Monday, September 28, 2015

Avocado, pineapple, citrus, & papaya growing in Zone 6 UPDATE (VIDEO)

Before I bring the containers of tropical fruit trees inside for the winter, I wanted to show you a video of their progress since the last update over a month ago.


avocado, pineapple, papaya tropical fruit seedlings growing in containers

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Planting Greens for Fall garden

About a month ago, I planted lettuce, swiss chard, endive, carrots, radishes, peas, and arugula in the hugelkultur garden. Of course for the last month I have noticed foot prints, a rabbit droppings everywhere, and then finally I saw the peter cottontail running out of the garden the other day. So, I was wondering why all my plants were being eaten and the seeds were also being dug up.
Almost none of the thousand seeds I planted within the hugelkultur mounds have germinated and sprouted, so yesterday I hoed up a couple dirt mounds in the garden patch of the front yard. In this garden, I planted Lettuce, Endive, broccoli, and arugula. Off to the side of the mounds is a flat circular spot where I planted carrot and radish seed.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, Monday and Tuesday were good days for planting root crops (carrot, radish, parsnip, turnip) and above ground crops (leaf greens & green vegetables), so I did just that.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Luffa (Loofah) Gourds ready to harvest (& Fall Halloween scene/setting)

I thought I was not going to get any luffa fruits because they had a late start, and they began flowering so late in the summer. To my surprise, after a cold front and rainy day last week, I found several Luffa gourds dangling along the vines on the (rain barrel) trellis. 
With these, I will dry the gourds to use as luffa scrubs and save the seeds for growing next year. 

The Luffa gourds are an addition to my Fall/Halloween scene/setting with a homemade scarecrow that holds a sign saying "Happy Harvest" over an arrangement of Chrysanthemums and Aster flowers, pumpkins I grew, and some pumpkins I bought, and the cushaws that were donated to us.  

Here is an updated version of the Fall/Halloween setting in the picture below. I added some of the butternut and yellow squash that grew.

Also I have a video explaining the growing process of the Luffa gourds, below:

Harvesting FIGS in cold climate

A month or so back I made a video of the tropical fruit trees I am growing in a colder climate (here). Of course the avocado, papaya, and tangerine seedlings will have to stay inside over the winter, but the fig trees remain outside. The fig tree variety is Chicago Hardy, and it will withstand Zone 6 winters. It is highly recommended that you overwinter the figs, as I had done last year (and you can see here). Many fig trees will grow well in containers, as well.
It took three years of growing these fig trees, for me to get a harvest before the fall frost, so I recommend taking the precautions outlined in the post on overwintering figs, and also I recommend cutting (pruning) the fig trees back about a 1/3 of the way so that  the figs will grow on the new branches which will grow throughout early spring. The figs will come on in late summer in colder climates, and in hotter climates, figs will grow twice in one year for two harvests.

Finally, I ate my first fresh Fig today--straight from my backyard. It was so delicious--like an assortment of sweet juicy fruits, or jelly. In the following days I will be harvesting more figs that are swelling. Watch the video provided below to see an update on the figs growth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BIG CARROTS harvested from hugelkultur mound

The summer garden has nearly ended. There are some tomatoes and beans left, but much of what is left of the garden has been canned, pickled, and frozen.

This week I also harvested watermelons, cucumbers, and peppers. I may continue to harvest peppers for another month.