Garden Ahoy!

garden_jungleEvery year I say “This is the year I will seriously garden” and then I get distracted.  However, every year I get a little better.  This year I had a nice spring crop of peas and lettuce and kale, transplanted out a healthy batch of tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries, and then planted a nice selection of melons, beans, corn, and basil.

Then I left town for a couple weeks and the garden exploded.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I knew I was falling behind in the weeding department before I left and I made peace with the idea of having a weedy garden jungle.  What I didn’t take into account was the fact that both the weeds and the “proper” garden plants would go through a major growth spurt and fill all available space, including the pathways and fences.

It’s not all bad.  I’ve been enjoying a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers, and basil plus a nice honeydew (the watermelon is almost ripe).  My bean plants grew like champions although it turns out the cowpeas grew a lot better than the other varieties so most of what I’m harvesting is dried beans.  I feel like I’m getting some good food out of the garden.

watermelonBut it doesn’t look very pretty.  Happily, I have very tolerant neighbors who don’t seem to mind as long as it doesn’t get into their yards.  (I suspect a few of them are secretly pleased that the deer have been enjoying the unfenced areas of my garden rather than theirs.)  I’m hoping to clean it up a bit over the next few weeks and start some fall crops.  Now is the time to sow spinach, peas, kale, radishes, beets, and cold-season lettuce to harvest in the fall.

I also have a few pledges for next year

  • Plant things further apart – especially kale and melons but really I planted everything too close together.
  • Get those tomato trellises in early and keep the tomatoes under control.
  • Put in more weed-suppressing path materials (old carpet works great; straw works okay)
  • Commit myself to time weeding the garden (yeah, I’m really just lazy)
  • Build more fences!  My ugly metal-stake-and-deer-netting fence has actually done very well but everything outside the fence has been seriously chomped (especially my poor sunflower fort).

With a little luck, I’ll have 3-4 more weeks of tomatoes, a couple watermelons, and a nice harvest of popcorn to look forward to.  Oh, and it looks like two of my experimental crops are setting fruit – garden huckleberries and popping sorghum – which is very exciting!  I’m still not really replacing much of our diet with homegrown veggies and fruits but it’s nice to have a few treats and every year I feel a little more optimistic that I could be a homesteader if I really put my mind to it.

How does your garden grow?

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    JOyce said,

    September 14, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

    Every year I vow to tackle the weeds early. I do, but you also have to tackle them mid-way. That’s where I fail. The only bad thing that happens is the aesthetics. The plants for the most part are fine. Forge ahead. You’re doing great!

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