Wednesday, June 13, 2012

State of the Garden

The state of the garden is ... relatively static. I finally pulled the peas, fava beans, and various spring things, leaving some to set seed. I've filled in gaps where things did not germinate or were eaten. Now I just wait.

The lemon and bush buttercup squash and okra (first bed at left) and cucumbers (first bed at right) are off to a slow start. I was having so much success with the spring garden (finally, kale!), I let things linger longer than I should have, and it probably had a detrimental effect on my summer seedlings. I'm sure they will bounce back the rest of the long hot summer.
The cages keep marauding bunnies away from my okra seedlings. The strange stool is to block the large holes in the bike baskets, as a robin ventured inside and freaked out the other day. The rabbits have plenty of clover and plantain to eat, plus I let them have my asters.

Next, we have black eyed peas and a string trellis ready for their vines. (In the center are flowering cilantro and parsley plus spinach setting seed).
The two-tiered square bed has tomatoes surrounded by out-of-control herbs. I really should have cut them back, but the thyme flowers attract so many beneficial insects, and I'd like to see the oregano flower before I cut them all back and probably transplant them to various spots throughout the garden. This space is just too valuable, and two people only use so much herb.
In the top tier are basil and borage.
I let my tat soi flower, and the insects attracted seemed to help guard the delicata squash from squash vine borers (fingers crossed). I'm hoping it will start climbing the trellis I made soon.
More okra (more cages) fills out this bed to the left.
The rear bed is a pain--being the only 4 foot wide one, it is difficult to reach the middle even with my long monkey arms. I put drying beans in the center since I'll be leaving them alone until it's time to yank them and harvest the small red beans. In the front (left side) are eggplants, and hot and sweet peppers fill out the sides and back. Like everywhere else, there is a smattering of flowers from parsley, spinach, and radish.
I had never heard of pinching flowers off pepper plants before, but I'm trying it with my small sweet pepper plants, since I've never had success with those. The idea is to make the plant grow large and strong before it begins setting fruit.
The two newest beds are full of lettuce, beets, leeks, and scallions. The one that gets full sun (at right) contains three tomatillo plants. There are a couple of mammoth dill plants also. In the rear of the photo at left you can see my mega-parsley and cilantro patch. I've been using the cilantro (coriander) seeds green, and they have a really unique flavor.
There's a nice little chive and sorrel patch back there, too.

That's the state of things as summer gets into swing. Before I know it, I'll be knee deep in tomatoes, squash, and okra, so I'll try to enjoy the lull. It will be time to sow fall seeds before I know it.

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