Strawberries from the Garden

Strawberries from the Garden

May 31, 2011

Protect Your Fruit and Veggies From The High Heat!

Here in the Mid-Atlantic the temperatures are just crazy! We have been hitting the mid 90's and it is very hard on veggies that are trying to produce but it is even more difficult for your fruit. If you have strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries this is not the time for them to struggle for water. Be sure to keep plants mulched and keep the watering regular. If you have irregular timing and/or amount of water your fruit harvest will suffer. As someone who loves all berries fresh and canned as jams and preserves, I will be babying my plants with a little extra TLC.

May 30, 2011

Fresh Strawberries- First of the Season!

 This weekend was the first real harvest of berries from my strawberry beds. I am so excited about how they are coming along! This is when gardening becomes a real family affair and is appreciated by everyone. I think we ate about a quart fresh, many before we could even bring them inside.

When we saw how many we had my girls thought maybe we should make some homemade strawberry ice cream for the holiday weekend. What a great idea! I really enjoyed slicing the berries for the ice cream and observing how these berries are actually red all the way through to the center of the berry. None of that white center in these berries. The ice cream was almost as wonderful as the strawberries! It was really good, I just prefer eating strawberries fresh.
So, if you haven't tried adding strawberries to your garden yet, think about it. They don't require a lot of space and they are pretty easy to take care of, and then the harvest, well that's the easiest part! I think the only trouble I have is keeping them from the birds. I put up bird netting around the beds and although it can be a pain to work around, it guarantees actually being able to enjoy the strawberries. Unless of course, a family member can't resist the temptation of a red, ripe strawberry as they pass by the strawberry bed . . .

I can't wait to see tomorrow's harvest. I think we'll be making strawberry jam or preserves any day now!

May 22, 2011

Garden Progress May 22, 2011

A walk through the garden reveals a garden that is starting to come alive! We are on our way!

May 18, 2011

Cooler, More Rain, More Peas! (even if they are late!)

I checked the garden for a few minutes today when I got home just to see how everything is doing with all of the rain we have been getting lately. Rain is good, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

So, with the cooler weather and all of the rain, it seems that the peas are all doing very well! As I checked all of the peas I found that not even half of them are in bloom yet and already it looks as though I have more than last year.

I wanted to have enough peas this year to actually be able to freeze some so I planted more peas in a variety of spaces. With the weather being more cooperative than usual, it seems that we are actually going to have more peas anyway even without actually planting more. Who knew?

Usually, whoever picks the peas gets to enjoy eating the peas. If we're lucky, they will make it in the house for a meal or two, but we never have enough to freeze for later.

After looking around today, I am hopeful that I may even be able to freeze some as well this year. Now if I can just get them to hurry along so I can get my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the the ground!

May 16, 2011

Overlapping in the Garden

Okay, so the weather has been a lot cooler and wetter than usual after we had a string of crazy hot days in the 80's. So now, my veggies are all confused. My peas are just now in full bloom and yes my beans are already starting to come up. My tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplants that I started from seed are all bursting out of their little peat pots and begging for space in the garden. Oh, and did I mention every time I decide to transplant in the garden I find myself dodging rain? I'm not talking a little rain because I am the last person afraid of melting. We're talking 'fill the rain barrel all at once' showers.

Some day, maybe by the weekend, the clouds will part and there will be enough sun to dry out the soil so I can transplant my plants. I know it will take some fancy trowel work in one of my tomato beds! I wanted to be sure to utilize all of the available space so I planted my early garden peas in my tomato bed. Since the peas are not -so -early, it looks like I will be 'interplanting' my tomatoes with my peas. As soon as the peas are finished, My tomatoes should be established enough to add supports and/or cages. My tomato bed is a good example of utilizing 'overlapping' in the garden. It's a little more extreme than normal, but then in the garden it seems 'normal' is always redefining itself!

May 7, 2011

Making The Most Of A Small Space

 A bountiful kitchen garden in a small backyard is my goal. I use raised beds and companion garden to optimize my space. I have found that if I use successive and relay planting with the companion plantings I can get an amazing amount of veggies from this small garden. The great thing about companion garden besides the fact that it helps you to have a chemical-free garden is the fact that the flowers and herbs make it a pretty vegetable garden.
 Right now my garden is in the early spring stages so it is mostly shades of green. Soon, it will be alive with color and developing vegetables. Right now, I just have to keep planting!

May 3, 2011

Getting Momentum!

The strawberries are looking great! I know everything is ready to start rolling when my strawberry plants fill in the strawberry bed and the plants are loaded with blooms! I can't wait to see them in a few weeks!

Everything is starting to show it's time to get serious. The blueberries have blooms and the raspberries are in full leaf and are starting to form buds for the blossoms.

My roots and greens are doing well and starting to fill in the garden beds and my peas are finally starting to act like they may actually get some height. It has been cooler and wetter so far this spring and everything seems to be moving at a snails pace. But I think we may start to get some momentum now.

I love all of the different shades of green this time of year. This is when the garden is starting to come to life with new seeds that have been sown and the perennials are just starting to wake up and show their leaves. I love it!