Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekly Farm Update! 5/1/11

We start this week with the acorn squash that is coming in. It is still too small to pick. This plant came from a store bought acorn squash. I was happy to see that this is a bush variety and extremely high yielding. There are many that are growing but all the flowers don't get pollinated and that is why I've been hand pollinating,
There are not many pollinating insects out there yet, and there is no reason these should go to waste.

Sticking with squash, we move onto spaghetti squash? I remember pollinating a few flowers but I guess I forgot about them because I was shocked to see these two hanging around. I also have 2 more squash on the plant I put up front of the house. One of those is just taking off but the other is a little slower.

I know there are probably some out there that wonder about hand pollinating squash and it is not that hard. I found some help online and when you get down to it, it isn't difficult at all. I had to resort to it last year because all of my spaghetti squash was just dying. We ended up enjoying 3-4 squash last year and fell in love with them.

Enough of the squash for now and to show off some tomatoes. The larger two of this bunch, are the first two of the season. The others in the bunch have grown that much in about a week's time. Like I said last week, these are the first of the season but there are more all around the garden. The yellow pear tomatoes, my favorite, have also started to set fruit. My wife just can't wait for the tomatoes and is about to burst. I simply told her that she can eat them all but she must leave the yellow pears for me. I am finicky about tomatoes but I just love those little yellow morsels. I plan on taking those to work as healthy snacks.

Of course, the updates here will continue and you will see the process with me.

Our next picture is not a vegetable but a flower. This flower came from the same sunflowers from last year. My sister's boyfriend knew that I was into gardening and just plants. He brought over a packet of sunflower seeds that I simply tossed into a small pot with potting mix. I watered it and before long, I had these gorgeous  flowers. Throughout the corse of the season, I potted the flowers up and they now sit in a 5 gallon pot. I grew the entire seed packet and once the flowers faded, the plants have since re-seeded themselves.

Sunflowers are not the only flowers growing in the garden. Marigolds can also be found in pots all over. These were grown to keep away the bad insects and bring in the beneficial ones. I started with a full packet of seeds in trays and these have just taken off.

This is just one of the many flowers that are all over the yard and I am in totally in love. I don't know what it is but I have always admired marigolds in the different varieties. As a kid I remember walking home from school and seeing them growing at a few houses. I now know why they may have been grown.

I know I didn't talk about my lettuce/greens bed too much last week. Everything continues to grow well and many salads have been enjoyed. The heat is kicking in and I water everyday and I hope to keep them going for a while.

The white swiss chard is in two rows in the center and has different varieties of lettuce on either side. The chard has been eaten fresh in salads and cooked like spinach and provides great flavor.

On the edge of the greens bed, zukes were put in and a trellis of sorts will be built. I want to build it to where it provides shade for the greens. I'm not sure how that will work but some ideas have been bouncing around in my head.

I have seen many tutorials that uses pvc pipe, but the sun will make it brittle and may not last too long. My next idea is conduit pipe but I don't know if the pipe will be too hot and burn the plant. The pipe would be a sturdier option and won't cost too much. A frame can be made and nylon netting used to hold up the plant.

I don't know yet but we'll see. Although, the garden funds are being used to buy redwood  dog eared picket fence boards to make more raised beds. More on that later.

The plants in the current beds are bigger everyday and will hopefully put out a good yield of organic food without the high cost. The tomato/carrot bed on the right fills in more everyday.

The middle bed has eggplants, peppers and tomatoes in it. Everything in it is also getting nice and big. The peppers also have small buds on them. The only thing I gotta watch right now if the massive squash plant that has emerged between the last two beds on the end. If you remember, I am not great at labels. I honestly didn't think it would get so massive and a little trimming has been needed.

The last bed on the left has 3 tomato plants and 3 pepper plants. The tomato plants are a decent size and the peppers are also getting there. More buds and new leaves can be found almost everyday. I hope it all makes it though and provides some great food.

The last photo of the week is one of a green bell pepper plant that has been potted up. It may actually stay in this pot for the season. Buds on these have started to form and should hopefully be putting out some great peppers.

I think this is one of the bigger updates this season but I hope I will be reporting about the many pounds of organic produce that come out of the garden. It will definitely help with the grocery bill.

Until next week!


This week's photos are HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Great update, the flower pictures are awesome. I have a few pots of marigolds too and they are just starting to bloom. This is my first year planting flowers from seeds, and so far so good. Take care.