Tuesday, July 21, 2009

With silver bells and cockle shells

The garden is growing by leaps and bounds. And the summer is going by so fast. It's hard to believe it is nearly the end of July. Where has the time gone?

Well, I know it's not all that exciting for you, but I wanted to post pictures of my garden again, just to show you how lush and green everything is (including the weeds). It's been three weeks since my last garden picture post, and boy what a difference three weeks can make.

The weather has been so lovely. Just the right amount of sun and rain, and no blistering hot days. When looking at these pictures, please realize that I haven't weeded in a reeaaalllly loooong time. That's on tomorrow's 'to do' list.

Here are my ten heirloom tomato plants, some of those that I started in my basement. They were the ones struck down by the strange fungus. They've done pretty well, despite their set-back. Lots of green tomatoes growing.

Here are the twelve nursery-bought tomatoes, much larger than my heirloom plants. I don't see any crumpled leaves anymore on my heirlooms, but I think their overall vitality has been affected. No red tomatoes yet on any plants. Tomatoes like hot days to ripen, and so far we haven't had any hot days this summer.

Here is my green bean patch. The plants themselves look lovely, but I haven't seen many blossoms yet. I wonder if that has to do with the chicken litter in the soil. Or maybe it's just because I planted them so late. Time will tell.

Okay, this picture looks like just a big mass of green, but the trained eye will be able to distinguish the large patch of potatoes in the middle. The green beans are beyond the potatoes. I haven't dug up any potatoes yet, I'm not big on new (young) potatoes. I'd rather leave them in the ground til they get good and gargantuan, especially since I'll be storing most of them in the root cellar this fall.

My Bt spray arrived late last week, and I rushed right out to spray my brussels sprouts. Days later, I am happy to report a distinct lack of cabbage worms on my plants. But they did manage a lot of damage before I sprayed, and I wonder if the sprouts will recover enough for a harvest. Again, time will tell. I'll have to continue spraying the plants after every rain, otherwise the cabbage worms will come back.

Here is my small sweet corn patch, growing well despite the understory of crab grass. Also growing well, though with no photographic proof, are my squash and rutabagas. The carrots and onions were first to fall to my weeding triage, so I'm not expecting a large harvest from them. I'm not too upset about the onions, but I was hoping to store a bunch of carrots in my root cellar. There's got to be an easier way to grow carrots, cuz the way I'm doing it is just way too labor intensive. That's why they're usually the first to be sacrificed.

In another week or two I'll pull the garlic out of the ground, and I'll likely pull my snap peas up as well. The pea plants are fading and yellowed, and the pods that I left on them for seed are pretty large. I'll hang the plants in the garage until the seed is ready to harvest. That will leave me with a few empty patches in the garden. Empty and waiting -- for a few broccoli seedlings? Lettuce seeds? Spinach? I've never planted for a fall cool-season crop, but I am tempted to try. If I have time.


Karen said...

I'm just tired reading about your garden! I can't imagine the amount of time you've spent planning, planting, watering, weeding, pruning, weeding, and weeding!!! Maybe I'll just visit you periodically to taste test your results!! I'm wayyyy lazier than you guys give me credit for!

Jo said...

Actually, I haven't done ANY weeding for about two weeks. Thankfully most of my plants are big enough to shade out most of the weeds. Most of the weeds growing now are along the edges or along my failed-cardboard-experiment-walkways. I don't mind a few weeds growing, I'm not a perfectionist gardener. I'm a lazy gardener.

You? Lazy? Yeah, right. I've been in your house! It's always spotless! My house is anything but. You are still coming up in early August, right? You can enjoy my garden harvest then!