Blog Archives

Friday PhotoEssay – Icy Edition

As you can imagine, I’ve got some lovely, icy pictures for this week, as well as the “aftermath” pictures. I know, I’m trying to make it sound all dark and foreboding. It’s not, really. You don’t have to be afraid to read to the end of the post.

This is the red lettuce that I transplanted last Saturday as part of the Saturday Sampler series. It got a lot darker just over the weekend. (This is a “before” picture.)  I just love the contrast of the white ribs and the red leaves.

I’ve had a couple people ask if the garlic is almost ready to harvest, because it is supposed to brown and dry back as a sign it is ready. This leaf browning is still due to the temperature fluctuations of winter and cold injury, not readiness of harvest.

Iced vegetables! The droplets of ice make these shallots into something of an art project! It is so interesting how you can see the direction the droplets were flowing as they froze.

I think it is really interesting that the ice/rain/whatever you call it didn’t actually manage to coat the pea leaves. The ice is frozen in droplets on the tips of the leaves in some cases, but the plants aren’t completely coated.

The radishes, on the other hand, were completely coated in ice. This radish seedling had about and eighth of an inch of ice on it. Poor thing!

Whoa! Somehow an ice storm built us a grape trellis! Oh, wait…that was one of the Master Gardeners. Oops! Now we have to decide what grape to plant…

Here’s the “after” shot of the radish/parsnip rows. Still no parsnips, but that’s still normal. The radishes look almost as good as new! No damage here!

The edges of some of the lettuce leaves look a little bit nipped from the cold and ice, but overall, things are in good shape!

Have a great weekend!

Friday PhotoEssay

We got another 1.25 inches of rain last night and this morning. The garden isn’t quite floating away yet, but I’m not going to complain.

The grapevines are budding and blooming. Of course, they waited until now so that there was a better chance of black rot infection! There’s not any disease on the leaves yet though, so maybe they’ll be fine.

The malabar spinach is germinating. The seedlings look so small and innocuous right now, don’t they. If you’ve never seen this plant grow before – well, stay tuned!

The larkspur have really burst into bloom this week. Most of them are that beautiful purple/blue color, but there are a few lavender and pink flowers in there.

Our potatoes and onions in the Family of 4 Garden are looking really healthy. The potatoes almost look too healthy… I don’t know if I’ve ever had potato plants get so big and leggy. Maybe it’s that they are in raised beds, so they seem taller than they really are.

The nasturtiums have been growing pretty quickly now that they are up. We got them planted a little bit too late, so I’m concerned that they won’t hang in long enough to bloom, once it gets hot. In the meantime, I’m going to be looking for some nasturtium recipes…

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget that the Master Gardeners are sponsoring a Garden Tour this weekend. For details, visit our website.

Friday PhotoEssay

We’re back to having a colorful blog, and we’ve got some great pictures to show off!

The butterfly caterpillars have once again eaten the green fennel down to nubbins, and they have begrudgingly moved on to the bronze fennel. For whatever reason, they don’t seem to like the bronze fennel quite as well.

The ‘Sunbelt’ Grapes are beautifully purple/blue and quite tasty. Unfortunately, the grape berry moth larvae think so too!

This Sweet Annie has turned into a huge shrub! This is an herb that I’m not very familiar with, probably because it’s not really a culinary herb, but more of a fragrance herb. Apparently it is supposed to be good for drying and using in herbal wreaths and other such crafty things.

Although we like to keep the basil flowers trimmed back to keep the culinary quality of the basil high, I really love basil flowers! They are really beautiful, the bees like them, and they are just as edible as the leaves.

Now that’s what I like to see in a tomato! This is one of the Rose tomatoes all sliced up and ready for sandwiches. I haven’t been able to get a really good flavor comparison of the Rose and Brandywine tomatoes, but I think Rose wins the productivity and earliness awards.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Friday PhotoEssay

Are you surviving the heat? I’m going to be taking off next week and heading to northern WI and southern MN, where the high temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s! Of course then I’ll be back here the following week and the 90 degree temperatures will feel hot again. I’ll probably post a few things of horticultural interest while I’m off gallivanting…we’ll see what there is to see.

I love growing radishes. They are all about instant gratification! You can’t get much more instantly gratifying for a vegetable gardener than to plant seeds on Tuesday morning and be able to take pictures of the seedlings by Friday morning. We have seedlings growing of the ‘April Cross’ Daikons, the ‘Green Meat’, ‘Red Meat’, and Mantanghong radishes. No sign of beets or carrots growing yet, but if they are going to grow, I would expect to see them coming up in the next several days.

Look what we found hanging out in our pepper plants! Isn’t it cute? I really love hornworms…well, if I find them before they can do major damage. You can really see the little hairs on his back, the suction cups on his abdomen, and his pointy little feet.

Sorry, I just had to indulge in another hornworm picture, especially since you couldn’t see his horn in the other picture.

We have a couple really nice (but still green) Brandywine tomatoes on our plant. I think we have a total of 3 fruit set on our plant…at least that’s all I’ve found so far in our tomato vine jungle.

The ‘Sunbelt’ grape is ripening and hasn’t yet been attacked by robins. From this picture, you can almost pretend that it’s in a huge vineyard, rather than the Demonstration garden!

Don’t those grapes look luscious and delicious?

Have a great weekend!

Friday PhotoEssay

It’s Friday, and that means pictures! Which reminds me…you all should go out and take a couple great tomato pictures to enter in our Tomato Day Photo Contest! Categories are Mr. Tomato Head, The Artistic Tomato, and Unique Tomato Growing Methods. (Maybe we need a category for critters that eat tomatoes?!?)

Speaking of critters eating plants, we have some quite content Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars on our fennel.

Then there’s this ugly guy on the long beans. I’m definitely not thrilled to have him around. It looks like either a corn earworm/tomato fruitworm (very lost, granted), or some sort of cutworm. Either way, he was smushed into the ground after I snapped a good picture!

Our ‘Mars’ seedless grape is starting to ripen. It is always the first of the three grapevines, and usually the most affected by black rot. You can see a shriveled grape that probably had black rot. There were whole clusters that were affected this year. This vine also has more leaf cover, which probably caused the disease to be worse than on the other two vines.

The ‘Orange Blossom’ looks like it will be the first non-cherry or non-early tomato to ripen. I have a picture of this same cluster from Tuesday and they are all green. This morning there are two beginning to turn orange. This isn’t the fully ripe color, but it will be exciting to see what they’re like!

Our Suhyo Cross Cucumbers are starting to take over their territory too. The plants went from being fairly small to covering the whole section of the garden in just a couple weeks! The cucumbers aren’t quite ready to pick yet, but they should be by sometime next week.

Have a great weekend!