Sunday, May 31, 2009

My vegetable garden

Today I finished planting the vegetable garden. Over the past month Karl and Caroline have helped me make my soil mix on a tarp and then dump it into the raised bed. I found I couldn't do it alone so always had to wait for someone to be available to help. Thanks to both of them for their help.

I can't harvest the lettuce fast enough. It's growing faster than we can eat it. I have some almost every day for lunch, and I use it to amend the store bought lettuce mix, but it's still way too much. It will become bitter soon with the hot, sunny weather.

The broccoli and cauliflower are looking good and strong. Can't wait for the yummy part to start growing. The inside leaves of the cabbage plants are starting to form the heads.

I planted some old green bean seeds about 2 weeks ago, but only one has germinated, so I may have to buy some new seeds and try again. The little celery plants are looking ok.

My zucchini, patty pans, and spaghetti squash plants have nice flowers on them. The cucumber plants are growing well but haven't yet reached for their pole-and-string trellis yet. I planted a couple of watermelon plants, too.

I have 5 Roma tomato plants and 1 Husky Red tomato. It's a dwarf plant and I'm curious about how big it will grow. It already has a golf-ball sized tomato.

I went a little pepper crazy this year. I have 2 cayenne pepper plants. Karl likes to dry these peppers and grind them up for cayenne powder, which he uses to spice up my not-so-spicy foods. There is 1 jalapeno plant, with a 1" long jalapeno growing on it already! I also planted 5 bell pepper plants-2 green, 1 each of red, yellow, orange. Most of the peppers have flowered and are starting to grow peppers.

The self-pollinating dwarf Braeburn apple tree was full of blossoms last week. I have no idea if it will produce fruit this year, but it was exciting to see all those blossoms. The yellow delicious finally came out of dormancy (I was beginning to worry about it) and is leafing out.

The red raspberries are starting to get a slight pinkish tinge to them and are still quite small. I enlarged the raspberry patch, but most of the transplants didn't survive, so I will have to do that again. Not a problem; there are plenty of suckers growing. We have a nice little strawberry crop that we are reluctantly sharing with a chipmunk.

The cherry trees are looking good; one had some blossoms. Karl planted the locust trees today while I was at work. Last summer we had a 120-or-so year old oak tree die, and the city came and cut it down. (Thank goodness it was on the city's right-of-way!) We plan to put a tulip poplar in its place. There's a volunteer in the front flower bed that we'll move over there.

I feel now like I have the yard the way I want it. I can't think of anything more that we need or want. Well, we did talk about planting a patch of whatever critters like to eat, with the hopes of keeping them away from the flowerbeds. One day last week I was in the bedroom and heard rustling and a chewing noise. I looked out the bedroom window and there was Walter the woodchuck happily chomping on some knee-high sunflower plants. I'd love to have some milkweed for the monarchs. And then there's the matter of moving the peony bushes...ok, so maybe I'm not done!

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