Harvest Monday and Creative Problem Solving

April 25, 2015

I harvested our greens for the week, soaked them in cold water and then spun-dried them…well, tried to.DSC_8401We ended up using pillows and spinning the pillows around our heads (like a sprinkler) to get the water out of the lettuce, spinach, and cilantro πŸ™‚DSC_8394 DSC_8393 DSC_8392Later in the week, I bought a new salad spinner. I am harvesting this amount of lettuce and spinach about twice a week. The lettuce is starting to bolt so I am ripping some up every day now to give to the chickens. The first planting of spinach is bolting but I am still harvesting from the second, third, and even 4th planting still (I started planting beginning of March and have continued every 2 weeks).

Some days, we had a little bit of strawberry harvest (because of the critters)…DSC_8366Other days we had a larger strawberry harvest (thanks to new fencing).DSC_8413DSC_8451We are now harvesting a large bowlful of strawberries like this every other day.

During the winter, we bought 3 bags of apples and 3 bunches of bananas at the grocery store. Right now, we are down to 2 bags of apples and 2 bunches of bananas. Whenever the blueberries and raspberries start to ripen, hopefully we’ll be done buying apples and bananas until September (when the apples go on sale).

Insect Issues

Two insect issues I have been battling the past 3 years are cabbage worms and bean beetles. This year, I am covering my brassicas in order to keep the cabbage moths off.

I am covering my bean plants in DE (diatomaceous earth) this year to try to battle the bean beetles. I have never used DE before this year. I know I need to make sure I do not put any on flowers because it will kill bees as well, but other than that, I have little knowledge, other than it is safe (not a pesticide). DSC_8363 DSC_8364Most of my bean plants already had holes in them but one section did not yet (newly-planted) so that will be the real test to see how well DE works on bean beetles.

Expansion

We’re always expanding! If we have cardboard, we spend our time expanding out. When we do not have cardboard, we spend time ripping up old tarp and covering with mulch. That is what we did this week. Look at the zig-zag pattern. Forward, turn to the right, then turn to the left and walk forward — basically all of the dark mulched areas. This all used to be tarp. Now it is mulch. DSC_8441I am going to cover this area with chicken manure from the coop but I need woodshavings from the local lumberyard first to refill the chicken coop. Maybe I can get that done next week. It will be ready to be planted in spring of 2016!

For those new to BTE gardening (or gardening in general), please do not be overwhelmed by our garden. For perspective, our first year gardening, we had 3 raised beds. The next year, we started our BTE garden and had those raised beds and the bed you see to the right (with lettuce, beets, and carrots). That’s it. Each year, we have expanded. When you’re not spending all of your time weeding, you have time to expand more! πŸ˜€

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions.

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5 thoughts on “Harvest Monday and Creative Problem Solving

  1. daphnegould

    Those strawberries looks so delicious. I’m hoping this week I’ll get to pick my first ones.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Thompson

    Oh, those strawberries look wonderful! You much have a lot of plants. I’ve been having a lot of bug issues as well. That’s a good idea to cover the brassicas, I will add that to my list of things to do next year.

    Reply
  3. Margaret

    I didn’t realize that DE could harm bees. It does a fairly good job of dealing with slugs and thankfully, I have only used it on lettuce and brassicas, both of which I keep covered with netting.

    Reply
    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      Yes. DE, animal manure, and woodchips are the only things I put on top of the soil. I was thankful to read in an article DE’s danger to good bugs and bad so I could take the proper precautions. I am planning on using DE on my squash bugs later this summer and since I will have to worry about flowers, I need to be more careful AND make sure I do not do it in the morning (when the bees are more active)!

      Reply

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