The greatest development of my garden this year has been my strawberries. Last summer I got rid of a flowerbed that the weeds had taken over. There were some strawberry plants mixed in that I managed to salvage from the weeds--maybe 10 plants. I threw them in my raised bed--a space that I have not been able to get anything else to grow in--not even spinach or lettuce! They have gone bonkers. They immediately started sending out shoots last year, and now it is one solid mass of plants as you can see from the picture below.
|My bird-proofing system for my strawberries|
|We have been getting many amazingly sweet, luscious strawberries|
|The potatoes are bushy and already beginning to flower|
|Amazing having broccoli so early! In the background, spinach going to seed and onions|
My aunt gave me some miscellaneous, unknown starts after I had my garden planted, and rather than turn them down I threw them in wherever I could find space in my flowerbed and greenhouse. I'm still not sure what they all are, but some are for sure kohlrabi, which will be a treat as I didn't plant any this year.
I always plant things close together in the greenhouse, thinking there is NO WAY the plants could get too big for the space, and things are always crowding each other. The lettuce always goes in the back, in a row behind the main plants, which becomes a pain to harvest once the plants get large, such as the lettuce behind the zucchini. Ah well. No big trouble to have 6 months of fresh lettuce!
|Plants are squished together in my greenhouse, with my cilantro, bok choy (I think!) and parsley shown here|
|The indoor zucchini are going nuts, with lettuce tucked in behind it|
When it is sunny the greenhouse needs to be watered every day, but when it is cloudy every other day is sufficient. I collect rain water and use that as much as possible, but depending on how often it rains, that may only last me a few days. Fertilizing is necessary in a greenhouse, and I have been using some every couple weeks. That has been a key that I just started doing last year and it has made a difference in my yields.
I have given my compost a bit more attention this summer, stirring and watering it and paying a bit more attention to the mix of carbon and nitrogen items in it. It compacting nicely and I think I'll have a nice batch of compost to go on the garden next spring. This year's batch wasn't very composted because I hadn't stirred it, though I managed to get a couple wagon-loads out of it anyways. And the soil in the garden is finally looking less like a mucky, clay-like morass and more like soil, which even my non-garden husband noticed when he rototilled it this spring.
I've done 2 full weedings of the entire garden this summer, which is more than usual by this time. Nice weather helps the weeds grow too. I am being more aggressive about keeping the nearby weeds down so that the seeds don't blow in so over time I think the weed situation will be more under control.
I love being able to run out to the garden or greenhouse to get my dinner makings. I am always astounded that I throw seeds into the ground and....they grow and make food! It seems I do so little work for the bounty, and yet I do, just not as much as some uber-gardeners I know. I feel like I do the minimum to make it happen. But I do talk lovingly of my plants as I walk by them and I like to think that helps make it a more conducive growing climate for them as well!