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Weekend Garden Update


The garden continues to grow, in both the size and number of plants. Last Sunday we worked in the garden all afternoon, and I have the sunburn on the back of my neck to prove it.

Aside from weeding, we trellised the tomatoes and the cucumbers.

tomato trellis
We haven’t tried to get rid of the clover that’s between the beds, we do mow it and attempt to keep it from creeping into the beds, which it really wants to do, and with all the compost we added to the soil, I don’t blame it. This clover is awash with bees. The buzz along side us as we work, and it’s so much fun to see them. It’s no secret that I want my own hive(s) at some point, but with my small yard and, you know, the fact that we don’t own this house. I don’t fancy asking the landlord about bringing hundreds of bees onto the property when he was very skeptical of our one, very tidy cat.

After finally preparing the good ole Earth Boxes we used at the apartment, I go the pepper seedlings in. We have three sweet and three spicy planted. We grew one pepper plant last year, but because of all the moving, we never harvested any of the peppers. They were spicy edibles, but we mostly ended up using it as an ornamental plant, so these plants will yield our first pepper harvest. It’s hard to make out in the photo, but somehow, one of our seedlings got fertilized while it was sitting in the dining room window, waiting for us to get our act together (this isn’t that much of a shock, we live the door open most of the weekend to allow the cat to come and go, so a bee or two sneaking in isn’t that surprising.) We should have our first ripe cayenne pepper soon!

One of the advantages of continuing to use our Earth Boxes, is that setting them up in line with the current garden rows starts setting up a new row for next year.
The boxes are very effective at killing the grass.

This is a zucchini plant. It’s hard to tell, really, because what I suspect must be a little rabbit friend, keeps eating it down to the barest stems, letting it grow a couple of feeble leaves, and then eating it down again. There is evidence of some other bunny grazing throughout the garden, but this seems to be its favorite plant. It’s still coming back though, hardy little plant.

This is the nibbled zucchini from the top.

Just for comparison, this is the zucchini plant that lives next door.

For now, we aren’t doing much about the rabbit. It seems to prefer the one plant, and really, putting up a second fence (the whole yard is fenced) around the whole garden seems a bit extreme just yet. We’ll see how the season progresses.

Perhaps the most exciting news of all, is that we visited the local garden store today and brought home a blackberry bush!
My grandparents always raised blackberries. We used to go over to their house and pick blackberries in the summer. My grandmother made blackberry jelly for us every year and the most amazing blackberry cobbler…it’s still one of my favorite desserts. Blackberries are part of my fondest childhood memories, and I’ve always wanted to grow my own.

My sketches of possible garden plans last fall when we first signed the lease for this house included blackberry bushes all along the southern fence line. (There is room for five or six bushes.) I knew then that blackberry bushes like I bought today ran about $25-$35 each, so five or six bushes in one year was completely unrealistic unless that’s all I was planting. We came away with one today, but I plan on adding at least one more next year. I look forward to picking blackberries with my sons, and making them jellies and cobblers to remember as they grow older.

This week’s harvest saw the first of our decent-sized carrots and the last of the turnips. I still have a few beets in the ground, but I’m pulling them today so we can mow over the bed and replant it with pumpkins for the fall harvest.