Shit is growing. No, seriously–the garden is in full swing and has really progressed since I planted it back in May.
For those who don’t know me personally (and are reading this)–I have four 4’x8’x10″ raised garden beds in my front yard. I made these years ago–and have been gradually improving the area around them to make life easier. Mainly, this has involved turning over the grass, putting down weed barrier and then recycled rubber mats and edging.
It has made things (such as mowing) a lot easier to deal with.
In any case–here are the changes that have happened. In each of these shots, there is a picture from May 25th, and then one from July 8th–so about 7 weeks apart. Weather here in Wisconsin has been relatively cool during this time–nights in the 50’s and 60’s–days in the 70’s (mostly) or 80’s (maybe 10 days worth..),which has been great for some plants and bad for others. Rain has been okay–we’ve had a little deficit here–but not bad–and June was fine overall.
As you can see.. stuff has happened.
The closest box above (let us call it the Southeast box-SE box)–mainly contains various kinds of tomato plants–some Champions, but also some heirloom varieties–including Mr. Stripey, Black Krim, and Caspian Pink. It also has a bunch of Basil, some Oregano, Thyme, and a few pepper (Pepperocini and hot chilli) plants.
As you can see–the tomato plants have done well. I’ll admit that I’m in a constant battle with black spot mold (which I fight with pruning and liquid copper)–but it’s not nearly as bad as last year..
Then next box is the SW Corner box.
This box has mostly a variety of hot peppers (Jalepeno, Serrano, Anaheim, Chillies, other..) plus Oregano, Thyme, a bit of Basil, and then some tomatoes. Originally–there were just two tomato plants–but then a bunch of tomato plants started growing from what must have been seeds leftover from the plants last year. I dug up 5 of these re-seedlings–and have given them to people–but two of them I kept and we’ll see whether they’re Cherry or Polish Linguisa Tomatoes. Beyond that–in the second picture–you can see a TON of Borage growing out the far end of the box. This had reseeded itself from last year… and I’ve already dug up a bunch and given it to people also (Bees love it–and that’s why I keep it there–it attracts pollinators).
As you can see–the peppers are rather small here–and that’s been because of the cold. They want warmth…
The next box is in the NW Corner–and it has the brassicas and cucumber plants.
As you can see–there’s been a ton of growth in this box–and the cats also find it much more interesting. In the front of the box–there are 4 broccoli plants (only the closest one here still had a head–but I’ve cut that off now–so it will sprout more..)–then there are two Purple Kale and 3 Collard Greens plants. Behind them–next to the trellises–are cucumber vines that I’m teaching to grow up the trellises. You can see them better in this picture:
All of the brassicas here have LOVED the cold/cooler weather. They grew continuously in it and have thrived. Hopefully, they’ll deal with the heat–if we ever get any here.
The cucumbers are flowering at the moment, but it may be a while before we get any real produce from them. Time will tell, I guess.
Finally–there is the zucchini and bean box.
There are just two zucchini plants that have grown tremendously–and then a couple of different types of pole beans. The ones you can mainly see here right now are the “purple” beans that I bought this year. They all sprouted while the “stringless” seeds from last year never germinated (except for 1) and so I had to plant new “oriental” pole bean seeds in their place 2 weeks later to replace these. That’s why the far trellises are not yet covered in bean vines yet–although they are now starting to snake up the trellises about 6-12 inch a day.
So–this is the state of the Garden. We’ve already harvested lots of Kale, Collard Greens, and Broccoli leaves–all of which you can eat in salads. This past Tuesday I also harvested the first broccoli heads and a number of small zucchinis. There are green tomatoes and the first peppers filling out also… I’m sure in the next week or two, the bounty will start going crazy.
Overall–this garden is work–but I like that. Gardening–digging in the dirt, weeding, watering, pruning, guiding the plants… all of that gives me a grand sense of accomplishment.
I’m accomplishing my goals—which is what I think happiness is.