Friday, June 3, 2011

A Garden of Difference

Last night we were reviewing photos taken a year ago.  Back then we were just getting underway in our endeavor to make this old farm house, and the land on which she stands, into a viable farm house on a small, self-sustaining farm.  There was SO much going on during May and June of 2010, that actually getting our few seedlings into a garden plot was looking more and more as if it would never happen.

Still, despite the insane pressures, we were determined to make our start, and so, during the first week of June, we installed the fences for the animal yard, and the fence for the small vegetable garden.  Joe dug a BUNCH (about 60, I think) of holes along the sides of the long driveway and into these, he transplanted the sunflower seedlings he'd started a few weeks earlier.  Meanwhile, in the newly created and fenced garden plot, I transplanted tomato, watermelon, sunflower and pea seedlings.
June 6, 2010 - Tilling first garden spot

Tilled "horseshoe" garden plot
June 7, 2010 -- Planting first "crops"
Holes for Sunflowers along driveway
Eventually I also transplanted some black-eyed susans from my pond house into the little garden, but that would not happen for a couple of weeks.  We were satisfied just to get SOMETHING into the ground.  Our seedlings, for the most part, were very successful.  The peas were a miserable flop, but the watermelon, tomatoes and sunflowers were stellar. But we did not even begin to reap the fruits of that garden until nearly the end of July, as I recall.

This week, June 2, 2011, I picked our first green beans, and yellow straight-neck squash from the same little garden plot.  And yesterday I picked the first grey zucchini.  The strawberries and spinach have about played out, and the peas are producing enough for daily meals and even a little extra for freezing.  All of these, are planted in the original garden plot created last year.  We have a ton of volunteer tomatoes, watermelon and sunflowers that reseeded themselves from last year, and with our direct sowing at the beginning of April, that little garden is resembling a jungle.....
Green Beans are coming in now
Cucumber, yellow squash, waterrmelon, sunflower and more...
a veritable jungle!
Peas... won't last long in this heat
Squash are loading up
And,  of course, this year we REALLY expanded the garden plots around the property.  We have yet to get them fenced, but they are coming along.  We have lots of flowers and fruit on the squash, zucchini, and  cucumber plants.  The corn is very iffy, but we have a few, only a few, strong looking specimens.  The eggplant, written off as losers a week ago, are making a comeback. The first kohlrabi "fruit" is showing, and the tomatoes are flowering. The potatoes, despite the near 100 degree temperatures we have been blessed with this week, are thriving, as are the onions.  The canteloupe plants are finally starting to take off and I expect to find flowers on their vines in the next couple of days.
Cantaloupe is finally taking off
The berry patch is full, but with very little fruit, now that the strawberries are in their "making more babies" stage.  We did discover a few blueberries and black currants on the plants today.  We even have a few grapes on the vines. We won't be getting fat on this year's berry crop, but in the next couple of years, it does look promising.
Black Currants
And of course, we have been planting flowers like crazy, and they are starting to actually look like something.  I had to laugh yesterday when we were making one of our daily walks to see what was popping in the gardens. A couple of weekends ago I had mulched the front garden, home to tall "Irish" grass, forsythia, and dead spruce skeletons.  Before I put the mulch down, Joe planted some roots from the recently transplanted yucca, and scattered a bucket of discarded sunflower and zinnia seeds.  This garden is about 100 feet long and maybe 3 feet wide.  In what seemed like no time, we began seeing a LOT of seedings emerge.  Our visions of a sunflower and zinnia forest amongst the grasses and the forsythia, captivated us.  We talked a LOT about how beautiful it was going to be.  Yesterday, as we examined the sunflower seedlings, Joe noted that they did not really LOOK like sunflowers....nor did many of them look like zinnias.

In fact, despite our sunflower and zinnia forest visions, it looked as if we managed to plant oh, about 150 healthy WATERMELON plants in that front garden...30 or so feet from the two lane road.... BRILLIANT!  That will teach us to take a bucket of "old trash seeds" and broadcast them in the garden!  Still, there are also some sunflowers and some zinnias in the mix that is popping up... but the majority appear to be watermelon.  It will be an interesting front garden, that's for sure!
Front Garden
Watermelon front garden
With almost a whole week without rain, and ridiculously high temperatures, everything is demanding water. I find it hard to believe that as WET as it was here all fall, winter and spring, they are now reporting we are in a drought, with rainfall 6.71 inches below normal.  Thankfully, the 2600 feet of drip tape hose we ordered arrived and we managed to get it installed.  Between that and the sprinklers on the gardens without the drip tapes, we are managing to keep one step ahead of the drought... still, a nice rain shower would be appreciated right about now.

Yes, a year ago we were just beginning to plant, to dream of what could be.... this year, we are well into the return on that dream.
Original Garden May 22, 2011
May 28, 2011
June 1, 2011
More Gardens, May 22, 2011
Squash Plot


Sharon said...

Your gardens are looking good! Those volunteers may take over though and squeeze the plants you really want - out. Plant your peas when it's still cool, they just don't like heat.

BTW, you have been tagged!

Feral Female said...

Your gardens are really looking good!

Scott or Pam said...

Looks great!