Spring Harvest

Spring is here and the garden has come alive. Our winter was mild so all the plants I had started in the fall did fairly well. It is getting hot quickly but we are able to harvest some goodies before the major heat, mold and bugs arrive.
I wasn’t sure because it started off slow but it looks like we had a good year from the blueberries and tomatoes.
We started picking the blueberries one by one as they ripened. I thought we could beat the birds this year. I guess the area birds are not a fan this year. They left plenty for us.

They are almost all gone. In retrospect I think the new drip irrigation that I added for them has helped them this year. I always thought they had plenty of irrigation where they were but I guess I was wrong. With consistent irrigation and the right schedule of acid, next year should be even better!
While we soon say goodbye to the blueberries, the tomatoes are thriving.

Tomatoes growing out of control. I need to secure them.

In other news….
Grape vine is fully grown for the season.

Broccoli has bolted. We never really took advantage of harvesting it this year.

Chive flowering.

It might be a good year for the citrus. I started a new fertilizing routine last year. None of the other disease control measures were working and the trees still seemed to be dying off. The new fertilizer sits on the leaves and provides nutrients. The idea is that the plant will remain strong and fight off the diseases its self. They seem to be holding on for now and producing fruit. I won’t know for a while if this routine will work long term

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Lime

A little green for you

Went out to the garden this weekend to pick some mint for a refreshing drink and got distracted by all the new growth. I had to harvest a crop of collards (see above) due to the tomatoes slowly blocking the sunlight from the plants in the garden. I made a nice sauteed collard greens with garlic and onion dish.

We also saw the first sign of the grape vine coming back. It must mean that winter is definitely over!

I put up some stakes to secure the new tomato growth and finally got around to picking my mint. I concentrated first on the mint that is spreading out into the grass (see above).
Mint may grow like a weed but it is a weed I don’t mind!
Happy growing!

Early July Garden

It’s the 4th of July and the garden is doing fine.

We finally have a watermelon growing. The bees are no where to be seen so I have been hand pollinating these as I can.

We also have a great crop of plum tomatoes. I noticed some signs of caterpillar damage (but saw no caterpillars yet). I want to spray them but the rain is every day lately. Hopefully I can spray BT sometime soon.

In the distance you might be able to make out the corn plant that is hanging on. No corn yet but I am hoping for something.

I am doing a much better job at training the muscadine grape vine this year. Last year the weight of the vine made the trellis slant forward. The extra support I added this winter is holding up.

For the first time we will have grapefruit this year. I counted at least five that are growing. The leaves are still falling off though. I found a spray that may help with this but I am having a hard time applying it because of the constant rain.

Key limes are back again too. They have the same issue as the grapefruit tree.

I butchered the heck out of the viburnum in the backyard. I was trying to locate a lost sprinkler head and finally found it behind the middle bush. I will be replacing that sprinkler head with drip irrigation to provide better water to one of the square foot gardens. I would like to train the bush on the right to grow as a small shade tree to open that area for some shade plant opportunities…..we will see what happens.

Flowers doing well in one of the whisky barrels.

And finally the aloe plant is reproducing again this year. I might transplant some of the babies. We don’t take advantage of this plant as much as we should.

Hopefully I will have an update at the end of the month to see what makes it.

Eviction Notice


Yesterday afternoon, right before a holiday weekend, I sent eviction notices to some tenants. I  physically kicked some tenants out on their arse. I think of myself as an easy going landlord. I let freeloading weeds live in my garden all summer, never having to pay rent (aka feed me). Weeds are big partiers who tear up the place; evictions must occur. Although it is as painful for me as it is for them (sunburns and back pains), it must be done to make room for new tenants.
I am real excited about the new tenants. I am expecting some first class kale, yummy broccoli, and other fall crops to be moving in soon. I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Some of the unwanted visitors

Here is what you have missed the last few months:

I took on way too much responsibility mid-way through this year. Gardening and photography were put on hold.
With the exception of back pain this past week (and two missed runs), I am on track to be ready to finish and maybe beat my time for my second half-marathon in November.


Some jerk bird ate all the blueberries.


Bugs binged and purged on the brussel sprouts


 Grapes are rotting off the vine because we are slow to pick them. Backyard smells like a winery.


 I killed these carrots


Fig Party


 I just about killed my aunt’s favorite plant- the Okinawa Spinach. I am working on bringing it back to life.

 
Kale is King


Seeds are in for the fall.

Somebody has been eating the blueberries


Somebody, or some thing, has been eating our blueberry crop this year. I have only tasted one and even that one was not quite ripe. So it has been a little disappointing this year thus far in blueberry land. I suppose I should get some sort of netting installed. I don’t think I will be motivated enough to do this before blueberry season is over. Perhaps it is a project I can take on next year?

Leaves as mulch
This is our second season of using dead leaves from our oak as mulch in the backyard. I love the multicolor look of the leaves on top of the mulch. Hopefully it will assist keeping the weeds at bay.
Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation helps keep these herbs hydrated so they can be of use culinary wise.

 Broccoli is Bolting
We say goodbye to the broccoli for now. It has decided to flower.
Trying to bring spring to the backyard

Palm Fronds
I use newly trimmed palm fronds to help shade fragile plants from the harsh sunny days.

Mimosa strigillosa
Mimosa strigillosa is in bloom again and filling in nicely in the areas where the grass has died. Perhaps one day the whole backyard will be covered in the pink flowers.

Grapes
We will have many grapes this season. I have been working on training the grapes so they will provide shade as well.

My Garden Oasis
My garden retreat is almost complete. It should be a nice shaded area to rest from the hot summer sun once the grape vine has fully grown.