We’ve been regularly tending the garden, each day some amount of time is spent walking through picking weeds or fruit, spying the plants in their various stages of growth and watching as everything changes. As we explained earlier this is our first real garden installed a bit later than desired and planted even later than that. We are now starting to regularly pick our summer squash and zucchini. Soon the peas and beans will be keeping us busy along with the barrage of tomatoes. Last night Liz and I harvested a handful of our first tomatoes and labeled each of the plants in our large tomato bed, next year the garden will be organized much differently. We are learning first hand what spacing is necessary for the plants we want and how the arrangement can be changed to maximize the space used. I like the idea of planting lettuce around bed edges. Part of the lettuce will over hang and be less likely to sit in soil and rot. The rot brings bugs and we have been diligent to remove any slimy or rotting lettuce from the under layers to prevent slugs and other pests. We are also getting a taste for the idea of late summer planting, next year we will be designing the garden with this in mind.
Observations so far: Corn is the coolest thing, I think I’ve always wanted to grow corn but never had the space to do it. Liz and I head straight for the corn when we get in the garden. Pole beans… we need to build something much, much, much taller than the 4ft high cages we are currently using. We should have planted three times the number of Sugar Snap peas we did and put them on their own trellis separate from the cucumbers. I’m wondering if the cucumbers wouldn’t do better being planted between two trellises so the vines could bounce back and forth, they appear to want to move out a bit as well as up. I know this would complicate harvesting fruit because it would be trapped between the trellises but if your motivated anything can be accomplished. We are well motivated. Soil moisture has been good despite a couple of days with minimal to no rain, thick layers of grass clippings (especially around the onions) have kept the top couple inches of soil moist allowing for growth. If your onions don’t stay moist they won’t grow, they just sit stagnant and same with carrots so we have been diligently keeping an eye on the soil moisture around the very vulnerable. No cracking has been noted in any of the tomatoes which comes as a result of drastic changes in soil moisture.
Goals for the next few weeks include getting a soil chemical and PH testing kit along with designing a rough layout for the expansion of the garden plot and next years design so we can make informed decisions regarding fall soil prep and bed layout. We did basic staples that we know we will eat this year, next year I plan to embark on new territory including but not limited to: Leeks, Garlic (Plant in the Fall), Asparagus, Radish, and Potatoes. We need to keep an eye on the multitude of tomato plants we have, they are so close together and huge that it will be easy to lose fruit to rot or bugs if we don’t stay on top of them. We also want to prevent bugs by keeping the rotting fruit to a minimum. For now we are enjoying the new sights that come daily this time of year.