The 2008 Harvest

Vegetables

This is a log describing the food I bring in from the garden in 2008. I’m using the following beds:

Raised bed, 3 m x 1.2 m
Raised bed, 5 m x 1.2 m
Bed, 6 m x 1.2 m
Bed, 6 m x 1.2 m
Bed, 6 m x 1.2 m

———————-

Parsnip:

Parsnip

2008-12-24: 5 pcs. (1258 g)
2008-11-28: 1 pcs. (480 g)
2008-11-18: 1 pcs. (252 g peeled)
2008-11-13: 1 pcs. (364 g)
2008-11-03: 1 pcs. (446 g)
2008-10-20: 1 pcs. (564 g without top)

Total for 2008: 10 pcs. (3.4 kg)
———————-

Tomato:

Tomato

2008-10-01: 30 pcs. (1200 g)
2008-09-24: 1 pcs. (36 g)
2008-09-23: 1 pcs. beef (125 g), 2 pcs. (112 g)
2008-09-18: 1 pcs. beef (52 g), 3 pcs. (138 g)
2008-09-15: 2 pcs. beef (300 g), 2 pcs. (120 g)
2008-09-01: 1 pcs. 20 g
2008-08-23: 1 pcs. 50 g
2008-08-13: 1 pcs. small green (22 g)

Total for 2008: 45 pcs. (2.2 kg)
———————-

Beans:

Beans

2008-10-12: 2460 g
2008-10-01: 266 g
2008-09-20: 1250 g
2008-09-10: 620 g
2008-09-04: 630 g
2008-08-31: 300 g
2008-08-28: 380 g runner
2008-08-25: 250 g short, 66 g runner
2008-08-23: 64 g short
2008-08-20: 87 g short
2008-08-18: 66 g short
2008-08-13: 29 g short
2008-08-11: 16 g short
2008-08-10: 43 g short
2008-08-08: 50 g short

Total for 2008: 6.6 kg
———————-

Peas:

Peas

2008-08-23: 34 g

Total for 2008: 34 g
———————-

Apples:

Apples

2008-09-16: 922 g green
2008-09-12: 539 g green
2008-09-11: 838 g green and red
2008-09-10: 700 g green
2008-09-06: 3200 g green
2008-09-04: 924 g (8 pcs.) red, 319 g (2 pcs.) yellow
2008-08-31: 284 g red, 172 green
2008-08-30: 871 g red
2008-08-27: 94 g (1 pcs.) red
2008-08-25: 785 g red
2008-08-23: 939 g red (with spots)
2008-08-20: 1758 g red (all with spots)
2008-08-18: 538 g red
2008-08-15: 561 g red
2008-08-13: 1053 g (11 pcs.) red
2008-08-12: 752 g (9 pcs.) red
2008-08-10: (10 pcs.) red
2008-08-09: 233 g red
2008-08-08: 298 g red
2008-08-07: 1000 g red
2008-08-03: 900 g red
2008-08-01: 685 g red

Total for 2008: 19 kg
———————-

Onion:

Onion

2008-10-12: 1 pcs. yellow, 1 pcs. red
2008-08-23: 18 pcs. yellow, 8 pcs. red
2008-08-12: 11 pcs. yellow, 16 pcs. red
2008-08-08: 10 pcs. yellow (1330 g with top), 9 pcs. red (1050 g with top)
2008-08-07: 1 pcs. yellow (97 g), 1 pcs. red (126 g)
2008-07-28: 1 pcs. yellow (28 g), 1 pcs. red (42 g)

Total for 2008: 42 pcs. yellow, 36 pcs. red
———————-

Red beet:

Red Beet

2008-10-12: 1 pcs. long
2008-08-08: Round (593 g), long (106 g)
2008-07-28: 12 pcs. (1200 g)
2008-07-18: 12 pcs. round (1500 g), 9 pcs. long (750 g)
2008-07-13: 2 pcs. round, 1 pcs. long

Total for 2008: 43 pcs.
———————-

Squash:

Squash

2008-10-12: 1 pcs. (1260 g)
2008-09-17: 2 pcs. (978 g)
2008-09-06: 2 pcs. (653 g)
2008-09-04: 1 pcs. (654 g)
2008-08-31: 1 pcs. (326 g)
2008-08-27: 1 pcs. (419 g)
2008-08-25: 1 pcs. (289 g)
2008-08-20: 1 pcs. (676 g)
2008-08-10: 1 pcs.
2008-08-03: 1 pcs. (1047 g), 1 pcs. (1037 g), 1 pcs. (166 g)
2008-07-27: 1 pcs. (1815 g)

Total for 2008: 15 pcs. (9.7 kg)
———————-

Radish:

Radish

2008-10-12: x pcs. red and white (360 g)
2008-09-04: 2 pcs. white (31 g)
2008-08-31: 8 pcs. white
2008-08-27: 9 pcs. white
2008-05-28: x, red, white tip
2008-05-31: x, red, white tip
2008-06-03: x, red, white tip
———————-

Carrot:

Carrot

2008-10-12: 3 pcs.
2008-09-17: 23 pcs.
2008-09-16: 7 pcs.
2008-09-09: 8 pcs.
2008-09-04: 6 pcs. (327 g)
2008-07-28: 4 pcs. (145 g)
2008-07-18: 32 pcs. (2600 g)
2008-07-16: 2 pcs. (228 g) + 2 pcs. (183 g)
2008-07-13: 4 pcs.
———————-

Spinach:

Spinach

2008-10-12: 186 g
2008-09-17: 120 g
2008-09-06: 100 g
2008-09-04: 60 g
2008-08-25: 17 g
2008-05-28: x
2008-05-31: x
2008-06-03: x

Total for 2008: 600 g
———————-

Lettuce:

Lettuce

2008-07-18: 3 sinks
2008-06-03: x
2008-07-14: 85 g
———————-

Potatoes:

Potatoes

2008-09-20: 4600 g Bintje, 3440 g Asparagus
2008-09-14: 1055 g Sava
2008-09-13: 871 g Bintje
2008-08-20: 800 g Sava (1 plant)
2008-08-16: 1670 g asparagus
2008-08-10: Asparagus (2 plants), Sava (1 plant)
2008-08-01: 3500 g asparagus (6 plants)
2008-07-30: 1100 g asparagus (2 plants)
2008-07-29: 750 g Sava (1 plant)
2008-07-27: 650 g Sava (1 plant)
2008-07-23: 900 g Sava, 600 g asparagus
2008-07-18: 500 g Bintje (1 plant)
2008-07-17: 800 g asparagus (1 plant)
2008-07-14: 1000 g (1 plant) <- One single potato at 210 g.
2008-07-13: 600 g Sava
2008-07-08: 1000 g Sava (2 plants)

Total for 2008: 22 kg

6 kg Bintje
7.4 kg Sava
12 kg Asparagus
———————-

Total amount of food for 2008: 82 kg.

How NOT To Grow Squash

Squash

One of my squash fruits seems to be rotting, and one of the leaves seems to be in bad shape too. This is the first time this has happened and I don’t know what is going on here, so please leave a comment if you have an explanation. This particular plant has delivered a couple of fine fruits earlier this summer and I hope it will keep on going despite this bad one.

How To Fight Killer Slugs The Smart Way

Killer Slug

I think I went a little to crazy with the iron phosphate fighting the killer slugs. As a result it’s hard to find just a single slug in the garden now. I scattered the pills along the sides of the raised beds and the other beds, along the hedge, and around the composting boxes. This method was effective. But then again it wasn’t, since the good guys also died and iron phosphate is quite expensive. So I suggest a better approach.

First of all – put out more ducks. This is not a “too-many-slugs”-problem, it’s a “too-few-ducks”-problem. Although it’s possible to do, it’s not practical in the suburbs. Instead I suggest targeting each individual killer slug with about 5 iron phosphate pills. Compared to collecting and boiling them this is more effective, because when slug starts having some “stomach problems” it will go back to the hive and die. Cannibals as they are the other killer slugs eats it and dies too. This won’t happen when you go and boil them.

Furthermore, the good guys is much less likely to come across the pills when you don’t spray the pills all over like a madman. 5 pills per slug is also much cheaper, so that a box of iron phosphate will probably last for years.

Where Is My Tagetes?

No tagetes

Isn’t that a fine row of tagetes? No? Why not? They’re not in the picture? Hmm, must be the wrong row… Nope, it’s this one alright. I saved the seeds from the tagetes last year and put them here in this row, but there’s no sign of them this year.

Now it’s unlikely that the following goes for tagetes too, but it does for some vegetables. It turns out that some of the companies producing and selling seeds for all kinds of plants is manipulating the genes of the plants, so that the seeds you will eventually get from those plants you grow will not be able to grow into new plants if you sow the new seeds. This way you are forced to go and buy another round of seeds if you want to grow this particular plant again.

For this to be a good business for the company it has to control the reproduction mechanism of the plant, the price of the seeds and the information available to the public. Well the last one just failed miserably (damn blogs :-D). Choose your company wisely.

Growing Beans And Peas

Beans and peas

Beans and peas like to have something to hang onto and some beans will climb up to 3 metres (10 feet) upwards if you let them. I put together 10 bamboo sticks each 2 meters (7 feet) long.

For the peas I cut up some wire fence that is 50 cm (20 inches) high for each row.

In the back you can see one of the potato rows with asparagus and Bintje potatoes. They flowered a few weeks ago but are still a little small, so we’re letting them grow a bit more.

There’s also a lot of lawn left as you see in the picture which could be turned into raised beds. I don’t know if there’s any rules in our area on how wild you can run your front garden. I really don’t think I should start asking. 😀

Take a look at urbanhomestead.org to see how wild it can get. Very inspiring story.

Home Of The Bumblebee

Beehive

Originally this plastic bag of peat moss was just lying on the ground waiting to be used, but apparantly it has been there long enough for the bumblebees to move in. Normally I don’t like to have bees living that close to the house, but when you are growing your own food I think it’s a good thing to have the bees around. They pollinate the flowers so they are valuable creatures that deserves a good home, so next year I’ll put up a little wooden house for them. It’s amazing how the diversity grows when you loosen your grip on nature. It’s the same thing with lawns.

Planning When To Grow What

When you begin growing your own food you don’t have a strong intuition that will tell you when to do what in your garden. Here’s an overview of vegetables suitable for growing food as a beginner:

English name Latin name Variant
1 Bean Phaseolus Vulgaris Promotor, (Hammenhögs)
2 Bean, short Phaseolus Vulgaris Maxi, (Hammenhögs)
3 Beetroot Beta Vulgaris Bull’s Blood
4 Beetroot, long Beta Vulgaris Kosak
5 Carrot Daucus Carota ssp. Sativus Nantes 2
6 Corn Zea Mays Spring Sun F1
7 Leek Allium Porrum Bulga
8 Lettuce Lactuca Sativa Mix
9 Parsnip Pastinaca Sativa White Gem
10 Pea Pisum Sativum Delikett
11 Radish Raphanus Sativus Round Red Small White Tip 2
12 Red Onion Allium Cepa Red Baron
13 Spinach Spinacia Oleracea Bordeaux F1
14 Zucchini Cucurbita Pepo Black Beauty
15 Tagetes, high Tagetes Erecta Crackerjack Mix
16 Yellow Onion Allium Cepa N.A.

And here’s a plan showing when to do what:

Sowing Plan

(“Germinate” in a warm place indoors and “Sow” outside in the garden.)

It shows for example that a crop like 9. Parsnip is sowed in the spring and harvested in the winter. It also shows that 11. Radish is fast to produce, which is good for kids because it’s easy to have success with it.

I’m growing all of the above in 2008 and the seeds are available from Weibulls. I believe it’s a Swedish company so the plan is probably best for Scandinavia, but it would probably work on other locations near latitude 56N with small adjustments.

Attack Of The Killer Slugs

Killer Slug

Argh, those slimy bastards. This is the killer slug, and a nice big one too. They have different names including killer slugs, Spanish slugs and the latin name Arion Lusitanicus. I guess the killer nickname comes from the fact that they eat each other like cannibals. That is not so clever because when one of them eats slug “poison” it will go back to the nest and die, in this case the compost box. Then the rest of them eat the sick one, and they go down with it. Luckily this picture is taken on top of the compost box and not in any of the raised beds. They’re capable of moving 9 meters (30 feet) an hour so you better watch out for an attack of the killer slugs, uuuh 😉