Friday, June 29, 2012

The best laid plans, part 1

The plans for this year's garden have changed several times over the course of this spring.  In March, when thoughts of moving were far from my mind, I had large patches of tomatoes and beans and peppers, enough for lots of canning and freezing all summer long.

When news of my job insecurity came to light, I realized that I might not be here to pick beans and tomatoes and peppers several times per week.  My plans shifted more toward spring veges that could be eaten fresh or frozen, and fall veges that could be ignored on a weekly basis for harvest later in the fall.  If we did move, we would likely keep this property until fall.  I could come back here once a month or so for harvesting potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, rutabagas and onions.

Not knowing what would happen, I ended up with a compromise between the staying-garden and the moving-garden.  Enough tomatoes, beans, peppers and zucchini for fresh eating but little for preserving.  Enough pumpkins, potatoes, and carrots for eating and storage, but not at the expense of the fresh summer veges.

This picture was taken on the 12th of June, just 17 days ago.  It is amazing how much the plants have grown since then, as seen in the photos following.  Regular waterings and sunny days have really given the garden a boost.   You can see the six new raised beds.  I love them.  I have no scientific evidence to say whether the veges in the beds are doing better than those outside, but just the aesthetics of the wood pleases me.  I like the definition between bed and pathway.  Yeah, I'm a bit retentive that way.

Jack o' Lantern pumpkins, from 8-year-old seed.

Generic slicing cucumbers.  The lemon cucumbers I planted in May didn't germinate, so I ended up buying a few random seedlings from a nursery bargain bin in mid-June.  Only four plants, not enough for pickling (which is fine since last year I pickled enough cukes to last us five or ten years).

Royal Purple Pod bush beans.  I never realized that purple bean plants had purple stems.

Sugar Pie pumpkins, plus a few volunteer cantaloupe in front from one of last year's fruit, which must have been left in the garden over winter.  I must pick these volunteers out, since I already have enough cantaloupe planted in another bed.  My kids love cantaloupe, but unfortunately all of the fruits mature at the same time.  You end up with twenty cantaloupe to eat over the course of two weeks.  Well before the end of the two weeks, my kids are sick of them.

Hales Best Cantaloupe in back, a few basil plants in the middle, and kohlrabi in front.  This is the first time I've grown kohlrabi.  I like watching the bulbs form.  I always thought they formed right at ground level, but these are forming an inch or so above the soil.  Maybe they will expand toward the bottom as they grow.  Otherwise, wouldn't the stem below break under the bulb's weight?

Sugar baby watermelon, from last year's saved seed.   I wish my kids liked watermelon more than cantaloupe.  The watermelon harvest is more staggered, not so all-at-once.


Ladytats said...

Good looking garden.
Kohlrabi holds its edible bulb above the ground. The stem will thicken as the bulb grows, but will be woody. Kohlrabi is good both raw and steamed then mashed. Can be mixed into mashed potatoes.

Carolyn said...

Your garden looks nice, albeit obviously not as large or productive as you would have liked. Hope your job situation smooths out soon.

Erin said...

Everything looks great! So funny how climate makes a big difference - here 2 cucumber plants gives me plenty to pickle with LOL if I grew 4 I would be insane :)