Thursday, August 22, 2013

This week in the garden

(sage, rosemary and parsley doing well - thyme, not so much)
This garden of mine has been erratically productive this summer, mainly because I am an erratic gardener.  I'm always full of enthusiasm in the spring, make big plans and get most of what I planned for planted.  Then it gets hot and humid and I avert my eyes from the chaos as I walk by on the way to the barn every morning and evening.  This summer has been a little better because we've had plenty of rain and very little extreme heat, as opposed to the last several summers of heat and drought.  It's been a banner year for cucumbers and the tomatoes are finally ripe, the onions did well and it's looking as though the watermelons are going to make it.  Winter squash was an epic fail, for the first time ever.  That's a big disappointment because butternut squash is a favorite winter-time ingredient.
(Ivy - the garden thief)
I've spent quite a lot of time in the garden this week, planting for fall crops.  I've planted Swiss chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, broccoli, pak choi, beets and kale.  I still need to get carrots and spinach planted and hope to construct some row covers or hoops to add some protection mostly from the peacock, but also because of a certain corgi who is near and dear to my heart.  Ivy is an unapologetic garden marauder and nothing is safe if it's within reach from her short little height!

Here's one of things I've enjoyed most in the garden this year.  I planted a patch of marigolds in hopes of harvesting the flowers to use for dyeing and it's been a joy to pick off all the flowers and in just a few days, find that the plants are full of blooms again.  I'm thinking how great the garden would look next year if I planted a row of marigolds right down the middle of each raised bed (and, it would likely discourage some pest problems, too).  The coreopsis I put in, also for dyeing, has done well and I'm planning to expand the selection of dye plants next year to fill out a whole raised bed.

Those towering tomato plants (over 6 feet tall) are producing enough tomatoes that it's time to think about putting some in the freezer for soups and chili during the winter.  That mess on the right is what happens when you don't cage a cherry tomato - it becomes a corgi snack bar!  (Notice the electric mesh fence in the background - works for corgis and chickens, but not peacocks!)


  1. What a big harvest!! It's a good thing you are a canner. Love those little short legs on Ivy.

  2. WOW!! You had a bumper crop in marigolds!! Mine have done well with all our rain!