Saturday, July 22, 2017

Garden State

Over the past few weeks, the garden has endured a bit of benign neglect. On the bright side, being away even for a few days let me really see and appreciate how quickly things are growing. The contrast is just amazing. I'd spend every waking moment outside if I could!

I'm going to try to do a better job of writing down what I'm observing and when in the garden. I always think "Oh, I'll remember where I planted the lettuce last year" or "Of course I'll be able to keep track of which variety of tomato did the best last summer." Considering that most mornings I have trouble remembering where I took off my shoes the night before, I'm not sure why I persist in this utterly ridiculous belief.

Little pumpkin seedlings emerging in June...
One month later! And still growing like mad. The tendrils are now starting to take over the pathway.

All the pumpkins and squash are doing well in their patch. The Cinderella pumpkins were the first to come up and get established. But the one that's really bowling me over is something new to me: Sweet Mama squash. The plants are ENORMOUS and already covered in little green baby squash. I got a few starts on a whim, and I can't wait to see what the fruit tastes like! (And I hope it's really really great, because it looks like we're going to have one whole heck of a lot of it.)
We got a couple pints of strawberries a week from early June until a week or so into July.


This year, I planted two types of peas - standard sugar snaps (right) and sugar sprints (left). The difference is INSANE. It's even more noticeable now than it was in this photo from a week or so ago. The sugar sprints are three times the size, heavier yielding, and the pods are more tender. I'm definitely going all in with them next year. And as the saying goes, we're gonna need a bigger trellis.

One afternoon's harvest - snap peas, lavender, strawberries, lettuce, eggs.
The lavender also seems very happy now, but I have to say this is the one plant that did not cope well with the lack of attention. I came back after two weeks away, and although Brett was home for a week of that, he didn't have a chance to keep an eye on these plants or do any weeding. The entire border had transformed into a post-apocalyptic hellscape in which all mankind (or at least husband-kind) had died out, leaving morning glories as the dominant species on earth. The vines were twined all through the stems of the lavender, and had to be not just pulled up, but unwrapped by hand.

The tomatoes are just starting up now, and I have to say (knock on wood) that they're looking a lot better than I hoped. Tomatoes are hard in our damp, temperate climate, and I never seem to have much luck. This year I got all cherry varieties, which appear to be a little less fussy. The Sweet Millions plants look the best overall, but the first ripe tomato came from the Sungold. I'm so excited for garden-fresh tomatoes, but I'm trying to reign it in just in case it doesn't go that well.

Now time to get back out there for more weeding!

Well, some of us will weed. Others prefer to watch and sunbathe.

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