Simply Grateful Gardener

Gardening To Fill The Pantry!


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Second Garden Project 2017 – Free-Standing Greenhouse Frame

My second garden project this year was a small greenhouse frame to cover a portion of the back garden. Wanting to get a jump-start in the garden, my goal is to get a good sampling of the root vegetables planted before April 1st. I doubt this is going to happen, but with this second area complete, I’m one step closer.

Being that I have never planted this early, and not knowing how well these greenhouses are going to keep my plants protected from the still potentially cold Michigan weather, I’m planting a sampling of the crops I wanted for early spring rather than everything all at once. Don’t want to get caught with all my eggs in one basket. One row of carrots, two rows of various types of lettuces, and a row of beets was the plan for this new greenhouse. If these structures maintain the temperatures enough for root vegetables to start in Michigan one month before the typical planting, it could mean more than two crops of carrots, radishes, turnips, and especially lettuce. Continue reading


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July 6, 2016 Garden Harvest

Although the unrelenting heat and humidity here in Michigan has been reaping havoc on my garden, at the same time it is truly making up for it in bounty. This morning I picked radishes, carrots, peas, and beets.

Here are the radishes:

I planted a different variety of radish in hopes that these would be less hot than the first.

I planted a different variety of radish in hopes that these would be less hot than the first.

Next the carrots:

I planted three rows of carrots, twice, and this is pretty much more than half of what actually came up. Not much of a harvest, but they are sweet.

I planted three rows of carrots, twice, and this is pretty much more than half of what actually came up. Not much of a harvest, but they are sweet.

The peas:

This is the third harvest of peas and the largest yet. These will be shelled, blanched and frozen, if they don't get eaten raw while I'm shelling them.

This is the third harvest of peas and the largest yet. These will be shelled, blanched and frozen, if they don’t get eaten raw while I’m shelling them.

Finally, the beets:

I really didn’t think the beets were ready, but yesterday while I was clipping the cucumbers to the a-frame I noticed several of them popping out of the ground. Although this is okay for cylindrical beets, when a round beet does this, it’s time to pick.

I used a bushel basket to carry the load of beautiful beets with their greens attached.

I used a bushel basket to carry the load of beautiful beets with their greens attached.

This is only about half of what I planted.

This is only about half of what I planted.

Hopefully the rest of the beets will be ready in a few weeks and then I can replant in August for a fall crop.

Hopefully the rest of the beets will be ready in a few weeks and then I can replant in August for a fall crop.

I was so happy with the harvest that I just had to share some of the beets with my neighbors. They were thrilled and I was thrilled to be able to share the bounty.  In the next couple of days I should be able to start picking zucchini and a few peppers. The cucumbers have tiny pickles on the vines and the tomatoes are full of green little balls.

I guess I really shouldn’t complain about the heat because it is what’s helping the garden so much. Yet I’d really love it if we’d get just a little rain.

Another successful harvest and for this I am — Simply Grateful.