Thursday, August 8, 2013

Gardening Update

I know I said I would give gardening updates this summer, but my gardening is a sideshow to my traveling and adventuring so I don't pay my garden much attention besides talk to it as I walk by, giving it words of encouragement to keep growing, growing, growing!  Yesterday's weeding had me twitching and going nuts slapping at what appeared to be nothing but were in fact no-see-ums.  I saw nary a mosquito but my forehead was a mass of red welts by time I was done.  I didn't realize no-see-ums could be so nasty!

I didn't realize the beans were climbers and they've gone nuts, as have the cucumber plants further down!

Tomatoes, peppers and zucchini in the greenhouse.  Yum!
The  greenhouse has produced way more than ever before in my 3 years on the bench in Homer.  The hot weather (70's, even 80! degrees) has been awesome for everything:  peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and green beans.  The zucchini could probably go outside (I've done both), but the rest of the things are strictly greenhouse plants in this area.  I picked my first cucumbers and zucchini in early July, tomatoes a week or so later and just started picking beans and peppers in the past week.  What didn't grow in the greenhouse that normally does well was my lettuce, which is very disappointing as I love my salads and hate buying lettuce.  I've replanted it like 5 times and it doesn't even come up so I think my seed is old and I need to start over with fresh seed next year!

Outside the potatoes actually blossomed this year, which is a first.  Normally they are just beginning to blossom when we harvest in late September.  My onions and carrots are happy, growing well.  The spinach bolted early and was small, I harvested, planted again, harvested that and just did my third planting.  The kale is coming along--not great but good enough.  I'll be harvesting that next week as it looks like it won't be growing more.  I pulled out some egg-sized potatoes yesterday for tonight's dinner, so we're back into potato season again and the onions can start coming out though I may hold off to see how big they'll grow.

My second (and final) weeding of the garden is completed for the season! 
I got bitten up by no-see-ums yesterday while completing the weeding.

I will miss not having cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, but that was the price I paid for cavorting around for 2 months.  I am a lazy gardener at heart, only weeding my garden twice all season, watering if it is dry deeper than an inch, and not fertilizing too much.  If I were around more I would do that.  Actually, that is my plan for the next couple weeks:  visit the fish dumpsters on the spit and get fish flesh and carcasses to sidedress (bury next to plants) in the garden and make fish gurry (soak carcass in water for a few days then use as fertilizer).  A friend just told me about sidedressing this week.  And then I need to visit my friend that has chickens and get some poop!  That stuff's the best! 

From here on out the potatoes, onions and carrots are going to go nuts and grow, and I just keep on encouraging them, looking forward to bountiful harvests!


Tiffany D. Davidson said...

I hear that moose getting into the garden is an issue for Alaskan gardeners. Have you ever had a problem with this?


Michelle Waclawski said...

Actually, I have a moose fence around the garden, greenhouse, apple trees, serviceberry bushes and current bushes. I just never take a picture that far away since moose fences aren't very photogenic! The rabbit fence around the garden is an added and necessary precaution. Some people just hang fishnets over and around their garden. Short fences often get jumped by the moose. I suspect a garden without a fence will just get eaten, and a moose can clean out a garden completely in a very short time!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and reading about your life in Alaska! How expensive is produce (lettuce, etc...) in your grocery stores? Thanks! Marlene from North Carolina.

Michelle Waclawski said...

Honestly, I don't look at prices too much. When I first moved here I did and the sticker shock was so great I would stop buying fresh stuff, which wasn't a good thing. I look for sales, and those can bring the prices down to bearable. I recall green peppers being $2/pepper, fresh fruit has been $1.50/lb. for the cheapest stuff. Grapes are usually $4-5/lb. Big pumpkins are selling for $12 each. Five packs of romaine hearts might be $5.30 or so. That's a random sampling but every store is different and I just learn where to get what at the best price.