Planting Beans, Potatoes, & the Great Garden Cleanup

Well I have been working on the yard and garden at least 15 minutes every day. Some days it’s mostly watering things and pulling a few weeds. At other times I’ve actually spent the whole time on pulling weeds and picking up trash. I worked in and around the greenhouse the other day. You can see before pictures in my post on May 30, 2011 

This photo is after just a couple of 15 minute sessions. I have a piece of black shade cloth over the green house frame to help shade my bedroom window until the morning glories take over the job.

green house after some clean up

The potatoes planted recently have mostly sprouted so I have begun mulching the open spaces between them. Not every piece planted has sprouted yet, which is ok, they should all make an appearance eventually.

I just try not to put a lot of mulch over the ones that haven’t come up yet.potato plants sprouting up

Since I’m going on vacation in August & September I’m trying hard not to plant too much stuff that will need a lot of attention. But I did decided to plant some Apache Purple Pod beans. These make nice green beans, shelly beans and dried beans.

getting ready to plant beans First I dug a good size trench next to the trellis and watered it well. The ground is very very dry and I’m trying to get moisture to the root zone.

After the water soaked in I made the trench even deeper and set out the bean seeds.planting beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then watered them in and covered them with about an inch of soil by directing the water to the side of the trench so the soil would wash down over the seeds. I then used  old screens to cover them to try and protect them as best I can from the birds. Right now the desert is very dry and the birds will dig up and eat any little green sprout they can find. June is a very difficult month to start any kind of seeds directly in the garden for that reason.

protecting the bean seeds from the birds

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You Will Love These Folks!

Imagine a space one fifth of an acre in size, about the average city lot, 66×132 feet. Now of course on that space is a little house, a garage, driveway, paths et.  So when you subtract all of those you end up with one tenth of an acre. Gosh doesn’t sound like a very big space does it? And you are right, it isn’t a very big space.

But with a great deal of effort and determination that small space has done something really really amazing. In 2010 that ONE TENTH of an acre,( just .1) produced 7,030 pounds of fruits and vegetables! WOW! NO GMO crop could possibly do that! NO Chemical Company can produce those kinds of yields in modern American Agriculture in any way shape or form! They do not even come close!

BECAUSE in PER ACRE amounts it totals: 70,300 pounds. No current big farm agriculture can possibly produce 35 TONS of fruits and veggies on an acre of land!

NOW, imagine if every person that could possibly do this, would do it. Where ever they live. Even if they didn’t manage these ginormous yields, but just think if every one grew their own salad, potatoes and green beans?

Think of how beautiful our cities would become with all that green. Think of how much pollution of all sorts would be reduced. How about whole city blocks of people getting together and landscaping the whole neighborhood together, with everyone sharing the produce of the different trees? That alone would be priceless.

One of the things America has surely lost in most places: a sense of place, of belonging, a local food system, a sense of caring and community. This is a way of beginning to get it back.

The Dervaes family have a number of websites, all of which you can access from this link.

Now around here, it is hotter than blazes and half the state of AZ seems like it is burning up with no rain or let up in sight. So I will dream of fall and winter and early next spring….hopefully the next pea crop will be as good as this ones was:

Potatoe Planting Time!

June is a good time to start potatoes in the garden here in the desert foothills. While I really should have bought certified seed potatoes, I just went ahead and planted the sprouting spuds growing in my kitchen. some purple/blue ones, some with red skin and white meat and a few regular russet bakers.

I have also written an article about potatoes, Growing Potatoes.

seed potatoes

sprouting potatoes

Gardening In The Desert

I’ve written a short article about gardening in the desert, which you can see  Here. It is the first of what I intend to be a long series of how to articles. It’s been a long week, so not much going on; will be out and about taking pics in the morning, so check back for more in a day or two.

Herbs & Flowers

I bought a few herb and flower plants last night. Not much selection locally this time of year but that is ok. I am really trying to keep myself reined in as I will be gone three weeks in Aug & Sep and that is a hard time in a big garden. So trying to keep things small and manageable so who ever I rope into garden sitting & bunny tending isn’t overwhelmed.

This morning I planted most of the plants into their pots. I also did a quick tidy up around the front steps where they will live. This spot gets plenty of early morning sun and a bit of late afternoon shade; perfect for so many things in the desert.

herbs & flowers

Front steps
a yellow daylily and some lobelia

a yellow daylily and some lobelia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TGIF

So happy it’s Fri and I have the weekend off. My regular job has just been kicking my butt. In addition to the fact that I have been spending a lot of extra hours here on the computer, working on my squidoo and zazzle projects.

Ran to the store for groceries and picked up a few flowers and some herbs for the pots around the front steps; that will be tomorrow mornings project, so more pictures tomorrow.

have fun and be safe!

Potatoe Time

June is a good time to plant potatoes here in the desert foothills. I had a few purple and red potatoes sprouting in the kitchen so got them put in today. I’ll be writing an article about planting potatoes and will let you know when it’s published!

Resurrection; bringing the dead back to life

Well folks as you can see I haven’t been too active here for a long time. I’m hoping to change all that now. At the moment the garden is quite dead but I am working on bringing it back to life. Just got side tracked down a byway on life’s hiway. 😉

So here is what a section of the back yard looked like before:

 

And then after I did 15 minutes of work. Yes in just 15 minutes I picked up a bag of trash and pulled quite a big pile of weeds.

 

I’m going to try and work at least 15 minutes in the garden every day. I’m missing having my hands in the dirt.

Season Review

Well since summer seems to be gone, I thought it would be a good idea to think about this past year and make some notes for next year.

It seems that last spring I could have planted more lettuce, radishes, beets & carrots later in the season. This would have helped with the gap in late May. While the kids enjoyed the baby corn, it seems they really wanted regular fresh corn.

I definately need to plant more melons. Plant less small tomatoes and a lot more large ones.  Give the large tomatoes more space, they probably need a good 24 inches each. I only had about 2 doz large tomatoes, could probably use upwards of 75-100. It takes a lot to make sauce, ketchup and other tomato based things.

Twenty to thirty row feet of snap and snow peas are probably enough, since I don’t like the way they are when you freeze them. But we could use 50 or more row feet of shelling peas for freezing little green peas and probably 25 feet or so of the Blueshokker soup peas.

Since the Lima beans didn’t set pods until late September, they could probably go in a lot later than they did.

I need more bird protection, especially in the summer and fall. Not only did I lose a lot of seedlings to the birds, but also a lot of sunflower and popping sorghum seeds.

I need more rat/squirrel/rabbit  control, they got some melons, tomatoes, squash and other things.

I want more peppers of all types. The amount of squash was fine, as we don’t eat much, especially of the summer types.

We would probably eat more spinach type greens, but mustard and turnip greens were a bust at the table.

We could probably eat more dry beans. The amount of green beans might have been too much, they weren’t a big thrill for the kids so I anticipate the 21 pints I canned to be more than enough. Though I will plant less yard long beans and more Kentucky Wonders.

We could use a lot more strawberry plants. Nobody likes Huckleberries, so I will just invest in more blueberry bushes.

We needed a lot more cucumbers. So this year watch out for the aphids and try to get rid of them ASAP.

I really need to work on the succession plantings. Not keeping up lead to a lot of gaps this year.

In the Garden

The garden continues to produce, though at a slower rate than before. The summer crops are winding down, but the fall and winter crops are a little slow taking off. It doesn’t help that a flock of quail helped themselves to the radishes and lettuce seedlings.

gardenoctt09 001Here are the King of the Garden Limas, finally! I picked 1 1/2 pounds the other day, which shelled out to about a quart of beans, cooked them up with bacon & onion, delish! Even Liberty liked them.

gardenoctt09 002Here a Trombocino squash {seeds available from http://www.freedomseeds.com} hides in the Red Currant tomato

gardenoctt09 005The bed at the bottom of the picture has baby carrots, the one farther away, Golden Globe turnips and parsnips. The bigger green plants are hollyhocks.

gardenoctt09 008Broccoli and cauliflower seedlings wait in the wings.

gardenoctt09 019Kabocha squash volunteers have run over quite a bit of the garden. The one in the front isn’t quite ready to pick. The ones in the back weighed 7 & 10 pounds each. The other one is twice as big, can’t wait to see how much it weighs.

gardenoctt09 023Lovely Hopi purple pod beans. These are yummy as fresh or dried shellies.

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