Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Although the peas are done, the beans are growing out!
(This is taken on 25th, Jul.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garlic and Peas

The garden is looking great!  Thanks to everyone who pulled out the peas.  The pea plants still left will gradually dry out in the heat, and then we can gather the dried peas for seeds to plant next year :)

I think the garlic is close to being ready to harvest.  They need three weeks of zero watering so they can dry out.  We got a bit of rain last week, so the soil is a bit more moist than I would like, but the forecast is for mainly sunny weather in the near future.  Perhaps we can meet next week to harvest the garlic.  Let me know (by commenting here or by email: dsheldan@gmail.com).

Friday, July 20, 2012


It would be great if you folks could document the growth of the garden with photos.  Perhaps we could publish some of them on this blog.  The weather is nice and the garden is growing...it is a great time for taking pictures.

Tomatoes, Peas, Beans, and Garlic

I'm impressed with the way you folks are taking care of the tomatoes.  They are growing much better in the heat.  I also increased the irrigation time and it seems to have made a difference.  I think the tomatoes might have been a bit dry :(    The irrigation is now set for 25 minutes, 3 times per week.  I think in a couple of weeks we should stop the tomato plants from growing any more by cutting off the top growing ends.  The reason for this is to encourage the tomato plants to put energy into the existing tomatoes.  If we don't do this, we will end up with a whole bunch of barely edible green tomatoes when October comes around.

The other thing that really really needs doing is to remove the snow pea plants.  They are getting in the way of the beans, and are beginning to dry out in the heat.  Snow peas don't grow in the heat because they can't draw enough moisture from the soil.  If you look at them now, they are beginning to die.  We need to harvest all the peas ASAP and remove the plants and netting.  Some of the peas may a bit tough now because we have left it so long, but that's ok.  The beans are the dominant crop now and we need to give them room to grow.  

The compost is starting to look ready to use now, so another thing we can do after the peas are removed is to gently put some compost around the base of the beans (but NOT the potatoes).  I wouldn't work it into the soil too much around the beans because they are fragile.  We can also do this around the tomato plants, gently working in some of the compost into the soil around the tomatoes being careful not to damage the roots.  Be careful to not fully empty the compost bin, since we need the existing compost to help the new material rot once we start adding new material in September.

The garlic is almost ready to harvest I think.  The main thing is to dry the soil out first, which has been happening.  I've read that garlic is ready to harvest when the individual cloves are visible in the bulb.  When we harvest the garlic, we will simply pull it out, and bring it into the school, and hang it in a dark warm place (the science prep room should work).  We won't cut off the stems or the roots either.  We will also have to be very careful not to bruise the garlic, as it can be fragile.  I think I need to be there for the garlic harvest, as I will be able to get into the science prep room to hang up the garlic to dry.  The bulbs I have checked look healthy and large.   If we treat the garlic right by drying and curing it, it will last for months.  If we don't, it will rot and be inedible.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I looked at the compost bins and they look pretty good...I think we may be able to use some of the compost on the beans after we remove the snow peas.  However, I think we need to watch the dryness of the compost in the hot weather.  The outside edges of the compost were a bit dry when I saw them the other day.  I think that it would be good if we put some water on the compost bins once per week in the hot weather, after stirring the compost up.  Just use the hose for a minute or so...not too much and not too little.  Judge it by the dryness of the compost.

Peas, Garlic and Tomatoes.

The weather is getting too warm for snow peas.  If you look at our snow pea crop, it is starting to look drier and will wither in a few weeks.  I would recommend in the next week or so that we harvest all the snow peas and remove the plants.  This will allow more room for our beans and potatoes.  If you want to arrange a day, just email me or leave a comment on this blog.

The garlic is looking good, I think.  I turned off the water for the garlic, so that it can dry out before harvest.  It is important that the garlic receives no water in the next couple of weeks, so that it will not rot after we harvest it.  The leaves are becoming brown, which is a good thing, as the garlic plant is storing the energy from the leaves in the cloves below.  When we harvest it, we will pull the entire plant out, and hang it to dry inside the school.  In September, I hope we'll have a nice crop of cured garlic that will keep for a few months.  We will have to arrange a harvesting day in a couple of weeks, preferably on a weekday, since we will need access to the school.  Send me an email or leave a comment.

As you have probably noticed, the tomatoes have a problem with curling leaves.  I am not sure what the problem is, but I can guess that it was related to the cold weather the tomatoes experienced in the early summer.  We will still get some tomatoes, but the crop will be reduced by 90% I think.  Disappointing.  we will have to research what went wrong so that it doesn't happen again.  Try googling it.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hey, I'm posting again.  Here are some garden updates.

First of all thanks very much to those who have been coming in to take care of the garden!

Secondly, there is some harvesting to be done. the snow peas will be giving a nice steady yield. Feel free to pick some peas before they become big and tough.  Also, you can pick the more mature carrots. Feel free to take the harvest home.