Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The veggies are growing

This spring we put up a hoop house covered with shade cloth.  The benefits-- less wind, less heat, protection from hail.  I think fewer large insects, i.e. the white butterflies have less access along with the sphinx moths and larger grasshoppers. 

The first photo is the frame as it looked in May.  We then covered the hoops with 40% shade cloth.  I made the ends as they cannot be ordered.  It took a few days in the 'sweat' shop to get those made.  And of course one week after it was completed we had one of our horrendous days of wind that have been far too common this year and due to a minor design problem, the shade cloth was cut and ended up with a 4' opening in it on the east end.  Of course that had to be repaired, in the wind,  and we solved the problem so it wouldn't happen again.

This is the south side after it was planted.  We had all of the plants in by the end of May.  Our tomato varieties are Viva Italia, Rutgers, San Marzano, Super San Marzano, Harlequin, Margarita, Principe Borghese and Tachi.

   To the left is the garden at the end of May and to the right is the garden today.  You can see the grain trailer to the right, which helps block more wind.  As I said, the wind has over done its thing this year.

 These are the San Marzano tomatoes.  They have continued to set during the heat we have had in June and July.  The ones that have done the best are the Viva Italia though.  They have been going non stop and since it cooled down over the weekend, they have really gone nuts.

 The cabbages are doing well.  We have Pixie, Bourbon, Bobcat, Stonehead, Late Flat Dutch, Copenhagen Market, Blue Thunder, Blue Dynasty, Caraflex and one  Mammoth Red.  One bed is doing quite well, while the other one is sort of taking it's sweet time.  This photo is of the good bed.  I had a hard time getting this bed to live while the other bed took off, but they have since reversed their attitude.

 The carrots are planted between the green bean rows.  We have Circus, Kuroda, Little Fingers and Cosmic Purple.  The Circus carrots have three colors, orange, white and purple.  Anxious to see the colored ones as I have not grown any before.  I grew them for our grandsons, who eat purple carrots in the squeeze packs of baby food they have now days.  The oldest grandson might wonder about them.  We have purple pod green beans and regular green beans that we refer to as Bob beans. 

The peppers are in two different beds.  We put the support between the rows so we can tie the plants to them as they grow.  They were getting a little too much water, but I now have that under control and they are doing better.  We have several kinds of Anaheims, Jalapenos, Spanish Padron, Cayenne, and California Wonder. 
The onions are grown in a bed outside of the hoop house.   I start the plants from seeds early in the spring.  We have Australian Browns, Yellow Parma, Candy, White Cipollins, Italian Torpedo, and Borteannas.  There is another bed in the old garden area of onions as not all the plants would fit in this one.  One can never have too many onions or too much garlic. 

We have a couple of types of winter squash, gourds, baby beets and various herbs scattered around in the hoop house and outside of it.
The garlic bed as it looked in May of this year to the left.  First time I have ever really worked at growing garlic.  Have grown it over the years, but I am trying to learn how to grow and harvest it correctly.  We planted the garlic in late October of 2011.  The varieties we planted were Polish Softneck, Italian Late, Purple Glazer, Duganski, Chesnok Red, and Mt. St. Helens.  I harvested the garlic at the end of June, braided the soft neck varieties and bundled the hardnecks.  The garlic was then hung under a shed where it will be out of the sun and will cure for 4 weeks.
That is the end of the garden tour.  I will say the hoop house has far exceeded my expectations.  The wind and heat have been overbearing this summer, I know the plants would have suffered greatly had they not been in the hoop house.