Welcome Spring!

Well it’s the first day of spring and things are popping up all over at Stoney Acres!

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Remember all those tulips we planted last fall?  Well they are starting to poke there heads out of the ground!  I’m really looking forward to a much more colorful yard this year, last spring we had just moved in and there was nothing planted in the yard, I’m hopping this year the flower beds will be a riot of color!!

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Spring also means it will soon be time to get the veggie starts in!  Here’s the first tray!  These are mostly Cole crops but there are also the first tomatoes and some celery.  These starts are about 15 days old and are just starting to get their first true leaves.  They will be ready for the garden in 3 or 4 weeks.

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Also my first attempt at growing pansies is going well but slowly.  I was hoping these would be ready for the flower bed in only a couple of weeks but their progress has been slow, next year I will have to get them in earlier, or I may try growing some this summer for fall planting and over wintering.

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Spring this year means a lot of work!  All this grass needs to come out so that garden can go in.  I’m hoping to tackle that project this weekend so that we have some space to get the peas planted and get some potatoes in.

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We also bought the first fruit trees for the new yard.  Two semi dwarf apples!  Still to come this spring will be a peach and almond tree along with black berries, raspberries, grapes and maybe hardy kiwi.  Not to mention a bunch of new flowering plants and shrubs to brighten up our drab yard!  Lots of work to come!

 

 

 

Monday Harvest Report March 10, 2014

Wow, we are having beautiful weather!  We’ve had a rain storm come in about every 3 or 4 days which is helping our water situation a ton.  They are now saying our snow pack  in the mountains is close to normal and our feared drought may never happen this summer.  The days between the rain have been fantastic, with highs in the low 60′s, just perfect early spring weather.

Saturday was one of those perfect days so I took the chance to spend some time in the garden.  The first thing I did was some much needed weeding, the cold frame and hoop house beds were loaded with weeds from the nice warm days. So I cleaned them up.

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I took the makeshift hoop house down.  It didn’t hold up very well over the winter and had collapsed in places.  Many of the kale plants inside did not fair well.  This hoop was a pain to get into and basically was ignored for the 3 winter months.  I wasn’t surprised to see most of the plants dead.

But I was happy to see 4 kale plants survived, one Tuscan kale is still in pretty rough shape and is trying to go to seed, but it has a few good leaves that we are going to try and save later in the week and use them for Kale chips!  Three of the Vates Kale plants held up pretty well and should give us a good harvest for a few weeks.  But they have to be gone by the end of the month because this is where our onions will be planted this year.

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The spinach bed is still looking good, but the plants are starting to show the first signs of bolting.  I should have been better about keeping the lids off this cold frame, the heat as tricked the spinach into bolting a little early this year.  I’m going to leave the top completely off this frame for the rest of the year unless we happen to have a super cold spell.

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The carrot bed is looking pretty rough.  And the carrots we are harvesting are too.  The warm weather has woken up the carrot fly larva and about every other carrot we pick has damage.  We are going to really get after harvesting these over the next few weeks before we loose them all.  Also this bed is meant for potatoes this spring so we will need the space soon.

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The lettuce bed is doing awesome.  We are taking a good sized harvest about every 3rd day and we haven’t bought lettuce from the store for 3 weeks or more.  It’s great to have lettuce this early and we owe it all to Mrs. Stoney.  Our indoor starts that I planted in early August last year failed and we were left without a fall crop.  Mrs. Stoney suggested we go ahead and put some seed straight in the ground around September 15th.  The plants weren’t ready to eat when winter set in but they were young and hardy enough to make it through the winter and now have really taken off!!

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We also got out and planted our first lettuce starts for the year.  8 plants total, 4 buttercrunch and 4 Nevada.  I’m hoping these will be ready to eat about the time the winter lettuce runs out in early April.

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I also uncovered the strawberry bed today.  Usually I cover my strawberries with leaves or straw but this year I decided to try fabric row cover.  This is by far the best my strawberries have ever looked this early after winter.  I’m hopping that means we will have an early crop of berries!!

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This was a fun surprise, while I was cleaning out the hoop house bed I found that the few garlic bulbs I planted last fall are up and growing!!  That shows you how nice the weather has been lately, usually I wouldn’t see garlic until April!

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We did have some harvests this week.  In fact it was our biggest week of the year so far.  A total of 3.75 pounds of lettuce, spinach and carrots.

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This was Saturdays salad harvest.  That will keep us eating salads for 3 days or so!!

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Also here’s a new addition to our home grown goodies.  We have started growing sprouts again.  We haven’t grown sprouts for years and years but we were at our favorite kitchen supply store the other day buying wheat and saw Alfalfa seeds so we decided to give them a try again.  Very tasty, but not enough to really bother weighing.

Here’s the weeks totals, with a little bit from the week before added in:

Spinach – 1.50 pounds

Lettuce – 1 pound

Carrots – 2 pounds

Total – 4.50 pounds

That brings our annual total to 15.66 pounds that’s 2% of our goal of 770 pounds.  I’m linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions again this week for the Monday Harvest report!

Hey don’t forget to like Stoney Acres on facebook,  we are just a few likes away from our first 100 likes!!

Why I LOVE gardening!!

Sorry for no post lately it’s my busy time at work and I haven’t had the time to even think about blog posts, besides write one!

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But I couldn’t resist a quick post on my lunch break today.  This is why I love gardening (and self sufficiency).  My lunch today consisted of a chicken sandwich on homemade wheat bread and a garden salad with lettuce, spinach and alfalfa sprouts.  The salad was picked 10 minutes before I ate it and traveled a total of 50 feet from garden to table!  Hows that for fresh and local!!

 

Have a great weekend!! :)

Monday Harvest Report – February 24, 2014

Another beautiful and unseasonably warm week here in Utah.  We had highs in the 50′s and we did have a little rain two days, but not a lot to help our water problems.

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I was terrible about pictures this week.  Here’s a shot of yesterdays harvest, or at least part of it.  I picked about 1.25 pounds of lettuce and spinach along with a pound of carrots.

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The cold frames are really coming alive,  the lettuce and spinach have both put on a lot of grow over the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately the warm weather also means the pests inside the cold frames are coming alive to.  I’m already struggling with slugs and snails and there are a few aphids showing up already!!  We have a couple of days forecast to reach 60 this week so I’m going to have to start venting the cold frames as well.

I taught the second neighborhood gardening class this week.  Still lots of interest, there was over 20 people again!!

 

Here’s this weeks totals:

Lettuce – .75 lbs

Spinach – .75 lbs

Carrots – 1 lbs

Total 2.50 lbs

That puts us just over 11 pounds already for the year!  A much better start than last year.  I sat down and set our garden goals for the year.  We are shooting for 770 pounds this year.  I will be interested to see if the new garden can pull that off???

We are almost to 100 likes on our facebook page!  If you haven’t done so already please like Stoney Acres on facebook by clicking like on the facebook section on the right had sidebar. Thanks!!

I’m linking up as usual with Daphne’s Dandelions for the Monday Harvest Report.

Monday Harvest Report – February 17, 2014 – First Signs of Spring

The weather was rainy all week so I never made it out to the cold frames to harvest anything.  But if you look carefully around Stoney Acres this week you will see the very earliest signs of spring.

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Can you see it??  The tiny tip of the first daffodil poking its head out of the soil.  Okay I know I’m really stretching it but after a week of soggy weather I’m desperate for some spring time!!

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A few other signs of upcoming spring include out lettuce starts that are really making progress!!  The ones on the right will be ready to go out in the cold frames in less than 2 weeks.

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Also if you look closely you will see the first of the pansy seeds I planted 12 days ago finally poking out of the seedling mix.

If you can’t tell spring can’t come soon enough for me!!

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