Jun 23, 2015

Garden Update

We now know for sure that the issue with our pumpkin patch last year was not watering enough from the start. How do I know this? By all the big, beautiful pumpkins in my garden ready to be picked and carved or displayed...at that end of June. Yep, that's right, according to my garden, it's October. So much for following planting guidelines from Smartgardener.com. 

The good news is there is actually plenty of time to clear the snow peas, snap peas, green beans and yellow beans as well as weed before I need to plant my pumpkins. And I've been told that my current plants will produce a second wave of pumpkins to harvest. Which, of course, means I'm back in the garden weeding and clearing as often as I can. 

The corn, sunflowers and popcorn are all coming along splendidly. Cameron laughs every time I have to "go in" to water. I disappear, literally. Very Field of Dreams when I re-emerge, too. This area has also become a favorite of Sophie's as she can hide from the birds and sneak up on them. I've found one dead bird, thanks to her, in the actual rows, found wing feathers of another nearby the garden, and the morning of London's 5th birthday party, we had a bird on our doorstep that it appeared Sophie had performed open heart surgery on. Between the lizards, mice/rat/vole guys and now birds, nothing really shocks me any more and I instinctively look for all this walking out or to the door daily.

The Snow peas and snap peas were delicious this year. Very sugary. And I got about 3 weeks worth of harvests out of them. The green beans were plentiful. We still have some in the fridge for dinner sides. The last harvested were a little old and woody though. And while we did yield a crop of yellow beans, they didn't produce as much as the green beans. I think I'll be planting all these earlier next year and I'll be sure to make sure the snap & sugar peas as well as the yellow beans have a trellis to grow up. The green beans surprisingly didn't need the support. 

Our zucchinis are coming along. We've had several rounds of zucchini fries and zucchini lasagna is in our future. The yellow squash are not doing as well this year. Not sure why - all that we can tell are the plants are small. I'll probably try planting earlier next year. 

And tomatoes are right around the corner, which is a good thing given we are running low on oven-dried tomatoes. And the green ones I can see, while still on the small side, aren't as small as last year's crops.  

I'm not sure we'll get much from our bell peppers, jalapenos or banana peppers. This may be the last year we attempt these. The bell peppers are producing but small, thin bell peppers. And I'm pretty much over trying to grow eggplants. 

The watermelons and cantaloupes being produced are pretty small, but I think it's a lack of water. I'll move their locations next year to where water pools in the irrigation ditches.  

I'm making sure to take notes in my 2015 Garden Journal, plus amending my 2016 planting timeline for next year. I am even amending the 2016 Garden Plan Layout as we go so next year should be a smooth process, outside all the weeding I'll have to do. Plus, Cameron plans to boost the irritation so we won't have to go out there so much once the hand-watering phase is over. Right now we are watering 3-4 rows each night, 20 minutes at a time, which goes surprisingly fast when you're also trying to make dinner, lunch for the next day, bathe the girls and put them to bed.

All in all, the garden keeps us pretty busy but the results are worth it. Plus, when I can get out there, uninterrupted for a 1/2 hour or hour, it definitely relaxes me.

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