2017 Harvest

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's better to be on the wrong side

We survived yesterday. After a really hot day around 6pm came the wind. A really strong wind. There was almost no time to gather things before they get damaged. Luckily we thought it would be this way so we gathered our plants in the morning. The wind was coming from the south so it finally paid to be on "the wrong side of the street". Our house and garden are on NE side so the wind didn't get them. It was also a good thing(for once) that the forest is right next to us so it stopped the wind gusts.

I tried to get a video but there was no time to get my camera(and somebody should remind me to charge the batteries) so I took videos with my phone. The resolution is rubbish. But you can see how strong was the wind and in between my garden still as a mouse :)

On the other side of the street things were looking like there is a war. Since most of the houses around my house are weekend houses there was nobody home to pick up the stuff they left outside. There were flying benches, olive trees rolling around together with their pots, empty pots, bowls, roof tiles. Our neighbor was left without a part of the roof.
Once my batteries were charged(today) this was the result of the yesterdays  "party."
The only damage in our yard is my Morning glory. I tied it up so it would make a shade in front of my window. Now it's not making one. I placed it back on the wall but I had to cut parts of it so who knows if it will survive and bloom.

And on "the right side of the street" things are looking a bit different.

Trees trees everywhere.

Some of them are ready for removing. There was nothing left of them.

The only good thing was that we didn't have any hail. We didn't get any rain also but we will survive this...somehow.

Since there was no damage in my garden I just went and did my harvest like every other day.
I picked up 2 kilos of tomatoes. Some cucumbers, blackberries and a few baby beets (just pulling out the ones that were too small)

I have 2 new varieties that are ready for harvest:
Giant Belgium

and Družba

As you can see I pick my tomatoes when they turn orange and not red. The reason is simple. In a downhill garden if you leave your tomatoes to turn red you'll be searching for them somewhere at the end of the garden. As soon as they get close to maturing they fall off. And I don't like looking for my tomatoes like going to the mushroom hunt. :)

Today I also had to pick all my peppers. I got 2 kilos of peppers.
I know that I should leave them to turn red but here that is just not possible.

 This is why:

As soon as my peppers start changing color they rot. The reason is of course our weather. The nights are cold and the days are too hot. They need to long time to turn red and instead of it they get cooked by the afternoon sun. So I pick all of them up before they turn red. Better green peppers then no peppers at all :D

Monday, July 29, 2013

Garden boiling up

This last few days we are experiencing this years highest heat wave. Basically we are boiling up. Yesterday we had temperatures around 37°C and today they will be even higher.
Weather guys are saying 39°C (102F) today.

The only good thing this last few days was that the nights were a bit cold (13- 16°C ) so we were able to sleep. Yesterday we lost that privilege too. I don't know the exact morning temperature but it was a really hot night.

You are probably wondering how are we gardening now. Well we don't. The only thing I do in the garden is harvesting and nothing else. Yesterday I tried some weeding, but I started to feel nauseous and I gave up after 20 minutes. Today I went to the garden at 8am to do my harvest.
I got 500gr of sun cooked blackberries, 300gr of French beans, 2 kilos of tomatoes, some plums and 3 kilos of bush beans.

I managed to clean half of the bed with bush beans. The other half needs few more days to be ready for the harvest.
I'm planing to plant some more French beans on this bed. But I didn't see the point in planting them in this weather conditions.

I don't even have to say that it was hot as hell whole morning. I got home soaking wet from the sweat and it's not like I was doing something heavy. I was only bending and pulling the beans out :D

This morning even my Morning glory didn't open. It stayed half closed whole morning.

When I sat at my computer I realized the reason why I was sweating like a pig. As you can see the temperature is 33°C (91F) and it's not even the noon.

And we are red..really red...There are alerts all over the internet. Some scream about the temperature, but I'm more concerned about this one:
Locally strong showers with lightening and hail possible.

And since this cyclone is coming from the direction of the Alps it's almost impossible that we won't get some kind of storm. So I've hidden all the flower pots and chili peppers, tied everything that could fly and now we are waiting.
Lets just hope the storm will bring only rain.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Big harvest

I said a few weeks ago that I will not plant anything else this year. Well I was wrong again.
I decided to plant more bush beans. Every year after I get out the potatoes I'm left with one big empty bed. So this year I decided to plant beans. Hopefully they will have time to mature. Well we can't know without trying.
So today I harvested 6 kilos (13lbs) of potatoes and instead of them I planted bush beans.

And of course our shops don't sell beans anymore so I couldn't buy the ones I wanted so I got a new variety: "Supernano giallo"
We'll see if they will be good.

Like I said in the title I had a big harvest today.
I got 2 kilos of tomatoes (4 lbs) , 1,2 kilos (2,6 lbs) of blackberries, 200gr (0,4lbs) of french beans and 1,2 kilos of bush beans

Not only my garden is producing vegetables. My front yard also has fruits. My chili peppers are growing every day.

I have chili peppers (we call them hot pepperoni)

And red basket of fire.

I harvested a nice amount. I know I should let them turn red but then they will stop blossoming. So I'm collecting them when they turn hot enough for my family to eat them. When they stop producing peppers I will let the last ones to turn red.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer tomato pruning

Today was the time for my summer tomato pruning. I do this to make more room for my tomatoes, and to keep them from getting too big. I know that  almost all tomato seeds say that one plant needs at least 1m of room but lets face it very few of us have enough room for planting them like this. Many years ago we realized that tomatoes grow excellent when you plant 2 seedlings together and leave only 50cm of room between poles.
I grow 100 seedlings per bed and beds are 12m x 1,2m.
Because of this I do this summer pruning.

Summer pruning is really easy. I just remove all the branches that will never produce fruits. When you look at a tomato plant it has all this branches coming out of the stem and we know that only few of them will have fruits.

And how can you know which ones will be fruitless? well you can never be sure but there are some that most definitely will never grow fruits.
When you look at the tomato stem you have to find the first tomato fruit. Everything under the tomato will be fruitless. Tomatoes never grow fruits under the ones that are already there.

You can remove all the branches under the fruit.  The next tomato flower/fruit will come above the ones that are growing now. By removing them the plant won't lose the necessary food on unnecessary branches and food will go directly to fruits. Also this is a good way to protect the plant from diseases, cause most of diseases come from lower branches. And of course another plus is that the plant will not grow too many branches and turn your tomato bed into a forest.

There can always be branches that are already really big and look like they will have tomatoes. This is why I do this in July. If a branch that is coming out of the main branch(the one with tomatoes) by the end of July doesn't have flowers

 or at least buds, then you can remove it. It won't have time to mature and make fruits.

After you clean your tomato it will look like this. You can see how everything under the tomatoes is clean and above are normal(untouched) branches.
After I pick up this tomatoes and new ones come I will clean the next level.
It's like cleaning the stairway...floor by floor.

 This is how all the plants look after the pruning

I guess by now everybody knows this but I will say this again. Pruning is only for indeterminate tomatoes. DON'T prune determinate tomatoes.
Ok now that I said that I'll say this you can prune them. Just not all of them.
There are some determinate tomatoes that grow like a bush(fruits come on new stems) and there are some of the tomatoes that grow similar to indeterminate tomatoes.
They grow big stem with just a few branches that get bigger and grow tomatoes on levels. Once they have reached their height they will stop.
For example this is Don Juan tomato. A determinate plant that can be pruned.

You can see how I have removed everything that will not produce fruits. It will still grow new fruits. Campbell is also one of this tomatoes.
The one you can't prune is for example Oregon spring. It grows stems with tomatoes like a bush. If you prune him you will end up only with fruits that are already there. It will not grow new ones.

Since I have lots of tomatoes it took me almost 6 hours to clean all of them. So the harvest today was really slim. I just harvested beans(to prevent them from overgrowing) and of course tomatoes.

I even had some "fallen soldiers." Tomatoes that fell while I has messing around the plants. They got a special place under the sun till they turn red.

In the end I just have to brag about my new flower.
This year my mum got us Morning glory seeds. And I have to say I'm amazed with it.

It started blooming yesterday and it's beautiful. I love it's blue color.

I will collect as many seeds as I can this year. I plan to fill my garden with it next year.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Harvest every day

It came that time of the year when every day is harvest day. Yesterday I went and harvested everything I could.
I got home with few tomatoes, peppers, carrots, zucchini and 2 ,8 kilos of blackberries.

Since it was a good harvest yesterday I thought I wouldn't have many things to harvest today but I was wrong. Today I got home with 1,8 kilos of blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and 1 kilo of french beans.

With the amount of vegetables and fruits that are growing everyday it also came the time for food preserving.
Yesterday we made Wild berry syrup
I used all the currants, raspberries and some blackberries. I got 7 bottles of syrup. It should be enough for now. We are still collecting blackberries. We freeze them till we get enough to make more syrup...or jam. I think I'll make some jam this year.

 And today it was sour pickles and peppers day.
I got 3 jars of pickles, one jar of peppers and 2 little jars of chili peppers.

Tomorrow who knows what will come next.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July flowers

There are many things happening in my garden every July. Vegetables are getting ready for harvest and flowers are blooming and growing. Everyday there is a new flower somewhere getting ready to open its petals and smile to the sun. These are some of my flowers that are blooming right now.