German Hardneck Garlic

German Extra Hardy Garlic (Hardneck)

Characteristics Today we will be evaluating our experience growing German Extra Hardy garlic (hardneck). This garlic, according to seed distributors, produces large garlic heads, and can also tolerate the cold of winter. We selected this garlic variety for its ability to tolerate the low temperatures of USDA zone 6. This is the first time we plant garlic, and we wanted to start with a seed that requires little maintenance. This seed was obtained from Johnny's Seeds and is originally from Germany. This variety can tolerate low temperatures, excellent to withstand temperature fluctuations in late winter and early spring. Our garden...

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Strawberries

Mixed Strawberries (Everbearing)

Characteristics During the next season we will be rediscovering the maturation and reproduction processes of strawberries. The strawberry varieties that we grow in our garden are mixed, made up primarily of the everbearing type. Everbearing strawberries are convenient since they provide fruits for a longer period of time, bringing in the daily vitamin C that we need in our diet. In previous years we kept strawberries freely on the ground, but this year we decided to create a patch in one of our raised beds. This controlled patch will help us prevent contamination and damage to our fruits by our...

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Cherry Roma Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes (Cherry)

Well, hello tomatoes! I don't know if these are considered "heirloom" Cherry Roma Tomatoes. They have been living in the beans bed for 2 years now. The plant dies during winter with some rotten tomatoes, and more tomato plants appear next summer. This year the tomatoes formed earlier. Hopefully, this means more tomato fruits. The plants survived the over 100-degree temperatures, the monsoon, 70-mph winds, drought, and beetle pests. If you are looking for a tomato plant with greater chances of surviving harsh environments, looks like the Cherry Roma Tomato plant is a good option.

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Mars Seedless Grapes

Mars Grapes (Seedless)

The First Grape Harvest It has been a crazy summer with temperatures over 100 degrees, and the grapes are ripening. Trying to hurry up before any insect or disease discovers the grapes, we began harvesting them one by one today. They are small, still delicious. The plants already had the fruits when we bought them. The theory is that the grapes did not grow bigger because of the transplant shock. Hopefully next year the plants have bigger grapes and more quantities. Find out more about our grapes! Fast Facts

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Cucumbers Trellis

Sweet Burpless Cucumber

Characteristics This is the first year that cucumbers grow in the garden. Basically, an experiment to see how cucumbers grow under the garden conditions. They were planted by seed in a 36 square feet raised-bed on May 27, 2018. High late fall temperatures made them grow very fast, and today, June 21st, they are already climbing an improvised trellis. To save on materials we built a wavy trellis with a wire fence. The waves keep the trellis up without the need of long stakes. To protect cucumbers from birds and rodents, the bed has been covered with fence and a...

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Tiny Tim Cherry Tomato

Tiny Tim Cherry Tomato

Almost there: A day after the squirrels and some birds had a party with the Tiny Tim Cherry Tomatoes we moved them inside of a protected area. The cherry tomatoes are doing great, possibly because of the hot summer temperatures arriving a few days ahead of the season, and after a mixture of slow fertilizers. Read more about some of the edibles that are currently growing in the garden.

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Purple Beauty Sweet Pepper

Purple Beauty Sweet Peppers

Description: The Purple Beauty Sweet Peppers are growing healthy in containers. There are two pepper plants growing in the garden's shade area as an experiment, and other varieties grown under full sun. These are doing very good and are producing big fruits. The other varieties growing under the full sun are growing very slow and have remained as tiny plants for a very long time. One thing that is very hard to tell with these peppers is when it's the correct time to pick them. As you can see in the photo, their color is very dark purple, almost black,...

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Red Potatoes

Early Red Potatoes

Our experiment: The red potato seeds were planted between late March and early April 2018. The plants began dying by mid-June before flowering, so we decided to take them out. To our surprise, there were some small to medium size potatoes. The plants did not produce many, probably because they were planted in growing bags instead of directly into the ground. After some research, it is common practice to harvest "early potatoes" during June, so instead of a mistake, what we did was some kind of accidental normal process. There are two more potato growing bags in the garden, and we...

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Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Our big producer: We decided that 2018 was the perfect year to plant several fruit trees in our property. One of the trees that we planted is a dwarf columnar Asian Pear tree. The tree was planted on Maryland's Arbor Day and it was still dormant by the time we got it, but it woke up quickly and the bees did an awesome job pollinating the flowers. Today we have plenty of pears, and they look healthy. The fruits are already protected from birds with a mesh, and we hope to at least harvest a handful. This is the first...

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Mars Seedless Grapes

Mars Seedless Grapes

Our grapes: On May 12 we planted two mars seedless grapes bushes next to the patio railing. Our new mars grapes came with tiny fruits that have been growing for a month. Compared to other grapes varieties, this one grows relatively slow, at least in our garden. To protect the fruits from birds and other rodents we have enclosed the grapes with a mesh. We don't know what to expect since this is the first year. Hopefully next year the plant grows a little faster. In addition to grapes, we are also growing other varieties of fruits. Check them out!

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Traveler Blackberry

Apache & Traveler Blackberry

Our blackberries: We are growing a number of blackberries varieties in our garden. The first variety that we planted was Apache Blackberry, and it was planted in 2017. Four bushes were planted around our shed. We got no blackberries the first year, and literally no growth at all. One year later, today, our blackberry bushes are full of fruits. The sun makes a very big difference. Two of the Apache blackberries get 6+ hours of sun and the other two are under a partial shade environment. The two partial shade bushes produced some fruit, but very tiny, and some were...

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Egyptian Walking Onion

Experimenting with Egyptian Walking Onions

Our new onions: We got the Egyptian Walking Onion from a homesteader neighbor. They have been growing it for some time now. It is our first time growing this plant. We have it in a pot but plan to move it to the ground before the 2018-2019 cold season. What we like about this plant is that both the fruit and the stems are edible and can be used as a replacement to traditional onions. The Egyptian Walking Onion is hardy perennial in our USDA zone 6, and that makes it one of our favorite onions so far.

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Blue Lake Bush Beans

Blue Lake Bush Beans Progress

Our experience: Our Blue Lake bush beans were planted on April 14, 2018. They started germinating on May 2, 2018 (18 days to germinate). After several frosts, some of the plant beans germinated with issues. Some of the plants had no leaves, but others look like they deserved a chance. Some very damaged plants were removed and new seeds were planted. Today they have flowers, and some plants have tiny pods.

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