Tag Archives: celery

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?


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 🙂

Harvest Monday

November 23, 2015

We are harvesting kale and celery. These are the celery tops in the compost bowl. The bottoms were already in the soup 🙂

Nieto Photography 2015

Our berries are done. I need to go ahead and prune the raspberries and transplant them. We are having more freezing nights but most of our days are still reaching the 60s. Now, I have to figure out what to cover and with what thickness to cover.

Some of our free pumpkins were rotting in the basement so this week we threw those to the chickens and roasted some of the good ones. Nieto Photography 2015(roasted pumpkin, ready to be taken apart, pureed, and frozen)

We are also using our sweet potatoes, probably faster than I would like. They are SOOO good!Nieto Photography 2015(Ready to go into the oven. We like sprinkling them with cinnamon. 🙂 )

And the frozen omatoes are being cooked on a steady basis for marinara sauce and soups.

What are you harvesting? Head over to Our Happy Acres to see what others are harvesting these days.

Harvest Monday and Garden in November, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

November 2, 2015

This week, we harvested a couple handfuls of raspberries, a couple strawberries, a few peas, some celery, and kale. Nieto Photography 2015The peas were then pulled out and the area raked smooth. The chickens enjoyed the leftover peas. I keep waiting for the raspberries to stop ripening so I can prune them and transplant all of the runners.Nieto Photography 2015Here is what our garden looked like at the beginning of OctoberNieto Photography 2015And now the beginning of NovemberNieto Photography 2015At first glance, the trees and grass is a little less green and all of the tomatoes and zinnias are gone. As we look closer, some of my late fall plantings are starting to sprout.Nieto Photography 2015(lettuce) Nieto Photography 2015(carrots) Nieto Photography 2015(spinach and beets)

What is my goal for these? I don’t really know. I guess I hope to keep them alive and harvest them early spring. They are experiments so I don’t know when I should expect to harvest. I just hope I can keep them alive right now 🙂

Our highs have been in the 60s and 70s this month so there has been no need to cover anything (other than the brassicas). That will be a chore for November. Other November chores include spreading more compost on the garden, cleaning out the coop and preparing it for the winter, and covering the strawberry plants in woodchips and compost.

If you haven’t heard what Paul does with his strawberries or why, the gist of it is that he covers his strawberries in woodchips and his coop cleanings or whatever he has on hand – JUST to flatten the strawberry plants; not to bury them deeply. Then, in the spring, the older plants that are not healthy enough to grow through the cover will decompose and add nutrients to the soil while the younger, healthier plants will pop through and do wonderfully. It keeps his plants from being over-crowded and he never has to move/transplant plants.

I did this last year and was quite nervous because I had heard from others that their strawberry plants all just composted. However, mine popped through and were incredibly healthy this spring! I think you have to have a good winter for this to work (those in California were having the issues of their plants not popping through). This does not mean your patch will not spread, it just means it will not get overcrowded and will stay high-producing and healthy 🙂

We’re not quite ready to put the strawberries to bed for the winter though, as they are still producing 🙂

Nieto Photography 2015Another November chore that needs to be done is WEEDING. We haven’t weeded for a couple of months and the clover is LOVING the cooler weather!Nieto Photography 2015We also need to weed the edge of the garden. The mounds of mulch have kept most of the weeds back but as the mounds are decomposing, they are shrinking and are not as much of a barrier for the evil bermuda grass!Nieto Photography 2015What is going on in your garden this November? Are you as busy as we are? If not, feel free to lend a hand! 😀 We’ll put you to work! Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Our Happy Acres today.

Harvest Monday

October 12, 2015

First, some pics from last week. Here is the damage to the coop. I will not show you the damage to our flock (you’re welcome). Nieto Photography 2015Raccoons ripped the door clean off!

On a lighter note, we had a more varied harvest this week. We had our normal tomatoes, raspberries, and green beans. We also harvested some carrots, celery, our first peas, and cucumbers this week!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015This week, we boarded up the coop to keep the raccoons out. Since the chickens did not have a chicken door to go in and out of the run, we opened the big door and let them free range a couple of days. They ate into a watermelon a bit so we went ahead and harvested it. Thankfully, it was very sweet 🙂 It’s nice to get a late watermelon (we aren’t as excited in September when we are eating them every day)!Nieto Photography 2015My husband put up a new wall on the side of the coop and an overhang. For some reason, that side of the coop alone has been rotting over the past three years. Raccoons had already ripped a hole into another part of it previously but were (thankfully) unsuccessful at gaining access.

I put the shingles on the overhang this past week (quite the feat for this 24week pregnant old lady!) and painted the first coat of paint. I am going to paint the second coat on the wall this upcoming week.

I also need to re-cover my brassicas (uncovered because of high winds of Joaquin), plant some more greens and root veggies, harvest, and spread compost this week. I am having the hardest time getting everything done now that we’re doing school again. The kids concentrate better in the morning so that is when we do school but most of my energy is gone by 1pm, when we’re done with school, so gardening as gone by the wayside. 😦

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Our Happy Acres 🙂