Archive for the ‘asparagus’ Tag

07-31-2016 Journal – The Garden Jungle!   Leave a comment

It’s the last of July already. It’s a little hard to believe that summer is more than half over.  This dry spell we’ve been having for the last month is a minor annoyance but without nightly watering the garden will be burnt out.  That little bit of water accomplishes miracles as you will see in the following pictures.

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These Mammoth sunflowers will eventually reach 8 or 9 feet tall.

The sunflowers will be absolutely shredded by the hundreds of birds we feed regularly.  They wait all summer for the sunflowers to go to seed and then it’s a bird free-for-all.   This large bushy clump of plants in the next photo is, believe it or not, asparagus. The plants must be left alone for three years until they are firmly established before we can start harvesting the spears. Next Spring we’ll finally get to eat some delicious home-grown asparagus.

 

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Sautéed in butter . . . there’s nothing better.

These last three photo are just  general photos of the entire garden in three sections.  As you can see in this first one the herbs are plentiful and I’ll be drying them steadily starting in about four weeks.

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This next photo is one of the large frames. This will be the last year we grow veggies here. Starting next Spring it will be converted to nothing but herbs.

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This final photo is a large frame filled with cherry tomatoes, green beans, rhubarb, asparagus, and a selection of hot peppers.  The jalapeños are thriving this year.

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That’s the update for the month of July. Here’s one last photo in my continuing war with the yellow-jackets, This nest was found under our deck after both of us had been stung as we walked by.  I won this battle but the war will continue.

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There you have it. Another month gone so quickly.  I can almost smell Winter and the snow that will follow.

05-02-2015 Journal – Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!   Leave a comment

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I’m standing here shaving this morning and finally noticed just how tanned I’ve become.  The weather has warmed a bit but it’s still cold at night and during the day in the shade. It’s becoming rather annoying but at least I’m getting a good base for my Summer tan.

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Even though I continue to whine about the weather it doesn’t seem to be bothering the plant life all that much.  As you can see by the pictures the plants here in Maine refuse to wait for Summer to arrive.  Flowers are shooting up and blooming everywhere regardless of the cold weather.

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Even the garden wants to get going and right now.  My asparagus patch that I planted early last year has started sprouting which makes me very happy. I can’t eat any of it for another year but it looks as if we’ll have a nice large patch we can harvest from next summer.  There’s nothing better than fresh from the garden asparagus coated with a little butter.

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The rhubarb is coming in nicely and I look forward to harvesting it for the first time this year.  I see strawberry/rhubarb pie and a dozen jars of rhubarb jam in my future. This Fall should be a good all around harvest.

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The cold frames are filled with lettuces and a collection of herbs waiting to be planted.  The lettuce will go in next week and the replacement herbs the week after.  I’m planting a larger patch of parsley than normal because we’ve used up just about everything from last summer.  A lot of basil for making pesto and a number of Rosemary plants too.  We can’t seem to enjoy our meals fully without using fresh herbs whenever possible.

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More yard repairs are needed and a few spots need replanting.  I made the decision to purchase a new lawn tractor this week and I’ll pass my older one over to my step daughter and her husband.  One large headache finally dealt with and now I can go forward to enjoy my Summer.

2015 has already made a great start and it should be a warm and pleasant Summer.   I also see a beach day very very soon.

05-21-2014 Journal Entry-Off to Texas!   1 comment

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Well the Texas trip is finally here and I’ll be flying off to Dallas tomorrow.  I don’t intend to do any blogging until sometime next week, probably Wednesday at the latest. I’ll be taking a break from working out, blogging and everything else as well.  That’s what a vacation is supposed to be and I’m going to make the most of it.

This week I finally planted the last few plants in the garden.  I have others breaking ground as we speak and so far everything is doing fine except for the asparagus.  All of those I gently planted are doing absolutely nothing.  I purchased a bag of asparagus roots and knew at the time it was a big gamble.  I have yet to buy either flower bulbs or veggie roots packaged that way that have actually grown.  I’ve finally learned my lesson, never again. Next year I’ll try to find asparagus seeds and start my own plants.  Hopefully I’ll have more success.

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“Zucchini”

As you can see the garden has made significant progress in the last week. The plants are loving the warmer nights and are jumping out of the ground. As you can see I have more chives than I know what to do. When I return I can look forward to a day spent filling the dehydrator with chives for our use through next Winter.

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“Cherry Tomato’s”

Starting tomorrow I can kick back and relax for a few days and enjoy my trip. It will be nice to enjoy the warm and sometimes hot weather in Dallas.  It should help me shake off the effects of this last Maine Winter. My summer will officially start when I return home next week fully rested and relaxed.

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“Left Side”

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“Right Side”

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and that the weather cooperates.  Show the flag, cook a few burgers and dogs, and toast all of our former and current Vets.  Without their service we wouldn’t have much to celebrate.

05-07-2014. Journal Entry – Garden Update!   Leave a comment

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Needless to say the Spring garden work and yard cleanup continues apace. The only part of my body that’s not sore or aching is the tip of my nose. Everything else is shot to hell and letting me know about it every time I move the least little bit. Fortunately all of the hard work is finally paying off which is rather satisfying for so early in the year.  The better-half who is in charge of the flower gardens is already seeing amazing results as you can see by these pictures.

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It occurs to me that the plants in Maine understand what a short growing season we have and make the most out of every minute with whatever rain and warmth they can find.  The grass can look like a field of dirty dead plants one day and within a week it turns into a lush green carpet that very quickly needs to be cut.  I added the first mowing of 2014 this week along with all of the other chores I had on my To-do list.

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The herb garden suffered a little more from the winter weather than I first thought.  The neighborhood cats will be highly upset when they discover the huge catnip plant has passed away. Our garden was a regular stop in their travels where they could roll around in and eat some catnip.  It was like the town’s feline opium den. I suppose I’ll be replanting it once again even though my cat  Stormy is unaffected by it’s influences.  I made enough room in the herb garden so that a larger than normal patch of parsley can be planted.  We use a great deal of parsley through the winter and we ran a little short this Spring.

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“Asparagus”

The asparagus roots have been planted and hopefully within the next two years we’ll have a thriving patch to harvest from.  I love it with my meals but it takes such a long time to establish before we can use it. It’s recommended that we don’t harvest from this planting until early in 2016. Patience for this I just don’t have.

The lettuces were planted yesterday as well.  I’ve put in three varieties this year along with spinach and two varieties of kale.  The kale is freezable and my better-half tells me that kale chips are in my future.  They don’t sound all that appetizing but I’ll withhold final judgment for now.

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“Spinach/Lettuce”

I’ll be waiting at least another week or two before putting in any plants that could be killed by a frost.  I’ve gotten ahead of myself in past years and been burned when a late frost wiped out a large number of my plants.  I guess gardening is a great way to learn patience but it’s not something I’m known for.

This garden is much smaller than most people think when they see the results each Fall.  The excellent level of production takes good planning, crop rotation, great compost, and plenty of good old sunshine and water. 

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I consider this a modern version of the old WW II Victory Garden. It takes a little hard work and investment of time but growing and eating your own crops makes sense to me. I know what I’m eating without fear of spoiled plants or diseases and it’s fresh and tasty. It hasn’t been sitting somewhere in the back of a truck or warehouse for weeks before the store displays it for sale. Enough of my preaching, it’s time for me to climb down off my soap box and go accomplish something.

Another week of this and I’ll be all out of a gardener’s best friend, Ben-gay.  I should start buying it by the case every Spring based entirely on how my butt and legs feel this morning.