posts tagged with 'garden report'

the garden in early May

the garden mostly empty, but with beds prepped

look at all that great dirt!

Not a ton more growing outside compared to last time—though the tomatoes are so big I wish I could feel safe planting them out! Mostly the visible difference is that we've been working hard clearing the winter mulch off the beds and topping them off with compost. The compost operation is going great, and the kids have been a great help with all the steps of the process.

We have as much asparagus as we can eat, and the rhubarb is ready to go if I ever have enough time to make a pie. I sowed some spinach and arugula that hasn't come up yet, and planted out some lettuces from the garden store. Most exciting of all, the peas are up!

closeup of pea seedlings

you can do it, little peas!

I'm going to take extra good care of them after mysterious failures each of the last two years. I want some snap peas!

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the garden mid-April

a view of the garden

a little different

Not a lot of change compared to last time. The garlics are bigger, and there are some kale plants in. There are peas sowed, but it's been so chilly since they went in I'm sure they're not doing anything at all. We've eaten the first couple asparagus spears, but the rhubarb didn't go fast enough to produce a pie for Easter. Though it won't be long now!

The seedlings we started way back at the beginning of March are doing great, and could go in if we could be confident of no more frosts. Which of course we can't! So they're just hanging out, getting some outside time when they can and becoming a little leggy. In the meantime I'm late starting the next round of seeds. But we'll get ther e!

big seedlings on a table in the backyard

ready and waiting

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the garden in early April

the garden at the beginning of the season, with most beds empty

starting the season

It's always hard to remember how far along we were in garden prep in any other year, but I feel like we're doing pretty well this year compared to our past attempts... even if the garden itself doesn't really show it. In the photo above you can see the garlic is coming up well, and way in the background the rhubarb. Spring onions are also doing well, but the chives, usually an early spring stronghold, seem not to have survived. Inside there's lots going on: tomatoes and peppers are ready to be transplanted into individual pots, and the first kales are ready to go into the ground when I get a bed ready. And the seed starting is continuing with herbs and flowers. And (outside again, thankfully) there's lots of good compost to prep the beds as soon as things dry out a bit. Looking good so far!

the garden in mid October

As much as I like gardening, and all the delicious food we grow, I also have a fair proportion of relief when the growing season draws to a close. All those plants are so messy from August on! It's nice to clear them out and start thinking about how to do things better next year. That's what we're doing now. We're still getting parsley and arugula and a few beans, and all but two or three of the winter squashes look ripe and ready. Plus the raspberries are having their best fall crop ever—there was even enough to bring a little bowlful inside this evening!—and there are still a few apples on the Northern Spy tree. But everything else has closed up shop. It's strange because it's still so warm, but I'm starting to prep things for winter. The compost pile did amazing this summer, so there should be plenty for adding to the beds; I've just started that. The garlic will go in soon, which I guess means that the 2022 garden season is about to kick off!

the garden on October 15

less tall now

the garden early October

The garden is pretty much done at this point. We've got lots of red showing on the tomato plants, but there's so much blight that it's hard to find an unblemished tomato. While the kale looks good from a distance, up close you can see that it's all lacy and worm-ridden. Beans are drying on the vines, but there aren't enough new ones growing to make a meal of fresh green beans. I've started clearing beds to get them ready for winter and next year: the cucumbers have come out, and the tomatoes will follow soon. Our compost is pretty weedy so I'm glad to get it on some beds while there's still time for the weed seeds to germinate and we can cultivate once before we put the mulch down.

the garden on October 5

the firepit is in the picture because it looks ok all year round

But in the meantime it's not quite all fall barrenness! Winter squashes are ripening and drying on the vines, and there's as much arugula as anyone could want. The peppers are still hanging on for one more big harvest. There are apples and some raspberries. And, of course, the rhubarb!

oh yeah, what's happening in the garden?

With so much going on last week I forgot all about the garden report! So here's an interim update. Awesome: beans, kale, zinnias. Parsley. Producing well but suffering from disease or otherwise reaching the end of the line: cucumbers and basil. Starting to come on strong: peppers and (if only we can keep off the blight) tomatoes.

the garden on August 10

producing

Really, it's delightful how much food we're getting out of the garden lately. The majority of our vegetable intake and, with the blueberries still going and the apples starting to get ripe, fruit too. The garlic is all in and it did amazing, though I think I should have pulled it before we went to Maine rather than after, since some of the heads got a little too dry. And we're eating all the cucumbers we could possibly want, so while I'm a little sad to see the vines succumbing to downy mildew or whatever it is, we could also take a break from cucumbers for a little while. The boys and I put in some heavy weeding time after we got back from camping, so things are looking well in that regard too. Lots of work to do each week for sure, but I think it's safe to say that in the beginning of August the state of the garden is strong!

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the garden mid July

the main part of the garden on July 16

lots of green

The first half of July had a lot of rain—the only days it didn't rain were the 5th and the 15th. So I haven't needed to water much! Of course, when the sun started shining yesterday and the temperature shot up into the 90s the plants were a little shocked. And tomatoes and peppers are probably a little behind schedule with the lack of sunshine. But everything that's just leaves is doing great: kale and basil are everything we could hope for. With all the water the blueberries are also giant, just like the ones at the store but better tasting. And I had the weeds under control before the rainy season started so, in the absence of sunshine, the garden is also fairly weed-free despite all the wet. The second round of peas I put in after the first one failed may have failed, but so, apparently, did all the weed seeds! Or maybe they're just waiting for next week's sun. We'll soon see!

the garden late June

the main part of the garden on June 30

most of it is green at least

I failed to post an update on the garden at the end of May because I was so discouraged by all the losses to woodchucks and rabbits. And then I failed again in mid June because there were so many other things I wanted to write about I never had time. But after that I blocked out a day to put something into the record about our farming progress to this point in the summer. Because it's important stuff!

Some things are still discouraging. Woodchucks ate the peas down to stems, and while they finally recovered a little bit and started climbing, over the last week they've dried up, right after they formed the first pods. The lettuces, also critter-plagued a month ago, recovered a little better and we've eaten some, but they're now bolting. And while we got lots of strawberries, something has been eating the strawberry leaves to the point where I'm worried about the plants' health for next year.

close-up of cucumber plants climbing a fence trellis

happy cucumbers

That said, there are a lot of positives! The cucumbers look the best they ever have at this point in the season. Most of the tomato plants recovered very well from being nibbled and are starting to set fruit. I finally figured out how to fence off the beans from the rabbits and they're growing well. And those blueberry flowers from the mid-May post are living up to their promise!

a cluster of blueberries in varying shades of ripeness

we've even eaten a few already!

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the garden mid-May

One thing I enjoyed about some of the hippy blogs back when blogs were still a thing was regular updates from their gardens. You know, like: here's what things looked like two weeks ago; this is what they look like now; here's what's growing... that sort of thing. I've always wanted to do that too, but I've never been organized enough. I'm probably still not, but at least I had a second Saturday, on the middle day of May, to take a couple pictures. So who knows if we'll see a followup come June, but here's what the garden looks like halfway through May.

the main part of the garden on May 15

still lots of dirt

From that angle there's maybe not too much going on. But it's not completely barren! The garlic is looking great, and we're picking plenty of asparagus and rhubarb and spring onions. And a couple beds are filling up. The peas, arugula, and lettuce mix we direct-sowed are coming up, and we transplanted out a bunch of kale starts.

baby greens and peas in their beds

stay away, rabbits

There's also the boys' bean seedlings planted for school way back in early April or something—not really seedlings because they were maybe four feet tall by the time we planted them out the other day! Now they're struggling to get used to the unseasonably hot and dry weather and suffering from sunburn, but they're so big I do believe they'll pull through.

Of course, at this moment the most exciting things of all are the baby berries! The first green strawberries are out and the blueberries are blooming beautifully, even after their hard winter. Plus there are tiny little pears and apples on the trees... Never mind that last year animals—squirrels, mostly, ate all of all of those fruits. Right now hope is still uppermost!

blossoms on the blueberry bushes

blue-tiful

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