Saturday, June 9, 2012

Finally, some sun!

Finally, some summer sun! The grandparents got the kids this Slip'n'Slide a month ago, and they've used it all of once because it's been raining so much. Today, with the warm sun and the bright blue sky, was the right time to unpack it. They're hooking it up as I write this, screeching in delight and skipping around the yard.

Beans and peas
Our beans are growing great guns. I'm amazed at how healthy and strong they look! It's funny, I bought bush beans because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of a trellis and all that. Well, there is apparently one single pole bean in there, and it's growing upward at a startling rate. I'll have to lean it over onto the pea fencing when it gets tall enough. I have runner beans to put up later, but I have been so busy and there's been so much rain, I just haven't made it a priority. I'm pleased with the progress in this bed, though. The only thing that isn't doing as well as I'd hoped is the cabbage. Then again, it is a slow crop to grow.

Tomatoes in buckets
My bucket tomatoes seem to be doing quite well. I'm pleased with their progress. I put more compost on top today, burying their stems a bit deeper (and burying a couple of little shoots). We've already got one baby tomato forming! I'm so excited I could burst. There are many flowers on these four plants, and I have a feeling they're going to be great performers. My home-sprouted tomatoes are still tiny and rather depressing looking. I guess right now my major hope is that they'll spring up in size and start producing when these ones are all done for the season.

Cukes and spinach
These (this?) are my new "raised bed(s)" which just got filled and planted today. I took all the broken and cracked boxes, drilled drainage holes in the bottoms and lower sides, then filled them with lovely dark composted dirt. There are two rows of cucumbers down the six buckets, for a total of about 12 feet on each side, or a full 24 feet of cukes. Along the sunny side (the side that won't get shaded) I planted more spinach. It turns out that our girl child likes spinach so long as it's fresh from the garden. My spinach plants look like a slug attacked them, except I know one hasn't - it's the child! And what am I supposed to say? "Don't eat that good stuff!" LOL... Not likely. So instead I've planted more.

The shaded side of the buckets will have lettuce planted along them, as soon as I get more seed. Lettuce will do fine in the shade, and will hopefully keep us in greens for most of the summer. There's nothing I like more than some salad with fresh cukes and tomatoes!

Veggie bed
The tractor tire bed with the broccoli and spinach and carrots and beets and such is doing pretty well. I've been picking spinach for a full week now, and it's still coming up in patches. The carrots are coming up well, too, although it'll be another month before they begin to show signs of being anything other than just wispy greens. The radishes are almost ready to be picked, and the beets just look incredible. I'm rather proud of this bed, as it's growing nicely.

The herb bed
If that first bed looks good, then this second one looks incredible! My herb bed makes my heart jump for joy. The dill we planted is almost big enough to stand a bit of use, and the store bought ones are ready to be picked at a bit. Food from this point out will have fresh herbs in it for both flavor and vitamins. Both the dill and cilantro have such amazing flavor it's unbearable. I can't help but pick at it just a bit when I'm out there. I just want to bury my nose in the oregano, too, because it smells so wonderful.

While it's certainly not the acre of crops we had in the past, I feel like my little garden is doing pretty well. We've got next to no weeds, and the few that have managed to come up take only a few moments to pluck up. The mulch seems to be working very well at both weed control and moisture retention. Everything looks great and is very healthy. I can always expand next year. It was important to have a successful garden trial this year, even if it was pretty small.

How's your garden growing? What's your favorite plant or veg? Do you grow big or small?