Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garden Update

An overview of the garden.  We're keeping up with the weeds not too bad this year.  The extra helpers really make a difference!  The funniest thing- #1 pulled a potato plant, and #2 pulled out a bean.  #3 and #4 haven't done any damage yet.  Maybe I should have had them helping all along.  Age apparently makes no difference.

Lots of volunteer potatoes are up in between the beets, mangels and carrots.  That was last year's potato patch.  The one potato plant that #1 pulled already had two potatoes on it, one as big as the ones we found in the spring.  They're a month ahead of the ones I planted.  So I think, this year, if/when we harvest the potatoes, I will try leaving one potato behind from each plant, thereby planting next year's potatoes this fall.

I planted more beans yesterday.  Not that I need them, but the frost is kind of a nice reminder that it's still only early spring here in the north.  Our unseasonably warm weather this spring, combined with seeing everyone else's blog pics of what they're harvesting, had me feeling behind the eight ball already.  But a little frost, a look at the calendar, and hey, I have time to put more stuff in the garden.  I really shouldn't be this far into the game yet anyway.

So, I had bought this package of Yard Long Orient Wonder Beans, and I hadn't planted them.  I was going to save them for next year, but pish posh, in they went.

#1 rototilled the section between the peas and the potatoes.  It was starting to look like a hay field.  I figure I can squeeze another 5-6 rows of something in there.  I will look through my seed stash and figure out what to plant.

Meanwhile, in the perennial bed,

I transplanted a couple of extra tomatoes. They're doing well. Either the fake huggies (about a foot higher than ground level) also raised them enough to protect from frost, or I have a bit of a microclimate in there. Either way, no frost damage!
Peppers are also mostly doing well. I had three planted at the edge of the big pile of compost that the frost wiped out. That's why I think it's the height. Raised beds. Who knew? lol. Definitely going to be doing more garden construction.
My poor Lady's Mantle. I bought two of these from the garden center, so they may not be as hardy as the seed that I bought. I was really looking forward to trying it out this month. It's supposed to help with lady issues. It's not completely dead, so maybe I'll get the chance to try it next month.
Does that look like English thyme to you? I lost a lot of my transplants, but this little one is doing great. Go figure. The mystery plant has spunk.
And there's a nice shot of the first lupins blooming.  Doesn't it almost look like I know what I'm doing?  And the weeds aren't completely out of control.  Although I do need to add mulch to the cracks in the walk way.  Or remove the walkway.  Since I really don't walk on it much anyway, and have decided to keep the grass between the mini beds. 

Perennial transplants have suffered some losses.  Frost, heat, shock, lack of water, lack of nitrogen- any or all could be responsible.  I added seed around the original transplants.  Hopefully I don't accidentally weed them out.

I found a patch of mountain mint in the perennial bed.  Did I transplant that last year?  I can't find the patch outside the turkey pen.  But then it was pretty close to the fence, so the turkeys could have gotten it.  Hmmm.  I had planned to transplant it.  I just don't remember doing it. 

Chives are flowering now.  I do want to get one more batch dried before I leave them for the season.  The car drying was working out well.  Since it's raining more now it may take a bit longer.

And it's raining today.  We need it.  The garden still feels really dry.  The weeds will be happy, lol.


  1. Wendy - i have read of others who leave a potatoe to overwinter - i haven't tried it myself yet - i but that is exactly what i am doing next year. if it works, it means no more need to plant the potatoes - woohoo! your garden looks like it's coming along - frost or no frost - but because of our horrible spring last year, and then we got nailed by frost - this year i have left the tomatoes in the porch for the past month. i was planning on planting them out this morning but it's a little cloudy and cool. i think that does look like English thyme. the lupins are gorgeous, ours are up to all over our town road - i need to grab some and transplant them on our property.

    question - do you save seeds from your chives?

    your friend,

    1. Yeah, exactly, you never know what the weather is going to do. That's why we built the greenhouses. The tomatoes and peppers that I planted in the perennial bed were extras that wouldn't fit in the greenhouses. Not really a loss, but still, very interesting to see what's going on. I'm still trying to adapt from everything must be in a straight line in the garden, to new methods that actually work for me. 4 or 5 years ago I lost all of my tomatoes and peppers to a late spring frost. The following year, an early fall frost wiped them out just before they ripened. I was working toward covering the entire garden in greenhouses, but the huggies I think will work for most of the less delicate plants, like beans, squash and corn.

      Thanks. I've never grown it before, and wasn't sure of my judgement.

      Lupins are really easy to start from seed. I'm not sure about transplants. My mom watches them through the summer, then goes back to where she saw interesting colours in the fall. She just breaks off the head and takes it home. All of my lupins are from seed she gave me, which I just scattered all over the lawn. That's why I had to wait for things to pop up in the perennial bed.

      I plan to save seeds from everything that I can this year. I even got some cheap nylons so I'm ready to cover the seed heads as soon as they come. It'll be a first for me. The seed exchange I participated in in the winter has me kind of excited about it.

  2. Wendy,
    I think the heat from decomposition in the hugles is what saves the plants from the cold. I could be wrong there. A regular raised bed would actually expose plants to more cold, I think.

    It's funny, almost, about the older two pulling up the wrong things.

    My potatoes are from one several thrown into my planting box. I have three places for compost. I am going to check the other two for potatoes.

    I always wondered why people were growing wolves (lupins). I also never knew what those flowers were called. Lupins are pretty but can be deadly for livestock. It all comes together

    It always looks like you know what you are doing.

  3. I suppose it's possible. I don't find that they're producing much heat in the perennial bed. When I dig in to transplant it feels the same temperature as the topsoil, just a bit moister. But it could be holding the heat overnight.

    Well that was confusing. I looked up lupins and livestock and found that they are used as fodder, high in protein, and eaten by humans, while also poisonous. Cool, eh? lol. I'll keep them out of the pasture.

    A couple of years ago the weeds were so bad in there that my dad came over with his weedwhacker and wiped everything out. No, it doesn't always look like I know what I'm doing, lol.