After some upsetting garden developments involving mutant worms that gave me nightmares of the movie Tremors, I’m happy to say things have calmed down in my garden – if at least for the moment.
Here’s a current view (click for larger images):
In spite of my bean plants emerging partially chewed, they still seem strong! I did apply a bit of insecticidal soap, so I’m just going to hope it all works itself out. For those curious to know, these are hidatsa shield dry shelling beans (Amazon link). This is the second time I’ve tried to grow beans. In 2010, I grew bush beans.
I did plant some in containers on my deck, and they are emerging without any issues whatsoever!
Also on the deck, my chocolate cherry tomato plants are growing crazy big – and the tomatoes are coming right along! I think we’ll need some sun here to redden them up. (If someone can send the memo to Mr. Sun, I’d appreciate it.)
My Early Girl tomato plant, which I planted in the garden, is hanging on, too. For awhile I was concerned – it just wasn’t looking so happy. I clipped some of the not-so-nice looking branches and treated it with an organic insecticide/fungicide. Looks like my hope may not be for naught!
Here’s another plant that is probably waiting for some sun… my Thai pepper plant. This is the first year I’m trying this variety, and it’s chilling happily on my deck in full sun. I do see the starts of the peppers, along with some new growth along the main stem. I’m hoping to freeze and/or dry the peppers. Does anyone have experience with this?
My box of onions are coming along nicely. They should be ready come end of summer. I have one little runt that isn’t making it, but I can deal with that.
And here’s how my box of greens is looking these days:
As you might recall, I had discovered cabbage worm attacking my kale. Fortunately, I caught it quickly and I seem to have cured the issue with a combination of handpicking the caterpillars and a mixture I applied to the leaves of flour, baking soda, and salt. Another happy accident, I’d planted chives, onions, and herbs around the kale. Turns out these are excellent companion plants and may have prevented the problem from getting any worse!
I am starting to see the inside curly leaves that give lacinato its trademark look! I’m thinking they should be ready soon, and my goal is to do some more planting for fall and winter eats.
Romaine lettuce looking pretty lovely too! I’ve also started some of these inside my cucumber, pea and bean trellises to maximize the growing space.
And here you can see my mustard greens have bolted. I am going to use this as a good opportunity to learn to harvest the seeds and save for future plantings!
One of my favorite sights in my garden: lots of thick mint! Yes, I know it’s a weed, and yes, I contend with it – but I do so happily. I just adore how it smells and my son and I have been known to eat it raw! It’s also good in a glass of water or iced tea.
My raspberry plants overflowth, too.
If I were to guess, there are hundreds of berries on these things. The bees are still out there, doing their work each day, and the raspberries are nearly formed now!
This year, I’m working on turning the garden from hobby to more of a sustainable way to grow our own food. There is a different mindset, I’m seeing, to making that switch and I have so much to learn! What I’m working on now is planning our fall/winter garden. Many brassicas including kale, broccoli and bok choy can tolerate some frost and some root vegetables can too – and some even overwintered! I also had such success with garlic in 2010 I’m already planning on doing that again. It stored so well (over 9 months!) and I’m heartsick at having to finally resort to buying garlic from a store. It is NOT the same.
I have a few celery root plants I’ve been raising by seed that I hope to set out in the garden by mid-July too.
I still have a lot to learn, but it’s been an enjoyable process! Over the next few weeks I’ll continue to update you on the progress of my summer garden as well as my plans for the fall/winter version.
I’d love to hear about how things are going for your garden and if you blog, you are welcome & encouraged to leave a link in the comment section, too!