What’s Happening in the Garden

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I am very happy with the progress of the garden this year.  Year 5 of vegetable gardening is shaping up to be the best year yet and it feels good to get a little better at this endeavor.  I am harvesting zucchini, cucumbers, sweet peppers, radishes, herbs, chard, kale (lots of kale), lettuce, and other greens right now.  I have peas, beans, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, and other summer squash getting close to harvest.

Here is a little rundown of what is currently happening in the garden…

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The row of snow, snap, and garden peas is about to bury us in delicious peas.  This will be my best harvest ever.  The four years leading up to this one I have harvested about 3 dinners worth of peas total.  I will probably double those four year totals by this time next week.  The garden peas are growing over their 4ft trellis at this point and the snow and snap peas planted around tomato cages are well over the tops of those now.  Next year I will need larger trellises for them.

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The garden peas above aren’t plump yet but the snow peas are very close to being able to start harvesting.

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The bush bean patch is loaded with green and yellow beans getting ready to harvest.  It won’t bean long before the maniacs will be crying uncle they will see so many beans on their plates.  I am really hoping to get a good amount of green beans blanched and frozen this year after having this crop fail on me twice last year.

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My lettuce row was pretty much destroyed by the hail storm we had.  Even before the hail, the direct seeded lettuce was growing very slowly, probably due to the shaded position at the end of the garden.  So I decided not to replant lettuce seed and instead use a well timed gift certificate to the greenhouse (thanks Sue and Gordon!) to purchase some end of season sale beet greens, pac choi, and kale seedlings.  This should allow us to bounce back from the destruction and enjoy a nice harvest from this bed.

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I have had an awful time fighting off beetles and bugs in my zucchini and summer squash rows but the plants are rebounding and I have already harvested a few pounds of zucchini.

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The golden zucchini is starting to grow and I will be harvesting these soon.  I am going to be looking for a bunch of recipes for summer squash this year.  Our favorite is the Zucchini Cake.

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The raspberries are looking good.  Even some of the new plants I moved this year are are budding fruit.

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My tomato plants are loaded with green fruits.  Above is a Black Krim tomato.

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The Jet Star tomatoes are looking like they will be the first of the sauce/freshing eating tomatoes to ripen while the Sun Golds should be the first cherry tomatoes to get picked.  It won’t be long now until it is canning tomato sauce time.

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The corn doesn’t look great but it looks as good as it ever has in a garden of mine.  Every time my mom sees corn growing she repeats “knee high by the 4th of July” and if I am using that wisdom I am about on pace, as most of them are above knee high at this point.

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My onions are looking great.  I am happy about my decision to move them to a raised bed that has had potting soil and compost added over the last few years.  The plants look much healthier then they did in my harder garden soil.

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Another last minute purchase at the greenhouse sales were some leek seedlings.  I have never grown them before and I had no space left in the garden so after harvesting greens from some containers I removed some soil and planted the leek seedlings in them.  You have to mound up soil around them to blanch the stems as they grow so my plan is to add more soil back into containers as they get bigger.  It is a experiment and we will see how it goes.

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The last of my celery seedlings also went into containers.  I hope to get a nice celery harvest but what I am really after is the celery greens.  They are a key component of my garden herb blend and I like the flavor of the greens compared to the texture of the stalks.  Although I will admit homegrown celery has a much better texture then store bought celery in my opinion.

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The cucumbers are doing well growing up their homemade trellis.  I have had some issues with the far side that is staked in the ground not being taunt enough to hold the growing plants but I think all in all it should work out.  I have harvested a pair of cukes this week with a handful more almost ready.

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From left to right- the potato row is ready to be mounded and the plants are looking good.  The bean patch is huge and a little overwhelming, at one point I had thought I hadn’t planted enough and almost put more seeds in the ground.  The carrot, beet, and radish row is looking good and needs to be thinned.  I am already pulling radishes every couple days.

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I am harvesting, replanting, and planting new containers.  Most of my Brownie scout planted cukes are looking good.  Some I moved into the cucumber row to replace ones that died.  I also added containers with eggplant and cabbage.

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The biggest chore left for me is weeding and putting down newspaper and hay around the last few rows.  As you can see I put off this chore long enough to lose control of the walking paths around my beds at the far end of the garden.  The broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, kale, and chard rows have weeds growing all around them that I will have to remove and smother.  I promised myself I wouldn’t let it go this long this year but I came up short finishing this project.  So that will be my weekend!


Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.