A Quick Garden Tour

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The state of the growy-things, at least as of a few days ago. [EDIT: Ok, I went and took new photos tonight to emphasize the insane growth. There are current photos, too.]

We’ve been having fresh-picked salads pretty much every night, and the lettuce plants are keeping up nicely thus far. Garnishing with basil, oregano, chives, green onions, watercress and radishes adds a little early season variety. I’m hoping for tomatoes & peas toward the end of the month!

There’s a bunch of stuff I haven’t taken photos of yet, but will soon.

The raspberries are starting to color up nicely.

The herb garden is looking a bit cramped, but we’re steadily munching the lettuce to make way for the gorgeous cabbages.

The first tomatoes that appeared are continuing along nicely, and a couple of other plants have started setting fruit. About half have blossoms and all are growing like mad.

Tomatoes are pretty remarkable plants. Being very vine-line, they grow roots wherever they’re in contact with the soil. This poor little guy got completely broken in two during transplantation. It wilted to the ground for a few days, then started perking up. It’s only half the size of its brethren, but may yet produce fruit. Those are onions on either side.

My love affair with the pea plants continues as they all begin flowering. This is the cheater trellis (all Sugar Ann snap,) and the from-seed trellis with three or four other varieties  is catching up nicely.

This was how the beanie-weenies appeared on June 9 – they’re now 3 to 4 inches tall with fully-formed leaves. And some bugs on them that are making me unhappy.

Here they are now:

I think I’m falling as in love with the gorgeous bean foliage as I am with the peas (bug holes and all.)

Day-old butternut squash sprout:

Day-old delicata zeppelin squash sprout:

Bed one all mulched up:

Carrots, celery, broccoli, onions:

The source of most of the salads thus far:

Mulched tomatoes:

Left to right, several varieties of pepper (hot, sweet & spice,) then kale, then collards. Most of these remain bug-free, apart from a couple of cabbage worms I’ve picked off two collard leaves:

Yukon potato plants – we have four different varieties of taters, but these plants are definitely growing the fastest. I spent about 15 minutes per day picking off flea beetles. There are a large number of ants on the plants, too, and I secretly hope they’re after the beetles, too.

In betwixt the potatoes, I have a few horseradish roots:

The unruly broccoli plants – I’d forgotten how big broccoli gets.

The pumpkin plants have easily tripled in size in the last three days, thanks to a nice mix of rain and sun. Two varieties are interplanted with the sweet corn in the hopes of keeping raccoons out of the corn. The greenest areas are… weeds. Hush, you.

These are the same plants, just days later, with scale-demonstrating hand.

Cucumbers are also intermingled with the corn for the same anti-coon purposes. They’re at least twice as tall now as they are in the photo and may soon get their own trellis. This particular hill are cheater cukes – I bought them as small starters. There are also several hills of two varieties from seed that are quite happily trundling along.

Green Machine Melons:

Golden Jenny Muskmelons:

The scourge of the gardener – Black Beauty Zucchini. This is largely a trap plant, as I read it’s irresistible to some squash bugs. There’s only one hill planted, but I suspect I will be trying to pawn zucchini off like crazy toward summer’s end.

I like the collard plants a great deal (yay for big green leafy things,) and hope we can start selectively harvesting soon.

New mustard green sprouts:

The peppers are less thrilled with the rain and slightly lower temps than the other plants – they prefer hotter and drier. Still, several are blossoming and starting to set fruit. I’m not expecting a huge crop of peppers, but am hoping for a few of each variety. This is an Ancho blossom – I’m really excited about the Anchos. Also planted are habaneros, thai hots, Hungarian Wax and… something and another else. The pepper plants in the garden are cheaters – all of my from-seed pepper plants failed, so no Chinese five-color or Hungarian paprika, which makes me a bit sad.

The cheater kale is still small, but starting to get its footing. From-seed kale should have already been planted, but hasn’t yet. Very soon now. I did get the mustard greens and from-seed collards in last week and they’re sprouting nicely.

Very sickly-looking cheater butternut squash plants – they sat in their flats for far too long.

Black-eyed pea sprouts – very short row of these only.

Lima bean sprout, looking a bit worse for wear already – the bugs really seem to like the beans. 🙁

Blue Lake bean:

We’re going to have a lot of beans. This can only be a good thing.

A lot of beans, that is, unless more of this keeps happening:

I have most of the first pass at weeding done, but it’s time to start afresh. I didn’t touch the cheater pea trellis, and it is in dire need.

There is still quite a lot more to plant, and Mike Neir the Woodworking Engineer got a third raised bed built for me today (as well as an enormous compost bin!) so I can get succession lettuces and carrots in, as well as some spinach, beets and who knows what else. Raised beds – it’s the way to go, fo sho. I suspect we’ll be adding a number of them over the coming years, leaving perhaps half the available space for crops that just wouldn’t do as well (or wouldn’t be as easily managed) in a raised bed.

This bed, only having access from one side, is only two feet wide, compared to the others at four feet. It turns out the 4-foot-wide beds are just about 6 inches too wide for me to reach the centers comfortably. Future interior beds with two-sided access will be 3 or 3.5-feet wide.

In the last few days, the insects have definitely stepped up their games. I’m committed to not using any poisons, so it’s companion/trap planting and squishing. The bugs, not being gainfully employed during the daytime hours as I am, have the upper hand. Fortunately, there are birds and spiders and other predatory insects. I’m probably going to go buy a metric honkload of lady bugs from the feed store soon, so they can have their way with the aphids.

Even on brand-new bee balm blossoms, I see buggy holes:

Bee balm is really beautiful, once the blossoms come in fully, and are a great source of nectar for (oddly enough) bees, hummingbirds and hummingbird moths.  These blooms are just getting started.

I’ve seen a few bunnies nearish the garden, as well as deer that wander boldly through the yard, munching on flowerbeds. No evidence of them in the garden (as of yet.)

Or… is there? I noticed this on my photo pass through the garden tonight. Sunsabitches.

I’m pretty sure there’s a mouse living under the chicken house. Currently, I’m ok with that.  Rescued a toad nearly the size of my palm from the chicken yard a few days ago. The chickens themselves continue to mature and make Very Grown-Up Chicken Noises, interspersed with little baby peeps when they want something. They know a sucker for cuteness when they see one.

Next year, I’ll do things differently, of course, and (with a little luck) better. Several people have advised me to scale back next year, too – we’ll see how badly this year kills me. 😉

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2 responses to A Quick Garden Tour

  1. Dad

    Awesome looking garden! Considering you started with basically a field of weeds you’ve worked magic.

    Good Job!

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