Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Walk Through My Garden

I'd like to take you on a walk through my garden now that I've gotten fairly caught up on weeding it. Despite the heat wave of the last two weeks and our extreme lack of rain this year, my garden is actually doing better than it's done in years.  I have to acknowledge that I'm giving it alot more time and care than I have in recent years, in terms of regular weeding and watering, so that probably has alot to do with it.  So far, too, I haven't had many insect problems.

Let's go for a walk! Approach from the house, which is north of the garden.  Please excuse the very tall weeds I haven't gotten to yet. . .

 Enter the garden through the opening in the rock wall on the north side of the garden. Watch out for the small thistles that sprouted up in the opening while I was in South Carolina. . .

The rock wall is a work in progress for about five years now, and started with piles of rocks we'd picked from the yard area when seeding that to lawn in 2004, and from the five acres of pasture/hayfield we developed one acre at a time over several years (handpicking rocks as well as hand seeding the grass/clover pasture mix).   It is about 120 feet long, and about a foot tall so far.  Eventually I would like it to be 18"-24" tall, but mostly it's just a visual barrier between the yard and the garden (and to help keep the lawn from encroaching into the garden).  Sorry it's so overgrown in weeds at the moment; my focus has been on weeding the veggies and not the wall so far. . .

Now that we've entered the garden, on your left (east) you'll see the nice patch of sweet corn.  It's my 'nice' patch because I planted it first and it's doing the best of the several patches of corn I have scattered around.  In fact, because it's doing so much better than the others, it is the only one I took pictures of!

Last year, in the interest of saving space, I inter planted some of my corn with squash and pole beans. It worked great; all grew well as predicted--the whole idea was that the nitrogen loving corn would be nourished by the nitrogen-fixing beans, the beans would grow up the corn and the squash vines would protect the corn from critters like raccoons--so I planted it that way again this year.  In the above picture you can see the squash plants just starting to vine between the corn rows.  In the picture below, a bean plant has found it's corn neighbor and is starting to twine up the stalk.

Continuing south in the garden, past the corn is one of my new strawberry beds.  Unfortunately I got no berries this year (week of hard frosts in May killed the blossoms), but the plants look to be strong and healthy, so hoping for an abundant harvest next year. 

Next to the strawberries are my short rows of onions, which are struggling.  The cold in May killed most of my starts even though I covered them at night.  The ones that are left are okay, but with the drought I don't think they will get as big as I'd like.

Oops!  Forgot to point out the row of gladiolas I tucked in between the strawberries and the onions.  My 'just for fun' flower planting, although digging them up in the fall isn't all that fun.  One is starting to bloom this week, soon the whole row will be ablaze in color.

Okay, now that I've pointed out what's on the east side when you walk in the garden, let's turn our focus to the twice as deep left side. . .  Starting when we walked through at the rock wall:

Several short rows with swiss chard


and beets.

Also a row of rutabaga, and several rows of peas I forgot to take pictures of.  Just imagine them.

Then we have, approximately opposite the strawberry bed, my potato patch.  Doing very well this year, have only had to hand pick potato bugs about four times over a two week period.  Much fewer potato bugs this year.  Maybe because this year I planted a clump of horseradish at each corner of the potato patch?  I read horseradish repels potato beetles. . .

potato patch

Moving along, we have about a row and a half of broccoli.  Planted two rows, but somehow lost half of one.

Also is a row of cabbages, which something appears to be putting holes in the leaves.

Past the brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc), you will see the tomatoes.  Doing very well this year; they love the heat.  I have several varieties. . . okay probably ten or twelve varieties and can't remember them all without digging out my list.  Mostly heirlooms, let's leave it at that for now.

I have not seen evidence of a single tomato worm so far, maybe because I planted a stinky marigold at each end of each row of tomatoes. 

Sorry to hustle you through the rest of the tour, but I just discovered we're out of bread!  So, need to get some baking done today.  Here's the rest of the garden that I have photos of:

more squash, different variety than what's in the corn

just one of the many cukes

hot hungarian pepper

watermelons, just one row of many

eggplant with a bloom


cluster of grapes

Hope you enjoyed our walk, and aren't too out of breath from me race-walking you through the final sections of the garden!  Got to get that bread dough going; you're welcome to join me in the kitchen if you wish.

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