Final garden report 2014

Links first:

YouTube Channel

  • MayJuneGarden
  • JuneGarden
  • SeptGarden-DeathKnell
  • SeptGarden
  • OctGarden1
  • OctGarden2
  • DecGarden
  • JanGarden

  • Below are three visualizations done with D3. They're mostly copies of other people's work using my VeggieData.

    Veggie 2014 Show Reel
    VeggieCircle Pack 2014
    VeggieBurst 2014

    The google doc with the data for the show reel is 2014 Harvest Data

    General notes

  • Main Beds got raised. Individual trips to the materials store, matching the stones for width and height. Satisfying to put those in place, lay down the cardboard and drop the straw on the pathways. Its no longer an eyesore out the living room window.
  • Plants and insects are engage in war crimes.

  • Salsa from the garden is fantastic. More hot peppers needed. Peppers lose their heat in October. The seeds are still hot, though.

  • Visited beautiful biodynamic wonder garden north of Boulder (Thanks T. and K.). I witnessed compost so beautiful and cared for I thought I should cry and give the creator a hug.

  • 2-4D is agent orange? The behind the house neighbors did a re-landscape and I suspect we had an airborne dispersal. I hadn't seen anything like it and I grow 35(*13 years) tomatoe and pepper plants a year. I looked for culprits in the disease vector but couldn't match it up. Then I read about the signs of 2-4D and it matched. Variegated Corn, Lilac, tomatoes, peppers-all hit. At least I think they were. I wasn't disciplined enough to record and submit to extension. sigh.

    Garden in May:

    Garden in August


    The outside planting season began late in spring 2014. I once again planted an entire package of mixed carrots from Botanical Interests in the early spring because last year was a failure and I wanted to prove it. The fabled carrot germination process is somewhat inexplicable. Cool weather prevents germination and then never starts when it warms. I planted some BI seeds later and got better germination, but the carrots, like previous years were meso meso. I did plant another 15+ varieties at the same time and then another planting in under the pea rows 6 weeks later. That worked great. Early evidence for a good multi-color harvest.
    I harvested my last carrots on Thanksgiving and had pounds of harvest during the fall. I love a good carrot fight in the cold November dimly lit early evening.. And if successful, I love eating it more. It is a modern miracle that supermarkets have these things in large bags for pennies an ounce. Halloween harvest.


    This was a poor-average tomato year. It started early on with a bad seed start and stunted growth, followed by 2-4D damage on 5-7 of the plants and a cool summer. It wasn't that great. The highlights were the Indigo Rose blue tomatoes, Jaunne Flamme abundance, and a miraculous Neon mint Green Aunt Ruby's. I need to start the smaller more dainty (green grape,white wonder) tomatoes at 8 weeks with the peppers.


    Harvested all season, impervious to 2-4D but not sunflowers--beans do not like sunflowers--gives 'em rust.. 2+ pounds of dried beans collected. Marvel of Venice produced marvelously black beans. I experimented with Indian Pink Rajama beans. I planted them next to an additional planting of Dragon lingerie. During the season, I mixed them up. I spent summer thinking, "Man these Rajama's look just like Dragon Lingerie, and eating the unpleasant obviously shell beans next door. It was my palm-meets-forehead moment of the gardening season. Purple Podded Pole was fantastic, producing late into the season and continuously. Scarlet Runner did attract humming birds and made me happy. Neckargold got a weird red "rot" as the season went along. I think I want to try another yellow pole.


    Rugosa Fruilano is fun to say, but like most yellow "summer" squashes its a hardshell in disguise. Must eat early. The striata made a few and crapped out and so did the tromboncino. I trained the trombone into the Redbud. For two days, the tromboncino avoided the redbud at all cost. I was witnessing two badass plants in a delicate tango of avoidance. Finally the weight of the trombone forced down onto the lowest branch. Before the final freeze it had climbed 13-17 feet. Funny.

    Cucumbers and Melons

    Cucumbers were fine. They made it through the 9-11 freeze. I was stunned to see snow on cucumbers and have them survive. Suyo long went in too late. I need an early season cucumber. I reaped the massive singleton chanterais. The honeydews stunted at 2-4D time. My Noir des Carmes grew nicely, slowly and eventually nothing. Next year more, better. All charentais all the time.


    We had early greens, lettuce, spinach, arugala, mache, all the standards from March. I didn't plant any of it in 2014. The 2013 winter planting took us from March through May. I had added winter hardy type lettuces 'Winter Density' etc. from Fedco in 2013. They came early.
    I planted the Fall garden in mid-July under straw. The graveyard beds had mostly been clear for a month. I'd say the straw was not a benefit. I'd wait till later in the process. But it was wet and cool some of the fall. Hard to say for sure. That doesn't mean I lacked for greens(weeds), harvesting uncovered (except for blankets during the Nov snowfall) until Dec 25. Must plant more lettuce. Must plant more winter lettuce.


    Oregano in abundance. Oregano in abundance. Vulgare isn't strong. I had to rip out 2 outcroppings. It kind of grows with tenacious runners. I was able to harvest said oregano two times for dried. Large amounts. Then fresh throughout the fall and available for harvest on Dec. 25th. I didn't know it was a good winter salad plant. The leaves get good sized, with mild herbiness and a little fuzzy. Kids will love it!. Greek Oregano is sharper and more papery than the vulgare. Its also hardy as an an aphid wrapped in a komatsuna leaf. But the texture makes it difficult in a salad. Should be back next year.Marjoram

    Marcelka vrs Sweet Marjoram was a test this year. We couldn't tell the difference in taste, although N thought maybe a little pepperier. Marcelka was a little easier to germinate and start up. Marjoram is little at the start and can be tricky. Marjoram is reserved for beets at our house. Its one of our treasured fall treats. Marjoram goes to sh!t after 1 month dried. I dried all three types in October. I just opened 2 bags to put on our last beets and the aroma had diminished almost completely. I've bought it from the store before and wondered what it was: tasted like grass. Then I grew and I know. But I'd never had enough to harvest and dry. This year I did and it went to sh!t in a month in the refrigerator. Never buy marjoram, but you have to grow it. I should note friends tell me its too strong. I'd say summer savory, and winter savory are strong. Marjoram is parfum. I grew Zataar again. It also did well. I had an encounter with a neighborhood woman who was harvesting apples across the street with her son (the apple year of apple years). She came to see the garden and I showed her the Zataar, she said "Zataar, don't talk to me about zataar." An unusual response, no? She'd lived in Saudi Arabia for years. I find out the Zataar is a traditional "relish" rub, made with ancient secret home recipes throughout Arabic culture. Neat-o.

    Fennel proved to be nettlesome again. I'd grown them out downstairs and planted them in two patches. Only one got to a commercial size before bolting. They all bolted at the same time. That's not helpful. I've grown different ways. Here's my answer. Plant downstairs with 4. Plant in the ground in mid April and get 4-6 more of different sizes. Plant again in late June. Direct sew and select largest only.


    I planted a small purple garlic from seed in 2012 from next door neighbor M. I took the sprouts and replanted in 2013. In 2014 I got eat it. That's slow food my friends. I planted a bunch of shallot and cippiolini from seed this spring. A complete mixed bag. I don't commit enough maybe, but the shallots seem like they should be replanted and harvested in the second year. Only 2 or three of the 15 shallots were of any size. Cippiolini's were sparse too. But..I've got some 20 different remnant experiments. Next spring should be interesting. Most of last seasons garlic went into the dilly beans. More varieties of onions.

    Chicories, Endives and Escaroles

    I had 2 chicories winter over and make heads. I had a b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. upright Treviso head grow during the summer. It didn't bolt. All the other 2013 italians bolted. But not this one. I waited, not quite knowing what to do with this massively bitter "treat". I let it sit. Until, it was gone. Or most of it. I came out one morning and it'd been 2/3 eaten. Some critter had his or herself a radicchio feast, bitterness notwithstanding. The fall planting was good but not great. I still like direct sowing, but I don't get any *big* heads. Ideal might be to start a few inside and direct sew additional.


    2-4D Paso Bajillo peppers were essentially destroyed but everything else except fish made it to the table. Cal-Wonder yellow had one plant produce some crazy nasty peppers like I'd never seen. I assume that's the 2-4D. Chocolate wonder produced the most. Not a great year, but not a bad one.


    Celery? Yes, Celery. 12 types. 24 plants set out. Forced numerous transplants on neighbors including unsuspecting C. and T. and a drive-by drop off to S. I find that indeed it is hard to grow commercial grade celery. Like fennel, it doesn't get big enough. 2 out of 24 were commercial size. One was a Utah one was Gigante Dorato. T. of above biodynamic farm refused to take any Celery. She asked, "Will it be thin and stringy?". She's right. But its still worth it for flavor and freshness. How much celery can three people eat? The key with celery is to harvest when the outer leaves start to fall. Those will hollow out if you wait too long. At that point you have to decide whether to harvest the whole head(?), or just the outside stalks. A revelation was had when an entire Utah was juiced with a large Yellow beat. It was a creamy sensation, unpredictably. Smaller heads can easily be juiced and take up little space. I will not force celery on unsuspecting gardeners any more. I thing its driving animosity.


  • 7.21.2014

    July Eats

    Still not putting in the dollar amounts but have been keeping a pretty good record of the vittles.
    6/30: 1/2 lb peas
    7/1: 1/2 lb peas
    7/2: handful cilantro
    7/2: 1/4 lb peas
    7/3: 1/16 lb peas
    7/2: 1/2 lb bag mixed greens
    7/4: 1/8 lb peas
    7/4: 1/2 herb packet
    7/4: 1/4 bunch kale
    7/4: 1/4 bunch baby beets
    7/4: 1/8 bunch baby carrots
    7/5: handful peas
    7/5: 1/2 herb packet
    7/6: 1/8 lb mixed greens
    7/7: carrot thinnings(1 carrot)
    7/8: handful last peas
    7/10: 1 carrot
    7/10: 1/2 herb packet
    7/10: 1 bunch kale
    7/11: handful mixed greens
    7/11: 1/2 carrot
    7/11: 1/4 lb mixed greens
    7/12: 1 oregano packet
    7/12: 1/8 lb basil, carrot, celery salad
    7/13: 1 overwintered carrot
    7/13: 1/2 bunch kale
    7/14: 1 carrot
    7/15: 1 bunch beets
    7/15: 2 carrots
    7/15: 1 fresno chile
    7/15: 1 bunch amaranth
    7/16: 1/2 carrot
    7/17: handful mixed greens
    7/18: 1 carrot
    7/18: handful mixed greens
    7/20: 1 carrot
    7/20: 1/2 bunch kale
    7/21: 6 garlic
    7/21: 1 shallot
    7/21: 1/3 carrot
    7/21: 1/2 bunch kale
    7/10-7/22: borage flowers

    It is interesting to see it in black on white.


    June Eatin

    3.5 bunch spinach 1 bunch raab 2 bunch chard 2 bunch kale 5 heads lettuce 3 packet herbs 4 pounds peas