At least my garden hasn't been neglected this season, but posts about it certainly have.
We've had so many big projects we're (still) trying to handle that I haven't posted much about the garden.
So, in an effort to catch up just a little bit, let's take a stroll and take a look at what's going on out there.
I planted both broccoli and cabbage from seed right in the garden for the first time. (Rather than transplanting started plants from indoors.) Their start was really, really slow, and I had to replant the cabbage twice in some cases.
The broccoli is just now forming heads big enough to harvest. I grew a total of ten plants, a row of five on either side of a row of dill down the center of an 8' long raised bed. Although the plants are big and healthy, the three plants from which I've harvested heads so far aren't putting out any side shoots. What's with that? Although not perfect (perfect would be a negative ten for me), I've found only three small worms in the three heads combined.
The cabbages are just now starting to head up. That's fine because I didn't want to have to harvest them before the root cellar had a chance to cool down this fall. Last year they kept fantastically there.
The twelve Brussels sprout plants look as though they will give us a heavy harvest this year.
I've already made two years worth of dill pickles and bread and butter pickles and given away as many pickling cucumbers as I can (!), but the vines are still blossoming like crazy and producing beautiful cukes. Sad to say, I think I'll be pulling them out this week in the name of getting a jump start on garden clean-up.
I planted a row of dwarf sunflowers for cutting, and we've been enjoying bouquets of them in the house for a couple of weeks now. What's more cheerful than a sunflower? Our honey bees are working the center of them (with a vengeance) which is great.
Speaking of our bees, I planted this flower, Gilia, specifically because bees were supposed to like it. The plants have grown to look more like a frilly ground cover with their very bushy, spreading greenery. The delicate flowers (only about 1/2" across) are plentiful, and the bees do spend a lot of time working them.
Another flower I tried for the first time is this Blue Salvia. Love it (and again, the bees do, too) and I'll plant it again.
I'm so pleased to report my third attempt at planting asparagus seems to be a success. (So far, anyway.) We saw a heavy sprouting of spears for this first year, and the display of ferns is lovely. This part of the asparagus/strawberry bed shows everbearing strawberry plants at the foreground of the picture. They are HUGE and are putting out a gazillion blossoms (which the everbearing should be doing this time of year), but (sob) I'm being a good gardener and popping all of the blossoms off (double sob) this first year.
Our main (new) planting of June bearing strawberries is also doing fantastically. Strong, healthy, large plants in all three rows, all three varieties. Next year we will be back in strawberries!
Our summer got off to such a slow, cold start that my two cherry tomato plants are just now starting to give us ripe tomatoes. Both plants (upright in the two cages you see in this bed) have literally hundreds of green tomatoes on them. Papa Pea suggested we experiment and cover one of the cages with clear plastic to see if the tomatoes ripen up faster than the uncovered plant standing out in the breeze and cool night air.
I prepped a bed in which to plant some fall salad greens . . . but have never gotten around to getting the seeds from packets to soil. (Can't expect good results that way, can I?) Just can't find enough time in the day to do everything.
Well, we didn't cover all that is growing in the garden today. Maybe I'll manage to get in another garden tour installment soon. Right now, my brute strength is needed to help move some file cabinets down into the basement. Ugh.
"Straw" and shots
5 hours ago