Saturday, June 22, 2013

Veggie Garden 3.0

My time for gardening has been haphazard at best, but I do have some food in the ground... which seems like a huge accomplishment for me this year.

What little time I have spent has been in the initial garden... mostly because I didn't have enough water hoses to also reach the new garden until a couple of weeks ago.

I'm very excited about my initial garden.  What was once a light-colored clay is now a dark-colored rich soil, that holds moisture and has an abundance of earthworms.

The difference between the initial (3rd year) and new (1st year) garden soils is stark.  Both have weeds, but they are fewer and easier to pull in the initial garden.  The new garden is in what used to be a parking area so it was clay topped with road base... not the best environment for growing food.  ;-)  The top few inches were hauled away with fill dirt and alpaca manure being added last fall.  Then we added another layer of alpaca manure over the winter so the soil is better than it was, but seeing what has happened with the initial garden, I am very excited about what it will be next year.

In the initial garden I have a row and a half of tomatoes... mostly Romas for sauce making but there is also one pear tomato and a couple other unknown varieties.  There are a few pickling cucumbers, chiles, bell peppers, winter squashes, zucchinis and brussels sprouts.  Also my neighbor gave me a Giant Pumpkin seedling that I think my niece and nephews will enjoy.

I added a second row of old T-Posts and baling twine to use for holding up the tomatoes and cucumbers.  Last year, even with the drought, all of our tomatoes outgrew their cages so I'm hoping this structure will be a bit stronger.

I've also planted several herbs... two varieties of basil, sage, cilantro, rosemary and chives.  It appears that my thyme gave up the ghost last week after surviving a couple of years in a whiskey barrel.  I really need to add more manure to that barrel so that it has a better chance of holding moisture too.

I also have a few apples that I did not expect.  We had a late hard freeze and very few blossoms, so I'm excited to see apples.

I noticed a Robin checking out out my Cherry progress... certainly he was remembering how delicious they were last year when picked my tree clean.  So before he got too comfortable, I hung a few old CDs from the branches and I have not seen any birds hanging out in my tree since.  So fingers crossed that I actually get to eat some of these myself this year.

I would still like to plant beets, carrots, parsnips, onions, shallots and potatoes... hopefully it's not too late for these.  I know it is too late for the beans and peas which means my long-awaited Fava Beans will have to wait a little longer and I'm thinking it's probably a little late for greens and lettuces as well, but I may just plant a few seeds anyway.  ;-)

Finally, even with just the little bit of work this year, I am being rewarded with tomatoes.  :-)


Katja said...

We are happily eating lettuce and chard right now. The dog took care of the carrots :-(.

I haven't seen our big veggie garden, but my husband had rotator cuff surgery and so (wisely) chose not to rototill this year. He reports far fewer weeds (which is hilarious, because I've been telling him for almost 30 years that that would happen if he could bring himself not to till).

city garden country garden said...

That all sounds fantastic! But clearly you're going to have to visit Australia in our Spring or we need to send you a care package of fava beans then ;) They do have a long growing season, but I would have thought you'd still have time to grow some green beans as they are pretty quick growing. I managed to grow them throughout summer so your weather should be OK I think.

MarmePurl said...

Wonderful. All that work is paying off. Beans do have a very long growing season. Might be worth a try to still grow some.

Practical Frog said...

How big is your garden??? Its just past the middle of our winter here and I am thinking of putting in some lettuces and silver beet (chard - I think you call it) Im sitting here in Jeans and a Tshirt, so as you can tell, its no where near as cold as it is for you in your winter. Im with the others - pop some beans in and see what happens! - K xx