So I got out and took some pictures of the garden on June first - I can't believe how much every thing's grown in just a short month's time! I guess when you see it every day it doesn't seem to go so fast until you look back...
The beats, spinach and cilantro never really took off. ::sigh:: So I put tiny little starts of extra peppers and basil I had laying around, plus a sunflower for a bit of color later on and some marigolds to repel garden pests. I just hate seeing all that dirt in June! The potatoes behind the dirt patch however are doing wonderfully now. I think the broccoli is getting near harvesting time too.
The spinach that would not grow.
Green beans are starting to come up!
I bought chives to put in the perennial bed since I can't seem to get celery to grow to save my life. What you can't really see is the asparagus which is nearly a foot high now! Of course being only one year old crowns they're only putting up one stalk, so they look a bit spindly. This was also not a good place for the walla walla, they're too crowded (not enough air circulation) stay too damp and have been hit with a fungal disease. Pah. Note to self for next year, eh.
The shelling peas (on the left) really shot up in the past few days and the snap peas on the right are ready to harvest, so is the broccoli - I'm thinking I'm having stir fry tomorrow for lunch. The radishes are doing a great job protecting the squash plants. This is really a great companion planting. The radish leaves are full of holes and the squash aren't. Perfect! (These radish were planted with the idea that they'd never be eaten by us, so I'm fine with them looking like swiss cheese).
Pretty sugar snap peas.
Big 'ol radish and pretty flowering holess squash. Perfect.
The mint went nuts but that's to be expected. It's mint after all. The sage is very pretty, I'm so glad I got it. You can also see the daliahs starting to poke up behind the sage now too. Not all of them came up which is disappointing. I wonder if they just don't get quite enough sun? It was something I was a little worried about and now it seems rightly so. Bummer. I'll have to find some other flower to put there - well at least it'll be year round interest.
Here too are the blueberries and strawberries. I didn't remember to take a picture at the beginning of May of this bed which is too bad as the bushes were full of pretty white blooms.
Strawberries to be!
My folks are also moving and have an old church pew they've been using as a garden bench. They decided they didn't want to move it so it's come to live with us. I'm pretty happy about this as I wanted a bench to put in the new (soon to be) patio area but didn't know how I was going to pay for it. This solves all that! Ha! I might paint it a different color though. Tomato red just doesn't jive with me currently. Maybe pumpkin? What color would you paint it?
Speaking of tomatoes I've been reading a lot about soil microbes lately and picked up this interesting piece of advice I'm calling "The Tomato Christmas Wreath". You'll see what I'm talking about in a second. So tomatoes like consistently moist soil and they do well with mulches. While a plastic mulch would be good for warming up the soil, it's not so good for the environment and it does nothing for the microbes. Besides I planted the roots in a shallow trench to get the closer to the surface and keep them warmer so that should help with that issue. (Fingers crossed). Anyway I was reading that when the plants get about a foot high they should be fed with good slow release fertilizer scratched in around the base. Then a mulch of shredded newspaper should be laid down and everything watered.
Lastly over the newspaper a bit of grass clippings, making it look like a Christmas wreath to me!
The newspaper attracts beneficial fungus, the grass attract beneficial bacteria and the fertilizer feeds both and allows the plant to take up trace minerals and nutrients more efficiently all while maintaining soil moisture and keeping weeds at bay. Here's hoping it works (the "experts" say it does), I don't think it can hurt!
More to come soon on the mysterious comments of free plants, compost tea brewers and soil blockers...