Garden Update

Things are going pretty well in our garden. I know I should have written about it sooner because now I have way too much to report! We’ve had a couple of hot, sunny weeks lately, which has done tremendous things for the potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. We adopted a zucchini plant at the Olympia Farmers Market. I have very mixed feelings about the zucchini plant. On one hand, I am suspicious of the zucchini because it seems like such a cliche. You know, the gardener who put in too much zucchini, can’t eat it all, and ends up trying to hand it off to innocent bystanders, family, friends, and coworkers. On the other hand, I am still slightly afraid that our garden will fail to produce. A million things could go wrong. A July snowstorm, torrential flooding, vengeful raiding enemy hordes, or a blistering heat wave. Global warming is very unpredictable. I feel certain that zucchini will be successful despite these innumerable potential disasters. I like the idea that, no matter what, at least we will have zucchini.

I did struggle with the decision “summer squash versus winter squash,” “savory versus sweet,” “cucumbers versus zucchini,” “zucchini versus pumpkin.” We really don’t have the room for so many squash and gourds in our backyards and diets, but it was a difficult decision. Krista & I picked out a really cute zucchini seedling, smooth, green, medium-sized fruit, and we decided that was that. Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, and all other large vining crops be damned, we are growing zucchini and we will be making zucchini bread.

There’s our little zucchini (bottom right corner), right next to his new siblings, the yukon gold potato, the leeks, and the scallions. We do have 8 red potato plants in our garden already, but I mentioned to Krista that there is room for one more, and she picked a yukon gold. All 9 of our potato plants are doing really well. They’re getting tall and bushy. We’re trying to grow them in the tire method, and they should be ready for their next tire pretty soon! (more info here!!) The leeks & shallots are some of the newest additions to our garden. They are also some of the most thrilling, because we love leeks & shallots!

This is a little bundle of heirloom lettuce. These are three beautiful varieties – a speckled lettuce, a curly red merlot lettuce, and something that looks a lot like deer tongue lettuce. I bought a mixed variety pack from Uprising Organics, so I’m not certain about any of them. Well, I am certain about the merlot. This is a great example of how NOT to sow your lettuce seeds. As you can see, all three types of lettuce are growing very close together. This is making it hard for any of them to reach a critical size. I thinned them a little, but it’s hard to kill so many viable seedlings. I have planticide guilt! So, I’ve slowly been trying to dig up the worst, most strangled clumps & replant them with more space. Lesson learned!

This is one of our flourishing tomato plants. I ordered a dozen mixed heirloom tomato seedlings from Tomato Heirlooms at the beginning of April. They spent six weeks in a windowsill in the dining room, and moved outside three weeks ago. Most of them are doing quite well. One of them (we named it “The Stick,” so much for the power of positive thinking) can be accused of “failure to thrive,” and there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to dig it up and add something new. These tomato plants are very mysterious because we only know that they are a “random assortment,” so we have no idea what the fruits of our labor will be.

This is the sprouted seed of a scarlet runner bean. This picture is a little old, and the seedling has since been transported to our garden. However, this is one of the cutest bean sprouts I’ve ever seen. First of all, the beans have this awesome black and pink fractal pattern. Secondly, doesn’t it look like a little alien monster? We’re growing two kinds of beans – scarlet runner beans and a bush bean variety named Provider. If I had a little more foresight and a little less impatient enthusiasm, I probably would have picked out better soup beans, dry beans (kidney bean, navy bean, pinto bean and black bean), or maybe soy beans. I am so excited about next year’s garden.

We need to work on dinner, but here are some honorable mentions from our garden. These plants are doing quite well, but not so well that I need to tell you stories about them.
basil, radishes, carrots, the bush bean family, the ground cherries, all the peppers, bok choy (that veggie deserves its own entry. Maybe next time!), and rainbow chard. This was quite an exhausting exercise in trying to catch up the blog on our garden foray. That will teach me to go so long between garden updates. Gardens are very exciting, dynamic places. We spend at least part of every day there, so it’s becoming a big part of our lives.

Next time:
our weekend staycation!
our new pets!



Filed under food

3 responses to “Garden Update

  1. Deanna

    Wow! I think this garden is inspiring. It looks great! We need to get people watching and commenting!

  2. Hillary

    The potato technique sounds so cool! I wonder if it’s too late to start it in Denver.

  3. Nice pictures.! We bought some containers ourselves and some starter plants about a month or two ago. We’ve been enjoying our salads with freshly picked lettuce the last few weeks. This is the first time we’ve had space to grow things and we’re really having fun with it. We planted some zucchini as well, but I’m pretty worried about them. They seem to be drying up.

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