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Looks Like We Don’t Have To Worry About Vampires

March 29th, 2011

The garlic that I planted last fall is looking great this spring. I’m interested to see how the different varieties grow and the difference between the ones that were soaked previous to planting and the ones that weren’t. I love doing experiments to see if all those extra tips are really worth the time and effort.

Yesterday afternoon I gave the garlic and shallots beds a watering with some Neptune’s Harvest (which I purchase by the 5 gallon bucket) to give them a nice boost of nutrients for spring growth. I find that this product works wonders for growing healthy plants, especially for those of us with really lean soil.

Next week I’ll be scraping back the mulch and adding some bone meal to the top of the soil then reapplying the mulch. I’ll apply more bone meal in early May, this will help the garlic develop larger bulbs since mine tend to be on the small side they need a good amount of phosphorus. One thing I love about growing garlic in the garden is the flavor, it’s so much better than the storebought bulbs. I also love the variety that you can grow. Mr Chiots and I eat a lot of garlic as we love the flavor and the health benefits it provides. (for all varieties I’m growing and planting info read this post). It looks like we’ll be vampire free for another year thanks to the lovely garlic that overwintered so well!

Are a lover of fresh garlic? Do you grow any in your garden?

Harvesting Garlic

July 20th, 2010

Last year I harvested my garlic on July 17. This year my garlic was ready to harvest early last week, but I didn’t have time to get out to do it. I ended up harvesting all the garlic last Friday evening.

As with onions, the heads of garlic I grow here at Chiot’s Run are always a little smaller than I’d like. But this year they were much larger due to the fact that I added a teaspoon of bone meal under each bulb at planting time.

I planted different varieties of garlic than I did last year, I haven’t tasted them yet so I don’t know how they’ll stack up to the varieties I grew last year.

I only have a few heads of garlic left from my harvest last year, so I’m happy that the pantry is once again filled with a nice basket of garlic. I use lots of garlic in my cooking, both because of the flavor and the health benefits.

Are you a garlic lover? Do you grow garlic in your garden?

September 2009 Harvest Totals

October 8th, 2009

September is the month when things start slowing down here in Ohio. We had scattered frost the last week of September, which is a few weeks earlier than usual. The weather has been very cold and very cloudy and dark, which significantly slowed down the harvests from the garden.
I harvested my onions, which was very disappointing. For some reason onions do not do well in my soil, I don’t know if it’s the acidity or the lack of sunlight in my fairly shady gardens. I’ll be growing the majority of my onions at my mom’s house next year and I’ll experiment with a few new locations here with more sun.
I didn’t get around to planting any lettuce in late Aug/early Sept as I wanted, so I don’t have any lettuce from the garden at the moment. I also got my fall cabbage & broccoli started a little too late, that coupled with the early cold weather will mean I will not be harvesting much from my fall garden. I do have spinach, chard and mache in one bed that will be ready for early spring harvests next year.
The longer I garden the better I’ll be at planting things at the right times to ensure better fall harvests. I should have a decent October harvest with all the squash and popcorn and hopefully I’ll be harvesting lettuce and other green towards the end of the month. I was also able to can/freeze/dry a lot of food for this winter not just from my garden but local food from the farmer’s market as well.
In September I was able to harvest:
44 lbs of tomatoes that were canned in chunks for winter sauces & soups
40 lbs of pears from my mom’s tree
43 lbs of pumpkins & squash that will be made into pies and other goodies
5 lbs of small onions that will be used up this winter in all kinds of dishes
4 lbs of green beans that were steamed, drizzled with olive oil and enjoyed
3 lbs of melons
2 lbs of crabapples that were used to thicken my elderberry syrup
2 lbs of peppers, mostly cayenne that were dried to spice up soups & sauces
2 lbs of celery that was used in chicken soup when I was sick and other dishes
.5 lbs of garlic that I found in the garage that was actually harvested in July but somehow got misplaced
Lots and lots of herbs that have been dried and stored for sipping in teas or spicing up dishes
Despite all the setbacks, it was still a satisfying September. I’d rather be harvesting a little from the garden than nothing at all, and I guess I keep track so that I realize at the end of the month that harvesting 142 lbs of food from my garden means that it wasn’t such a bad month after all. Besides, there are still tomatoes that are ripening on the vines and that makes me happy.

What were your September harvests like? Any standout producers?

Around the Garden

May 17th, 2009

So what’s going on around the garden here at Chiot’s Run?
I expanded the flower bed up front to accommodate a dwarf cherry tree I planted last year. I was going to move a few cat mint plants to the new garden area, but I decided to plant some of my broccoli & cabbage plants there since I’m out of room in the raised beds out back.
My new batch of lettuce and arugula is growing nicely, I harvested a little for a salad for diner last night. We’ve really been enjoying the salad season this spring.
The garlic is doing incredibly well, I’m very excited to harvest some. As you can see, some of it is about 3 feet tall! Unfortunately the deer ate my peas, so no peas for us this spring. I think if I want peas I’m going to have to grow them in containers on my front porch, or put up a really tall fence.

How’s everyone’s garden growing so far this spring?

In the Garden: Inside and Out

April 14th, 2009

I figured it was time for a garden update, to let you all know how all of the crops are doing. My raised beds are 100% full with spring crops now, I’m hoping everything will be ready to harvest by the beginning of June so I can fill them with summer crops. My grow lights (all 6 of them) are packed with plants, I’m hoping to harden some off soon so I can transplant tomatoes to bigger pots and start some squash and flower seeds.
The peas are all doing well, I didn’t get great germination with one kind, but they were seeds leftover from last year. So I’m guessing pea seed are best used up each year and fresh seed purchased each spring. Peas are one of those crops that seem like you never get much out of them, unless you’re growing the sugar snap and eating the pods. We’ll see how many I end up with. I would love a few pints for the freezer, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
The garlic is all doing very well. I think I counted over 50 plants (no problems with vampires here). That should give us enough to eat ourselves, gifts for friends & family and we should be able to save a few for planting this fall. I’m very excited to try the various kinds I planted:

German White: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, rather hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

Killarney Red: A Rocambole Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests early-mid season, stores 5-6 months

Chesnok Red: A Purple Strip Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, medium warm pungency when raw, harvests mid-season, stores 6-8 months

Georgia Fire: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months
My onion seedlings are doing really well, they’re tall and you can see red on the base of the red onions. These will be going out soon since they can take some cold. As soon as the night temps remain above freezing (it was 26 last night) I’m going to harden them off and plant them outside.
The cabbage & broccoli seedlings are starting to grow like weeds, they are all about 6 inches tall. They’ll be going outside soon as well, I’m waiting for temps to stay in the 40’s (if you plant them out too soon the broccoli heads will be small, the soil should be about 60 degrees).
All of my tomato seedlings are doing quite well. It looks as though I’m going to have plenty to give to family and friends. I’m also hoping to have a good amount left so I can pot them up with care instructions and give them to the local food shelter to hand out to needy families.

How’s your garden growing inside & out?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.