Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pole Bean- Trail of Tears

I've grown pole beans for several years now, but this was my first time growing a bean exclusively for the dry seeds.  Sure, I've saved the seeds from other beans for years.  This is due to missing pods when harvesting or waiting to long between harvests and the pods start to swell. 

The seeds were from Granny,  They were planted in 3" pots in mid June.  In early July, I planted my three plants against the fence in the area that I was cleaning out to expand the garden.  I did not soil prep at all.  I attached some string to the fence, kept them watered, and that what it fro care.

I had noticed that they had begun to flower a few weeks ago.  Yesterday I went out to look at the vines and they were loaded with pods.  Some of the pods had turned red.  I know from reading Daphne's blog that this means they will be dry soon.  I can't wait.  My first frost should not be for a month at least, so all the pods should have plenty of time to ripen.  From those three plants there should be more than enough to save seed from and actually use in a meal.  It was also nice that they could be pretty much ignored and there was not the constant need to go and check to see if there were any to pick. 

I'll definitely be planting more next year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Harvest Monday- September 24, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions. It's a great way to see what other bloggers are harvesting from their gardens.

The garden is still producing, at least what is left of it.  Last Tuesday gave torrential rains and wind gusts over 60 mph.  Anything over 6" tall was flattened and broken.  The trellis' I built this spring did hold up,  This was small consolation though.  Fall clean up is going to be starting very early.

Mixed pole beans.

'Tennessee Spice' pepper.

More pole beans.

'Diva' cucumber.

'Snowberry' and 'Amy's Apricot' tomatoes.
The clean up began this weekend.  The 'Black Cherry' and 'Victor' tomato plants were removed.  When pulling out the bush beans, I did find enough dried beans from 'Greencrop' and 'Cherokee' to save for next year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Renee's Garden Seed Order

My favorite retail packet seed company is Renee's Garden Seed.  She has a wonderful assortment of unique varieties.  I have always found the seed as well as the plant quality excellent.  Unlike a lot of the seed you find in retail locations, what you see is what you get.  The prices are a bit high, but I wait until the beginning of September when she has her seed sale.  This year it was 40% off.  It has taken me almost a month to narrow down the list.  Here is what I have finally ordered.

1 5550 Beans, Bush Tricolor    2.79      1.67

1 5929 Bean, French Gold       2.99       1.79

1 5572 Beets, Baby Ball         2.79       1.67

1 5138 Lettuce, Italian Misticanza    2.79     1.67

1 5931 Lettuce, Sweetie Baby Romaine    2.79     1.67

1 5848 Lettuce, Ruby & Emerald Duet    2.79     1.67

1 5326 Tomato, Super Bush    2.79     1.67

1 5953 Arugula, Wasabi    2.99     1.79

1 5035 Morning Glory, Early Call    2.79     1.67

1 5852 Nasturtium, Buttercream    2.79     1.67

1 5830 Portulaca, Pastel Sundial    2.99     1.79

1 5001 Sunflower, Musicbox    2.79     1.67

1 5837 Zinnia, Pixie Sunshine    2.79     1.67

1 5952 Zinnia, Raspberry Sorbet    2.99     1.79  
The first number is the reg price, the second is the sale price.
A little background on the order.  The bush bean mix is a mix of 'Purple Queen', 'Slenderette' and 'Roc d'Or'.  I love the last two varieties.
The 'French Gold' beans are a yellow filet pole bean.  Have really been wanted to try this one.
All of the lettuce are suited for growing in containers which I plan to a lot more of next year as their are far fewer bug problems.
The tomato is also for container growing.  No fusarium wilt in containers.
'Wasabi' arugula is supposed to taste like it's name!
The morning glories are supposed to grow only to 6ft tall and I want to select out the rose color.
I have never has luck with nasturtiums so I'm trying again.
The other varieties just appealed to me for one reason or another.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday- September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions. It's a great way to see what other bloggers are harvesting from their gardens.

The garden is still producing, now that it has cooled down I noticed lots of new little peppers and beans.  Here s what I harvested this weekend.

'Red Marconi', 'Quadratti D'asti Giallo' peppers and 'Diva' cucumbers.

'Coastal Pride Orange' tomatoes from seed courtesy of Granny.

'Lazy Wife Greasy', 'Potomoc' and 'Blue Coco' pole beans.

'Tennessee Spice' pepper.

'Primero' cabbage and a handful of shallots in the back corner.  I missed these when the rest were harvested.

The mother of the next generation of Praying Mantis in the yard.

  All weekend long I have been hearing the booms of cannons.  Yes, I did say cannons.  This weekend was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam.  I did not watch the re-enactments, no point,  I could hear everything!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

On a Rainy Day...

What do you do when your a gardener trapped inside on a rainy day?
Start to think about next years garden.

I am less than satisfied with the results from the potager this year.  True, it did not turn into the jungle it usually does.  I can actually walk through it this year.
The challenges this year were the weather and bugs.  From the hoards of of earwigs, to the ever present gnats, to the tomato pin worms it has been a tough year.

I don't know why, buy when I start to plan my gardens there is always a theme involved.  Right now I'm thinking of taking my mothers advice and going "back to my roots", no pun intended, and planting an Italian garden.

I'm already picturing the fence draped with Romano and annelino beans, cucuzzi and white cucumbers.  The beds would be filled with escarole, endive, dandelion chicory, arugula and lettuce.  Frying peppers in red, purple and gold, basil, flat leaf parsley, broccoli raab and long red onions would round it out.  There is also an area nearby with purple artichokes and cardoons.

Of course there would be flowers too.  Pastel zinnias for cutting, Dolcissimo petunias in mouthwatering shades and ruffled pansies as exotic as orchids would over flow the edges.

I can make this a reality if the weather would let me finish the expansion, the damned tree of my neighbors that shades the back portion would vanish and one of the local farmers would let me keep a cow or two in this area for the fall.

You may notice that tomatoes are absent from this vision.  The fusarium, wilt and hoards of tomato pin worms are to blame.  I'm going to keep them out of this area for a year or two.

 I won't mention another vision where the area is filled with baby vegetables...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Harvest Monday- September 3, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions. It's a great way to see what other bloggers are harvesting from their gardens.

The weather this week was great.  I really am enjoying the cooler evenings.

'Qhadratti D'asti Giallo' peppers, 'Coastal Pride Orange' and 'New Big Dwarf' tomatoes.

Assorted tomatoes and pole beans.
'Diva' cucumbers and pole beans.

A misshapen pepper and assorted tomatoes.

'Snowberry' cherry tomatoes, 'Coastal Pride Orange' and assorted cherry tomatoes.

'Red Marconi' peppers. 'Coastal Pride Orange' tomato and 'Diva' cucumbers.

The cucumbers are starting to succumb to wilt.  I may be able to harvest a few more before the plants totally succumb.  The cherry tomatoes are succumbing to wilt as well.  The exception is my self seeding 'Snowberry'.  This has hundreds of tomatoes on it and is completely healthy.