My garden progress report for Summer 2010

In the empty soil days of winter and early spring my imagination fills the spaces with row upon row of veggies.  A pile of seed catalogues lives by my chair and I could spend far more $$$$$ then is in my garden budget.  Then I have to come down to earth, order seeds, and get to work in the greenhouse and the soil.

Now it’s early August and in the reality of late summer it’s time to look to see where  I got this season – and begin to plan for next summer.

Winter with its snow cloak (Feb 2010)

The earliest planting of potatoes

Mid May: potatoes and onions are up.

First early summer harvest; beets, carrots and not pictured the 2 bushels of potatoes, a bushel each of Elephant Garlic and onions.

My garden yesterday morning!  I’m picking tomatoes, cucumbers, collards, pigion peas, zucchini, sweet peppers, yellow beans.

And here is some of the fresh bounty we’ve been harvesting.  So far I’ve put up 21 jars of canned tomatoes.    I’m so happy because last year the weather played me false and I had to buy  tomatoes for canning!


  • Becky

    After all my excitement of early tomatoes, they seem to have all died early. Here I am in early August with all my big plants dead….poor me. At least I did get some put up…

  • jim

    Hey Leni – Loved the photos! The hay pathways are so cool, plus they will be fertilizer by next spring. Been away from snow country too long – just can’t imagine going from the winter wonderland to that impressive garden every year. (‘Course, down here we go from winter gardens to Hot as Hades August, which is where we are now.)

    Chris – check your local farmers’ market and see if you can find a gardener with beets for sale and ask for tips. Don’t know where you are but planting timing and variety grown are always factors but seem to be more so with beets. Good seed from a reputable mail-order company (Johnny’s and Baker Creek are both great) really helps. Try small packets of several varieties and see which one works best in your area. “Sucesion planting” over a period of weeks or even months (depending on how far north/ how high of an altitude you are at, a fall crop might turn out to be the best – beets seem to taste better after a light frost) will give you an idea of when to plant. One thing a lot of people don’t understand about beets and “cousin Chard” is that the “seed” is a dried fruit with several seeds, so early thinning (at the three-true-leaf stage) is important. Besides, baby beet leaves make a great salad. To be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time growing beetroot, but I love beet leaves (especially Bull’s Blood and Big Top) in a salad mix to balance out the arugula, chicory, and baby mustards.

  • Leni the cook

    Chris – Over the years I have been the victim of the dread Blister Beatle almost every season – a critter that attacks in swarms and can wipe out an entire planting of beets or chard overnight! It might be the bug you are talking about. Look them up online to see the details. The only way I can get past them – they attack without warning so you come out one morning to find the invasion – truly yuckky – is Pyola. I am tempted to get out the big guns – SEVIN – and blast them to hell! But I resist that.

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