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2011 Garden Journal

By tom - Posted on 11 April 2011

7/10: Applied liquid fertilizer (Neptune's Harvest) to the vegetable garden.

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6/25: Applied the 4th Cover application (Sevin) on apple trees. This should be the final application for the season. We like to minimize spraying as much as possible.

6/24: click to enlarge Applied liquid fertilizer to the vegetable garden. We are using Neptune's Harvest liquid organic fertilizer this year. We mix about 20 gallons in the plastic barrel (see photo). The barrel has a hose with a shut-off valve connected to it so we can fill the watering cans to administer the fertilizer. The watering cans we bought at a big box store are garbage. We need to find some good ones. We also use composted chicken manure round the plants as you can see in the photos but we did not have enough for the entire garden.

6/19: click to enlargeclick to enlarge We setup tomato stakes to support the tomato plants and we also configured some string supports for the peas.

6/10: Applied the 3rd Cover application (Sevin) on apple trees.

6/4: click to enlargePicked up some composted wood chip from the town shed - they are free. These chips have been sitting for 2 or 3 years so they are broken down pretty good. This load was spread over the newly planted blueberries and raspberries.

6/3: This is not a good picture but you can see a small black dot on the potato leaf in the lower left section of the photo. This is a flea bettle. They eat the leaf and leave little small holes. Click on the image to zoom in and see the damage. We sprayed a small amount of Sevin on the leaves. Hopefully this will keep them away. click to enlarge

6/2: Applied the 2nd Cover application (Sevin) on apple trees.

5/30: click to enlargeI noticed the Plum Curculio scars on many of the baby apples. This is where the beetle inserts the egg. If the egg survives the apple is ruined as it matures into a larva inside the apple.

5/28: Transplanted Cantalope, Watermelon, Squash (Butter boy), Pumpkins, and Cucumber (burbless). Sowed the Summer Squash, Zucchini, and Pickelbush Cucumber seeds. I noticed the Plum Curculio scars on baby apples so I applied the 1st Cover application (Sevin). I hope it's not too late.

5/27: Transplanted the Peppers to the garden, sowed the bean seeds.

5/26: Transplanted the Tomato seedlings to the garden.

5/21: First application of fruit tree spray (Sevin) was applied today. It would have been done sooner but it's been raining every day for the past week.

5/20: click to enlargeclick to enlargeMoved all the seedlings that we started indoors to the old cold frame in preparation for planting in a week or two.

5/14: click to enlargePlanted the new Raspberries and Blueberries we orderd from Miller Nurseries. 18 Blueberries and 12 Fall Red and 12 Heritage Raspberries. The picture to the right is the new Fall Red Raspberry Patch. Right now it just looks like sticks in the ground.

5/13: click to enlargeWe put the seedlings outside for a few hours today to start to prepare them for transplant later this month. Over the next couple weeks we'll put them outside for longer and longer periods of time.

5/7: click to enlargeApple trees are starting to blossom. click to enlarge

5/6: Planted the Broccoli and Spinach row.

5/1: Planted a row of Carrots and a row of Lettuce.

4/30: garden image - click to enlarge 1) Pruned the raspberries by removing the dead cane tips from last fall's crop. See Pruning Raspberries blog. 2) Ran a few passes with the disc harrow, dug a furrow with the middle buster for the potatoes. 3) Prepared the rows for the peas, lettuce, and carrots (see picture). 4) Planted a row of potatoes, We set them down in the furrow which was about 6-8 inches deep, and covered them with a few inches of soil. As they grow we'll add more soil. You can just barely see the furrow on the left side of the picture. Click on the picture to zoom in. 5) Planted one row of peas. 6) Transferred larger seedlings to yogurt cups (pumpkin, cucumbers, cantalope). The pumpkins stopped thriving in the seedling trays, so hopefully the extra room will allow them to get back on track.

garden image - click to enlarge 4/28: Preparing the seed potatoes - We cut the tubers (seed potatoes) into sections (about 1.5 inches) and are letting them heel prior to planting in a couple days. These seed potatoes are very expensive! $18 for about 10. We ordered them from Burpee. We ended up with 29 small pieces.

garden image - click to enlarge4/22: Time to move the fluorescent light up a notch. The seedlings are 12 days old now and the pumpkins (about 3in tall) are starting to touch the light. They seem to be doing pretty good so far, although a couple of them have curled leaves - we'll have to keep and eye on them.

garden image - click to enlarge4/22: Hooked up the disc harrow to the tractor and made a few passes - it worked good. There are still a couple areas that are wet so it didn't work too good there. The tractor wheels would spin when the harrow was fully engaged. I had to raise it in those areas. The disc harrow is about 6 feet wide so it spans the width of the tractor so there are no tire tracks. The front row of discs are notched so they take a pretty good bite. Both the front and rear discs are 18 inches in diameter so they can dig pretty deep.

4/21: The seed potatoes arived. We opened up the package and are storing them in the basement. We are planning to plant them in a week or so.

4/20: The garden area is too wet. The outlet (4 in PVC) from the french drain and the house gutter is on the south side of a the garden and all the water flows right into the garden area. To remedy this, I created a drainage ditch around on the top half (south side) of the garden which drains the water to the lower west side. I dug the trench about 12-16 inches deep and filled it with 3/4 stone.

4/18: garden image - click to enlargeA picture of our 3rd season rhubarb. We recently transplanted it (April 10th) and it seems to be taking root in the new location. All the green foliage is new growth. We added some compost around the rhubarb today as well.

4/18: garden image - click to enlarge We added compost to the raspberry patches after scratching up the left over mulch. The compost (comprised of last seasons chicken manure, leaves, grass clippings, and garden debri) was spread about an inch or two deep over the beds. This compost was also added to the new raspberry bed (you can barely see the left row in the picture) in preparation for new raspberries. We should receive those in the mail early May. The variety in the picture is "Fall Red" raspberries. These are an ever-bearing variety. If you click on the image and take a closer look you'll see the top of the cane produced berries last fall. This spring/summer we should have berries on the bottom portion of the cane. The new canes that emerge this season will produce fruit on the top and the cycle will continue. Once the cane has produced fruit twice it will die.

4/17: garden image - click to enlarge Seedling Photo Update

4/17: Fruit Tree soil adjustments: Spread 1 gallon of ashes (from the wood stove) around the perimeter of each tree. 2 gallons were spread under the tree that had a really low pH (see below). Hopefully, this will bring it back into range. Sprinkled small amount of left over (18-13-13) around trees. Use 10-10-10 next time.

4/16: garden image - click to enlarge Picked up the disc harrow at tractor supply.

4/15: pH Test Results:

  • Raspberry Patch: 6.5-6.7 (target: 5.6 to 6.2)
  • Vegetable Garden: 6.5-6.8 (target: 6.0 to 6.5)
  • Blueberry Patch: 5.8-6.2 (target: 4.5 to 5.0)
  • Fruit Trees: (target: 6.5)
    • Apple Tree #1: 6.2
    • Apple Tree #2: 5.7
    • Apple Tree #3: 6.0
    • Apple Tree #4: 6.0
    • Apple Tree #5: 6.4
    • Peach Tree #1: 6.0
    • Peach Tree #2: 6.0
    • Apple Tree #6: 6.0
    • Apple Tree #7: 6.0
garden image - click to enlarge

4/15: Pumpkins have sprouted. garden image - click to enlarge garden image - click to enlarge

4/13: Marigolds have sprouted.

4/10: Started the following seeds indoors:

  • Pumpkin, Early Sweet Sugar Pie
  • Squash, Winter Burpee Butter Boy Hybrid
  • Watermelon, Bush Sugar Baby
  • Cantaloupe, Burpees Ambrosia Hybrid
  • Cucumber, Burpless Beauty
  • Tomato, Napa Grape Hybrid
  • Tomato, Honeybunch
  • Tomato, Burpee's Big Boy Hybrid
  • Pepper, Sweet, Bull Nosed
  • Pepper, Sweet Big Daddy Hybrid
  • Marigold, Big Beauty
garden image - click to enlarge

4/10: Cleaned out the chicken coop and moved all the chicken manure to the compost bin (right side).

4/10: Transplanted the Rhubarb. This was done because the garden was expanded and the Rhubarb was in the center of the garden. We moved it to the front right corner so it's not in the way of plowing and harrowing.

3/31: Seeds Arrived.

3/26: Pruned Fruit Trees.

3/24: Ordered vegetable seeds from Burpee.