Tag Archives: strawberries

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 19, 2015

We harvested more green beans, raspberries, and tomatoes this week. We also harvested more fall green beans, garden peas, and carrots. As we were cleaning up before the first frost of the season, we found some potatoes and a cucumber!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015

We had our first frost Sunday so Saturday we cleared out all of the tomatoes and beans.Nieto Photography 2015Tomatoes were on either side of this old chicken tractor. Nieto Photography 2015After the tomatoes were cleared out, compost was added. Now the ground is ready for next spring! Nieto Photography 2015The chickens love when we clean out the garden! Nieto Photography 2015(Last of the tomatoes!)

We ate the last of our squash this week. Sad day 😦 I hope one day I will learn how to grow summer and winter squash. It is our favorite and the squash bugs won’t let us get more than a handful of either each year. We cooked the last two butternut squash for our pumpkin baked oatmeal this week and next. After Halloween, pumpkin patches will give away their pumpkins and we will be set for the year (and so will the chickens!). We’ll have to survive for the next couple of weeks 🙂

This upcoming week, we will be harvesting sweet potatoes, putting up more hoop houses, and covering the rest of our fall/winter crops. Busy, busy! Check out what other gardeners are up to at Our Happy Acres.


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?

Harvest Monday

September 28, 2015

We harvested tomatoes, raspberries, and strawberries this week. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015As I was ripping up a tomato patch, we had a surprise harvest as well!

Nieto Photography 2015

I was missing these guys 🙂 We are between harvesting beans. I ripped up the spent purple beans and the new fall green beans will be ready to be harvested this week.

I was able to spread compost one day this week, rip up some spent plants another day, then the rain came. It rained about 4 days in a row. It was very welcome; that just means not much else was done in the garden. Instead, we baked bread, made marinara sauce, and made more seed tape to plant this week (hopefully).

So the plan for this week is to:

  1. PLANT (carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, kale, peas)
  2. Transplant more brassicas
  3. Weed
  4. Spread compost (only if it dries out)

The chickens are still moulting so we’re getting about 1 egg every couple of days. Smoothies and oatmeal are where it’s at these days 😉

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

Harvest Monday

September 21, 2015

This week, we continued to harvest purple beans, tomatoes, strawberries, and raspberries. We also harvested the potatoes we had missed earlier this summer that were sprouting.

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I also transplanted over 100 brassicas (purple sprouting broccoli, green sprouting broccoli, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and broccoli), and planted peas, spinach, carrots, beets, lettuce, kale, and cilantro. After all of the transplants got over their shock, I collected compost from our wonderful chickens, put compost around all of the newly planted/transplanted plants, and watered it in.

Everything is covered so at least they will not get scratched up by rogue chickens. The brassicas are covered because of the cabbage moth. Everything else is covered because I interplanted the root veggies and planted the greens on the south side of the brassica beds. I have not seen any cabbage moths but I made the mistake of taking off the covers this spring because I did not see any cabbage moths and I ended up only harvesting 1 broccoli head from 50 plants and 3 cabbage heads from the same number of plants – all because of those stinking worms! That mistake will NOT be made again.Nieto Photography 2015We weeded a little bit this past week but we will need to do a lot more this upcoming week. We need to do a twice-monthly weeding and we are a bit behind at this point. This week’s chores include:

  1. Weeding
  2. Spreading more compost where crops have been ripped up.
  3. Transplanting a few more brassicas.
  4. Planting some more carrots

Spreading the compost will be a multi-week project. Shoveling compost into the cart to take to the garden just about does this pregnant mama in. I can only do one wheelbarrow load/day. And I like for the compost to be dryish so that limits when I can spread it to some extent.

Hopefully, we’ll get weeding done this week. The children just don’t have eyes like I do. They say they can’t find any while I see them EVERYWHERE. Kind of like cleaning their rooms, I guess 😉 Maybe in about 3 weeks we’ll be able to add some spinach to our smoothies in the morning. Right now we are using kale but I prefer the more mild taste of spinach. Can’t wait!

The 2yo hens are in full moult. They are pitiful! The new pullets are giving us about 1 egg/day so we are eating more oatmeal. Eating less eggs during the fall and winter is one of the hardest parts of eating with the seasons. We are having fun experimenting with more oatmeal concoctions though.Nieto Photography 2015What are you up to in your garden this time of year? Check out what other gardeners are doing at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂