Thursday, May 30, 2013

Late May Early June Garden

Last year we burned up in a drought. 
This year would someone please throw us a life preserver. 
Oh what a fickle thing this Midwest weather is. 
Give me a good Louisiana hurricane any day: ) 

The good news I have a good roof over my head and am underground which gives me great comfort during tornado season. 

The second good thing is that I live high in the hills. Everything else around is flooding I think. If this farmstead goes then the  whole state is gone. I listen everyday to local road closings and flooding information and it is still raining! 

My poor crops are a bit soggy but that is life I guess. It could be much worse.

I have stopped planting anything and will not be back in the garden until it dries out. Lets hope the weeds aren't knee high by then : ) 

I did manage to get 3 rows of Jade green bush beans up in the picture above.

My carrots in the raised bed with my strawberries and rhubarb are just putting on secondary leaves. I am unable to grow carrots in the ground because I have too many rocks. Carrots don't like rocks! These carrots are Scarlet Nantes.

I am also trying a new beet called Cylindra. It is an open pollinated heirloom and kind of grows long like a carrot. They are supposed to be good for slicing and making pickled beets which we eat a large amount of. I also have a partial row of traditional bulls blood beets in the garden about the same size. 

I also stuck a few Australian Brown Onions that I started from seeds in this bed. 

I also have a row in the garden of Walla Walla onions

And a later crop to set out the first of June or there abouts. We like to dehydrate some of our onions for cooking and making onion powder and freeze some for cooking as well. 

My Southern Giant Curled Mustard Greens have come up thick and as soon as I can get into the garden I will start thinning. The thinnings make great spicy greens to throw in with lettuce in salads as do the beet thinnings.  I like to can my mustard greens in jars and they make a great addition to the meal in Winter when greens are scarce. 

Black Seeded Simpson Leaf Lettuce. An old heirloom open pollinated standby and my family loves this lettuce wilted with boiled eggs, green onions and bacon drippings. This will be thinned soon also. Notice the tiny weeds coming up also!

Lina Cisco Bird Egg Beans, this is an open pollinated horticultural type shell bean. This variety is a family heirloom open pollinated horticultural type bean that I got my start of from Seed Savers Exchange many years ago. It was brought to Missouri by covered wagon in the 1880's by Lina's grandmother. Lina Sisco was one of the six original members of the Seed Savers Exchange, which was founded in 1975. It makes a large horticultural type bean with maroon markings. I use it as a shell or dried bean. It cans great and makes a thick and rich  gravy when the beans cook down. Grows wonderfully here on my Missouri farm.

With all this rain I am praying that the potatoes don't rot. We shall see and are contemplating pulling the straw off simply because it holds so much moisture and trying to traditionally hill them instead. We have pulled all mulch and straw off of this garden simply because with all the rain it was becoming a quagmire of mud underneath. We can always put it back if it dries out. Heavy mulch works GREAT in a drought but not so well in a monsoon because it holds all that moisture. My daughter Fred brought over a half bag of Yukon Gold seed potatoes left over from planting her small garden in town. We stuck them out as well. O WIse One doesn't care for them but someone will eat them.   

My poor corn : (

Golden Bantam, an open pollinated heirloom sweet corn came up well but if it turns off hot could scald out with all that standing water.

Got 4 rows of Louisiana Red Beans up before the rains. The ones that germinated are fine the ones that were not germinated washed up in the torrential rainfall. 

The Jade green beans also germinated well. An open pollinated variety but not considered heirloom this is the greatest green bean I have ever found for this area and out performs most local favorites. It was funny that I started selling them to some of the local produce stands and now everyone is growing Jade.

 I'm a trend setter...Who knew ?      

Cabbage Jersey Wakefield and Broccoli Premium Crop were both planted for the second time and bore the brunt of this last rain/hail/wind storm. We are hoping it will come out of it... if not then we will attempt to plant a crop in July for the Fall (for the third time). Luckily I have plenty cabbage not only in the freezer but also sauerkraut in jars. I may have to buy some heads locally for some freezer slaw though. We really enjoyed that freezer slaw last winter!!

On the flip side the hay fields are lush and green and with goats to keep in hay during the winter we have allowed even more of the property to grow up into hay. Hay was a rare commodity last year and we hope to be able to have plenty for our two little weed whackers goats. We have an agreement with a neighbor that cuts and bales it for half. 

And at last the time is approaching to set out my tomato and pepper plants. As you can see by the pictures they are healthy and stocky plants. Not root bound in any way and ready to go into rich garden soil. With stalks as big as your fingers they should be able to withstand some winds. They have been moved back and forth from the porch and have been exposed to full sun and winds in an effort to prepare them for the garden. They are more than ready.    

I have two and a half trays of these Brandywine tomatoes and am trying a new tomato called Oxheart. All together I have 52 tomato plants to go into the ground. 

Still left to set out as the temperatures warm and the rain slacks some are onions, peppers, tomatoes and basil. I have lots of dill volunteers in the flower bed from last year and the chives have reseeded as well.  The sweet potatoes sprouts are starting to leaf out well but I will wait awhile to try to set them out. I have not planted pumpkins, acorn squash, watermelons, okra and cantaloupes. I do have cucumbers up but will plant more later. I have also planted more Jade beans and a small amount of yellow squash which have not come up as of yet. I planted about 1/3 of a row of French Horticulture beans in an attempt to get a start of the seeds. I have 3 rows of Pink Eyed Purple Hull peas up as well. 

So far this growing season is turning out to be late, wet and unpredictable. Last year this time we were picking peas and this year I have replanted peas twice. Once to be ate off by a rogue groundhog and once to be shredded by the wind and broke off almost at ground level. On this crop I will also wait till fall, buy them or do without. 

Such is the life of a gardener it seems here in Missouri. Everyone tells me if you don't like the weather wait an hour and it will change. One thing about it is that it isn't boring. I have survived tornadoes that uprooted trees less than 50 feet from my door, endured floods, hail and droughts. Last year it was hoards of rabbits and blister beetles and another drought not to mention the lone tropical storm/hurricane that made it this far north. 

With gardening like this it's a wonder the human race isn't extinct!!!

Never the less we flourish and fall to our knees every night and thank God for what we do have and ask for blessings for those who do not, we pray for forgiveness and patience to endure and persevere. And we throw in a little extra prayer for good weather, no hail, no wind, no drought AND no floods or torrential downpours daily.

We don't want much do we : ) I bet God gets tired of me whining like a spoiled 2 year old!

This has turned into a small novel and I just heard that we are again under a tornado warning.   Guess we will go put the animals up and batten down the hatches. I can't promise a post for the next couple days as I have guests coming tomorrow. My God daughter and her Australian boyfriend are visiting from Louisiana. He has aspirations to return to Australia I hear and open an organic farm/restaurant endeavor. I think I may enjoy having young people that share my garden interests to share with : ) I have the entire Hickery Holler gang cleaning and sprucing up things for our guests.

See ya Monday! 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Wow, you have been busy. So much to do & so little time. Hope your corn, & everything else struggling, makes it.

  2. You have more in the ground than many. I hope all comes out well for a great harvest.

  3. Your garden looks great, considering your weather. Stay safe and have a great weekend!

  4. Your hay field is beautiful, hope you stay clear of the tornadoes that are predicted. Don't know what I would do with as many animals as I have if there was a tornado. Stay safe, hope the garden dries out so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  5. I hope the tornado misses you and that you get a break from the rain.
    We have had days of wet here (UK) but are due some bright sunny days which will perk the weeds right up!
    I grow Cylindra beetroot it's good and such a great shape for slicing.

    1. Like you Mich the weeds are loving this weather and we are due a weekend of sunny skies. Rain is supposed to come back next week though! Hugs from this side of the pond : )

  6. I purchased some jade green beans last fall at Planters seed in KC after reading your blog. One row is planted and when things dry out another row will go in. I am excited to see how good they are. Your garden looks great. Wish I was able to get as much in as you.

    1. You will have to come back and let me know how you like them neighbor!

    2. Just picked some this morning and had them for lunch. They are wonderful! Great flavor and no strings. I know it is probably a little late to put more in but I am going to try. I have a 50' row that is fallow so I will see if I can get a late flush. Thanks so much for sharing your garden and great how to ideas with everyone. Next year I will try your Jericho lettuce.

  7. We are also in Missouri and know you feel about being soggy but it sure is hard to complain after the drought the last two years. We finally got our garden planted last week, it had been too wet until then. Yours looks great!

  8. Lots of rain here, too, and like you, I'm not complaining, just commenting on it. I grow lots of Horticulture beans. I pick them when the pod turns yellow and the bean is well formed, but not dry. I can it at that stage (29 pints last year) without the pre-cooking and soaking. It's a quick meal of bean soup with a little added water or a great addition to a meal of fried potatoes and onions and a pan of cornbread.

    My Jade beans are up and growing good. At your 'recommendation', this is the first year I've tried them and will let you know how they grow in the Ozark mountains.

    Like you, we are up high and with all the rain we've had lately, if we wash out, everyone had better be in the ARK.. two by two... LOL!

    Enjoy your company and it will eventually slow down with the rain and probably stop for a month or so.

    1. Horticulture beans are my husband's favorite shell bean although I am still partial to my Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. Horticulture beans can great and freeze great too. I prefer mine canned as you do. A jar of those as you say with some cornbread and fried potatoes and maybe some mustard greens is a meal fit for a king! A southern one anyway : )

      You will definitely have to let me know what you think of the Jade beans!!

      Hugs CQ

  9. -We've got some of the same problem in Ohio.. Early in April it was beautiful but I couldnt get into my garden because its a community garden & didnt open until 2 weeks ago.. but its been wet almost ever since.. And the few days I could get in there I was busy and couldnt get to it.. Im feeling rather antsy... Hopefully this weekend I can get the rest of my plants in there anyways.. If I cant get seed in, that'll be ok for a while, but these plants really need to go in the ground.

    Everything looks good regardless of all your rain..

    1. It has to dry up some time....right! I hope anyway. Until then we watch it rain and the weeds are lovin all this rain. Too wet to cut hay either.

  10. I was thinking about you last night! I was in my garden attempting to dig a furrow for my cucumber seeds. What do you think about this weather? I am so clueless. I have tilled, then it rained before I could plant. I tilled and got a few things planted before the last torrential rains came. Now, I only had a few hours of daylight last night so couldn't borrow the tiller from my parents again before I could plant. Expecting more rain tonight. I dug a furrow, planted the seeds and crossed my fingers.

    My garden itself looks hard and cracked probably from pure run off of water. Even though it's not really dry at all. Since my soil isn't soft and fluffy will my seeds come up in that stuff?

    I thought since you are a Missouri gardener, you might have some advice for planting and having any success at all with these conditions.

    Thank you!


    1. OMG Gina I am so with you on this! This year is the worst Missouri weather I have ever seen and my garden reflects that! Had a better garden in the drought. Continuing to till the soil excessively just causes your garen to compact more than ever. If you are planting seeds try to just dig your furrows with a hoe and till as little as possible until the monsoon rains end.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I'm going to try just that!

      Any words of advice for squash vine borers? They always wipe me out before I even get a single squash. I'm ordering tromboncino squash seeds today to see if that works. I read that they might be resistant to the squash vine borer.

      Looks cloudy AGAIN! Oh... Maybe I should invest in a greenhouse..

      Your posts are wonderful! Keep up the good work! You are now my favorite blog that I check first before all others!


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