Monday, July 19, 2021

the post in which I brag about my garden

 My gardens are always a bit crazy. Well, often more than a bit. I get busy -- or in the old days had to work -- and the weeds take advantage.

My planting -- and what planning there is -- follows a "What is the weather now? What needs to be planted now?" order from one side to the other.

And I have never been a fan of weed-free gardens like you see in magazines. the earth WANTS to be covered, so my weeding is often a trade off between helping the veg grow and keeping the soil covered.

I prefer to let nature do the watering, when possible. Ma Nature does it best. My soaking hoses (sprinklers waste water) while directing liquid to the plants rather than the paths and weeds, are always second best.

I am delighted with the results thus far from this year's garden, so

I will brag a bit. First off... peas. I have put up close to enough for us this year, so I invited a friend to come pic, and she took this photo of me in the pea rows. On the right are some Champion of England and an unidentified (at present) tall petit poi variety. Remember what I said about being a bit crazy? We ran out of frozen peas this past spring so... I have the row of short Iona petit pois at my knee in this photo and two more rows not shown. I will go out tomorrow and glean the last of the edible ones, allow some to mature for seed next year and pull the rest for the fowl.

I struggle with bell peppers -- all peppers actually -- each year and this spring, on a visit to a "local" health food store in the spring I saw some locally and organically grown seedlings that called to me, so I bought 4. This is the first bell pepper to come close to being big enough. I will never grow enough to supply all our needs, but I will cherish the fruit of this plant and its 3 cousins.
Tomatoes are a late summer crop in Maine, but I am glad to see blossoms AND fruit beginning to appear on the plants that I began supporting on their trellis recently. They need to be checked again, maybe tomorrow, and have more support applied but eventually there will be eating, canning and sauce fruit to deal with. While I still have some canned 'maters and sauce, it will not get us through to next year.
I know lots of folks who are really into flower gardening. Veg are my thing, but I try to throw flower seeds in a row or two in the veg garden because while I do not have the energy to prioritize them, I to enjoy them. These coriopsis are both nice to look at AND a dye plant for my fleece!
Corn is often not "knee high by the 4th of July" as I learned from my youth with kin in Iowa, and I have plenty of sweet corn, cut off the cob, in the freezer which will carry us through to next year. But there is nothing quite like FRESH sweet corn. Start the water boiling, head out to the corn patch to pick a few ears, husk and pop them in the water. No butter or salt needed, in my world! These guys have been inter-planted with an experimental crop of fall shelling peas. Not to put by, just to see if I have the timing right for a few "messes" of fresh peas as the weather cools
First harvest of garlic and a few of the early planting of carrots... the latter will go in with a beef roast tomorrow. Garlic is all about ready to harvest, hopefully the carrots will continue to offer up crunchy goodness until the fall storage crop is ready.
Cole slaw! Probably sauerkraut, too... since I did not end up with any late cabbages this year. The recent cool, damp weather has them heading up nicely.

And broccoli... someday I would like to be able to grow enough to put by a full year's worth of one of our favorite green veg. One of these may be eaten soon, the rest will be blanched and frozen. there will be more, as I planted a blend of varieties. 

This last pic gives you a good idea of my garden chaos. Tomatoes being trellised onto twine at the right foreground, that corn in the right background. The black stool sits in the row that contains the pepper plants and beyond them, cucumbers (not weeded in this pic).

Rows to the left are beans, first pintos (needing a trellis of sorts) and then snap beans and in the upper far left are the potatoes.