Thursday, August 27, 2009

In the Garden...

My mom in law has been asking me to blog about our garden. So, here it goes...

Whoa. Let me first write a disclaimer. It wasn't a very good year, nor was it pretty. Hence, no pictures.

We grew swiss chard, cabbage, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, one bean plant that yielded exactly one bean, cantaloupe, watermelon, a raspberry bush, and a rhubarb plant. Oh, we also have strawberry plants, banana peppers and green peppers.

We did a no till garden this year. We hope to improve the soil each year without chemicals, etc. We killed the grass with layers of newspaper, then sowed in our seeds/plants. The soil has grown fescu grass (and weeds!) for the past 10 or so years. The soil isn't terrible, but it's not rich either.

We planted everything late, as in mid-to late June I think. We didn't have any rain the month of June and it was H.O.T. The months of July and August have brought lots of rain and a few mild weekends. On average, the sun has been hot when it's out and we've had temps in the 80's.

The pepper plants yielded well, but the fruits have been on the small side. The tomatoes are doing great now that they are established. The orange tomato plants are thriving and producing well. The swiss chard was great, but we've not kept it cut down so the leaves are too big. The small ones we cook with are delicious, though. The raspberry bush and the strawberry runners are well established and, though we'll end up moving them later, they are doing well in the plain ol' dirt! The cabbage has had sporadic bugs - mostly when the rain was here. We used organic chemicals and picked them off by hand. Our Black Star hen follows us around when we are outside and she loves the garden. Charley fed all of the juicy green bugs to her :). The cabbage
is not ready to harvest yet.

The herbs are doing really well and I'm going to move them to a small "kitchen garden" by the house when our landscaping is established, hopefully this fall.

Next year we hope to grow corn and maybe start some tomatoes early.

John is much more mobile now, at 18 months. He loves to "help" outside, although it's still so hot during the day to stay out too long. I'm looking forward to the cooler fall weather when we can plant outside together, etc. Although our front yard is level, for the most part, we still don't have grass to play in. So, we are looking forward to that soon!

With all of the rain, the squash and zucchini have not done well. In fact, they began to produce and then bugs or too much rain demolished them. The plants are green, but there is no fruit.

On a final note...we picked our first watermelon too early! It was so sweet, though. Just not red and ripe! We have 4 or so more to harvest. We're waiting until the last possible minute to harvest them, though! And, the same goes for the canteloupe.

The best 'lope we've had this summer has been from Mom Neal's garden stand in Wheaton, IL. It was so delicious...and HUGE.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This was a difficult year for gardens and flowers! Yours' sounds wonderful though! AND the suds pic? OMG, too sweet! He's a cutie!!
:) Lisa