what’s growing

After several days in the 90's this morning was overcast and I began working at 6.30am, so it was pleasant.  With all the recent rains I have 8,000 gallons stored rainwater and can be liberal with its use. As I stepped outside I heard loud buzzing.  M. had lamented we had not trimmed the Rose of Sharon hibiscus, which overtowers our deck, and it would have fewer flowers this year.  But not this morning - there were flowers enough and many pollinators. The bumblebee and also Read more [...]

what’s growing

We have had lots of rain and in the woods interesting fungi appear such as above or this unusual specimen below. The puffballs attract little attention while growing. But when it matures a hole appears at the top. In addition to the regular looking fungi there are other varieties, here is another one. But enough with the fungi, what's edible that's growing?  The blueberries and blackberries are done for the season.  And the jujube, such a stellar producer in previous Read more [...]

what’s growing

My last growing update was June 2.  Since then ripe tomatoes, blackberries and blueberries have come on stream.  And wild plants such as the pokeweed above, compete for attention.  Yesterday's basket provided a delicious salad - tasty tomatoes, cucumber, beans plus onions and garlic (not shown).  All freshly picked. I inter-sprinkled some seeds for large sunflowers in the growing area and the sunflowers are now between 9ft and 10ft tall. I also added color to Read more [...]

what’s growing

Despite plentiful rains and cooler temperatures, the transition to summer continues and cool season crops yield to Georgia summer varieties.  Asparagus season is over and those which were not harvested have matured and festoon their delicate tracery in the above picture. I grow for our plate and friends and can indulge allocating growing space to attractive non producers.  The yarrow's shimmering tapestry attracts visitors. And mullein thrives where it is allowed. And a nearby Read more [...]

back from week in San Francisco

Prior to my west coast trip I considered how best protect my plantings.  In my April 12 post I described planting out 33 tomato plants and my concern for frost damage.  There was no frost and my new concern was whether the plants would survive without irrigation for 8 days.   I deposited wood chips round the base of each tomato and watered deeply.  The 12 surplus tomato plants in the greenhouse I moved to the shade of the carport.  And I planted out 8 sweet pepper plants.  Read more [...]

growing update – tomatoes and bees

I noticed the leaves of my tomato plants in the greenhouse had white blotches. It has warmed up a lot and I suspect greenhouse heat and light is too much for the plants.  I could shade them or plant them.  A quandary is the average last frost day for Canton, a town to the south, is 4/21 to 4/30 and for Jasper, a town to the north, is 5/1 to 5/10.  So on April 10, what should I do?  The forecast anticipates no cold weather for the next 10 days.  I decided to chance Read more [...]

Georgia Organics conference – Feb 17/18 – 2017

Past Friday and Saturday I was at the GO conference.  Friday morning we visited a farm (Emory Oxford College organic farm) about 20 miles east of Atlanta.  The farm has CSA's and provides food for the campus.  The 2 managers were friendly and experienced and we also listened to the narratives of college interns and volunteers.  There is an impressive barn building on concrete pad where the harvest is cleaned and refrigerated and tractors and equipment serviced. I learned Read more [...]

tomato plants

Each year around this time I start my tomato plants.  For germination I use 3/4" soil blocks (purchased seed starter mix) and incubate, and once germinated I transfer to 2" soil blocks in my greenhouse and  later into 32 oz bottom drilled yogurt containers.  I have described the procedures in detail elsewhere on this site.  With each passing year I have become more casual with the mix for the 2" soil blocks and yogurt containers.  I used to carefully measure out the different Read more [...]

what’s growing

It's December 18, we have not had temps below 20 deg F, and greens are holding up well. Usually I plant out the garlic cloves in October or November but we had no rain in those months and the ground was dry.  When I returned from Australia and New Zealand early December the ground was moist and it was pleasurable to clear the beds, turn in the compost and populate with garlic.  I have noticed some leaves emerging and hope the delay will not affect their growth.  I used to store the garlic Read more [...]

making do

And so the north Georgia drought continues.  Yesterday was hellish - rolling clouds of smoke streamed down from Rabun county, where some houses were being evacuated, and from areas of South and North Carolina.   From my neighbors, who are weather hardened house builders, I heard hacking coughs and mine joined theirs as I pruned my trees.  And rain not in sight and maybe none until next spring. My house is on a well and I could pump water for irrigation but this depletes my well (and probably Read more [...]