Monday, 6 August 2012

Chore Log Week 2 August... Lots of Harvesting!

Busy, busy and busy times...



Around this time of year, we are happily harvesting some of the fruits (and veggies) of our labours ... 
Almost daily, more and fresh goods are ready for picking, eating, freezing, or processing.

Things That I am Harvesting 
- Potatoes
- Onions
- Carrots
- Blueberries
- Raspberries
- Black Currants
- Cucumbers
- Tomatoes (not from the garden yet, only from green/hoop house)
- Kale
- Herbs, of course, mainly Basil, eating lots of pesto pizza

The Speckled Butterhead lettuce finally also bolted. This great variety was the last to bolt, is soft and tasty, my favourite type of lettuce. Hubby and Baby Girl enjoy the crisp Iceberg types, which bolted long, long ago.

All varieties of lettuce and spinach have now bolted and been removed, but I will soon be starting some new. 
A friend of mine in Ontario, the sweltering heat belt of Canada this year, is still enjoying her Cut and Come Again lettuce mix (Mesclun Mix), eating salads daily! She grows it it in a pot so that she can move it around to cooler and shadier areas of her property, as needed.

 
Of the 23 raised beds out back in the potager, 7 have been pretty near emptied. Another two will be cleaned out this week.
One has been re-planted with winter onions.
This is lovely progress, to actually be enjoying the foods we grow... however, bare dirt is not nearly as pretty in pictures!


These stunning heirloom marigolds, French Stripe, originate back to 1791!
They grow about 3 feet tall with a sprawling habit....
Thus...they are no more.
Sadly, they took up too much room, were thriving too well and had to be removed. 

In The Potager
Many beds are being emptied as the crops are harvested :)
I never, ever dig up my carrots for storage pr freezing as they store perfectly well in the garden without me having to do a thing! I just pick what I need when I need it.... be it July or January.  
- Dig up potatoes from one bed to donate to Nanaimo's Loaves and Fishes
- Dig up some carrots, plus some of the onions, also to donate
- Cut back snapdragons
- Continue to tidy the herb bed, remove some plants, lift and divide oregano, re-plant one chunk of it ...
- Cut down most of the sweet peas :(
- Brush some of the soil off of any onion bulbs that are not already 'above' the soil level  
- Oh dear, remove most all of the bean plants from the 3 Sisters Garden bed. The corn was planted weeks before the beans and squash. By the time the latter two were later planted in the bed, I had completely forgotten that I planted dwarf corn this year! They are totally cute! And starting to produce cobs.... however, the stalks are only 2 feet tall! The pole beans are taking over the bed as they do not have those lovely, tall, stately stalks of corn to grow up! Sigh! Was such a great idea and everything is thriving so well, too!  
-Plant new, short season, beans! Bush beans, not pole beans ;) Quickly!


Front Deer Resistant Garden
Grass has pretty near gone dormant now, no more mowing required.
- Pick, pull, or vinegar weeds in the grass.
- Weed the beds again.
- Water the trees and shrubs really deeply this week.
- Spot clean beds.. cut down plants that are finished, deadhead, remove spotty, fungal leaves. etc... as needed.

Flowers - In General
I do not water my established perennials more than maybe once or twice a summer ...  
Nor do I plant new perennials in end spring as they will require too much water and tlc at that time of year to establish.
I plant mostly in late summer when temps are cooler, water deeply once a week, till the rains begin, and mulch heavily.  
- Deadhead roses, remove any foliage affected by powdery mildew, rust or black spot
- Dead head lilies, cut down stems and foliage as they begin to yellow and shut down for the year
- Remove and bedding plants that have burnt out from the heat or are no longer thriving
- Continue to pinch and deadhead all annuals in planters and baskets to keep them blooming
- Deadhead perennials and cut back any that are beginning to yellow or brown
-  Stake your fall mums and asters before they get really big!
- Day lilies are almost done, for those of you who have large overgrown plants, once they have finished blooming and start to die back, you can then lift and divide, sharing clumps with friends.


Fruits - In General
- Continue to harvest cherries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, etc...
- Cut back any raspberry canes that have already fruited and are browning off.
- water blueberries well, the early fruiting varieties are now ripening, the later fruiting varieties are putting on flowers and so need much water to produce great fruits!
- Deep water fruit trees!

The greenhouse floor is misted/wet down a time or two a day, to help keep it cooler

Greenhouse and Nursery
- Set up benches for impromptu perennial sale this Monday
- Pinch, deadhead, tidy
- Take cutting of lavender and rosemary?
Otherwise, all is well, continue to water daily and fertilise weekly.
Tomatoes are beginning to ripen, cukes continue to ripen.