Thursday, June 27, 2013

State of the Garden...An Update

I said I was going to get back to this blog and by golly I mean to! I promised myself a post by today and though the day has surely gotten away from me here it is: an update of the 2013 garden as it stands in late June.
Last summer's garden was the best I'd had yet, but not without its share of disappointments, mostly in myself for letting things go that I should have been on top of. I vowed not to let that happen this year and I have to say, so far, mostly so good. What has helped me a lot is that I got a freebie calendar, you know, the kind that banks and auto repair shops hand out, and I wrote goals for when I wanted to get things started either as indoor seedlings or planted outside and I have stuck pretty well to that schedule. So things that were overlooked last year got done this time around. It's been a great season so far! Here's a look at things:
Not that everything has been hunky-dory. My eggplant seedlings that were so robust and beautiful were set back majorly when I hardened them off. Don't know why, I can only figure it was the cold spring. Then when I planted them out they were attacked by flea beetles and just about destroyed, a problem I have never had before. I mean, I've always had flea beetles, who hasn't, but never so that the poor eggplants were skeletonized! Anyway, they are hanging in there, but I suspect it won't be a good year for eggplant around here.
Then there were the tomatoes. I always plant my seedlings on the same date and in the same way. For whatever reason, my tomatoes, all 21 varieties, refused to grow! They sprouted and looked healthy enough, but they stayed mini until the day they were planted out in mid-May. Thankfully, they have taken off once they were outside and don't seem like they are too far behind normal at this point. Weird.
I had my first ever terrific year for spinach. I wish I had a photo of it to show you! The cool spring was a boon to spinach growers in the northeast and I harvested a few bushels of it. It was just wonderful! Spinach quiche! Greek spinach pie! And it looks like my onions, which were so pathetic last summer are going to be nice this year, barring any unforeseen disaster.
 Above is a closer look at the onions, which are thriving. I have a little more sunlight this year since my husband took down some trees that were really restricting the light and I think it is improving things a lot. The plan is to take a few more down next year, but for now I am happy with the extra sun that I've got.
 My zucchini plants are smaller than this time last summer, again due to the very cool spring we had. But the first baby zukes are showing themselves so we should be getting some soon.
 My swiss chard last year became diseased very early on. So far, so good for this season. The bed is smaller, but they all look healthy. Behind them is the garlic. I planted way too much this year so my friends will be the recipients of a lot of garlic I think! I haven't even come close to using up last year's supply and then I went and planted twice as much. Well, now I know. That won't happen again, because space is always at a premium.
 Here is some kale off to a good start. I planted a number of varieties: Siberian, Red Russian, Winterbor, Beedy's Camden and Tuscan.
 The winter squash is beginning to take off too. I have finally got a handle on the svb's I think, but last year the squash beetles were brutal. I already found my first one the other day along with a cluster of eggs which I destroyed, but will really have to be ready for them this time.
Sugar snap peas have hit their peak today. I picked six and a half pounds of them and there are still plenty for the coming days. My Little Marvel shelling peas are about done and I will likely be pulling those plants next week sometime. Well, that's some of the report and I will continue it tomorrow if I have the energy in the evening. I'm spending the day babysitting 2 adorable little toddlers who usually wear me out completely by the time they're done with me. It's my way of helping a young couple out and I get a little shot of second childhood out of it. And exhaustion...


  1. I'm certainly happy I was instrumental in getting you back to your blog, because that garden is too gorgeous to keep all to yourself! Good heavens, so many snap peas, while poor Granny has none ;-) I did buy a packet of seeds today, and will try to grow some as a fall crop.

    1. Aw, I'm sorry about your snap peas Granny! Good luck with growing the fall ones. You with the green thumb should have a great shot at them!

  2. Lol! Yep! Babysitting 2 adorable little toddlers would wear me out too. Your garden looks wonderful. I made out some schedules too but got off track for some reason or other and forget to look at it! It does give one a guideline tho gardeners never know how things will turn out. Always a surprise in store! I have harvested snap peas too but not as many as you! Enjoy your garden! Nancy

    1. Thanks Nancy! The thing is I get a ton of snap peas because I plant a ton! Don't really need them all, but my goal has always been to get all of our own vegetables and hope to have enough to be able to give to others. We're slowly getting there. And the garden has its surprises, that's for sure, both good and bad. It's still my happy place!