But first, on the home front, is the garden. I've been harvesting lettuce, kale, spinach, parsley and basil for a month already, but now the cucumbers, tomatoes, kohlrabi and zucchini are coming it and it begins to feel like abundance.
|Today's harvest: bibb lettuce, curly-leafed kale, beet greens, spinach, strawberries, kohlrabi, cucumber and zucchini|
I ran out of space in my garden for the cole plants: broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi and cauliflower so I threw them into any spare space in my greenhouse. Of course, spare space when I planted them is much different than now, so the gigantic zucchini plants are crowding out the poor broccoli plants. Don't know if that was an unwise move or not. I was going to transplant them outside if some of the outdoor plants died, but only one did so they didn't get transplanted.
After two mild winters and unusually warm summers, I'm not sure what normal is anymore, but it sure seems like everything is early. Funny how I can gladly adjust my expectations. This warm summer has brought little rain, and I know it would be doing better if I watered it. Delivered water is now up to 6.5 cents per gallon so to maximize the profit of growing my own veggies I try to minimize watering. Even after we got 2 or 3 days of solid rain the other week, it was still dry under the surface. I keep an eye on the forecast and will it to rain, though for other reasons I sometimes will it not to rain!
|July 21 garden view|
I planted a few different crops this year: I had celery seed left over from years ago and threw it in; it is doing great in the greenhouse. It was a dud in the garden. I finished off the rutabaga and turnip seeds. As I mentioned the turnips didn't come up but the rutabaga are going nuts so I'll be making pasties again this fall, which is the only dish I use them in. I might have to expand my repertoire of rutabaga recipes this year.
As always, the compost lines are obvious in my garden, clearly delineating between soil that has been supplemented with good stuff and the natural soil. Both my rows of beets and carrots show this, giving me the heads up of where to plant my compost next spring. The store-bought fertilizers just don't do as much for my garden as fish gurry and compost, so if I want beautiful plants, I need to do the work to make my own fertilizer. I'm getting my routines down, though, so it goes more smoothly and easily.
The strawberries must love this warm weather. The plants are well over a foot tall and producing fairly well. I just put chicken and rabbit wire over them but the birds still manage to get in and munch the berries so I think I need to invest in some bird netting. I hung some old CDs around off the wire, thinking the movement and shininess might discourage the birds from hanging out with the strawberries so much, but when it is calm they don't move at all so I'm not sure they're helping much.
All in all, I'm pleased with the garden this year. Especially pleasing is the lack of weeds. I've had 2 light weedings of the entire garden since I planted it the end of May--once in mid-June and once in mid-July. A light weeding means the weeds were easy to pull and it took less than 2 hours to weed the whole garden. I don't know if it's because my soil has more nutrients in it now, or if it's just too dry for weeds to grow. Either way, I'll take it!