Tag Archives: cabbage

Garden in March, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

March 7, 2016

Here is our first harvest of 2016:shoShe joins the rest of the girls, who now outnumber the boys! 🙂 the girls(# 1, 2, 6, and 7)

There are joys and challenges of having a newborn in any season. I can’t take her out in the garden to sit in the bouncy seat while I work like I would a spring, summer, or fall baby. However, it’s winter — I’m not spending much time in the garden anyway 🙂 So it works out.

Here is a look at what the garden looked like last month versus what it looks like currently…

Garden at the beginning of February:Nieto Photography 2016Garden at the beginning of March:Nieto Photography 2016At first glance, you will see:

  1. A LOT of tarp has been ripped up and recovered with new mulch.
  2. The hoops are uncovered (though they are still covered with fencing to keep the deer away).
  3. The bushes and trees have been pruned.

If you look a bit closer, you will see:

Nieto Photography 2016Many of my broccoli plants died BUT…Nieto Photography 2016A few sprouting broccoli survived and…Nieto Photography 2016There are some small cabbages that did not rot and have not yet been eaten.

You will also see we have some spinach that survived the winter, mostly uncovered…Nieto Photography 2016And some carrots as well! Nieto Photography 2016This past month, I have been pruning…Nieto Photography 2016Planting seeds in my milk jug greenhouses… (I have planted all of my cool weather seeds and most of my warm weather seeds. I need to make a few more greenhouses to plant more tomato seeds.)Nieto Photography 2016Planting asparagus crowns (no pic) and I just started planting potatoes this week. I planted 50lbs last year. This year, I will plant 60 or 70lbs. I planted the early season potatoes first…Nieto Photography 2016Purple Viking, Purple Majesty, and Mountain Rose (5lbs each) were planted here and then covered with 8 inches of mulch.

The TO DO list for the rest of March is:

  • Finish planting potatoes
  • Finish planting seeds in the greenhouse
  • Plant peas, spinach and possibly some other cool-weather crops like lettuce, and root vegetables
  • Plan out and expand the chicken run so we can cut back on our feed bill

What are your plans for March? Are you planting yet? Happy Gardening!

I will leave you with another spring bulb that has bloomed already 🙂Nieto Photography 2016(Crocus)

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Garden in January, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

January 6, 2016

Here is what the garden looked like at the beginning of December.DSC_1018-EditAnd after a very warm and wet December, here is what it looks like at the beginning of January.

Nieto Photography 2015

The grass is greener, what with the warm, wet weather. But the blueberry bushes have lost most of their leaves.

My husband had some extra time this weekend and decided to help me cover the strawberry beds, rip up some tarp, and haul a LARGE amount of mulch!

Nieto Photography 2015Strawberry beds before…

Nieto Photography 2015And after (covered with poop and mulch).Nieto Photography 2015I scraped all of the poop off of the roosting table, spread it over the strawberry beds and over some bare ground after he ripped up some tarp. Then, I spread all of the mulch he hauled. The kids’ job was to weed where we were spreading mulch.

Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015(that patch of green is a small patch of overwintering spinach)`

We got SOOO much done, it seems, but in reality, we only weeded, put down manure, and covered about 1/10th of the garden with mulch. Ah well, there’s only so much we can do at a time. All of that pitching, hauling, and raking of the mulch does a number on your back, arms, and hands!

We have picked the spot for our new raspberry plants so the next time my husband has a free day, we will weed, rip up tarp and cover that area with manure and mulch as well.

The garden looks a bit different now than in the first picture. The temperatures really dropped yesterday and we had our first snow! Just flurries. Not much stuck. Anyway, before the snow, we covered everything with the lightweight garden fabric. Part of me thinks we should have gone with the heavier garden fabric but it is only going to be in the low 20s for two nights then it will jump back into lows in the 40s and 50s. I am hoping everything will be okay and I will put the heavier fabric on when the low temps are here to stay.

Here is an overview of what the garden looks like in early January:Nieto Photography 2015Brassica transplants to be…? idk. transplanted later? eaten off of? We’ll see. Nieto Photography 2015Purple headed cabbage. Hopefully we will get an early spring harvest from these. Nieto Photography 2015celery Nieto Photography 2015cilantro Nieto Photography 2015Carrots & spinach Nieto Photography 2015Brassicas (broccoli, sprouting broccoli, and cabbage)

I love seeing the changes from month to month. I wonder what it will look like at the beginning of February?

Harvest Monday

January 4, 2016

It has been FOREVER since my last post but there has basically been no news.

It has been very warm and very wet as of late.Nieto Photography 2015(this was in the middle of a rain and it dried up the next day, thanks to the mulch but still…very wet in eastern NC)

The spring bulbs are extremely confused.Nieto Photography 2015

As are some of the sprouting broccoli.Nieto Photography 2015(yes, that is sprouting broccoli that is going to seed!)

We were able to harvest three cabbage heads (two were a little loose and could have been harvested later). How can you tell for sure?Nieto Photography 2015(one of the smaller ones)Nieto Photography 2015And a few carrots.

I made enough coleslaw for 5 meals (froze 4) so that will be nice in the weeks to come as something has decided to eat all of my kale in the garden 😦

We are in a cold snap (mostly 40s for the week when it has been in the 70s lately) so I need to go ahead and cover everything with a heavier cloth so they will all survive.

I’ll write a post later this week about what the garden looks like at the beginning of January, compared to the beginning of December. And as soon as I get my seeds, I’ll do a post on that. Have a nice Monday! Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Our Happy Acres.

Garden in December, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

December 1, 2015

Beginning of NovemberNieto Photography 2015Beginning of DecemberDSC_1018-EditAt first glance, the differences are in the leaves. The blueberry bushes are a lovely red while the peach tree and some of our shade bushes have lost most of their leaves.

Let’s take a walk in the garden and see what is growing! First, here are some transplants that never got planted. They are all hardy. I may eat the tender leaves in salads throughout the winter or maybe even attempt to transplant them as I harvest throughout the winter, as room becomes available under the tunnels. We’ll see. 🙂DSC_1003 DSC_1004 DSC_1005Next up, a test plot of some late planted lettuce, spinach, and carrots (you can’t see anything but the lettuce because they are so small right now). I also planted some lettuce stumps from store-bought lettuce. I’ll need to cover this section pretty soon but right now, it’s still pretty mild around here.DSC_1006Next up, the tunnels! In the first tunnel, there are late-planted purple cabbages. They are pretty small so I am not sure when we will harvest them. Hopefully, I will remember to write down when we do so I know for next year 🙂DSC_1007In the tunnel next to this one, I have some green cabbages, some broccoli, and a lot of sprouting broccoli (purple and green). I have never done sprouting broccoli before but last spring when all of you other bloggers were overrun with PSB, I was wishing for some good broccoli so I bought some seeds this summer. I hope it works out. I’m hopeful and excited 🙂DSC_1009Next to these covered tunnels is an uncovered tunnel of celery. These were planted from store-bought last fall. They were shaded over the summer by tomato plants and they are providing us with a lot of wonderfully flavorful celery this fall.DSC_1010We have really enjoyed our volunteer kale this fall in our morning smoothies 🙂DSC_1011In the last row of tunnels, we have some of our earliest-transplanted cabbages.DSC_1012They are planted super close (I am horrible about doing this!!!) but some of them are starting to head up nicely. DSC_1013I’m basically waiting for them to harden. I am looking forward to fresh cabbage in our coleslaw and soups this December!!!!

Next to that box is a box of lettuce (direct-sown and store-bought stumps), spinach, and carrots.DSC_1014If you follow this blog and/or if you watch L2Survive’s videos of Paul Gautschi, you know that in his garden, he does NOT put down woodchips anymore. He puts down compost from his run. I decided to try this. Someone warned me that it would just encourage weeds but I wanted to try it. It worked in some sections and did not in others.

It seems to come down to sections of the garden with plenty of woodchips down already vs. sections of the garden with only a thin layer of woodchips. Here is a section that is newly covered with woodchips. This section has only been planted in once.DSC_1015So, the bad news is, covering this area with compost (instead of woodchips) produced a mat of weeds. The good news is, because of the woodchips, these weeds come up incredibly easily. Now, not two feet away, here is another section that was covered with compost (instead of woodchips):

DSC_1016Not a weed in sight.  So, it’s still an experiment but I’m not giving up. I would like for my garden to look more like Paul’s eventually (more compost, less woodchips). It is easier to plant in when you don’t have to dig down 6″ every time you want to plant, that’s for sure! 🙂 At the same time, I don’t want to encourage weeds. So, again, I’ll just keep experimenting and I’ll be sure to keep you updated 🙂

As far as December chores go, whenever we are blessed with a mild day, we will:

  • WEED
  • Possibly expand the garden (depending on my husband’s schedule and my energy level)
  • ORDER SEEDS!!!!!! AND BERRIES!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited? 😉 )
  • order bees (yes, we are venturing into that part of homesteading. I’m pretty nervous)

What’s going on in your garden? Do you grow crops in the fall? winter? What do you grow? Do you cover anything? I am always in experiment mode so any suggestions are more than welcome! I don’t want December to pass by quickly but at the same time, I am looking forward to seeing what everything looks like in January 🙂

Garden in October, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

October 1, 2015

Beginning of SeptemberNieto Photography 2015Beginning of OctoberNieto Photography 2015At first glance, the garden at the beginning of September and the beginning of October looks pretty much the same. I have cleared out a few patches, and we now have hoops up but other than that, nothing looks like it has changed much. Until you glance to the left side… the weeds are trying to creep into the garden and take over! We’ll have to take care of that this month!!!

I am still growing brassicas to transplant, though time is running out to do so. The covered seedlings are doing better than the uncovered ones (surprise, surprise).

Nieto Photography 2015Our late-season butternut squash are getting bigger. I am skeptical they will have enough time to size up fully though. Our first fall frost is in middle/late October. At the very least, I’ll let them grow as big as possible so the chickens can have a treat. Nieto Photography 2015Walking through the garden, you can see how pitiful our tomato plants look. We are still harvesting about 1/2 a gallon each day but my OCD self can’t stand the ugly so I am clearing out the tomato patches whenever I get a chance.Nieto Photography 2015Under our covers, we have broccoli that is growing well. I know there will be no fall harvest but if I can keep them alive throughout the winter, maybe an early spring harvest is possible. I am playing with ideas on how to have a fall harvest of cabbage and broccoli (since I am unable to start them indoors).Nieto Photography 2015And cabbage…Nieto Photography 2015Next to the covered brassicas, we have our fall beans that are producing like MAD.Nieto Photography 2015And our fall peas. The kids said they saw some that were ready to harvest. I’ll have to go check it out. We look forward to fresh peas each spring and fall!Nieto Photography 2015As far as fruit goes, we are harvesting about 3 cups or so of raspberries every other day. Nieto Photography 2015A few strawberries here and there…Nieto Photography 2015And we have a few late-season watermelons. I am not sure how they are going to do but if we can keep the critters out, we’ll see 🙂 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015We also have some celery we have been growing all summer. The plan was to have them shaded by the tomato plants growing all around them. It seems to have worked! I am going to harvest most of the celery this week but it will grow back. These are celery plants I transplanted from a stump of store-bought celery. Nieto Photography 2015 Oh! And the sweet potatoes! They have bounced back from the deer attacks. They are looking great! We just finished the last of our garden potatoes and are looking forward to harvesting our sweet potatoes this month!Nieto Photography 2015Chickens

The chickens are right in the middle of moulting so we are only getting an egg every other day or so. We are eating a lot of oatmeal as we patiently wait for their feathers to grow back. This month, we harvested 58 eggs, our lowest number for the whole year. January was our previous low, with only 61 eggs. I am glad we have kept up with our egg harvests this year. It has been very interesting to see the fluctuations and the reasons behind them. Seeing it on paper helps me be more determined to eat with the seasons and not just buy eggs when we feel like it.

Our TO DO list for October includes:

  • Harvesting beans, peas, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, and maybe some watermelon
  • Clearing out the tomatoes
  • Planting more leafy greens and root veggies to eat throughout the winter and early spring
  • Spreading more compost over the whole garden
  • Cutting down old raspberry canes
  • Transplanting new raspberry canes

What does your garden look like at the beginning of October? Are you attempting a fall/winter garden? Any tips for me?