Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 7/29/13

It’s a time of transition at the homestead. Some of my spring crops have finished their production and have been pulled from the garden (cucumbers and snap beans) while others are still producing (tomatoes and peppers). Yet still others seem to be between crops – flowering again after the first round was done (lima beans and raspberries). And there are several beds fallow, awaiting seed for fall crops. My fig tree is laden with figs not yet ripe, and my key lime tree is producing for the first time. Yes, my homestead contains a gamut of gardening growth.

CHANGES:

Last week, I installed five new raised beds, increasing my garden space to over 700 square feet in 20 raised beds! I’ll have lots more room to plant and a much easier time rotating crops. And with the knowledge I received from attending the Edible Landscaping webinar, I will try to make better use of the garden space I have.

My expanded garden

My expanded garden

This weekend, we pruned the raspberry canes. Because I have an everbearing variety that produces in the spring and the fall, the pruning is done after the spring crop has been harvested. Well, the spring harvest finished a week or so ago, and I’m just starting to get flowers and little raspberries for the fall harvest. (Last year, the fall harvest went from the beginning of August through the middle of November.) So, it was the perfect time to prune. We pulled out quite a few old canes. The raspberry canes look a little scraggly now, but they’ll fill in soon now that they can get better air circulation and sun.

Raspberries after pruning

Raspberries after pruning

GROWING:

My key lime tree is doing great. I have several limes that have been fertilized and have not dropped off the tree. I’m rather surprised because it’s such a small tree. This is my biggest lime so far.

Key limes growing

Key limes growing

I’ve not been able to eat many melons yet this year. The rain and heat split them, or the bugs drilled holes into them. I’ve been pondering how to protect them to maturity. Well, maybe nature has found a way to keep them off the ground. Here is a new red watermelon growing – up on my fence! I wonder if the vine will be strong enough to hold it once it gets bigger.

Red watermelon ~ growing on my fence

Red watermelon ~ growing on my fence

HARVESTS:

Although my garden is in transition, I’m still harvesting quite a bit – though not daily. The heat has slowed down production as the plants utilize their energy to stay alive. But it’s still a lot for me!

Harvest ~ July 22

Harvest ~ July 22

Harvest ~ July 26

Harvest ~ July 26

As you can see, I’ve been harvesting a bunch of peppers! Especially hot ones! I already dried one batch this week and have to do another tonight.

Fish peppers in the dehydrator

Fish peppers in the dehydrator

I also made three batches of raspberry preserves this weekend with all the raspberries I had in my freezer. Twenty-four half-pints of yummy goodness!

This week, I harvested my first lemon drop pepper. It’s a Peruvian cultivar that is extremely hot with a slight lemon after taste.

Lemon drop pepper

Lemon drop pepper

Here’s an interesting pepperoncini I picked this week. The bottom of it looks like a rose. (I cropped it so you could see it up close.)

"Rose pepperoncini"

“Rose pepperoncini”

Well, that’s my garden update for the week. Please share with me what’s been happening in your garden. Is your garden in transition?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s