Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garlic! Potatoes! Etc.!

The garlic and potatoes, both in the same bed, have been looking pretty miserable for a while now, so I finally dug them all up. The harvest was a big (emphasis on Big!) surprise. The Rabun County garlic is the pile of big bulbs on the left in the picture:

It's a little hard to tell from the very busy photo, but a couple of those Rabun County bulbs are almost four inches in diameter. Needless to say, I'm "pleased as Punch." Most of the rest of the harvest turned out well, too, although the Elephant garlic was disappointingly average.  I haven't weighed the bulbs yet. I'm going to leave them out on the shady front porch for a couple of days to dry out a little, then finish trimming the bulbs (I already trimmed off the rootlets).

I had been thinking that the potato harvest would be pathetic, considering the weather this spring, but it wasn't. I ended up with a little more than eighteen pounds of spuds from my two five-foot rows. The two rows were crammed into a space that is only about two feet wide, and I had thought, at planting time, that maybe I should just be planting one row in that narrow space, but there I was with extra seed potatoes and only a little space.

The White Cobbler was a lot more productive than the Red Pontiac, but that may be a result of the warm spring. I think White Cobbler tolerates the heat a little better.

The basket to the right in the picture above contains the tiny harvest from the multiplier onions. I plant these every year, in spite of the lack of robust productivity, on the chance that, one of these years, I will figure out exactly the right combination of everything to make these work for me. It is possible that our winters are just too warm for them, but the notion of being able to replant onions each year without actually having to buy sets or starts of any kind is appealing enough that I am not giving up yet.

In other news, this is yesterday's harvest from the garden:

It still seems insanely early to be bringing in zucchini, but here they are!

And in yet other news, a couple of the baby bunnies will be heading off to new homes this week. Einstein (black with a white head) will be going home tomorrow afternoon, and Louie (the brown-with-silvering baby, soon to be called Darwin), will be heading toward his new home on Wednesday.

Since they are only about nine weeks old, this all feels like progress!

We plan to keep a white bunny (Burrito), as a companion for Mama Moonpie, but the other white (Tiny) and the black and white one (Holstein) that is almost like a Dutch breed bunny still need a home.

To get them all together for a group photo, I dropped a handful of alfalfa hay into the middle of their Timothy hay. They love alfalfa hay!


When the crowd has thinned out some, it will probably seem strange to be able to sweep the bunny enclosure without having two or more babies hopping into the dust pan, another one chasing the broom, and one or two others trying to sit on my feet, but I am sure I will get used to it.

7 comments:

  1. Where/how do you get your hay? I have a couple of guinea pigs and live in the Atlanta/Marietta area and am looking for a local source for fresh and/or bulk hay for them but feel like the "hay market" is a wholenother world, haha... I hate buying that dry, sad, expensive pet store stuff too.

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    1. Most of our hay has come from the pet stores, but not all brands are as eagerly munched by my bunnies. Right now, the Timothy hay that we have is the brand "All Living Things," and it seems to be actually hay, rather than a lot of straw and a little hay, and the bunnies like this brand better than the last couple of brands we tried. However, I also get some hay from the rabbit rescue place out on Shallowford Road. They buy hay in enormous bales and will share (at cost) "flakes" of hay with owners of small pets. The shelter's URL is http://www.houserabbitga.com/. Good luck!

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  2. Gosh we are so far away from harvesting zucchini or garlic. I just pulled the scapes yesterday! I'll have to look into multiplier onions.

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    1. Nikki - My garlic and zucchini (and potatoes) are nearly a full month early, so I'm not surprised that the same crops in other gardens aren't as far along. The whole garden ecosystem - plants, insects, diseases - is off-kilter this spring!

      I bought a small batch of multiplier onions several years back from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Each year, I've saved some of the bulbs over the summer to replant in the fall, and we've been able to eat some, too. The flavor is somewhat stronger than regular onions, so it's been OK that a lot of the bulbs are smaller than our other onions.

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  3. I harvested my potatoes (half of them) today too and mine looked just like yours! where do you get your seed potatoes from? Also, I saw you had some really nice cauliflower earlier this year and I was curious what is the best time to plant that around here? I'm in Woodstock. Love your blog!

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  4. Hi Katie - It's great to meet another gardening neighbor! This year my seed potatoes were from the Williams grocery store in Choctaw, OK. I had been visiting my Mom in late Feb., after her hip replacement surgery, and when I went into the local store for groceries, there was a bin of onion sets and seed potatoes right in the produce section. I had similar luck a few years back, but I'm not usually in Choctaw at the right time of year. Most years, I pick up seed potatoes at Ladd's Farm Supply outside of Cartersville (in Euharlee).

    Here at the "top end" of metro-Atlanta, most fall crops like cauliflower need to be planted in the garden in mid-to-late August (depending on the variety's time-to-maturity). The cauliflower I grew last year was from a six-pack of transplants from either Home Depot or Lowes. If you are going to start cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts from seeds, that needs to begin in early July. I usually start getting my fall garden plan in order when those "Christmas in July" craft-store fliers start to show up in my mailbox.

    Hope your garden is off to a good start this year! -Amy

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  5. Thank you this is very helpful!
    Katie

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