Garden Update 8/10/14

It is late summer and enjoying the fruits of my labor. As you recall back in April/May I posted an article on planting 14 potato plants in my double-raised bed this year and tried to share pictures on their progress. In mid July I harvested all of my potatoes and am very pleased to announce that I had 25 lbs. combined of German Butterball and Red Gold potatoes, all heirloom varieties.

In the mean time, I had shared pictures of the progress of my zucchini and pickling cucumbers. Both of these have done very well also. I’ve picked twenty zucchini and my cucumbers what can I say; they are just going non-stop which I’ve been able to can 11 pints and 4 quarts of dill pickles.

Now, my tomatoes are 3 feet tall with tomatoes turning red everyday and still producing blossoms. My Green Bell Peppers and Anaheim Peppers (hot) are on either side of my tomatoes and they each stand 2 feet tall producing wonderful peppers. There’s one thing I’ve learned this year in planting my potatoes, tomatoes, peppers in raised bed and that’s the soils content used. I developed a SUPER soil consisting of Sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, topsoil, 100% manure, organic compost and earthworm castings. This soil combination has produced such beautiful foliage and no disease at all. I’ve fed my seedlings when they were young calcium (fish and kelp an organic fertilizer/food) and my results are phenomenal with very large fruit.

I have a traditional garden as well with a soil consisting of mostly clay I can really tell the difference how some plants grow but at the end of each growing season I dump all of my container soils into the clay soil and till it up to really mix all the soils for a richer soil the next season. This fall I’ve read that planting a cover crop will help hold moisture and break up the clay soil even more so once everything is finished growing I’ll till the soil and plant my cover crop of Winter Rye over the winter months. Next season I am looking at doing no-till gardening in my traditional garden with using the winter rye cover crop as my mulch. Until then I’ll be busy with canning pickles, tomatoes and just enjoying my labor of love.

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