Monday, July 20, 2015

Garden of wonder

I don't think I've talked about gardening before. We keep a couple gardens, in front of the house I've got an asparagus patch with some potato plants growing in textile pots (more on them next time) and in the backyard I've got a little patch of vegetables:

Theres 2x 3'x5' beds with a dry laid brick walkway up the middle. Lets look at the right side first.
In front theres a tomato plant, I don't remember the variety since I don't eat tomatoes but its grows grape size tomatoes that Angie likes

The tomatoes are formed but haven't started to turn red yet, we're getting some warmer weather lately so I expect these will ripen pretty soon. Behind the tomatoes we've got some basil, lady bell peppers and lettuce I didn't get pictures of. At the rear of the right side we've got cucumbers, by accident we ended up with 8 cucumber plants so pretty soon we're going to be swimming in cucumbers. Cucumbers take a lot of space if you let them grow along the ground so this year I'm training them up poles. What started as an experiment with one plant has now become most of them:

I was a little dubious of the idea at first but I'm sold now, I've been using baling twine to attach them to some sticks I pulled out of the woods and we're finally starting to see cucumbers. The other nice thing is that the cucumbers are easy to find and pick with this method. I've also been careful to cut all the suckers the vines produce which is supposed to force them into more useful growth rather than trying to strangle each other.

Back on the left side of the garden we've got kale:

Oh boy do we have kale! Last year our garden sucked due to some weak fertilizer that I under applied and about the only thing we got was kale. We had 4 plants last year which produced about one meal of kale a week. This year we've got 6 plants which produce about a meal every other day which is a problem as we're both already tired of kale...

Behind the kale and in constant danger of being taken over is the swiss chard

Its also doing real well, producing a meal every 3rd day or so. If I had a preference I'd rather get more chard and less kale but what are you gonna do? Just to the left in the picture you can see the butter crisp lettuce. I like this lettuce because it doesn't head so when we want some I just go cut some of the outer leaves off. This should give us lettuce all summer.

Behind the lettuce and chard is the bean trellis,

The frame is 3 pieces of fencing in a triangle shape. The picture is a few days old and the plants have gone crazy in the meantime, you can barely see any of the horizontal strings anymore. I expect we'll start getting beans soon. These should be Kentucky Wonder yellow wax beans and if the bean production meets the vine production standard we should have a ton of them.

Once the beans get rolling we'll freeze a bunch of them for the winter. In 2012 we froze a bunch of fiddleheads with Ziplock brand vacuum freezer bags that worked out really well so we'll try those again. Sadly it looks like our local stores don't stock the bags anymore but fortunately Amazon has them. I was momentarily tempted to buy a Foodsaver but we really don't freeze enough to warrant it and I hate having extra junk around the house that we don't use a lot.

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