A few garden updates here. Firstly, in a fit of pregnancy nesting I redesigned my garden. I just felt like there was a lot of negative spaces that were being completely wasted and so I fixed that. Which means I basically increased my square footage quite a bit. This is great and also more efficient but means I’m short on fall crop seeds! There is nothing wrong with that. I’ll just pick some more up next week when I’m done planting the ones I have.
Speaking of fall crops. I got started on those today. Yesterday I pulled my spaghetti squash plant. It was mostly dead and there were quite a few very large squash and some smaller, not quite ripe ones, we’ll see if they cure up a bit on the counter. My largest is almost five pounds!
Most of them were more like three pounds though. I have a couple more plants on the side of the house that are still going so I should have some more later. I needed to pull that vine and harvest a few herb plants so that I’d have the entire top bed for fall crops.
So I cleared the plants out and am currently dehydrating all the herbs.
Then I had to turn over all the soil to see what condition it’s in. I’ve mentioned before that I have high clay content in my soil and so it’s hard and compacted. I’ve been adding things and trying to plant plants that will help this season. It’s my first season and I recognize the need to improve my soil as I go. Adding some of my own compost to this bed when I extended it in my redesign was a good addition and I was pleasantly surprised to find that about half the bed’s soil was in great shape and the other half was much improved. This is a big deal since some of the fall crops I’m putting in are soil builders which will add matter to help loosen the clay.
I spent a lot of this morning turning over the soil and working on the herbs and finally it was ready to plant.
I scored the lines with my shovel and got the seeds ready. I’ve learned that I’m super sloppy if I’m using the seed packet so I pour the seeds into little bowls to help.
Obviously make sure you know which seed is which.
In this bed I wanted to plant a soil builder (diakon radishes), a nitrogen fixer since this will be a tomato bed next year (fava beans), and a few fall crops between (beets, spinach and regular radishes). At first I thought I’d just do a row of each and repeat but then I realized I’d like to concentrate the soil builders in areas where the soil was rougher and use the areas with the best soil for the fall crops I’ll actually be harvesting. So I catered the sewing to exactly what I wanted from each area.
Then I had to deal with the issue of squirrels. They like digging in fresh, loose, soil and as I may or may not have (bitterly) mentioned, they decimated my previous beet crop because I was unaware of this. So I knew I’d have to cover my beds to prevent them from digging. So I used some hardware cloth a friend gave me.
Originally this bed was two smaller beds so I kind of had to mish mash the pieces but it’ll do. I kept the comfrey plant there because it’s a nitrogen fixer that I’d like to do a leave harvest of later in the season.
After all that it was time for Eli’s nap and I am also WIPED out.
I want to be like this right now. Instead, I’m snuggling with Avery a bit and enjoying our quiet time.
I’ll have to plant the other beds another day. They have soil in much worse shape than this bed so I’ll be adding my compost and planting crops to help make it better and prepare for next year’s spring/summer garden.
Here are some things going on around the garden.
Tomatoessssss. They’re all nestled in there waiting to ripen, safely behind netting to protect against squirrels.
My jalapeno plants are loaded again. I’ve already had a solid harvest on them and now they’ve each got a bigger second load. The fresnos too. I even have some poblano peppers getting big!
I planted one bell pepper plant and it was hidden behind some overgrown herbs so I forgot about it until this happened!
My comfrey plants are blooming. Some are purple and some are white. I love it!
We had a pretty massive storm last night and I noticed a lot of blooms had been blown off.
The borage is blooming for a second time all over the garden!
Herbs are insane of course. I’ve been drying, eating and drinking them in juices and smoothies. I have a lot more to deal with before I’m done! I haven’t even touched the mint which I grew specifically for drying and making into herbal tea.
I’ll do a post on my growing spice pantry soon.
Now I’m gonna relax and let my poor pregger bod recover from all the digging, squatting and planting I did this morning.w