August 2, 2014
We’ve had a run of lovely weather this summer, with hot, sunny days in the nineties followed by several cooler, cloudier days in the eighties.
Not enough rain, but I get out and run the sprinkler for an hour, two or three days a week to compensate.
The gist of all this, for those transplants that survived the hungry rabbit debacle in the backyard garden this spring: six tomato plants, two of them cherry tomatoes, which are producing quite well (though only the cherries are ripening fast enough to eat, right now); one winter squash plant that is running riot up and down the old ladders my friends gave me earlier this year and my potato plants which have blossomed, though I haven’t checked for potatoes, yet. There are two nice sized squash growing on the vine and, since it is still blooming and we have another two and a half months or so before the first hard frost, I hope to see a few more.
I have an okra plant, a transplant I found late in the season that had apparently gotten shoved behind some empty containers. I went ahead and transplanted it, hoping it would take off and produce before first frost. So far, it’s growing well, but is not big enough to produce any okra, yet. The one pepper plant that grew back is still small enough that it is being nibbled on mercilessly by the rabbit and I doubt it will survive long enough to produce.
The corn, which didn’t germinate, was from old seed. I’ll have to reorder this winter. And the early crops – except for some lettuce and spinach – along with the cucumber, summer squash and melons, went down the maw of Ming, the Merciless, even after I replanted most of it.
The little side garden, planted for friends and neighbors who visit the store next door, consists only of three tomato plants – the only starts I had left over from the back garden – but they seem to be producing as prodigiously as those in the backyard, so I’m hoping, as they begin to ripen, friends and neighbors will help themselves and will, (yes, I’ll encourage them to do so with a small sign) save the seeds for their own tomato patch next year.
Tomorrow and Monday, I’ll weed-whack the grass, growing in the garden and add it to the straw in the section where the corn and melons should have been. I found a roll of garden fencing with a much finer mesh that the wire fence that surrounds the larger garden. I should be able to fence in that section with a little fence that’s high enough to protect from the rabbit a planting of cabbage and broccoli for this fall, along with some lettuce and spinach, and still be low enough for me to reach over and tend them as necessary. Here’s hoping.
It’s also time to clean the earth boxes and other containers for whatever I decide to plant this winter in the house. As things ripen and are eaten from the garden, it will be time to start saving seeds for next year. And when everything from the backyard garden is picked, eaten or stored, it will be time to add some compost and a fresh layer of straw to protect the garden this winter and prepare it for next spring.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a master gardener, but I am persistent. My garden isn’t large and, as with most gardeners, it’s subject to all the whims of nature and its various critters and crawlers, but it gives me a good deal of pleasure and endless new lessons as well as food for body and mind. I hope I can convey that pleasure on the blog and encourage those who – like me – are still novices, to be equally persistent. And that’s the state of my garden, so far.