The Asparagus Project and More

Last weekend we had snow, and just 7 days later we all have our first sunburn!  It was in the mid 70’s all weekend and we got a LOT of our garden planted.

We started off with tackling the “1000 Asparagus Root”project (yes, Jeff, Jens and Zach decided this was a good idea and promptly ordered 1000 roots).  We planted about 1/4 of them in our garden, but the remaining 750+ roots were planted in Zach and Rachel’s new Asparagus Patch.

For a break, we trimmed grape vines … down to the last few rows of Corot Noir.  These grape vines are nearly as far along as the Concord vines, with imminent bud break.  Luckily we are pruning them last!

The garden is disked, and several rows of plastic with irrigation lines are already laid down.  Getting ready to plant!!  We did get seed potatoes, red beet, carrot, spinach and lettuce seeds….plus some parsley and cilantro plants for the herb garden.  Sadly we ran out of time, and the potatoes will have to wait until next weekend.

What a Weekend

Our weekend got off to a great start:  a new granddaughter was born on August 21, just before noon. Welcome Elena Weyant, at 6 lbs 14 oz, and 17 inches long…

We also harvested most of our corn and worked on blanching and freezing on and off all weekend – with help from Zach, Rachel, Toben, Fiona and Adelaide.

And Tina continued staining barn boards – using up another 5 gallon bucket of stain – slowly making progress.  Someday we will have the most awesome barn in the county!

Garden Started with Cold Hardy Plants and Seeds

We are actually on time this year with planting the early spring garden. For the last two weeks Jeff has been plowing, discing and laying some plastic and we now have the following seeds and plants in the garden:

Brassicas ready to plant

  • 50 lbs of peas
  • 50 lbs of red potatoes
  • somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 onions plants
  • 2 flats of cauliflower
  • 1.5 flats of broccoli
  • and half a flat of Brussels Sprouts
We also doubled the size of our asparagus patch.

Tomato Cages and “Basket-Weaving”

Our tomatoes are finally getting big enough to be trellised.  After one more thorough hoeing last night,  we spread a thick layer of “mulch-hay” (i.e. hay that had gotten wet after baling, and then sat around rotting for over a year).  The hay should help keep moisture in around the plants, which is important, even with drip irrigation lines everywhere.

After the first row of 75 plants was mulched, we put tomato cages around each plant to help keep the plant growing upright and keep the fruit off the ground.  This is not only convenient for picking tomatoes, but it prevents rotten fruit and decreases disease issues.

For our second row of tomatoes we will try the basket-weaving method of trellising. (We ran out of tomato cages)  We already pounded in posts every 4 plants, and tomorrow, we’ll weave twine around each tomato, and secure it at the post.  Here is a  link to a video, produced by the Maine Ag Extension service, that shows an easy way to basket-weave tomatoes.

Garden Progress

The majority of our garden is now planted – even though we are still a couple of days away from the traditional “frost date” for our region.  Some of the hardier crops  – peas, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and potatoes – have been in the ground for a few weeks.  This weekend we planted all our tomato seedlings… meaning all 120+ of them.   Except for the tomatoes, all other seedlings are planted in plastic-covered rows.

We simply ran out of time to also plant our peppers and basil seedlings  Next weekend we’ll finish it up with cucumbers, melon,s pumpkins and zucchini.  Then once the peas are harvested, we’ll sow green beans and winter vegies, like rutabagas, turnips, winter squash and red beets.

Same cabbage plants from the
April post – one month later
If you look carefully, you can
see tomato plants!