Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our Wild, Overgrown Mess of a Garden

Hope everyone had a great fourth of July weekend. We spent our time fawning over our little baby, Leela.

Leela Bear

She’s very timid for an almost eighty pound bear. Gunshots, thunder and fireworks terrify her and we had to do a lot of cuddling and comforting to get her through the night. She is now afraid to go outside after dark. Sigh.

Today I wanted to show you all how the garden is doing.

Wild Garden

It’s a wild, tangly mess that is doing very well! We are getting so many cucumbers that I'm surely going to need to figure out how to can pickles. Lately we've been enjoying them on salads and sandwiches and also as “cucumber salad.” I'm not sure where this came from – could have been from my mom’s head – but we ate it all the time as kids and I still enjoy it today.

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We are starting to get raspberries! The harvest this first year is sure to be low, but here are the first small batch:

First Garden Raspberries

Four whole raspberries! Pretty dirty too – the bush is still pretty low to the ground.

Hill Garden in July

If you couldn't tell by earlier pictures, our garden is an out of control mess. There are things I can't even get to on the hill because there are so many tall weeds! On terrible aspect of all these weeds are bugs. We have been lucky enough not to get mosquitoes, but I'm pretty sure the wild parts of our garden are infested with chiggers. I have eight bites on my body that itch constantly from gardening this past week. We need to get rid of the weeds pronto!

Corn in July

The corn seems to be doing well. As with most of the garden, the plants didn't get thinned very well, so there’s a lot of corn in a really small space. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes because the plants are too big to thin out now.

Beans in July

The beans are a tangly mess that beg for organization. But everything seems to be going well here. There are some peas starting to form and lots of flowers, all good signs.

Peas in July

Eggplant in July

Bed two is where one variety of eggplant lives. I can't remember which went where. Thriving and close to producing fruit!

Brussels Sprouts in July

The Brussels sprouts look pretty much the same, except bigger. Both Mike and I expected them to grow taller by this point, but we are trying to be patient.

Cucumbers in JulyVining Cucumbers in July

The cucumbers have pretty much taken over this bed. I try to give them direction and there are some offshoots that vine down off of the garden bed. Pretty neat! Like I said, we are now harvesting cucumbers and it doesn't look like it will let up anytime soon.

Beets and Carrots in July

The carrots and beets are getting bigger and more out of control. Very little thinning done means the yield will probably be low. The spinach and salad greens are needing harvesting. If I cut the salad greens, it should continue to grow for a while. The spinach yield is so low that I’ve just been giving most of it to the chickens, who love it as a treat.

Salad Greens in JulySpinach in July

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Tomatoes in July

The tomatoes and potatoes are fighting for space in the small bed. Both are huge. I plan on building something for the tomatoes soon. The pepper plants seem to be surviving with the other plants hogging up all the space and sunlight. There are some peppers on the plants, but for the most part, I haven't seen much from those guys yet.

Wild Garden 2

If you look carefully, you may be able to spot catnip, basil. tomatoes, and potato plants in this picture! Having a successful garden has been so much fun this year. So far, the secret has been lots of rain (haven't watered my garden once!) and a good mix of organic potting soil and compost. I’m sure that it could be much bigger and better yielding if I used fertilizers, but I'm content with this after my lackluster garden last year.

To see how the garden looked one month ago, check out this post.