from January to… June!

An online friend has pointed out that I need to update this blog and he is not wrong. When I logged in tonight to remedy the situation — beer in hand, because I need some help at the end of a working day — I discovered a post I started back in March. A post about planting onions. Well those babies are well on now. In fact, all the seeds I started back in February are sprouted and grown and in the ground…as you’d expect. Except for the lemon grass, which is doing amazingly well, but I haven’t yet researched what its needs are or dug it a hole it might like. This is making me think of what I might do next time I’m in the garden, but — guilt descending — something tells me it probably won’t involve putting lemon grass to bed.

Moving swiftly on for the moment: here is the garden, most of it, in a pic taken just yesterday! (See how up to date we are now!)

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The veg beds in June.

Let me explain what’s been happenin’. The closest bed to the camera is the one that grew all the wild cherry tomatoes and basil varieties so well last year. The toms were in the right-hand half. The left-hand half of this bed ended up being mostly fallow since the plants I put in there (edamame and herbs, I believe) were eaten by demon bunnies… or maybe box turtles, but I don’t want to imagine that. Anyway, that was last year. Obviously tomatoes couldn’t go back in to most of this bed — although try telling that to the volunteer tom seedlings. I must have weeded dozens of them out by now. Instead, I’m growing perennial onions and a row of leeks in an improvised raised bed. There was nearly a post on the making of that raised bed. Basically it involved a couple of days of hauling old cement blocks from another part of the property and hauling in bags of topsoil and Moonure (love that stuff!) from Home Depot. Both the onion sets and the leek seeds were gifts from Steven at Turkeysong. There should have been a post about that too, but if you’re following on Twitter or Instagram (and please do!), everything has been documented there. I think I’ll do some separate posts here to celebrate seed to harvest of the Turkeysong produce, so watch this space… Those leeks are going to be giant. COLOSSAL!!

To the left of the leeks and down a step, please notice one of my row covers, constructed out of halves of hoola hoop and chicken wire. The hoola hoop is sparkly to provide extra protection and glamour. You need a bit of glamour in the garden. Under that, although they’re pretty much bursting out now, are my fennel plants. Doing really well. When the cover comes off (probably next visit), I’ll take portraits of them and post. To their left are some tomatoes and basil. I’m only growing cherry-type tomatoes this year. Three different varieties: Matt’s wild cherry, because you can’t go wrong with those; Amy’s Sugar Cherry, and another Sugar/ Cherry variety whose name I forget. Hopefully all will make it to harvest and not get snacked on like my big heirloom varieties last year. Needless to say, I’m already on the look out for hornworms.

The middle bed has seen some changes! That used to be the Solstice Bee Garden — remember that? The first bed I dug! While my parents were visiting back in March (and helping put up a bit of anti-bunny wire netting round part of the perimeter of the deer fence… harder work than we thought, and we didn’t finish it…) I dug this bed out and replanted the three strains of native wild flower that had survived from the original garden (hyssop, bergamot and wild indigo). The flowers are now in a new bed running down one of the long sides of the deer fence. I’ll feature them next time… Where they used to be are now: Amish snap peas — zoom in on the pic, and you’ll spot them with their stick and string trellis. A bit of greenfly action on them, but otherwise making it. Near them (and still partially under a second row cover) are clumps of chamomile and some herbs — cat mint, echinacea and thyme. All grown from seed! At the extreme left of the bed, I’m growing peppers and trying to grow egg plants. But something is bothering the egg plants. They’re hanging on in there, but they don’t look all that happy.

On Sunday just gone I extended this middle bed. Not for use this year — just preparing the ground at this stage. I covered it with a layer of cardboard, and on top of that, a thick layer of leaf litter. By the autumn it should be ready for a cover crop.

And that leaves the hugelbeet, because the row of cotton isn’t visible in this pic. The hugelbeet has more tomatoes and basil, a couple of marigold plants and a fennel. Only the fennel isn’t doing well. It’s looking a bit crispy and unhappy. I was worried about that hugelbeet because I wasn’t sure it got enough sun. Turns out — now that I’ve visited earlier in the morning (ahem) — that it gets fantastic morning sun, and sun again in the late afternoon, so I think the toms in there will be fine. They need feeding, but I’m hopeful.

So that’s it. The state of play in early June!

 

 

This entry was posted in herb garden, Homesteading, raised beds, vegetable garden, wildflowers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to from January to… June!

  1. Jeff H says:

    Excellent progress! Thanks for sharing about your gardens, very informative. I love seeing what others are doing to achieve self or semi-self sufficiency. :)

    • Clare says:

      Thanks for commenting! It’s so nice to know people actually read the posts. Last year only the tomatoes and basil were successful (so only semi-semi-semi self sufficiency), but even seeing those make it to harvest was incredibly satisfying. The soil here is very poor, so it will take a year or two to improve it. I’m composting but most of the time ants won’t let me near the bin… Thanks again! Clare

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