After a rough start in which my garden got zapped twice by frost, things are looking up. We went from a frost on Memorial Day to temperatures in the 90s this past week! Most of the vegetables I planted love hot weather so things have started to take off. I wonder if they didn't get a little shocked with the sudden change though....
So, let's take a little tour around the garden.
Here's a shot showing the hopefully adequate fence we put up. A determined animal could certainly get past or under this fence, but we hope it deters most of the wild critters out there. I have seen an itty bitty baby bunny in the fenced-in area, but they grow fast and I figure he/she won't be able to fit through it too much longer. .I also had to remove the plastic plant tags that reminded me of the different varieties of tomatoes because the crows kept coming in and scattering them about the garden. Hopefully I will remember what is what!
My plan is to build lasagna gardens all along the fence to hide it and eliminate the need to mow or weed whack near it. It will take quite a while to build that many beds, but it will be fun to intermix some flowers into the garden. I might even make use of the fence and try growing climbing vegetables like peas.
I've started to mulch the plants with straw. Another thing to love about lasagna gardening is that whatever you choose to mulch with simply becomes another layer of the garden! I've chosen straw since it's easily available and provides a cleanish, dry surface for the any produce that might be growing on or near the ground.
Two of my cherry tomato plants got zapped by frost. They looked pretty bad, but I thought they might have just enough greenery intact to survive...
...Check it out! They seem to have recovered nicely:
Two of the Pink Brandywine also got zapped...
...but are looking much better these days:
I forgot to include one of the tomato plants I planted. This is a watermelon beefsteak. I really know nothing at all about the heirloom tomatoes I planted, but I'm guessing this one might produce some BIG tomatoes.
Remember the slightly sickly Yellow Taxi?
The cucumbers got lightly zapped too.....
...but are making a comeback. The largest one was a just-in-case plant I got to have in case the others didn't make it. If they all produce, we'll be swamped with cucumbers!
Remember that frost bitten and discarded zucchini plant I plucked off the compost pile?
It's doing quite well now:
The pepper plants look okay, but not great - a little yellowed. Not sure what to expect since I've only ever planted them once and I think they got trampled by bunnies. I read a suggestion to cover the soil with a black barrier because peppers like it really hot. That was easy enough to do, so I'm giving it a try.
The beans are up and coming along. I left 3 spots with two plants growing together and 3 spots where I thinned them back to just one plant. I figured I'd experiment and see what works best.
The basil is a bit worrisome. It's hard to see in these photos, ,but they look a little yellowed with some brown spots on the leaves. Not quite sure what's going on here, but I suspect it might be too windy for the basil. I don't know of many spaces around our house that are NOT windy, so if wind is the culprit, I'm not quite sure what I'll do. I'll have to scout out a place that's sunny enough up close to the house and maybe try growing it in pots again. We'll just have to see how they do.......
I have several volunteer plants coming out of the compost. I'm very curious as to what they might be, so I may not be turning my compost this summer! I think I'll just let them grow and see what happens. It will be really hard to mow, but oh well. Based on what we've thrown into the compost, they are mostly likely pumpkins, butternut squash or cucumbers. Anyone care to take a guess?
Speaking of the compost, this is the one really untidy-looking area of the garden. We have it so that we can't see it from the deck, but I think our neighbors probably can see the pile of garbage bags, so I'm going to try to come up with a plan to make this area a little neater looking. Not that our neighbors ever sit outside to enjoy the weather or our gorgeous views anyway...but still....it would make me feel better to have it looking nice.
Well, I think that's it for now. One thing I have definitely learned is to be patient. It's not over until it's over. I've had several plants virtually spring back from the dead, so I will no longer give up on them until they are lying shriveled in the dirt!
The next project that needs to be done sooner rather than later is to figure out how to rig up some sort of soaker hose or drip irrigation so that I can properly water the garden. I can tell you one thing - I get quite a workout dragging the blasted hose all the way down to the garden and back up again! If we had some extra cash lying around, I'd get someone to come out and install a faucet way down yonder. Maybe some day......