Friday, June 18, 2010

A Bounty of Goodness in Progress

We have lots of veggie babies... The first tomatoes showed up on one of the "volunteer" tomatoes I found in the jasmine planter. I replanted it into the empty planter which quickly filled up with grass that looks more plush than our lawn! I haven't been able to weed the grass fast enough. It just keeps overtaking the planter and I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the tomatoes and beans are going to have to compete for food and water on their own. So far, the tomatoes are winning.

There are 4 wine barrel planters of red and yellow bell peppers. The first pepper showed up last week. Two of the containers were attacked by rabbits or rodents who proceeded to gnaw off the tops of the plants as they were budding! I was NOT happy. Joe helped me cover them with bird netting and plastic hardware cloth. Thankfully, they are recovering nicely and starting to bloom again.

We also covered the area with the grapes, apples, and plums with bird netting. Next we need to install the chicken wire around the bottom to fully secure the perimeter from rabbits sneaking in below the netting!

The apples have begun to ripen and I've harvested the first batch. Only the green ones in the photo are from our tree (the red ones are from the store). The grapes are progressing nicely, but won't be ready for harvest for several weeks. These will eventually turn a deep red.


I harvested the first sizable batch of snow peas this week. It was about a 1/2 pound. They passed the Joe test and never made it to the stove to be cooked. All were enjoyed fresh off the vine. Now I hear he's been sneaking out to the garden and harvesting them... I mean, eating them straight from the vine! That's why I planted them. I knew he loved them fresh.


2 comments:

  1. What do you have you grapes growing on and in? I carelessly bought a grape plant a couple of weeks ago and I haven't figured out what to do with it yet so the poor thing has been sitting in its pot until I figure out what to do with it. It has been growing, and I water it... but I'd love to put it somewhere safe. We have apple trees but there isn't a spot really that they could fit near those and these is no room left in our garden. And then once I decide where to put them... I'm not sure what I should install for them to climb.

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  2. The grapes are in a small patch of open dirt between the pool and the house (proximity to the apple tree was merely efficient use of space). It's about 2.5 feet deep by 23 feet long. There's a red grape, miniature apple tree, miniature plum tree, and a green grape, in that order. On either end we put in rebar posts (there may be one in the middle too, but I can't tell for sure) that stick up about 4 feet out of the ground and strung electrical wire (medium gauge) from one end to the other. I think there are 3 strands of the wire running end to end. They are on the west side of the house and get the afternoon sun for about 5-7 hours a day depending on the time of year. I actually think they'd do better with more full sun, but that's what we had to work with.

    When the grapes really get growing, we have to be diligent about keeping them pruned so that they don't overtake the 2 trees between them. The pruning also really helps to force the grapes to produce.

    We've planted grapes at each house we've been at. Depending on the age of the plants you bought, it may take a few years for them to start producing grapes. And we've found that sometimes, they skip a year. Not sure why. But usually, we get a few bunches.

    I use the internet alot to help with how/when to prune and harvest. Here's a couple of links that helped me:
    http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/rg502.pdf
    http://www.almanac.com/plant/grapes
    I read on one site that you need to give the red ones 2 weeks from when they take on color to actually harvest. Trust me! You'll need bird netting or there won't be anything to harvest!

    Have fun! Post pictures as you go...

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