You wouldn't think the garden needed any more rain than the frequent amounts of precipitation we've been getting quite regularly, but the thunderstorm that dropped an 1-1/2" of torrential rain (in about 10 minutes) on us this past Thursday seems to have given the plants a huge boost.
I harvested our first broccoli (the one pictured above) yesterday, and we had it for dinner last night with roast beef hash. So good! This head wasn't as nicely formed as the others growing nearby are, but it needed to be picked.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was having trouble with chipmunks eating the blossoms off all my pansies. That problem was solved with the (ahem) relocation (ahem) of thirteen chipmunks. Now we've got a red squirrel (or seven) who munches on the leaves of my begonias in the window boxes. What's lacking in his diet that he feels the need to dine on my begonias?
There are quite a few blossoms on my cherry tomatoes. I'm really eager to have the red, little nuggets as an addition to our daily great big bowls of salad. The leaves on this plant look dirty because I just staked it up yesterday after it was pounded into the mud by that thunderstorm that rolled through.
I put this wooden arbor trellis in one of our raised beds and planted my pie pumpkins on either side of it. (I'm embarrassed our grass is so long and untidy but having so much rain makes it difficult to find a time to cut it when it's not soaking wet.)
The idea is for the vines to grow up either side and over the top. I'm sure they'll need a little encouragement (bondage?) to start their climb when they get a little bigger.
I may have inadvertently done a good thing. ('Smagine that!?) This jumble of huge leaves in the raised bed (picture shot diagonally between the two cold frames) shown above is cauliflower.
Year before last I had a great crop of cauliflower, but tying the leaves up and over the heads to encourage nice head formation is a bit of a pain. So last year I found an heirloom seed for "self-blanching cauliflower." It may have been just a bad year for cauliflower (or who-knows-what), but each and every cauliflower went to see on me before forming a decent head. No harvest at all.
I jettisoned that seed and planted my old stand-by again this year. And I planted very intensively. Maybe too intensively. I was sure I'd put the plants so close together that they would never have a chance to develop. However (ta-dah!), the plants have grown to be so lush and healthy that the leaves are totally "self-blanching" the heads themselves without any intervention from me. Super! I'm looking forward to what looks to be a good crop in the not-too-distant future. Once again: In gardening there are no failures, only experiments!
Lastly, I made our second real picking of strawberries yesterday. Thirteen pounds of huge, sweet, juicy berries we've been eating by the bowlful. And in smoothies. And freezing for use after the season ends. Yum! Jam is next on the list.
Yes, our season is much slower and later than most of yours, but with patience (of which my dear husband will tell you I have very little) we do get results. Most of the time.
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