden, Mary and I went through all of our seed packets we had been saving. We had some in the fridge and some in with our garden supplies. We were only planting two 4ft x 8ft garden beds to start with, so we selected a few of our favorite vegetables. We started yellow sqash, sugar baby mellons, and cucumbers, in peat pellets (see above picture). All the seeds started out like normal and looked pretty good. I also bought a couple of tomato plants from a local nursery, which I planned to plant in a compost filled truck tire. In the next few articles I'll detail our planning, planting and harvesting of our spring garden, and some of the things we learned along the way.
We're well under way now with our spring garden and have been enjoying fresh squash, zucchini and cucumbers for a few weeks now. This picture was taken about one month after our first planting. We started the squash and zucchini on the right of the picture first, and the watermelon and cucumbers a week or two later. A few of the squash and zucchini were started from seeds in pete pots, then transplanted to the garden. The rest of the plants were started from seeds, directly in the garden.
With 2011 right around the corner, We have spent some time reflecting upon the events of 2010. This always leads us to making some resolutions for the new year to come. As yardsteaders, we tend to mark time by seasons and we began thinking of resolutions to match the seasons. We didn't want to just go with the typical resolution of "plant more next year". All the vegetables we plant each year such as zuchinni, heirloom tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, onions, garlic and so on were all popular in my kitchen this year, and we intend to devote more space to these crops next spring. But to be honest, we haven't planned well in years past and we don't have something planted in our garden through each season. I think in Florida with our climate and mild winters, this is probably almost gardening criminal. So our New Year's gardening resolution? Plan, Plan, Plan a four-season garden and make more space in the garden to grow more unusual varieties of heirloom vegetables and fruit!
The Yardstead wishes you much Happiness, Health, and Prosperity in the New Year. As always Happy Yardsteading to you and your family in 2011!
Well it's been quite a while since I've posted anything here at the yardstead. Kathleen and I have been very busy and just haven't taken the time to post. We had a good productive spring. We grew a bunch of sqush and zuchinni as usual, along with a few new varieties. This year we tried some seminole pumpkins and cuban squash. Both were very prolific, but we haven't given them the taste test yet. We also added 9 new young hens and 1 rooster in with our mature birds. We were down to 3 laying hens and one rooster due to a dog attack earlier in the year. We still only have three hens laying, but the new additions may start laying by the end of the summer. Lots of other things are growing great and we will be posting some updates (along with pictures) on our fruit trees. Our bamboos are doing great as well as Kathleens water chestnut. Anyway, stay tuned for some updates of our doings over the spring. I will be adding some new pics to the gallery this week as well. You can click on any of the pictures in the gallery to see a detailed view and description, or watch a slide show. Feel free to leave us a comment anytime, we like hearing from you.
Spring is Here! We are so excited here at theYardstead, to be preparing our Spring garden. The garden is tilled and has two fine patches of green already. One of the green patches is garlic and the other is onions, both of which were planted in the late fall for harvest this summer. We start most of our veggies from seed and sometimes supplement with plants from our local feed store. We have a box of seeds which has accumulated seed packets over the last several seasons, some of which we will plant this year. Kathleen, who is in charge of garden planning, will be ordering the rest from seed companies.
In the past we ordered a lot of seeds from Johnny's Seeds and Burpee, but this year we decided to go with all heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are.....
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which affects many types of plants. Cucurbits like zucchini, squash, pumpkins, melons and gourds are all succeptable to powdery mildew. It usually appears on leaves as small round white powdery spots which quickly spread and cover the entire leaf. In our garden here at the yardstead we've lost many zucchini, squash and pumpkin plants to powdery mildew. This year powdery mildew killed all of our zucchini and most of our paty pan sqash and yellow squash.
It is usually easy to identify powdery mildew by its appearance on the top of the leaves. It usually looks like white powder on the leaves. Infected leaves usually turn yellow and wilt after just a few days. Powdery mildew usually appears in our garden on one or two plants then quickly spreads to all the other zucchini and squash plants. The infected plants usually don't die completely and frequently send out new leaves and flowers. We have been able to recover from powdery mildew in the garden a few times, when we caught it early and sprayed all the plants with neem oil.
On a few other occasions I applied the funigicide ...........