Sunday, July 12, 2020

Early July Tiny House Garden


So far this year the garden has been thriving overall. Which is wonderful since gardening is one of my favorite things to do. As is eating wonderful fresh foods. 😊 While the weather has been pretty cool (here high in the mountains, that means around freezing) for most of the spring and early summer, the frost covers have continued to do their job well. I probably covered the garden 85% of the nights, as well as some days, from planting in early May till
about the past week. When the weather finally stayed reliably warm, in the 40's F, at night. But even with all of that, things are thriving, some better than any year yet in this location. So here's a little glimpse into what's growing now.



The peas are looking wonderful! After loosing almost all of the peas two years in a row, first to pocket gophers eating every single one before moving to the gopher proof beds, and then last year to I think Aminopyralid residue (If you're not familiar with it, this nasty herbicide can get into your garden from hay it was applied to, or from the manure of any animal that ate that hay. It's not broken down in compost like most things are, and can remain in soil killing or sickening everything in the pea/bean and squash/cucumber families for up to a decade.) from hay I'd mulched with years ago, this is very exciting! I can see just a tiny bit of leaf edges curled on the peas from the nutrient blocking that results from Aminopyralid, but they are still growing almost as tall as me, loaded with blossoms, and now lots of small peas that will be maturing soon. The beans and squashes are still struggling to outgrow it and are the only things that really are not thriving this year. Though again, they are better than past years so it must be gradually breaking down 4 years after that hay was used and then all removed when I realized what had happened. Suffice it to say, that's not something you ever want to get into your soil.



The gooseberry bush I'd planted 5 years ago as a little baby is now huge and loaded with berries that should start to ripen soon.


The rhubarb is also huge and I've harvested quite a bit already. Though it will soon wrap up for the year and die back till next spring. 


I have several patches of onions in different garden beds and they all look healthy. Onions are something I use so frequently in cooking, it's close to impossible to have too many. 


Both beds of potatoes are looking wonderful, tall, lush, so healthy, and just starting to send out blossoms. They are one of the things that I think look better than they have any other year.

 Several things like this despite the very cool weather this year make me wonder if the minuscule amounts of a few minerals that I added to the soil after doing that soil test last fall really helped. Overall the soil test showed a well balanced soil with plenty of organic matter and most major minerals. Based on the recommendations from that I added a couple ounces each of zinc, copper, and boron to the whole garden. As well as a little kelp powder. I wonder if those things being present when the plant's cells needed them really helped push some things to be more vibrant than ever?


The strawberries are just turning read and I've picked a couple handfuls so far with lots more to ripen. 




Lettuces, like most green leafy stuff, loves the cool climate here and thrives. I usually plant 8-12 varieties as I enjoy all the colors mixed together. I've enjoyed a lot of salads of various kinds, lettuce in sandwiches, etc. and will continue to cut and come again with these little plants till they get buried under snow again. 




The cabbages, both purple and green though it seems I didn't snap a shot of the green ones, are growing well and just starting to form nice firm little heads in the centers. Cabbage is another things I can't really have too much of as I can always make more sauerkraut and Danish Christmas Cabbage to enjoy through the winter.  


All four varieties of kale look pretty and while still this young and tender also make good additions to salads or as a cooked green.


Harvesting of asparagus shoots has ended for the year, and above is what the mature stalks look like. They leaf out with a beautiful fern like texture and will now spend the rest of the summer feeding nutrients into the roots so they will be even larger and more productive next spring. I also happen to think their fern like texture is lovely and wonder why more people don't plant them just as an ornamental plant in flower beds even if they don't like eating asparagus?

 

The broccoli has grown a lot of beautiful heads and as I harvest the first batch of big central heads, they continue to produce many little side shoots for the rest of the summer. Which adds up to a lot more tasty meals!


And there's lots more. As you can see, overall the whole veggie garden looks quite green and happy. I get a lot of pleasure just walking up and down the paths and observing everything in the garden. And it really doesn't take that much time and care either. After all the initial work to create the beds which was finished up last spring, all I've done this year is plant all the seeds. Then water everything with the sprinklers every 4-5 days if there is no rainfall. And I've weeded the beds once. It's about time to go through and pull out any little ones I missed or that have sprouted since that initial weeding. But as you can probably see from most of the photos, I stagger most plants and plant things a little closer than normally recommend. Partly because I know in my cool area with very short summers they won't have a lot of time to get really large. And this also keeps the soil covered by growing plants with almost no bare ground. Which means that it's nearly impossible for any weeds to start because after the initial weeding in the spring, they can't hardly find any space, light, water, and nutrients to grow with since the things I want to grow are using all those things. 


While there's only a little over 600 square feet of bed space in the garden, I also have a lot of things growing along all the edges of the woods as well as the planters around the house of course. Mint is one of the things I really enjoy and above and below are two of the many mint family plants filling in those edges as a beautiful and tasty ground cover. Again, this saves me a lot of time as the ground being covered with something growing means there's almost no space for anything else to get started, helps slow evaporation in our dry climate, and produces a tasty product. Or beautiful flowers that are enjoyed by all the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. 



Raspberries are one of the things that the mint is a working as a ground cover for. They are just forming little berries right now.


And then there's stuff like this little hops vine that I got from a friend when she had an extra little start off the side of hers. It is crawling up a repurposed trellis and since it's outgrown that, I just added a taller one up the side of the little tool shed. 


The whole edge of the wood/yard boundary is full of flowers and herbs actually. Too many to go into in this post, but a wide variety of things that I use herbally, medicinally, for teas, a few edible foods, and lots of flowers for all my little pollinators and garden helpers. But that's a glimpse into what is happening in the garden these days. How are the things you are growing doing? I know many of you are at a very different stage of growth in warmer ares.





37 comments:

  1. Bonjour Ariel
    Votre jardin est vraiment magnifique et plein de promesses pour les futures récoltes. Vous avez avez réalisé avec le temps et beaucoup de patience un jardin qui je suis sur vous comblera par toutes ces saveurs pour vaux futures préparations culinaires. Bravo
    Petit coucou de France.

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  2. I also follow van-living people named Trent and Allie. They are getting ready to build a tiny home in the mountains of Utah. I recommended them to you...I hope they follow you.

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  3. I really like seeing your garden grown out. It is a lot harder to keep things going down here with the wind and heat. I just saw that I lost one of my okra plants that dried up. I have the watering system set to come on twice a day but the last few days I have had to run it a third time.

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  5. Fantastic! I think you're right about the soil amendments making a difference. I've followed you a long time. Best garden yet!

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  7. Thanks for the garden update! My garden is growing pretty well too though we've had a hot dry stretch recently so I've had to water a lot. My warm season plants are starting to produce now and I ate my first green beans of the season today. :) I also have Asian long beans forming. This is a new crop for me so and it's fascinating to watch these unique beans form. Some of the long beans are now 6 inches long but still no more than 1/8th of an inch thick. Guess I'll keep watching for them to thicken up and will harvest them when they are 12"-18" long. It's a vining type of plant and I have it climbing a cattle panel. I also have some roselle plants growing, another new plant for me. Germination was poor but I have enough growing for a small first year test crop. Apparently they don't bloom until the day length is shorter so I'm not expecting to harvest calyxes for jam and juice until the fall.

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  8. The garden is the most lush that I have ever seen you grow. Good work! I am just glad to find you prospering along with Burley-Man. Best of everything to you two.

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  9. Your garden is amazing! I'm very jealous of your Rhubarb. My favorite pie is strawberry Rhubarb and sadly the Rhubarb here at the grocery stores(when they have it) is soooo expensive and not very tasty. When we make it out West with our THOW, we are planning to connect with you and depending on the time, I may have to barter for some of that Rhubarb! Tell me, what do you do with the hops? Besides brewing beer, is there another use? Keep up the healthy, happy lifestyle. Peace.

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  10. So fun! Thank you for the wonderful tour! Have you lately visited your property you intend to move to someday?

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  11. Your garden is beautiful, How did you keep the pest down? every thing look so good and healthy, will you be canning to store alot of it or going into town to sale

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  12. I'm doing a little garden mulching with old clothes. I am putting old blue jeans, throw-away blue shirts around my purple cabbage and it adds a little color coordination to the garden. I have green clothes around my moss roses. Keeps the weeds out and the soil wet.

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  13. So happy to see you beautiful garden, i miss your updates on Youtube and i am happy to be on your mailing list. Your hoops for the garden critters i see is a wonderful addition. I am happy the hard work you do isnt becoming lunch for the deer. We have had to screen in out entire garden as we dont want all our hard work being eaten up. Please keep your updated on the way, i admire your self sufficient abilities and creativity too. I have learned so much canning skills from you too, will you be posting about that too?? thanks again

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  14. You were born to be a farmer. Admit it! WOW

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  15. I've been following you for a couple years. I have to say this year is the year for your garden! It just looks perfect! Your photos belong in a garden magazine! Remember last year a little garter snake showed up and 'took care' of some insects/critters? Has the snake come back?

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  16. All I can say is WOW! Great garden this year! :)

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  17. You will have a feast . Your garden is looking great. At the moment I don't have a garden cause I'm renovating my house but I'm a member of a community garden and also there the harvest is exploding like crazy

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  18. Hey Ariel what a haven of peace and tranquility is your little grey home in the west, and all your hard graft, persevering and tenacity in spite of pesky thieving gophers, severe frosts and then some, you got yourself as wonderful a feast of blooming garden excellence as one could ever wish for, hope you enjoy every delicious morsel. Really enjoy all your posts and thank you so much for sharing, CHEERS.

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  19. I just started watching you lately on You Tube. I'm binge watching now. You and I think a lot alike and if I could I'd be living in a tiny house. Thanks for all the beautiful photos. Claudia.

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  20. Your videos I miss dearly, your blog's bring me a smile darlin. Burley is looking all grown up and handsome. Fynth looks beautiful.
    Be well sweetheart, and thanks for the smile.

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  21. To learn how to live - look at Fy Nyth..

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    1. PS. Why not some ivy growing up those walls? Green - variegated.. Extra insulation too.

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  22. Wow, how marvelous your garden looks! And you and Burley look beautiful as always. I'm so happy for you, living in that little paradise. My husband and I are in the Chicago area and the only things that seem to grow in our garden are tomatoes, zucchini, melons and zinnias, of those we have tons, but for everything else it gets too hot (exacerbated by heat buildup in an enclosed yard). I grew up in northern Germany and my family had a huge garden with rhubarb and gooseberries, apple, plum, pear and cherry trees, peas, string beans, butterhead lettuce and potatoes. My mom made the most amazing tarts and cakes with the various fruit, and also did a lot of canning. Your post brings back fond memories, especially of rhubarb! 🙂

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  23. Your garden is amazing! I have a garden as well,i live in southern ontario Canada with a very good climate for seasonal gardening but mine doesn't hold a candle to your amazing ability to grow such a beautiful productive garden in less than ideal conditions...you never cease to amaze me ,thanks for sharing and stay safe Ariel.

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  24. Your gardens look amazing! You always impress me with your knowledge of gardening in a cooler climate. Hugs, Brenda

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  25. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful smile.

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  26. Miss your cooking video 👍😎🇸🇪

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  27. Wonderful garden. Very lush. Miss you on YouTube

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  28. This is an amazing job 🙌❤️
    I am so jealous of you LoL 😁

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  29. Hello Ariel,

    Saw your video by the great Canadian folks from Exploring Alternatives (but knew about you way before that and watched some of your vids) and wanted to let you know some important gardening info. I used to live in Alberta, Canada (north of Montana), zone 3, and gardened abundantly there. I would say with 90 growing days it is much colder than Wyoming but in the Rockies and prairie, so quite similar. Less bugs and more sun and light/day length than east where I am now. I’m now in zone 5 and growing is much harder here.

    Anyway, you most certainly can grow tomatoes, cukes, winter squash, beans, etc. with some sort of cover or quick varieties without. Just try the quick, colder varieties of tomatoes that take less time to ripen (started inside first under lights, of course, or purchased at a nursery) and I always started my cucumbers just after the last frost from seed. I’m a big fan of pots for these crops. Love the self-watering pots as well. Check out Leon’s self-watering pots on YouTube to make yourself. They work amazingly well. Two tomatoes per pot and prune and trellis accordingly.

    To grow heirloom tomatoes you will need a high tunnel which can be as simple as a Shelter Logic type 8’x6’ Poly “greenhouse” or similar, under $100 (at least it was before this Covid nonsense) or something a bit more $$ like a Palram greenhouse. Works amazing for tomatoes as they get the heat they need and are able to ripen within the 90 days. I would even put them in the GH with cosy coats (wall of water) protection which are good to -10 degrees Celsius (14 F) on around April 15th. No fan in GH, just open the doors and vents all day, when sunny. Works a treat for cold-sensitive crops but an unheated greenhouse won’t protect against frost but just cover with Reemay/floating row covers if frost threatens.

    Hope this helps as you said you like to grow as much of your own food as you can. Way to go!!

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  30. Hi Ariel...Have you considered trying to utilize a rain/snow catching system as an alternate water source? You have the heated exhaust from your wood stove as a source of melting the snow. This may be something worth looking into.

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  31. It's good to see your thriving garden and plants. Burley is still a Happy, well taken care of Dog for sure. You are certainly very knowledgeable, in Gardening & Canning. Can't wait to see a Video or Pictures of your canning Techniques. Thank You; Ariel & Burley

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  32. Hi Ariel the garden looks beautiful ,iv watch nearly almost all your videos now :) glad you and burly are doing well xxx

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  33. I love what you doing, i wish to copy the same

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  34. Just like everyone else I want to say I really miss your youtube videos! You have mentioned your blog a few times so I thought I would come check it out. I just started my first garden this year, I have corn, pumpkins, broccoli, strawberries, and onions. I love the onions! I have only eaten the broccoli twice but there is just so much of it. Still, after I was inspired after watching the videos to try something along this line. I also made my first bone broth, the chicken is pretty good but the beef tastes too intense. I tried putting it in mashed potatoes but I still didn't like it. I simmered it for 5 days at 185. I hate to get rid of it because it has that top layer of "goodness" which is supposed to be great.. I will try turkey next time. Be well :)

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