Let’s jump right in.
It was our first time for growing sunflowers… success and super fun to watch them open and follow the sun during the day. We’ll do this again next year and maybe try to make a fort out of it. The beans and peas never got planted. I think a fort is in order for those next year, as well. Maybe a la SouleMamma’s metal arbor? I planted green peppers… again. I do this every year and every year they laugh at me. From now on, no more green peppers. Just get those at the farmer’s market, Kate. #remindme
I bought some extra blueberry and raspberry bushes on clearance and tried to plant those last night. Better judgement would have reminded me that I had 3 children, no husband, a serious head cold, and ground as solid as cement, but we went for it. Every one came in soaked, as you can imagine. We’re soaking the ground to let me dig a few more inches tomorrow. OR, we’ll wait until Dad and his muscles are able to get home before dusk.
The blueberry bushes are forcing the June-bearing strawberries to be relocated. There was no jam this year, so we will be forced to eek out what we can from last year’s bounty. We surely won’t make it through the year, but we’ll have a fighting start. I haven’t bought store jam in 3 years, and I don’t think we could go back! I need to brush up on transplanting. Moving the strawberries and adding the blueberry bushes will create a hedge of blackberries, then blueberries, then yellow raspberries along the West garden fence. I need to draw you a map.
(That’s Ry watering, Gus waving, and the bull out back… watching. He stood there for a good 30 minutes taking in all in. We’re a show, People. We are our own show.)
The strawberries will be relocated into a permanent, more protected area within a fenced garden (hence the poles and holes everywhere). A fence will let the chickens roam without eating all my squash and tomatoes and it’ll keep the bunnies at bay. #fingerscrossed
I planted blackberries and red raspberries last year. We lost all the raspberry bushes (I believe they met their fate with a weed whipper, but that has been denied) but the black berries have flourished. They were so. good. And HUGE! And, overnight, they’re done. I’m learning as I go. Tomorrow, I’ll cut all the canes down that gave us berries this year to let the new canes grow.
The corn died a terrible death… not sure what happened, exactly, but we planted 10 rows and had 4 stalks grow. SO, that half of the garden was tilled under earlier this summer. It’s now a dust patch for the chickens, who applauded the change.
I planted 2 butternut squash plants and they are taking over the garden. We should be set for years. The onions are in there under the squash vines and are doing just fine. I need to brush up on winter storage methods.
The tomatoes- all 16 pants, some cherry, some roma, some heritage- are enormous. I fought the tomato worms this year and won, and now the plants are so big they are snapping their stakes in half. I should have pruned a bit harder at the start, but, well, I didn’t. So there. The fruit will be medium-sized instead of gi-normous, and that’s just fine. I did plant basil plants in-between each tomato plant because I’d heard it helps ward off the caterpillars, but it was a no-go for me. The basil is doing just fine, though, so I see some frozen pesto in our future.
2012 expected harvest: tomatoes, sunflowers, butternut squash, 3 different onions I can’t remember now, blackberries, sweet basil, and a handful of strawberries we ate before they made it inside.
More photos HERE!