I ought to keep track of what’s going on in the garden.
Things are going pretty well in the garden. The tomatoes are starting to show signs of turning red. The bush beans are up, and there’s been a handful of pole beans. Too many plants on each pole, though, I think; the poles are leaning, and I wonder if better spacing would mean more productivity.
I have identified the pesky thing that persists in growing in my strawberry bed, despite digging the whole raised bed out to below the surface of the ground and removing every root and bit of root I could find. It’s trumpet vine. I now want to dismantle the whole bed, plant grass there, and build a new strawberry bed somewhere else. Perhaps make Amy’s garden plot bigger and put the strawberries there. By next year she may be old enough to have her own plot inside the main garden. Maybe a little square foot garden.
I also want to build a seed starting system (like this one), and maybe get a rain barrel — supposedly $5 at the recycle depot.
Oh, and yes, the volunteer by the compost seems to be a pumpkin. One small fruit so far, and such a huge luxuriant vine. Space-hog. And every few days I go look at every single leaf, crushing the squash bug eggs and any squash bugs I find. So far I’ve not found more than three adults on any one day.
Cucumber beetles have killed two of the cucumber plants, but the others are doing better. I think next year for the cukes and the peas I will need a sturdier, smaller-mesh trellis — maybe using some of the old welded wire fence. They just don’t climb the string very well, and it’s hard to keep the string taut.
Lettuce and spinach have long been kaput. Letting them go to seed. Tried planting more, but they didn’t take well. Will try again later in the season. Kale is growing too fast to keep up with — I still have some frozen from last year, so not keen on freezing more. Need to make kale chips… but not in this heat.
Pole beans are flourishing; full of flowers, but no beans yet. Very late planted bush beans are starting to come up. Peas are just about done. Amazing how long they’ve produced. Plant more next year.
Volunteer vine by the compost is producing a somewhat oblong round yellow thing. Pumpkin? Some weird hybrid? Cucumbers are flowering and climbing — I see one small cuke starting. Watermelon is starting to vine.
A few small peppers have formed. Several tomatoes have formed. No sign of ripening in either case. They’re all so short, still.
Carrot tops break off when I try to pull a carrot. Gotta dig them out. Beets are doing pretty well — must thin both crops much earlier next year, or do a better job of spacing them when I plant. A higher bed would help, too.
The second batch of beneficial insect flower mix doesn’t seem to have germinated. The first batch is still thriving.
The dill is as tall as I am. So is the cilantro. The basil is not so tall. All have flowered — I try to keep pinching the basil flowers but miss some. The cilantro flowered on such tall stalks and somehow I never noticed.
Second planting of brussels sprouts and broccoli is still growing, still small. Picked a small head from one broccoli tonight, and a nice one is growing on another plant. No sign of brussels sprouts but the plants look nice enough I suppose.
I am not pleased with the strawberry bed. As much as I thinned it last fall, it’s all overgrown again, and that dratted pesky weed persists in coming up from any millimeter of root no matter how deep. There’s also a nettle in there and a thistle I haven’t yet put gloves on to go pull out. There have been a few more flowers and berries — again, more than half are not worth picking — nibbled or otherwise yucky. Amy’s strawberry plants grew nicely — they are so wilted after this week’s heat — need to get them mulched — I found a berry once, and it looked like a wild (inedible kind) strawberry, tiny and bumpy. I sure hope that’s not what these are.
Planted more lettuce, spinach, and asian greens and some more broccoli and brussels sprouts. And weeded and mulched a path. Every little bit is something.
Planted watermelon — the other two didn’t make it. Planted the rest of the pole beans, too, and weeded / mulched more of the garden, and thinned the carrots — washed the tiny thinnings and used them in a salad. We’ve been enjoying peas right out of the pod, too, and fresh strawberries.
Cucumbers died from frost damage. Planted more, which are now up.
Picked first cup or two of strawberries yesterday. Wish I could keep more of them from touching the mulch, where bugs and bunnies get at them.
Asian greens bolted before I got around to picking any. We’ve had a few salads from the lettuce blend; wish I’d thinned that bed better. New kale is up, as is cilantro. Some of the basil is already bolting, only inches tall.
Tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon have been transplanted. Don’t think the watermelon will make it.
Groundhog squeezed under the fence and has eaten the broccoli and brussels sprouts (and some of the dill, and some of what might have been volunteer sunflowers). Pinned down most of the fence including its entry / exit gap. Maybe the broccoli and brussels sprouts will recover; will try for a fall crop either way.
Planted exactly four beans around one pole today before quitting — that’s after fence-pinning and straw-spreading and kale-thinning, and pole-installing.
Still to do: thin carrots again, thin beets, plant remaining pole beans (why aren’t the bush beans here yet?), spread remaining straw, plant more watermelon and nasturtium and beneficial flower mix, consider planting more greens, buy more ground staples and pin the rest of the fence.
Might soon have a few peas to harvest; wonder how many you have to plant to get a whole meal’s worth ripe at the same time.
There are some peaches on the tree — just a few. The cherries and apples seem to be developing well, at least on the one apple tree. Haven’t taken a good look at the other.
When it’s hot at midday, I only get bit once; when it’s cooler in the evening, they’re all after me at once. Maybe I’ll try morning on Friday.
Strawberries in bloom. Cherry blossoms mostly fallen now; the tree was loaded. Same with the red apple tree. The peach tree and green apple tree had few blossoms. Beets are up. Looks like at least some of the beneficial flower mix is up — not sure what’s weeds and what’s flowers, though; I recognize only the marigolds and dill so far.
Hail early in the week did not kill anything.
Transplanted brussels sprouts and cucumbers and nasturtiums. Planted kale and cilantro. Put up trellises for cucumbers and peas.
The overwintered kale has already bolted. The overwintered spinach is still producing well. Soon the new salad greens will be ready for a first picking. Found some volunteer dill.
Transplanted basil and broccoli and planted beets. Carrots are up. Not sure what’s going on with the beneficials, whether I’m seeing them coming up or weeds or both. Everything else is growing well, especially the overwintered spinach and kale. Might even have enough for kale chips soon.
End of April
Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, an hour of sun, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain… my starts would like to be in the garden but they’d get flooded. I hope I can keep them alive in their paper pots a little longer.
Finished the garden gate!
Planted beneficials mix in back corner
And I have an official, to-scale, planting diagram!
First peas have sprouted
Salad greens have sprouted
Cucumbers, two nasturtiums, and three watermelons have sprouted
Garden fence nearly complete — garden is about 24×31, more than estimated, so I need more chicken wire.
Begin hardening off basil, broccoli, brussels sprouts
Sowed more peas (first part of ex-iris bed)
Sowed mixed greens (lettuces, tatsoi, mizuna, spinach in half of next raised bed)
Overwintered spinach, one kale, three celery
I’m still not sure how I want to arrange the garden — but maybe keeping the existing mounds / raised wide rows permanent would be a good plan. I would love to square the whole thing up, too, so that the boundary has nice straight lines and right angles, and also so the raised beds are lined up nicely. I’d also like to make the paths between the raised beds more obvious, especially for the sake of certain young children who like to be in the garden.
No planting diagram in sight. I made one last year and only half-heartedly followed it. Maybe I’ll make a better one next year — maybe I’ll actually measure the garden and draw it to scale.
Sowed peas (backyard fence)
Iris removal started