Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garden Update: June 19th

Let's take a walk around the garden.

Coming in through the front gate we pass the strawberries, currently they are cranking out about a pound of berries daily. 
Tomatoes starting to perk up.
As we enter the gate to the left we see the remaining un-planted starts in their pots.  A scoop of compost in each pot, followed by a dose of fish fertilizer, and a dose of compost tea the next day has really improved the health of the tomatoes.  They have perked up, greened up, and kicked out a few healthy new leaves.  There is still some purpling but they are definitely improving, and hopefully with another boost of tea in a few days that too will fade.  I'm really surprised they are recovering so well, I was afraid I would lose them all within a week or two.

The remaining starts; tomatoes and a few peppers.
Turning to the left we see the first raised bed.  With the removal of the celery, broccoli, garlic, and remaining lettuce the bed is looking pretty thin.  Several tomatoes have been planted to replace the harvested plants, and all of the cucumbers as well.  The sugar snap peas in back are cranking out pea pods like crazy, though none have yet begun to bulge with seed development.  The first of these peas should be ready in a day, possibly two.

First tomato to develop.  Oregon Spring.
I finally have my first tomato beginning!  It's a bit late to be at this stage, but the Spring has been rather cool and wet, and I am happy to have anything right now.  Oregon Spring has proven itself to be a great producer in the past (for such a small plant), and judging by the 18 flowers on it right now I'm guessing it will be again.  IF the weather ever warms up.  The other tomatoes that have gone in the ground are green and healthy and obviously recovering well from their bout with malnutrition.

First nasturtium blossoms.
Further along the first bed we see a burst of color as the first nasturtium blooms pop out amid the blue-green leaves of the cabbages.  The Parel cabbages have firm but small heads and are nearly ready for harvest, Derby Day however still has a long way to go.

Graffiti cauliflower
 Surprise, surprise! Deep within the recesses of the cauliflower leaves are tiny but beautiful little heads of cauliflower.  Graffiti is ahead of Amazing by a few days, and the color is just incredible.  The one good thing about the cooler weather is that I may actually get summer cauliflower undamaged by heat.

Herb and bench area
 Moving past the first bed we see the bench area, the herbs here have exploded.  The lavender and sage doubled in size, the spearmint is spreading (and recovered well from whatever was eating it).  The catnip looks very sad, but that's to be expected since the cats flop down and roll on it, and then chomp the leaves off like it's an all-you-can-eat salad bar.  I'm surprised it's survived at all.

Bed #2
Just past the bench is the second raised bed.  The peas are not as tall here, but everything else has grown above and beyond.  In fact, I was forced to break off several of the largest broccoli leaves because they were shading out so many other plants.  A few little lettuces are tucked away here for later eating, and some beautiful dill is hiding in amid the brassicas.  Otherwise it is very similar to the first bed.  On the far end are the few peppers I planted after pulling the chard and kale.  I transplanted one chard plant and one kale plant into the pumpkin bed in hopes of a few more harvests.

Whiskey barrel and pots
To our left, at the end of the patio, sits the first whiskey barrel.  The barrel currently contains Alex's carrots, most of which are just sizing up before being harvested.  The eggplant, slicing cucumbers, and jalapenos were planted a few days ago.  There are also a couple bolted cilantro tucked into the barrel, and I plan to let them go to flower to help attract beneficials.  Behind the barrel are three large pots containing artichokes and my rhubarb.  They are all growing well, but there will be no harvests off of them this year.

Whiskey barrel 2 and pots
 Further to the left is the second whiskey barrel.  This barrel holds a few little lettuce plants that will be harvested soon, and the same eggplants, jalapenos and lemon cucumber combination as the first barrel.  The three large pots hold my potato plants.  Feeling down into the dirt beneath the potatoes you will find several long thin rootlets that will hopefully plump up into potatoes soon.  The small pot contains a spare kale that had nowhere else to go, it's struggling and I probably will never see a harvest from it.

Stepping into the yard between the barrels we face the shed and the rosemary and thyme planted in front of it.  Both are growing incredibly well and the tiny thyme flowers are always buzzing with insect life.  I didn't picture the third barrel here, but it sits along the fenceline billowing with flowers.  The delphinium has faded and gone to seed, so things look a bit shabby, but the bee balm is just about ready to bloom and the glads and lillies are popping up between the other flowers.

Pumpkin bed.
At the very back of the garden sits the pumpkin bed.  Beans fill most of this bed, both pole beans along the back, and bush beans throughout.  A massive zucchini has filled the corner near the fountain and will take over most of that side of the bed by summer's end.  To the left side of the bed, planted along the shed trellis are the pumpkin plants.  They are healthy and growing but haven't yet had enough heat to begin their stretch up the trellis onto the shed roof.  There are a few tiny basil planted at the front edge of the bed, but the slugs have happily nibbled them down to almost nothing and I will be surprised if they survive to provide me fresh basil this year.

Turning left and walking through the back gate we come into the previous blackberry patch.  It still looks pretty shabby back here.  Annual and perennial weeds are popping up throughout the yard, the lava rock path only extends a few feet before giving up, and the blackberries are popping out new leaves all over.  I go back there and trim them down to stubs every week or two, but haven't gotten up the time and energy to finish all the cleanup yet.  There is a small strip of cleared ground though that contains four small plots of winter squashes.  I have given up any thoughts of growing corn back there though, it is too late and the area still isn't ready for it.  The squashes are doing well for the most part, a few died (likely eaten by slugs) but the rest are starting to stretch their leaves out and expand into the area.  I can't wait to see them take over that space and make it a flowing carpet of squash leaves and flowers.  And eventually, fruit!

And that concludes our tour.  Please stop by the concession stand on your way out.


  1. I'd say it's looking fantabulous! You'd never know we couldn't buy a warm day on a bet! A pound of strawberries a day, huh....pfffttt! You just wait, when yours are all finished, mine will just get started! Unless yours are everbearing.

    I've never grown a decent cauliflower. Of course, mine haven't begun to show even a button so far, so they'll probably wait for 100 degree weather and then do their bolting, as usual.

    1. They are June-bearing. I have no doubt your berries will(eventually) put mine to shame. Lol

      I tried cauliflower once before as a fall crop because someone told me they do better that way, but I think I started them too late. They never got bigger than a sprout. I'm excited to actually get some this year.

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