Friday, July 2, 2010

The July 1st Garden

Okay, so it's the July 1st Garden on July 2nd. Rain and heavy cloud cover yesterday kept me from taking the pictures I wanted but today we were blessed with a gor-gee-o-so day and I was able to get my pictures to compare the garden with pictures taken one month ago on June 1st.

Let's get right to it. I don't know if this will do much for you but I'm really excited to see what changes a month of growing time has made.

This is a shot of the raised beds on June 1st.

And the comparison shot taken today.

I've ended up planting in all the beds except one. Some of the beds show bare spots that I would have normally done some succession planting in but with the house construction this summer, I've decided to forego all second plantings except for salad fixings.

I'll give more of a tour of the raised beds in a post soon.

Looking pretty bare, here's the field garden on June 1st.

The field garden today.

Our strawberry patch is putting out ripe berries just about faster than I can keep them picked and processed. They started coming in this year almost three weeks early. Our early snow melt and actually having a real spring this year went a long way toward giving us a jump start on certain crops.

The four rows of potatoes to the right of the strawberry patch are just now starting to blossom. The two rows of white potatoes are looking fuller and healthier than the two rows of reds. I'm thinking I really need to introduce a new strain of red potatoes next year. The ones I have planted now are from potatoes I've saved for several years and I think they're poopin' out on me. The great thing about the potatoes? No sign of blight this year! Wahoo. It was a scary problem last year and I know many of you experienced the same thing.

The Morning glories planted at the base of the teepee trellis are still too short to grab on and climb. They seem terribly s-l-o-w to me this year, but hubby thinks I'm just being over-anxious and they're on schedule.

Behind the teepee trellis is a row (that you can't really see) of green beans that are starting to bush out and look like . . . well, bush beans.

Farther back is a line of Red Kuri squash that has room on both sides of it to vine away to its heart's content.

On the far south end of the field garden is my scraggly line of sunflowers that I just know are going to be beautiful. Someday. I hope. Maybe.

South of the potatoes are four cattle panel trellises that don't really show up in the picture. On the two far right ones are my shell peas. I can't figure out why they aren't taller right now as we've had lots of cooler, wet weather that you would think would make them very happy.

To the left of the peas are two trellises of my pickling cucumbers. They are only a couple of inches tall but should do just fine. Once we get into some warm weather that is.

On June 1st the pumpkin patch had a nice stand of oats and barley about half grown. It has since been cut down and turned into the soil.

This picture of the pumpkin patch today kind of looks like we're regressing, doesn't it?

After tilling in our first cover crop of the season, we immediately sowed a crop of buckwheat in the pumpkin patch and just today we noticed the first little green buckwheat sprouts poking up through the soil.

When I look at how the gardens have changed in a month's time, it seems as if that month was a long one. And yet this coming weekend is already the Fourth of July which has always signaled the halfway point of summer for us. No, no, no, I don't want summer to be half over!

We haven't even put up our hammock yet. Seems like this weekend would be a good time to do it if it's gonna happen. Yep, I think we'd better do just that.

Wishing all of you a great weekend and safe Fourth of July.


Jo said...

Man, your gardens are beautiful. I called my hubby into the den to show him the pictures, and I said "See this? This is what I want." I can dream, can't I?

I don't see any weeds anywhere. Do you use herbicide? Hand weed? Or are you just blessed with a weed free yard? :)

Mama Pea said...

Oh, Jo, you flatter me! Thank you for the kind words. We have plenty of weeds, but I do keep on top of them.

I plant so intensively in the raised beds that very few weeds can grow. This works for me as we've got the soil in the beds built up to pretty good stuff so I CAN plant intensively. I also mulch (when there is room) with grass clippings to keep the weeds down.

Our gardens are as organic as we can possibly make them so no bad stuff out there.

I mulch everywhere in the field garden, too. I truly do like to weed (call me crazy but I'd rather weed than plant any day!) and weed everything by hand. It drives my husband crazy; he doesn't understand why I don't use a hoe but I believe that because I pull the weeds out by their roots, I have less problems with them.

I was actually thinking of you when I was out in the garden today. I enjoyed your garden tour post so much yesterday and was impressed with your crops that look so lush. Here you are with little kids, a husband, a household to run and a job outside the home. And yet you manage to have a large garden and preserve your harvests. You're the one to be given credit for gardening as you do!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Amazing! So incredibly pretty! And something to aspire to as well! I can tell you are a passionate gardner..awesome!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Apple Pie Gal - Ya know what? My gardens look lots better in these views from the upstairs window! But thank you very much. And, yes, I think I would call myself a passionate gardener. It's something I really, really love to do. I think I've got the veggies down pat but I sure can't grow flowers like I'd like to. Someday . . .

Erin said...

You have hands-down my favorite garden of all! It looks wonderful! My OCD/Type A personality calms right down when I look at it all! I think I would spend too much time staring down at it from your window! I don't know how you do all those beds, although I will say my raised beds themselves aren't much work, it's all the weeding of the pathways. All that prep going into the pumpkin bed is really going to produce some great pumpkins next year. I would say that I can't grow pumpkins here, but I haven't really tried either - I don't have space to plant them intensively enough to pollinate, yet I am not into hand-pollinating. We intend to do some pumpkin ale next year, so I had better figure it out!

Now get out there and hang your hammock BEFORE you do anything else! I intend to actually sit in my hammock later today, at least for 15 minutes since the weather is so cool!

Stephanie said...

The garden looks FABULOUS!! Great job to you and your hubby Mama Pea :)

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I wonder if there is an unspoken law that if you are a great vegetable gardner, the flowers wilt...I don't have much knack for flowers. If I can't eat it...I just don't put much into it! :)

Patty said...

Just amazing! Truly beautiful! Very, very inspiring!

Rainsong said...

Ditto what has already been said. The part about flowers I have long suspected. I look at the view and wonder how do you keep such sharp corners and such trim and tight edges? Beautiful.

Susan said...

Beautiful, Mama Pea! I really like seeing the comparison - you have really put some labor into that garden. It even looks like it wasn't raining!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Isn't it funny? Must be a case of the grass is always greener. I think your garden is so much more creative and attractive than mine!

Hammock's still not up. :o(

Stephanie - We're a pretty good team. I couldn't do all I do out there without his help!

Apple Pie Gal - But I wanna do BOTH! But time-wise, is it possible?

Patty - Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Rainsong - I drive my hubby nearly nuts by insisting he "stay within the lines" when he's plowing or tilling!

Susan - Believe it or not, it wasn't raining yesterday! Nor have we had any rain today . . . yet. It's 7:45 now and it looks like it could storm.

Jo said...

Even without a hubby, three kids and an outside job, I doubt I could do all the things you do on your farmstead! And you manage to find the time and energy for all that lovely quilting. Whew!

Mama Pea said...

Jo - Ummm, have you noticed I've done diddly-sqwat in the line of quilting for MONTHS? And it's a continual frustration for me because I LOVE to quilt and need that hands-on thing with a product at the end to make me feel good. But, I guess that does come to a certain extent with tending a garden, eh? Still I miss my quilting so much (sob, sob) in these intense summer months.

Thanks for your kind words but I still think your days are a lot more difficult to juggle than mine!