The Potager

The Potager

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Garden Update late June

Things that are happening in the Potager today are:

The tomatoes are growing and getting bigger.
We now have baby Amish Paste tomatoes.
This is a yellow pear cherry tomato - it was three inches tall when I planted it - it is growing in leaps and bounds now!
The red onions are starting to bulb.
The white onions are also forming bulbs.
The Eight-Ball Zucchini is looking good

The Spaghetti squash is sending out tendrils - I need to find out if it can climb successfully
The White Scallop Squash has recovered from the hail and is taking over this corner of the Potager. It's almost up to the top of the plastic fence.
And there are sweet little squashes forming!
We will be eating homegrown cole slaw on the fourth of July!
The cucumbers are taking over the fence - we had to add more fence for them to scramble across. The leaf damage was from the hail, not insects. It didn't seem to bother them at all.
The bell peppers are getting bigger.

The jalapenos have started forming
The Sweet Potatoes are starting to vine out.  I understand I don't want them to root so I will try training them up.  The operative word being try.
Our potatoes have flowers!
Not a piece of garden art, but more zucchini and yellow squash have been planted.
Our first sunflower (this was a volunteer)
The pansies are still going strong - I like the way they look next to the roses
The first Cosmos in bloom 
Marigolds planted from seed have bloomed. Others from the same pack of seeds have not and are much, much larger than these. Uh-oh. 
The Greek Oregano is about to bloom. It is the perfect time to harvest it for drying for the winter.  I need a morning off work! Or a weekend without parties.
The lemon grass is starting to bulk up. We smashed up a leaf broken by the hail and the lemon smell was amazing! I can't wait to use this.

The everbearing strawberries are not allowed to form runners.  Oops!
The raspberries are leaning toward the path. I need to get the posts up and constrain them. No flowers yet, but  a lot of new growth. If no raspberries this year, there will be some next year.
I know this was rather long and perhaps a bit boring, but thanks for staying 'til the end. 
I love visitors in my Potager!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Colorful Carrots

I went to the Potager to cut Broccoli for dinner and noticed a carrot had gone to seed. I went over to pull it out, and started pulling up more. These were the Kaleidoscope carrots I had planted back in March.
So colorful! (The two orange ones on the right are Danvers half-longs)
I scrubbed them well because I hear that the skin has  a lot of nutrients and I didn't want to peel them.
(See how that one little carrot grew around the bigger one! Isn't that funny?)
The purple ones were orange inside. If I had peeled them, they would just have been orange, like regular carrots.
The carrots steamed with broccoli. A yummy, healthy, fresh from the garden side dish.
I'm not sure if carrots are worth the time and space they take when organic carrots are so inexpensive at the grocery store, but I've never seen purple, white, yellow and red-orange carrots at the store. That's reason enough to grown Kaleidoscope Carrot Mix!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Garden Needs a Fence - Finished!

This is not a deer proof fence, but there's little in there that a deer would eat. This is an english garden type fence, to make the flowers look good.
I don't have the flowers yet, but the fence looks good!

This is our attempt at deer trickery - it looks likes there no exit because the exit is on an angle to the entrance

This is the back entrance

Next - a garden needs a path - coming soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I have planted sunflowers behind my tomato plants this year. These are the kind of sunflowers that grow large - really large.
In the back tomato beds the sunflowers are towering over the tomatoes and are over the fence already.
But in the front bed, they are much smaller. They were planted on the same day and with the same soil preparation and get the same sun - in fact the front bed probably gets a bit more sun.
We are thinking that the roots from the maple tree that invade this bed are taking nutrients from the soil. My husband thinks we either need to cut down the tree (goodbye shade) or dig a three foot deep barrier filled with cement around the Potager to keep out the roots (a bit excessive). He thinks the roots will spread to the other boxes if we do nothing. I'm going to try side dressing with some compost and seeing if that helps.
Any helpful thoughts are welcome.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Have you been Harvesting?

A woman asked me at church the other day, "Have you been harvesting anything from your garden?" Have I been harvesting? Oh, yeah!
Aside from fresh salads for lunch everyday, we have been eating well from the garden.

Spinach Salad

Sauteed with garlic and olive oil

Stir Fried with Carrots from the Garden, Garlic from the garden and onions


Broccoli and carrot harvest!
Peas with Mint
Large turnips

Cut into "french fry" shapes and baked with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika

Turnip Fries! Yummy!
And not in photos are radishes and swiss chard and scallions and all the lovely herbs.
Yes we have been eating from the garden. We have been eating very well!

Storm Damage

I was at work yesterday when a storm unlike any we've seen recently came through. Very high whipping winds, heavy rain and golf-ball sized hail pelted the office. Thunder and lightening sounded like it was right on top of us.
I was concerned for my garden, which is only a few miles away. (And concerned that I had left open some windows. Sigh.)
One of the first things I saw coming home was our dogwood tree, which had been full and thick, had been stripped of all it's older leaves, leaving only the smaller leaves and a "naked" looking tree. There were leaves and branches everywhere.
In the garden, it was obvious that the hail did the most damage.

The tomatoes had many broken branches and some small tomatoes fell off the plants. They will recover. I think the flexibility of the branches helped them survive the hail.
The sunflowers had holes ripped through the leaves.

But the worst hit was the squash - branches broken and holes in the leaves.
The hail was large, but not round. It had jagged edges.
Hubs scooped some hail into the freezer so I could take a photo of it for my blog.
It's about an inch wide with jagged edges. The hail at work a few miles away was at least twice this big.
The storm put our little town on the news last night. One man lost his life when a tree fell on his car, and several residents have major damage to their yards and homes. I am very fortunate that all I really have is minor leaf damage.