Olemike's Blog

Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Asparagus and Tomato Cages

Posted by olemike on 07/02/2014

I purchased some 7 ft. tomato cages this spring and the little lady thought they were a little tall.  However, as can be seen from these photos, I think the tomato plants will reach the top before long.  This is an heirloom “Abraham Lincoln”.  It is doing pretty well so far.  We are just now starting to get ripe tomatoes from it.    I also have a couple of shots of my new asparagus bed.  We planted crowns in January and hope to be eating fresh asparagus next spring.  Probably won’t get too much but should be much better another year out.  I have not grown asparagus before, so if any of you have advice for me – please send it ASAP.

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New Peaches

Posted by olemike on 06/17/2014

Peaches 1 Peaches 2Another canning endeavor this morning. We canned peaches from our miniature “Honey Babe” peach tree. We got seven pints. Could have eight but Sweetcheeks decided to favor me some peach cobbler instead. I certainly can’t complain about that.


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Zucchini Relish 2014

Posted by olemike on 06/12/2014

Although I have not blogged about my garden for a long while, I do want to get started again. I thought I would start by telling you about our first canning this season. We had an excess of zucchini and yellow squash so thought we would make some relish. We have canned 14 pints total.

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Daily Harvest

Posted by olemike on 06/25/2013

062513 Harvest

This is what I harvested from the garden this morning in addition to 31 beets.  We are going to pickle them.  We’ll probably only get about 5 pints but they were the remnants from our beet crop this year.

The peaches are from a dwarf peach tree we have.  There were only 4 today but we have picked 42 season to date.  They are small but tasty.  They are very good with cereal.

So far this year, we have harvested about 153 lbs of fruit and veggies.  Last year, we hit 300 lbs.  I hope to have at least 350 lbs this year.  That is probably small potatoes (no pun intended) to those of you who have big gardens but for our small back yard garden, it’s pretty good.  Plus, we are only trying to feed the two of us.

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Pickled Beets

Posted by olemike on 06/14/2013

0061413 Pickled Beets 5Today we decided to pickle beets. We had previously canned beets but this time we were going to pickle them just using a hot water bath method

0061413 Pickled Beets

We started with 28 beets weighing about 7 lbs. and ended up with 8 pints of finished beets. We probably have enough still left in the garden to do this many more in another week or so.

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Needless to say – we love pickled beets.

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June Veggie Garden Update

Posted by olemike on 06/10/2013

052013 Bed 2 ScaleThe garden is starting to produce pretty well.    We pick  Patty Pan and Zucchini squash just about every day.  We are also starting to get cucumbers pretty regularly as well.  This first picture gives you a sense of how big our squash plants are.

We canned 12 pints of   beets the other day.  We plan to pickle some beets in the next few days.052913 Canned Beets

I’ve been struggling with a couple of problems.  The leaves on my tomato plants are curling upward.  Everything I’ve read tells me that this is a regular watering issue.  I water with a drip system every two days.  That’s pretty regular.  I may be watering too much or too little but I haven’t quite figured out which yet.  I always seem to struggle with getting just the right amount of water.  Any ideas? Let me know!

I’ve also had to spray with soapy water twice to control an aphid problem.  That has helped.  We also released some lady bugs a few days ago.

My tomato plants are growing pretty well.  We are starting to see a few small tomatoes starting to form.

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Spring Garden 2013

Posted by olemike on 05/24/2013


It’s been forever since I’ve posted.  One thing I have discovered about blogging.  If you don’t post regularly, it is very easy to get out of the habit and before you know it, it may have been months since the last post.

Right now, I’m playing catch up on my spring garden postings.  I am going to break it down into two separate posts.  The first will be a look shortly after I had planted (early April) and secondly, a more current status.  This spring we planted 1 bed of all beets (Early Wonder) for canning purposes, 3 Patty Pan squash, 1 zucchini, 6 Celebrity tomato plants for canning, and 5 heirloom tomato plants( Brandywine, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Abraham, Lincoln, and Amish Paste) for eating, 3 cucumbers, and about 6 basil plants.  We are planting more tomatoes this year than normal because we want to experiment with various types.

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I also have some pictures of onions and red cabbage which I planted last fall.  They really took off when it started to warm up this spring.

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 In the next couple of days, I will follow-up with a current status.  There are quite a few changes.

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1st Celery Ever

Posted by olemike on 01/17/2013

1st Celery of 2013

1st Celery of 2013

Here is a picture of the first celery from our garden. This season was the first time I had planted Celery, but so far so good. I’ll probably try it again.

Any other celery growers out there? I’d like to hear about your experiences. What are your tips on growing great celery?

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2012 Vegetable Garden Yield

Posted by olemike on 12/24/2012


2012 was a pretty good year for our garden.  It was the most successful one yet.  Here is a summary of what we yielded:

  • Tomatoes – 541 (we canned about 45 pints of stewed tomatoes)
  • Patty Pan Squash – 270
  • Zucchini – 86  ( we canned about 12 pints of Zucchini relish)
  • Romaine Lettuce – 40 servings
  • Cucumbers – 71
  • Strawberries – 22
  • Beets – 21
  • Meyer Lemons – 21
  • Garlic – 16
  • Potatoes – 15 (Grown in a box tower)
  • Broccoli – 14
  • Green Peppers – 14
  • Clementines – 12
  • Onions – 7
  • Cauliflower – 1

Total weight of all this came to 300.08 lbs.  I calculate that we saved about $685 on veggies (at Whole Foods prices) for the year.  Obviously, we had to absorb the cost of seed, starter plants, fertilizers, watering supplies, lumber for raised beds, etc.  I’m sure, bottom line, we didn’t really save any money but it sure felt good to eat home-grown food.  That is priceless!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

120912photo 3photo 1Onions 050312Post vacation harvest - 13#072012 Canning - 4061912 Patty Pan062212-4 New Mulch

In a few days, I will determine our goals for the coming year.  I want to increase the total yield weight, focus on foods of which we eat the most, grow more items to can, etc.  I’m still developing these so will post the goals at a later time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted in Gardening | 18 Comments »

Mid-December Garden Status

Posted by olemike on 12/12/2012

1st Cabbage

I am optimistic about my cabbage this year.  Here is a shot of the best one so far.  It is not yet ready to pick, but it is forming a nice head.  No – that’s not bugs you see.  It is simply moisture from the morning dew.


The celery is coming along quite nicely as well.

My onions and Brussel sprouts are also growing pretty well.

Bulb Onions Baby BS

Here is a shot of baby Brussel Sprouts.  It will still be a while before we are eating them.

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