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Second Flush

September 3rd, 2015

Around the beginning or middle of July, I often seed a second flush of peas, beans, and zucchini. These plants often exhaust themselves and don’t fruit for a long period of time. I really like them, so I find planting a second batch gives me a long season. It also allows me to easily pull out the exhausted plants to replace them with fall crops when they begin to languish.
Second Flush Garden 1
The great thing about a second planting is that the seeds germinate quickly and the plants grow like gangbusters with the heat and long days. I’m always amazed at how quickly they grow and fruit. Zucchini that I seed in May often takes 6-8 weeks to start fruiting. This zucchini started fruiting only four weeks after being seeded.
Second Flush Garden 2
Second Flush Garden 3
Second Flush Garden 4
Succession planting is something that I’m getting better and better at the longer I garden. It really is amazing how much you can grow in a small space when you do it. I find that it also makes it much easier for me to pull up exhausted veggies that I used to let hang on in the garden even with meager harvest (broccoli offshoots ring a bell?). These aren’t the only vegetables I plant in succession, I have lettuce, broccoli, fennel, carrots, beets, and a few others that were seeded throughout the summer as space became available in the garden.

Are you in the habit of planting in succession to lengthen the harvest and maximize your garden space?

Fall Peas

October 9th, 2014

My fall peas are just reaching the point where they’re starting to fill out the pods. Truth be told I should have planted them a few weeks earlier, but I couldn’t since the garlic wasn’t ready to be harvested yet.
fall peas 1
When it comes to fall/winter gardening, the cool weather isn’t quite as big of a deal as the reduced daylight hours. Things are much slower to mature since they’re getting 3-5 fewer hours of sunlight. That’s definitely something to remember when sowing for a second harvest.
fall peas 2
I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll survive long enough to produce a decent crop for the freezer.

Do you have any fall/winter crops that are ready to harvest?

So Long Peas…Hello Beets

July 20th, 2013

The winter garden seeding is in full swing.  I’ve been tearing out peas, broccoli and other spring crops and replacing them with turnips, beets, carrots and spinach.
pea vines 2
Of course the pigs are getting the exhausted pea vines, they have a great time searching for any pods remaining. The string from the trellis was saved and I’m using it to tie up my tomatoes.
pea vines 1
Hopefully the fall crops will do well, I’m hoping for a good harvest of root vegetables not only for us, but for all of our feathers, hooved and pawed creatures.

Are you replacing any spring crops with fall crops?

Hello Peas!

June 4th, 2013

I noticed a few days ago that one row of peas is blooming quite nicely. These are ‘Dakota’ peas that were planted on April 5th. Most likely, they’ll be fruiting while we’re back in Ohio (which will be the last half of the month of June). Dailon will most likely greatly enjoy them. I’m also growing ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Lincoln’ peas.
spring peas 1
What I noticed about these plants is that they’re very short, they’re only 12-18 inches tall at best. I have them supported with chicken wire staked with bamboo poles, but I’m thinking I wouldn’t need that at all.
spring peas 2
I’m really looking forward to garden fresh peas this year. I have two 70 foot rows up in the main garden, with hopes of filling my freezer with delicious peas. There’s just something not quite right about beef stew or chicken & dumplings if there are no peas in them!

Do you grow garden peas? Which variety is your favorite?

Filling my Pockets

June 5th, 2012

On Sunday afternoon I went out to check on the garden since it had been a few days since I had done it. First stop was the edible garden of course and I noticed right away that there were some peas ready to harvest. I picked and picked until my pockets were full, then I made a beeline back to the house to shell them. These are the ‘Dakota’ peas that a few of you recommended.

These peas are quite nice, they plants are very short, they probably wouldn’t even need support. They seem to be blooming and producing quite prolifically. I planted a few other varieties of shelling peas as well, but the deer have munched all of those off. Thankfully these are planted where the deer can’t get to them. The golden peas are ready to harvest and I have a few nice heads of broccoli as well.

We enjoyed these peas with dinner that evening, steamed and sprinkled on top of the Hungarian Goulash we were eating. They were simply divine. One of the best things about eating seasonally and growing your own is tasting freshly harvested items after a long time without them. You remember you like peas or beans, but you forget the complexity and freshness of just harvested vegetables, I can’t wait for the first tomato!

What fresh vegetable are you most looking forward to this gardening season?

Reading & Watching

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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.