This is my second year of gardening here as I mentioned a few times before. I learned a lot last year and did a lot of amendments but I was super pregnant and my energies were limited.
This year has been pretty awesome although I can see I still have a lot of improving to do. One of the best parts about gardening is that you never ‘arrive’. You constantly learn, adjust, improve, fail, and grow some more.
This is the view from the deck but is only about 85% of my garden as I can’t get quite all of it in one shot.
I haven’t weeded in three weeks or more.
Partially because I have this one particular squash plant that I’m not entirely sure what it is (Avery removed labels of a tray of squashes and cucumbers that my dad gave me) but I think it’s some sort of pumpkin, is taking over everything. I had a pathway but…..
Funny story, I found a full grown Holy Basil plant in this walkway. The plant in the bed must have seeded and I haven’t done any weeding in ages so it just took off under the cover of squash leaves.
Speaking of squash leaves, I found a squash bug the other day on my zucchini. I tried to kill it but it got away from me so I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for the eggs and today, I found them on two leaves.
One from the mystery squash plant and one from the zucchini. I completely removed the leaves and trashed them (not compost). I’ve also been finding cucumber beetles on my squashes so I’ve been killing those on sight too. The cucumber beetles did find my cucumber vines and spread bacterial wilt but some how, with stringent removal I was able to save a vine and it is still performing. I realize I’m on borrowed time with it. The vines were doing great and I’ve had over 11lbs of cucumbers off it so I really hate losing it just when it was really getting going.
Pests are an issue. Chipmunks will take a bite of anything. Even winter squashes, despite the fact that they can’t really eat them.
Notice the bite mark scarring on the top? Yeah.
They will steal cucumbers, tomatoes, even nibble jalapenos before they realize they’re spicy. I net anything I can. Netting squashes is really hard but I manage with the cucumbers. I re-net them any time they grow out of it. Squirrels like cucumbers and tomatoes too but leave most other things alone unless it’s freshly planted seeds, they’re all about digging those up. Again though, there are ways to avoid that. I protect my seeds and sprouted seedlings using coverings and unless it’s something SUPER tasty like beets, the bunnies won’t even mess with the sprouts.
Bunnies do mess with peppers and okra. They nibble all the leaves they can reach but leave the peppers alone. Okra grows really tall and so I haven’t had an issue with them eating the actual fruit.
I wish I had planted more than two okra plants. I will definitely be giving them more space next year. The burgandy okra is incredibly beautiful.
I’ve almost harvested all my onions. They’ve been a lovely addition and again, I’ll be investing in more space for them next year. My cover crops have gotten huge but are starting to die back and I’ll be able to plant fall crops in that space without an issue. I’m grateful for knowing about cover crops like radishes and turnips. My soil and garden aesthetic benefit quite a bit.
Volunteer crops from my spring greens are in full swing right now. This napa cabbage managed to volunteer in the actual garden bed unlike the field of arugula in a pathway.
The greens this year have been so fantastic. I eat a salad every day from whatever I have. Right now, that’s a lot of kale.
As you can see, I’ve been harvesting leaves off this. I take a leaf or two from each plant and that way I never run out of them. I have two kinds of kale and then a lot of collards I’m saving for fall (they’re best after a frost), swiss chard and herbs which I use in my salads as well.
I have too much to talk about when it comes to gardening. This post could go on forever….I’m growing sweet potatoes for the first time. Will they be successful? I don’t know.
I have this volunteer vine that looks kinda like a melon? I don’t know what it is. I’m letting it happen.
I am trying to incorporate more flowers.
I haven’t had to buy a drop of water for my garden. My rain barrel has been more than sufficient.
I’m kinda starved for garden conversation. Can you tell? I need more garden in my life. If you have a garden, can we work in it together? I will help you weed. Or haul mulch or whatever. People think that work sucks but I love it.
Two posts in two days people. Is it really obvious Avery is away at day camp during Ida’s nap time? No? Yes? Okay, yes, probably.