Summer Journal 2013

Spring Journal

Fall Journal 2013

Winter Journal

June 21st Summer

The spring has been wet but warm enough grow most things except Pumpkins squash watermelon etc. just not hot enough long enough also peppers but they kick in in July. The tomatoes are doing well . The lettuces are all ready and green onions are make a great salad . The sugar snap peas never make the salad . The strawberries are being eaten by my wife and the chip monks. Grazing is one of my favorite things to do. The evergreens are doing well. The fig tree did not make it, maybe too cold or I didn't mulch it enough. Beans made it this year because I planted them all over the garden so the rabbits had to look for them as opposed as one spot for them to eat all at once. The rose (wild) is in full boom. The rain and warmth is keeping most of the garden on track. The rain garden is doing well and also the butterfly garden also milkweed came up from last year seeds. The goldfish are loving the fact their water gets changed so regular with the spring rains. My wife is eating the strawberries as they ripen. Potatoes are doing well, all root vegees doing great not too hot, regular rain. Cherry trees are slow this year about three weeks behind. The Giant Sequoias are doing great. Rhubarb is ready, time to make pie. The horseradish is huge, this fall I will harvest some. We have Lots of Firecracker crabapples they are great to eat right off the tree.

June 26th

It rained last nite and the garden is exploding the peppers are the only thing not in high gear just not hot enough long enough, the peaches are weighing down the branches. The cherries and big now but not turning yet. I am planting the tomotillas seedlings i am growing and I am transplanting them all over just like all the tomatoes volunteers, including the front yard flower garden and on the side of the garage. The wild rose lost its petals but what a show it grows half way up the Bing cherry tree so the tree blooms cherry blossoms and then the rose blossoms. The 40 year old rose bush is still going strong. The evergreens are just loving this . My Giant sequoias are doing great. The corn is knee high so that is good but seedlings are just starting. We have mulberry tree courtesy of one of the birds, it produced fruit this year so this will be good . The last few days of 80 degree weather and all this rain has kicked Pumpkins watermelons cukes and squash. I am tying up the tomatoes already.

July 8th

The first tomatoes July 3rd Cherokee purple and the weather is all over from 90 to 68 in the last two weeks. July 7th picked two big bowls of pie cherries and probably five or six more to pick this week. My wife pitted them and froze them. The corn is tasseling already. Today close to 90. The beans are climbing up the poles.All the pumpkin cukecumber etc. have taken off. The root veggies all doing well no extremes hot or dry for long time. Tomatoes plants are doing real well. We are getting a few raspberries they are starting to come back from last years drought. Blackberries are flowering now. Peppers are now growing have a few already. Goose berries are getting big. PEACHES ARE GOLF BALL SIZE . Firecracker Crabapples are doing well. Lettuce are still doing well no extremes. We have a few plums but they will be bigger. Bartlett pear tree has allot but the keifer pear is taking the year off just a few it produced huge last year.Rhub bard is at its peak, we will pick and freeze. It is a good year for our evergreens they got a good wet spring and cool . My Giant Sequoias are just beautiful they are doing great. The goldfish are growing and love the fact the their pond water is getting changed so regularly with all the rain. Celery in the rain garden is doing well so far. Purple coneflowers are just staring to bloom. Still some strawberries yet. The apricot trees are growing well so in a couple years we will have fruit. There are walnuts on all the trees but still not allot. Once these trees start producing at peak even the squirrels can't haul enough away. The butterfly garden is stating to bloom first as always the yarrow. The new veggies this year are doing well Okra, tomotillas and purple brussel spouts.

July 17

Hot day 92 degrees. The garden is doing great, corn, tomatoes, beans, all vines plants okra and cardoon. The potatoes are at the edge where little rain is slowing the growth, we need some rain soon or all the cool weather plants will shut down. The peaches are thriving in this weather. We picked five bags of pie cherries and froze them. We will harvest some rhubarb and freeze them. We picked the first beans they are doing well. A few plums are ripening its ok we still have some plums from last years bumper crop. The celery in the rain garden is doing well you can smell it standing next to it. My Giant Sequoias are doing well they love this weather. The rock (rain garden) is in bloom the purple cone flowers are loving this weather. Sunflowers are in bloom, they come up every year as the birds eat the seeds some get planted ,others from the bird feeders. Gooseberries are starting to change to purple. The lettuces are bolting. Nuts are falling from the trees but most by squirrel testing them out.The bartlett pears are doing well, very few keifer but it is resting this year since last year was huge. The raspberries are coming back new shoots the drought was tough on them. The black berries are forming the drought had no effect on them. The onions are fading but they did well.

July 21st

Summer Photos

Nice warm day and then we got the rain we so badly needed. I dug up the onions today that had faded with the heat some good golf ball size onions for the winter. Also dug up some potatoes of the plants that dried up. There is nothing better than fresh dug potatoes, we had roasted chicken and potatoes and green beans directly picked. Four PM the rain hit and will carry the garden for another week at least, down pours a couple of inches of rain and hot tomorrow so everything will have a growth burst Picked a couple more plums very good. The tomato, tomatilla and pepper plants in the front of the house are growing fast, like being in a green house. The pond got some new fresh water with the rain, the goldfish love it. Cherries are all but gone. A good year for cherries. Huge amount of tomatoes on the vines.The squash etc. will get a good boost with the rain. The Giant Sequoias are still growing well. Going to have Blt's tomorrow. Tying up the tomatoes every other day.

July 28th

70 today, we picked corn on the cob and gooseberries, plums and some beans. The rain friday helped the garden keep going. Had a BLT today, just perfect ..Celery is doing well in the rain garden where the moisture is better. The tomatoes are doing well but we need some hot weather again. Two squash are spotted and peppers jalapeno and cherry bomb. The peaches again this year going to be great. We had roasted potatoes from the garden nothing better. The cardoon is huge, the okra needs hot weather. The evergreens are doing much better this year consistent moisture.The grapes are growing fast. The crabapples(firecracker) are best ever they are tangy with some sweet just the perfect snack in the garden. The bluejays got the rest of the cherries but we got our share.We have three bags of onions so far and dug up some more garlic cloves.

Aug 11th

The corn is all eaten, my wife loves it, there are few plants left but I pulled the stalks of the ones I picked corn off, we use the stalks for Halloween Display. We love Halloween! We have pumpkins 6 or 7 so far but they are hard to spot yet. The peach's are doing great The Elberto peach tree should be first to have ripe peaches. In a couple of days the really big ones should ripen. We are picking one a day to see where they are at. The Alberta peach tree has at least 130 peaches on it. We have ripe tomatoes everyday for eating. I put them on my pizzas, what a great taste. Green beans are producing some but too cool, we need more hot days. The tomatoes are not producing enough to start canning yet. The brussel sprouts are doing very well in this cool summer. Still having BLT's we still have lettuce. The beets, parsnips,and turnips are still growing due to the cool summer The tomitillo plants are flowering so we should get some they need hot weather something we are not getting. Over the years I have learned to not plant all hot summer plants or all cool weather plants because of the constant change of weather from year to year. I have done this close planting which seems to be good, I plant alternate rows of hot and cool weather plants so as like we got last year and this year the best plant for the weather excels and takes over and thrives.On the rare occasion we get the perfect summer we get allot of everything but not boat lodes. The celery is still doing well in the rain garden. Plums have all been picked we still have some in frig and also canned from our last year bumper crop. Blackberries should be ready this week to start picking. Gooseberries have been all picked. Rhubarb is going that is how cool of a summer it has been. The rain/rock garden is at its peak another sign of a cool summer , some the flowers would start to wain a little be stressed a little but all is beautiful. The pears are doing well, we will being canning the Bartlett probably not enough of the kieffer. All the evergreen trees are doing well in this cool summer. My Giant Sequoias are doing well, not stressed at all this summer. We have a boat lode of Firecracker crabapples they are great eating right off the trees, sour and sweet. Great pie makers. The tomatoes and peppers in the front yard flower garden are doing great this will become the norm maybe with some fancy kale and cabbage next year. The sweet potatoes vines are also growing well here. we will see how good in the fall. The rose of sharon trees are all blooming now .


Beautiful day but no rain, two weeks of sunny days. Had to water the garden yesterday it was getting real dry. The 17th we started to can some tomatoes and peaches, four and half quarts of tomatoes and 20 half pints of peaches, a serving for my wife at work. Just the beginning of the canning season for us. The peaches are free food since the first harvest of peaches 8 years ago paid for the tree 25 dollars. The tomatoes volunteers pay for any other tomatoes seeds or plants I want to try, thus more free food. We are using the last of the organic honey this year we have , our source lost its bee queens this year so he has to start with new. The tomatoes are producing but no huge amounts because the cool summer but it will be hot this week great for tomatoes but kick in the peaches which is easier to can as they slowly ripen in cooler weather. The peppers are kicking into gear the sunny days are helping even though it has been cool for summer. Blackberries are small with no rain. All the cold weather veggies are doing good with the cool weather. The butterfly garden is in bloom now a couple weeks late, too cool. the rain garden is doing well yet because it has been cool. The celery in the rain garden is being watered by the air conditioner condensation that is sent to the rain garden. The pears are slowly getting bigger but that is good, the peaches and pears over lap in ripening but not this year easier canning then. We have already a great variety of tomatoes size and colors. The cardoon is thriving it is 4ft wide and almost 4ft. tall. The pumpkin and squash vines are growing all over with the two wk's of sun and we some good variety starting. There is nothing like eating a peach off the tree and I have been for a week and should for at least another two wk's. as I five different types of peaches and ripen at different times which is conscious decision to have different ripening times. Still having BLT's they are just great and to have such a variety of tomatoes and tastes makes even better. The Giant Sequoias are doing good, they needed some water for the last two weeks. The green beans are still slow too cool.

Aug 25th

This is been a good week we canned 3 quarts of tomatoes and 9qts and 18 half pints of peaches. The grapes are starting to ripen and so are the Bartlett pears so we will can fruit cocktail containing peaches pears grapes goose berries and cherries. Picked some blackberries and froze them, I save them for cereal during the winter. The next week is going to be the hottest week this summer and no rain so I watered the garden and the Giant Sequoias .I cauliflower is starting to put on some size. We did another couple of video of the garden to post soon. Also going to post summer flowers. The tomato plants are taking off especially the ones with tomato plants in the front yard close to the house. The other two peach trees are still not ready yet. We are getting allot a different colors and sizes of tomatoes. The cactus is doing well with this increase of temps. The rain garden is showing some sign of stress with no rain. The butterfly garden is in full bloom and is doing its job. The peppers are doing excellent picked one of the cherry bomb peppers. I let the peppers all go and pick them in the fall and can them they are great on pizzas. I Spotted a couple more pumpkins, the vines are going all over but it is ok because they shade the root veggies in this heat. I love to eat sliced tomatoes with a little salt, never boring with different color and shape. We will get some blackberries but some the plants did not survive the drought last year. We are giving peaches to some of my wife's coworkers and I brought some to the dentist. The cardoon is like an artichoke, it is grown in southern Italy so my will get experiment on some of her heritage recipes. We brought in some more garlic. The beans have started to grow again now the temp is higher. Looks like another 2 weeks of peaches off the the tree after work and pears then. We got enough grapes to wet our taste from the peaches. This coming week is going to be hot but it will make the tomatoes and tomatillos really put on a show. I see the frog every once in a while by the pond in the evening . He sits by the solar accent lights to catch bugs at night. The lighting bugs have been in the evening all summer, a good year . The best way to have allot is to block out the surrounding light with wind breaks of evergreens it is just a great sight to see these bugs rise as the sun sets a great flash back to childhood.

Aug 31st

The week was hot but tomatoes are growing well. We canned 5 quarts of tomatoes and 5 and a half quarts of fruit cocktail. We are well on our way to have enough tomatoes for the whole year and my wife being Italian it has to be allot to do spaghetti, lasagna and pizza. The fruit cocktail is made up of peaches, pears, grapes, plums, gooseberries, and cherries. No reel rain at all the ground is dry I will have to water the garden again. Picked some more blackberries not allot. I did get some more organic honey from my source, 2 quarts, he has lost his queens so he has start new in the spring. I pulled the rest of the corn stalks to tie them up for the Halloween display we do every year, we love Halloween even at our age. The kalarobi is starting to gain some size. The bartlett pears and the last two peach trees are getting close to ripen. The rain garden is still ok showing a little stress with no rain. Picked the biggest tomato this year plus some pink and yellow cherry tomatoes. It is away's fun to see what the volunteers tomatoes produce. Everyday I have tomatoes and fruit right from yard . That is part of the fun grazing through the garden after work. We picked grapes and little tomatoes for my wife to take for lunch, the grapes last about a week. The cardoon is still getting bigger and I have spotted two good size pumpkins and the rest smaller ones. We picked three pie pumpkins for Thanksgiving. We just put them in the house for decoration until its pie time. I checked the beets, they are coming along very well. The cold weather veggies are doing well. The butterfly garden is attracting hummingbirds as migrate south. The rose of Sharon is blooming longer because the cool summer. The tomotillas are big plants but no sign of fruit, they are cross pollination from another plant to produce. I may have to use a Q Tip to get some fruit. The frog is still around by the pond because of the lack of rain, things are real dry and the solar accent lites attract bugs and the frog sits under the light and picks them off.

Sept. 8th

No canning this weekend but the last peach tree with a couple hundred peaches will start ripping and will start canning w/e 9/14. There are some ripe tomatoes but once again this coming week it will be in the 90's and start the tomatoes to ripen. No sign of rain, have to water to just keep the garden alive. The peppers on the plants and looks a good variety. Also we will have tomotillas, the paper sac around the fruit is forming with the fruit inside. Found some broccoli not my wife's favorite. The tomatoes we are getting are always surprising . We were successful so far on the White tomatoes the new one we bought seeds for this year. One is grape size and one is cherry size, my wife likes the cherry size better, I like all tomatoes. Everything is so dry, this is why you grow native flowers, they are used to this dry periods for the midwest. The heat just dried up the blackberries. I transplanted all the raspberries that survived the drought last year to the side of the garage where next year they will get more sun than where they were, the walnut tree was starting to shade them out. Bartlett pears are ripening, it just perfect to pick one off the tree each day plus a couple of crabapples and that one serving of fruit already. A lambs ear just started to grow by the house , transplant in the fall to the butterfly garden. The rain garden is getting some water from the condensation hose from the air conditioner that is deposited into the sump and then when the level is high enough goes to the rain garden by sump pump. The celery is still growing in rain garden. The sweet potatoes vines are growing good but won't find out if we get any till frost kills the vines. The purple rose I transplanted because walnut tree started to shade it out, took to the transplant and started to flower again, good sign.

Sept. 15th

The peaches where not ready but we did can 4 quarts of tomatoes. It has been dry and hopefully it will rain sunday. Picked some beans and the crabapples are great tasting, they will get better every day until I have eaten them all, sometime in the next mounth..It is cool and you can feel fall in the air. I truly like the the changing of the seasons. Tomatillos are growing well now 3 ft plants lots of flowers and seem to grow easy where ever I planted them including a container with the tomatoes I grow by the house south facing to extend the season by a couple of weeks. I spotted a eggplant in all the pumpkin vines and the peppers seemed to be doing good.

Spring Photos

Fall Photos



Home Orchard

Flower Garden

Saving Seeds

Trees of Great Environmental Value and Beauty

Photographing your Gardens

For more info call 847- 731- 7301


E-Mail me at


Have Compost Will Garden