The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

A place to share garden and outdoor spaces plans and activities.
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Harriet
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The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harriet » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:45 am

The Productive Backyard

Here’s a space to discuss the chores and pleasant efforts that bring something from the land into your kitchen and home.

Vegetable garden harvests,
Egg gathering,
4-H projects,
Canning/freezing/putting up,
Orchard fruits,
Composting and
Livestock appreciation!

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Autumn 2009

Postby Harriet » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:49 am

Time to start a new thread! The seasons are a-changin'.

Harmony said today in our previous thread:

We are beginning our winter vegetable garden here. We have done a lot of talking and figuring (and arguing) and planning.

Tonight we put up the wood borders, making it about 12' x 12' (can I take care of all this??). It was some old redwood scrap boards we had, worn out wood and not good for anything else. We screwed them together in square shape, DH had to level the ground so they laid level and square.

We are going to have a raised dirt bed with plastic underneath (better to keep control of nematodes) and all the vegetables we love to grow.

blessed, your flower garden picture is beautiful. How many eggs are you getting a day now, Harriet?

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:26 pm

Thank you, Harriet, for moving my post up to the right spot. I did see that I was extending the other one, but wasn't sure just what to do.

Today we went to the fill pit and got 3 yards of dirt. For those who don't know what 3 yards is, the dump truck was full, heaping a little. We dumped it in newly made garden (DH covered the bottom with tarp first) and we raked it smooth all around.

Later we went to store and bought all the vegetable seeds we're using, but when we got them home discovered 2 types of beans we got were climbing kind. So, out comes the old redwood, the huge saw, the screws and screw gun, and we built a double row of arbor supports. We have a plan on paper, based on where the sun hits the garden first, on the planting, and that is tomorrow's job.

Last season's vegetables are mostly all pulled out, however a couple green pepper plants that grew very tall and didn't produce are still green and are now blooming and 1 even has a golf ball sized pepper on it! Gotta be the slowest pepper plants I've ever planted!

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:38 pm

Moving along with the garden:

Today we planted. 6 beefsteak tomato plants, and seeds for green (bell) peppers, head lettuce, romaine, green beans, long oriental beans, radishes, zucchini, cucumbers, kohlrabi, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, peas.

And marigolds to keep the bugs and bunnies away (hopefully).

DH says if it all grows we'll have a carpet-o-veggies. I know we'll have to thin and find spots to put a few stepping stones. Or maybe get a hover craft to reach down into all this and tend!

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harriet » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:30 pm

Wow, what a difference a few state lines make! (Yes, a few good-sized stepping stones for your harvest, Harmony!)

Tomatoes? We do still have hope! Here, dcousin who goes to the Farmer's Market is nursing along his late tomatoes worried that he may have started them too late. We are staring at them from the road as we pass, wishing well! They really need their staking now, so maybe they are old enough - the worry here will be that an early frost would threaten before he got many harvested. He's had none to sell for weeks since his early crop, though.

Harmony asked about our egg production! :D We are averaging 6 eggs per day from 8 hens now and everything is going very well for the hens. They still resist any second nest, no matter how we arrange and fluff. So most of the time, every egg is in their same chosen spot right beside the people door (very convenient). I guess if a sister is on the nest the other sisters are just willing to wait until she goes outside to sing her egg-song.

I continue trading eggs for vegetables with HRH's uncle over on the next road. He brought a big mess of okra :) enough for us and dstepson's family! He is very proud of his garden, but has had to cut back to just a few veggies because of weakened health.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:40 pm

Our big worry here is to make it safely through December. Usually toward the end of the month, in this area that is when we usually get any frosts. And we can cover if necessary and that will save most; however, we have lost it all on our holiday trips out of the area when we were not here to cover and uncover. :(

Just reading about nematodes, they have developed a marigold specifically for thwarting those critters. I told DH they must be mighty "weedy smelling" to work better I suppose.

We are taking our chances with this new earth. When planting is over we will solarize with clear plastic which will kill nematodes to something like 12". Our hope is that we did not transfer any here with the new dirt or bring any in with the plants.

Your egg production is great! Do they need much cleaning when you bring them in? We are just feeling very cheerful about getting this huge job done and now the fun part starts, watching everything grow.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:26 pm

I understand I am probably the only one doing big gardening chores right now...but perhaps my progress will be interesting for those of you getting chillier and provide some hope that one day you will be out digging in the earth, too!

My vegetable seeds are starting to sprout. The beans (always the first to sprout) have started and I see some cucumber and zucchini plantlings arriving. I continue to water the days there is no rain.

I got my bushes planted across the front of the house yesterday. I dug some cow manure compost into the earth first and then planted 20 1 gallon ixhora maui red bushes, 24" apart. As they grow up and form a single hedge it will make our front porch and paver extention look more like an outdoor "room" I hope. Took 3 hours to plant everything, hard work in this humidity. It's still getting 95° - 98° in the hottest part of the afternoon here. I planted a low-growing false heather (gets purple flowers) at the very end next to the cape honeysuckle we have growing up the arbor because it fit better than the hedge plant would.

Someday I'll figure out how to do a picture and show everybody!

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Nancy
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Nancy » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:40 am

Yesterday I picked fruit lovely plum harvest
h. does not like them and
I can not eat as much as I have in the past
of these I'll freeze up a few for dgd.
Gave some to neighbors
still have some in the kitchen.
One year I sold some.
This takes more energy than I realized.

I'm disappointed in my squash
green zucchini did not put on this year.
Yellow squash just have not done much but
did get a few this year.
I'm thinking that I may just do a few toms. to snack on
when I'm working in the yard and
focus on the farmers market next year.

Sunflowers were good but not the big tall ones that
I thought I was planting. The birds love these.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby Harmony » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:40 pm

Nancy, I've never heard of zucchini not producing!

For Harriet (and all other chicken lovers) here's a link that shows numerous pictures of chicken trailers. I know yours is a permanent coup, however I got this from a gardening website and people were talking about how they conquer their bugs and weeds.

http://tinyurl.com/2crsum

I got a kick out of the one with Colonel Sanders picture on the side. Poor chickens! :lol: Click on 'chicken coup' on the menu and there's a huge page of those too.

Everything going along well here. My hedges in the front are doing wonderful, very dark green against the house, nice look. More and more of my veggie seeds continue to sprout. I'm going to have a job thinning!

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Re: The Productive Backyard, Summer to Fall 2009

Postby bittersweet » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:11 pm

Reading about [Harmony[/b] and her garden adventures makes me almost....I repeat..ALMOST..wish I lived somewhere warmer! The garden season is definitely winding down here, but the weather has been absolutely bizarre for September! Yesterday, it was 93F here, and by next Tuesday, we'll have an overnight temp of about 28!!!!!!! We may or may not actually get a frost that night - depends on the cloud cover. Although Monday is expected to be sunny, Tuesday is forecast to be cloudy with showers...so the risk of frost will all depend on when the cloud cover moves in.

If all goes well, I'll be outside in the garden for a little while today - have to pull some late weeds, do a little pruning, and maybe even start the rock garden I want to make in the front. Because I've left that side of the front bed bare for so long, the neighbourhood cats have made good use of it, which means replacing some of the dirt. Oh well..my own darn fault, and it needs amending anyways!
"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year." Ralph Waldo Emerson


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