Week 21 and 22 – May Garden Updates

Things finally got too crazy, and I failed to get the Week 21 blog done. I decided to combine Weeks 21 and 22 together in one post. I have all the photos for each week in 2 Gallery posts – Week 21’s Gallery, and Week 22’s Gallery.

First try at cloning Tomatoes

First try at cloning Tomatoes

One of the more important, long term garden projects I am working on is cloning the Tomato plants. I made a ‘Hack and Slay’ attempt with this one, and I believe roots are starting to form on at least one of the cuttings. I simply cut of the branches of one of the plants I was getting ready to compost, and stuck them into perlite. This is an Indigo Rose. I’ll have to try with more varieties as soon as I decide what varieties I want to grow this Fall. The resulting clones need to be ready to be planted in, um… I’m guessing July or August. That will be an experiment also, so no telling what will happen. There is a big difference in the time to fruit with a cloned transplant versus a transplant grown from a seed. The internal ‘timer’ of the plant is already tripped to be ready to flower, so the transplant from a clone goes to flowering sooner. As far as the plant knows, it is just as old as the parent plant, rather than a new young plant.

In week 21 there was a big storm that dumped a lot of rain here (May 18th) so there was little gardening for a couple days due to the lovely weather, and the humidity afterwards was terrible. The garden got kinda wilted, but bounced back.

20160520_073834-smMy late planted yellow squash was just coming into squash on the 20th, and the Zucchini plants were starting to get overtaken by them. I should have planted these much earlier, but they seem to be doing great for now.

20160520_073451-smI’m still fighting some critters, even though I think the Possum was causing a good deal of the damage to the Tomatoes. But I still say there are more things going bump in the night out there…

20160520_074345-smThe Bell Peppers I do have are doing very well, and growing some pretty decent Peppers for us. I only have a few plants though, and really wanted about 20 (enough to fill a whole raised bed) Maybe Next year I can do better with them, meanwhile I will enjoy these. I do have plenty of hot peppers, from the mystery pepper that nearly burned my face off, to some really nice mild ones.

I had a pause of a couple days there… I started the blog then got too busy canning, and the kid goes to driving school each morning for a couple hours… anyways, just got done with the last batch of canned goods tonight, and haven’t passed out yet, so I’ll see if I can get through this.. it’s about 12:30 Friday AM and I have to be up about 530 or 6 to get stuff done… sigh. Hope this doesn’t sound too sleep deprived, lol.. Ok, where was I…

Litter 40 at about 3 - 1/2 weeks

Litter 40 at about 3 – 1/2 weeks,  one is eating with mom to the left…

A quick update on Litter 40, Stormy’s piglets; they are growing and eating like little Pigs…because… well, they are, lol

The chickens and turkeys are growing well, and I’m still adding turkey eggs to the incubator. A very rough count and I think I have about 60 turkey poults and 50 or more young chickens.

We have had a good dose of bad weather, which seems to be in a pattern of returning every few days. Our power went out for several hours the other day, and came back on and fried our router. We didn’t realize the router was bad for 4 days, when the ISP had fixed their stuff, and it still didn’t work. So, now each time the storms are approaching, we shut down all our tech stuff. Hence, part of the reason the blog is so late, not to mention, the work load has been a little tough on me. The garden, and the animals are also getting a little rough around the edges, and are all really thankful for a cool dry day. Another problem is prepping areas of the garden when it’s so wet. Basically, an impossible task, so I haven’t made much forward motion in that area.

20160520_073816-smThe plants that are already in and growing, however, are kinda growing without supervision, and turning a bit feral. The Tomatoes haven’t been tied recently, and are running amok. The Pumpkin have taken off and, even though I keep trying to turn them back into their bed, they are sneaking out. The Potatoes need to be dug, NOW, but it is too big of a mess. I will try to get them the first week of June, somehow.

I need to plant several things while the weather is mild and not baking hot, but I just haven’t had the time with all the canning. The Yellow squash need picking every day to keep them a good size, and the White Patty Pans are getting to the same point. The White Wonder, and White 20160520_170205-smTomesol Tomatoes are producing a great number of fruits, and outshining all the other slicer Tomatoes here by a long shot. All the Tomato plants are growing a large amount of bush. The Whites, and the Peacevine cherry, Smarty grape, Snow White cherry, Orange Oxheart, and Koralik cherry Tomatoes are at a dead heat on bush production. The White Currant are doing very well, but haven’t gotten the support they need to excel, 20160520_170210-smand I have not been able to pick them like they need to be, and the varmints are helping themselves to even the green tomatoes. The Orange Strawberry, Black Icicle, and many others were planted later than I should have, and are way behind on growth, and production. The Mortgage Lifter and Old German Tomatoes are slow, but at least the Mortgage Lifter has some nice large fruits coming in, while the Old German has little to show for the bushes it is growing. Once the rain slows, and the canning slows, and I’m not running to buy more Red Wattle Hog breeders, or running to the Farmer’s Market, or doing work for the Master Gardeners… sigh, I can work in my garden like I really need to. I once again have put too much on my plate. I should be able to reign in the time, and get back into the garden very soon. I figure, the production I have gotten, and the produce I have harvested are proof enough that the garden can do what I want it to, I just need to put more into it, and I could have all I want to eat, can, and still offer 6 or 7 families a very nice CSA package. While I do enjoy the Farmer’s Market, it just makes it tough on a one man show. With a CSA, I can put the attention to known customers, and have a known amount I need to produce.

Garden Hod for the Ohl CSA

My blog just went sideways for some folks. You may not know it, but I have wanted to operate my garden as a CSA (Consumer Supported Ag). Where a family purchases a “Share” at the beginning of a season, and gets a share of the produce from the Market Garden each week. I have planned to start this In the Fall of 2016, but the garden needs to be ready, as well as me. Between the greenhouse, and the garden, I feel like I could supply a great amount of produce, to those families, at a fair cost for home grown, good food. I was planning to offer a produce CSA, with add-ins, such as eggs, poultry, and pork shares. At this point, I’m still working on being ready…

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Lettuce that has bolted going to the Hogs

Well, back to the present… I cut stalks from all the Crawford Re-seeding Lettuce to save the seeds, and removed them from the bed, as well as all the remaining Oak Leaf Lettuce, and Ruby Red Lettuce. I planted Zucchini where the Crawford was, and still have not planted the Peanuts in the other lettuce bed. The Carrots were all removed, and taken to the Farmer’s Market in Gonzales, where they sold post haste. All the removed Lettuce, and

A few of the Carrots headed to the Farmers Market.

A few of the Carrots headed to the Farmers Market.

also the Carrot tops removed at the market were offered up to the hogs, and were gobbled up.

Then the wind storm came…

There was chaos in the chicken pens, and the chicken coops were topsy turvy and one was destroyed. Tomatoes were blasted and pushed off the supports and all the mess cost me a few days of cleanup, and re-grouping.

I started going to a Farmer’s Market in Gonzales, and my youngest son graduated high school. Lots of stuff going on to keep me busy… I also started canning a lot of stuff….

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The red coop to the far right was standing between these other 2, and the near coop was rolled and slid 15 feet or more by the wind.

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