Saturday, July 3, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

Hereafter follows my pictoral garden diary, month-by-month, from March 'til today.  This post is mostly for me--I've been wanting to see these pictures side-by-side.  It's so easy to forget how small it all started, back in the early days of spring.  (For bonus fun, watch the black-eyed susans emerge in the background.)

March 30th--cool-weather seeds and seedlings in the ground--peas, carrots, beets, radishes, broccoli.

April 23rd--seeds have sprouted, broccoli recovered from the hail storm.  Peppers, basil and tomatoes put in, bean seeds planted (1st time).  Weed seeds also sprouting..ugh!

May 15th--a few beans sprouted, radishes and peas beginning to produce.  Broccoli starting to grow...tomatoes hopefully making roots.  2nd planting of beans to make up for poor emergence of first planting.

June 6th--broccoli, baby beets and carrots coming in, pea production falling off, radishes done.  Tomatoes, peppers and basil getting into the business of growing.

June 18th--baby beets working on being real beets.  Basil going great guns, peppers and tomatoes forming fruits, cherry tomatoes producing.  Broccoli gone, just a few peas now and again.  Weeds having a great time.

July 3rd--peas gone, beans taking over.  Peppers coming in, tomatoes and beans dribbling in slowly.  Squash plants put in a week ago.  Fully weeded for the second time.  (Anyone have a suggestion for a cheap mulch?  Grass clippings are not an option with bermuda grass; we don't have enough trees for leaf mulch.)

So, going into our fourth month...there are lots of plump green tomatoes hanging around, but only two or three ripening each day.  And even that doesn't help much, because the rabbits are chomping bites out of each one just before it reaches peak ripeness.

Never fear, we have plans.  In May, we put down a deposit on a fence, to match the split-rail, wire-backed ones our neigbors have on each side.  After the usual "you're next" delays, it's finally going in on Monday.

Yes, I know the rabbits can scamper right through or under the fence.  But a fence means little Miss Rosie will have free range over the full yard.  I'm hoping that a combination of her scent, plus maybe a few death-defying chases to the fenceline, will at least make the tomato-chompers warier--and maybe even convince them to find dessert elsewhere.

More reliably, we just bought approximately 20 pounds of tomatoes at the market this morning.  Half from Carlea Farms (where our Thanksgiving turkey is currently running around eating bugs), half from Pat of Pat's Pickings.  Tomorrow, Miss Chef, Mother Flartus and I will be blanching, peeling, slicing, smashing and otherwise creating preserved jars of tomatoey goodness to last us through the winter.  Yup, we're celebrating our food in(ter)dependence with a canning day!

I'm still cool at 40, regardless of what the teenagers may say.


  1. Looks like the garden has done well as the days passed. Physically I'd rather be 40 again, but mentally 54 is cooler for me.

  2. Looks great, Flartus!

    I have some vague memory of reading that shredded newspaper can be used as mulch? Does that sound right?

  3. I use wet straw for mulch. It works great!


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