Tag Archives: celery

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 πŸ™‚ 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?


Harvest Monday

June 15, 2015

My daughter wrote her first garden update last week. She may be writing more – I’m a little too frazzled to get my stuff together. Most of what we harvested this week was not photographed. However, we are harvesting…

  • blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (a handful each week right now)
  • new potatoes
  • small beets
  • small carrots
  • spinach
  • baby lettuce
  • peas
  • celery

Nieto Photography 2015carrots & celery…and the 4yo πŸ™‚ Nieto Photography 2015Root vegetable hash w/carrots, beets, and potatoes Nieto Photography 2015I think it’s officially blueberry season πŸ™‚

We are also seeing baby cucumbers and baby zucchini!

With all of that, all I can say is PLANT MORE! PLANT MORE! PLANT MORE! I thought I was planting more than enough this year. I planned it by writing down what we eat in a year and then doubling it, to make sure we have enough to share. I think if I had quadrupled it, I would have been more on target. Ah well, there’s always next year.

This week, we weeded the cabbage patch, around a blueberry bush, and around the sweet potato patch. I planted all of my home-grown sweet potato slips (orange) and I received all of my purple sweet potato slips (3 varieties) from Sand Hill Preservation this week.

The kids are getting tired of weeding every day but the good news with a BTE garden is, once you weed and then cover with mulch, there is no need to weed again until next spring. Not too shabby. Of course, as I’ve said before, the main places we are weeding are those that were covered in fresh horse manure. We officially finished all of those places this week. They included all of our raised beds, the broccoli bed, the tomato/squash bed, and the cabbage patch.

From now on, weeding should go by quickly. Good thing too because I won’t have my helpers next week — they’re going to be at my parents’ church’s VBS. They are SO excited. I have mixed feelings as next week I won’t have any help harvesting blueberries! AAAAAH!


Since we moved the chicken runs away from the oak tree, we are on chicken watch. So far so good. However, now that the weather is getting hot (consistent 90s), the grass is slowing down and we have to figure out a way to feed the chickens without paying for more feed!

We are also on chicken watch for our latest broody. The kids are going to be gone when she hatches out the latest biddies (of course). Lots going on!

What’s going on in your garden? Check out what others are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions πŸ™‚

Garden in June, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

June 4, 2015

I have been looking forward to this post for a couple of weeks now. There is SO much to share – beware: this is a LONG post with LOTS of pictures πŸ˜€

Beginning of MayNieto Photography 2015

Beginning of JuneNieto Photography 2015Loving all the green! At first glance, the peas that I was worried about (yellow) greened up on their own, the peas surpassed the cabbage hoops, the fruit bushes and trees have really filled out! A lot more green altogether. Love it! πŸ™‚

As always, I’ll start from the front of the picture and work my way to the back:

Shaded Patch…quite the hodgepodge. This is shaded most of the day. It is more of an experimental area than anything.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Peas Nieto Photography 2015Beans Nieto Photography 2015More lettuce (maybe if I harvest them small (rather than heads), they won’t be as bitter?) Nieto Photography 2015Pretty pitiful patch of spinach Nieto Photography 2015another sowing of lettuce Nieto Photography 2015Kale Nieto Photography 2015and some carrots

Corn, Sunflowers, Beans, and Melons (Patch #1)Nieto Photography 2015the section by the driveway is doing much better (see pic below) Nieto Photography 2015(green and beautiful above, yellow and pitiful below – same patch) Nieto Photography 2015I threw some chicken manure on the yellow corn. This week has been really rainy so I am hoping all of the compost tea will help with the color and growth.

Peas and CabbagesNieto Photography 2015We are harvesting LARGE amounts of peas every other day.Nieto Photography 2015Cabbages are not ready to be harvested but they are sizing up nicely. I am going to uncover them and see if they are healthy enough to withstand ‘the elements’ (ie. bugs). Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015Here is a recently weeded and mulched section. So pretty πŸ™‚ Nieto Photography 2015Potatoes. Doing well. Flowering more than in past years. I assume that means they are healthy. I can’t wait to harvest them but I am trying to be patient πŸ™‚

Nieto Photography 2015

Carrot and Beet bed: I just realized I don’t have a picture for that bed! We are harvesting carrots and beets now. YUM! I’ll post pics on Harvest Monday, for sure πŸ™‚ I planted a row of melons where we have ripped up lettuces. A friend is giving us a cattle panel so the hope is they will climb that and not overtake our garden. We’ll see.

Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Ground CherriesNieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015These are the smaller of the tomatoes. The larger ones are setting fruit but I found horn worm droppings on them yesterday so I’m going to have to keep my eye out! Nieto Photography 2015Our summer and winter squash seem to be doing well (though I’ve already found 4 squash bugs – HATE those things!!!). The cucumber plant in the pic above actually has baby cucs on it now πŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

The ground cherries have always had holes in them but continue to grow. I do not know the culprit but I assume they are okay for now?

Onions and Celery. Between our larger tomatoes, we have onions and celery growing.

Nieto Photography 2015

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Raspberries are starting to ripen. We have been able to harvest about 7 in June so far πŸ™‚

Nieto Photography 2015

Crops planted in the ‘new’ raspberry bed: I had some extra room in the raspberry bed so I planted some kale, beans, lettuce, and carrots.

Nieto Photography 2015

Blueberries: bushes are LOADED! Just waiting for them to ripen! We typically get our first harvest mid/late June.Nieto Photography 2015

Broccoli: nothing is heading up but I’ve never had such healthy broccoli!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

Strawberries: the plants eaten down are starting to bounce back.Nieto Photography 2015Looking healthy! See the fencing falling down to the right of the picture? I didn’t notice and that night, something got in there and ate most of the berries 😦 The fence is back up and hopefully the strawberries are, once again, protected. Nieto Photography 2015

More Corn, Beans, and Sunflowers: much healthier than the patch by the house.Nieto Photography 2015Greener, and growing bigger, faster. Nieto Photography 2015There are quite a few crops I am missing…more sunflowers and zinnias, kale, sweet potatoes, more tomatoes, more onions, more spinach…I am planting every couple of weeks but one sprout looks like another so I spared you πŸ™‚

Chickens & Eggs

We harvested 223 eggs in May. Down 50 from April. We currently have 2 mamas with their babies and another broody sitting on eggs. I thought we were done with broodies; and frankly, I was ready. Then another one decided she was ready to be a mama.

Thinking long term, we need to keep hatching chicks in order to feed our family and others. Right now, with our 16 hens (12 layers), we are getting about 6 eggs a day. That is barely enough to feed our family. I would like to get enough eggs to feed other families as well. In order to do that, we need to keep hatching them out (do you hear me rationalizing?)!

What is going on in your garden? I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today.

Harvest Monday

April 13, 2015


About a dozen eggs a day. Other harvests are looming!!!

Kale is bolting.Nieto Photography 2015

Spinach is growing. Nieto Photography 2015

TO DO list that got TA-DUN:

  • Finished ripping up tarp/weed cloth in the raspberry bed
  • Finished planting the kiwi plants
  • Moved a blackberry cane we planted in the wrong place 8 years ago πŸ˜‰
  • Weeded (still need to cover with more mulch! It decomposes quickly!)Nieto Photography 2015Raspberry bed: done Nieto Photography 2015Second kiwi plant planted (8yo on the roof, tying something on to trellis the kiwi plant on the front of the coop). Third kiwi plant was planted next to the swing set (pics to come).Nieto Photography 2015Male kiwi plant, climbing its trellis.

Other happenings around the homestead:

The princess tulips are blooming this week. Still waiting on the Fritillaria Tulips and the Moly Alliums.Nieto Photography 2015 Getting ready to open up! Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015And they close like this each evening πŸ™‚ Nieto Photography 2015Last of the daffodils, hanging on…

The strawberries are still coming up and some are starting to put out flowers (pics to come)! We have some fire ants in the bed. I’ve tried DE and stirring them. Lastly, I tried boiling water. I still see some but not as many as before so we’ll see.

The blueberries are flowering and the bees are LOVING it!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

Last week we moved the chicks out into the coop. This week we decided to let them experience the ‘real world’ a little bit. Broody still has one more week and 8 eggs left (one was kicked out and two were eaten).Nieto Photography 2015(new digs during the day)

TO DO list for this week:

Even though our last frost date is April 20th, we have not had temps in the 30s since Easter morning and the 10 day forecast says I’m clear sooooo, I am planning on planting out my cool weather crops from my greenhouses today. It is supposed to rain quite a bit this week so that will help them get over transplant shock. They look like they’re ready to rock!Nieto Photography 2015(cabbage) Nieto Photography 2015(broccoli) Nieto Photography 2015(some lettuce rebounded! wilted after frost; heavy rain the next 2 days really brought some back!) Nieto Photography 2015(some red lettuce rebounded as well) Nieto Photography 2015(most of my celery died…not sure if it was from cold temps or because it got too hot in the greenhouses? I never opened these up. I am now though, and coddling these last few sprouts!)

If I have time, I may also do another direct-sow planting of cool weather crops and maybe even some warm-weather crops, for good measure.Nieto Photography 2015(carrots, sowed beginning of March) Nieto Photography 2015(lettuce, sowed mid-March) Nieto Photography 2015(cilantro, sowed mid-March) Nieto Photography 2015(cabbage, sowed mid-March)

What’s going on in your garden? Check out what other gardeners are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Garden in April, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

April 2, 2015

Beginning of MarchNieto Photography 2015Beginning of AprilDSC_7737-EditRight off hand, you can see the loss of snow. Other than that, it does not look very different. Oh, but it is!


55lbs of potatoes were planted.DSC_7744 (10 more lbs arrived this week and were planted).

Peas, spinach, beets, and carrots have been planted 3x (every 2 weeks) in March. The first and second plantings are starting to show! Lettuce and cilantro have been planted twice and the first plantings are starting to sprout as well. Unfortunately, we had one night dip down to 24 degrees and we lost our beet sprouts from the first planting. 😦 DSC_7754(1)(Spinach planted beginning of March)DSC_7756(1)(Peas planted beginning of March) DSC_7757(1)(Peas planted mid-March – just starting to pop through)

All of the greenhouses have been planted. The cool-weather crops have sprouted and are enjoying the sunshine on nice days. DSC_7723 What is that, you say? DSC_7724Why, it’s CELERY!!!!! That’s right! I’ve been trying to grow celery for the past year and have never had success. Those are celery sprouts, my friend. Can you tell how excited I am?! πŸ˜€ DSC_7727 DSC_7728Some of the warm-weather crops sprouted as well. Earlier this week, we got down to 24 degrees one night. I covered the greenhouses with a sheet but the warm-weather crops were gonners. I replanted them this week. DSC_7725They’ll be a little behind but what are you going to do? The cool-weather crops (namely the cabbage and broccoli) were frost-bitten as well. I pray they bounce back! What do you think?DSC_7726(broccoli) DSC_7729(cabbage)


The pear trees are blooming.DSC_7750As is the other peach tree. DSC_7751 We have 3 apple trees. One was attacked by tent caterpillars 3 years ago and it is just starting to recover. One got some type of rust disease last year and I think it may be dead 😦 It is in the foreground of the picture below. DSC_7752The other is blooming. It is incredibly healthy πŸ™‚ However, it does not have any other tree toΒ  cross-polinate with 😦 We will definitely be buying another apple tree this fall/winter! DSC_7753I am so sad these apple blossoms will not turn into fruit 😦

Strawberry plants are still popping through.DSC_7745Raspberries are coming back to life (plant below was one I transplanted this fall).DSC_7747(1)I missed some sprouts when transplanting. There are still a handful outside of our raspberry line. I am just going to let them be and I will move them this fall. DSC_7749(1)Blueberry bushes have not yet bloomed. Frankly, I’m glad. When they bloom early, I am a basket case until we get past the last frost date!


Most of the bulbs have bloomed. I have decided to leave them where they are and just order more this fall to spread throughout the garden πŸ™‚ I have become a flower-lover (if you know me at all, I know how surprised you are)!DSC_7758 DSC_7759 DSC_7760(1)Lastly, in garden news, we are continuing with our garden expansion (always).DSC_7742CHICKENS

Egg Harvests:

  • 61 eggs in January
  • 220 in February
  • 286 in March (plus 11 under a broody hen)

Last year at this time we were swimming in eggs. We couldn’t get rid of them fast enough! Not so this year.

The first year, chickens lay small eggs, very frequently. Last year, we had 19, 1yo chickens and we were getting about 18 eggs/day. This year, we have 16, 2yo chickens and we are getting about 10 eggs/day. The eggs are bigger, but the chickens are laying less frequently.

Our chicks are two weeks old and they are flying all over the place in their box. I keep waiting for the weather to warm up enough to let them explore πŸ™‚DSC_7761 DSC_7762This is my husband’s sense of humor. I know I’m not alone. DSC_7779Some of our hens have gone broody. I am not expecting much, as our roosters are so young and inexperienced but maybe we’ll get a chick or two out of all the moodiness.

How are your gardens doing? Everyone around me I have talked to has not been able to start planting yet because it has been too wet to till. We have been SOOOO blessed by the BTE method of gardening! If you have not watched the film, go do it now! πŸ™‚

Linking up with Green Thumb Thursday