summer's flying by

just wanted to jot down some thoughts, as i am just crap at updating this blog thingy.

broccoli:  (and why can't i ever spell that?)  the "pacman" variety came up early, and i was really excited about that.  but then we went away for a week's vacation at the beginning of july, and all the 6 heads bolted, flowered, and were cut by the little girl tending the veggies for the week.  there are some sideshoots as promised on the tag, but not the crowns i was hoping for.  and perhaps i'm cutting even these too late, as the flavor is not exactly top notch.  the boy who loves broccoli won't eat it.
the "premium crop" variety looks promising.  the heads are slightly bigger, and they are maturing slower.

cabbage:  the "early" variety looks great, forming nice little heads.  "mid season" variety still looks like a pile of leaves.  the pile of leaves variety got attacked by cabbage worm.  i figured this out late, and sprinkled Bt on all the surviving cole crops.  seems to have worked.

note holes from caterpillar chomping.  white stuff is Bt.  hard to see other caterpillar evidence (the green poo pellets)

borage:  loving it, finally.  tho not using it really.  it's beautiful, the bees love it, it's big, it's stalk-y, and apparently will self-seed.  these are all excellent qualities for a planting in the orchard.  maybe not the best choice for directly beside the front door...  so far the bees have all been friendly, and none have tried to come inside.  the boy even "patted" a bumble today, siting that it felt, "tickly".  hmmm.

so pretty and pointy!

brussels sprouts:  teeny tiny buds are forming.  i hope they make it!

cauliflower:  got 6 of the "snow crown" variety.  some of them are turning purple-ish.  is this normal?  one of them is putting out flowers already.  small heads.  i think this is another broccoli story - not worth the space.

cukes:  we've harvested 4 thus far - loving the bush cukes!  i put tomato cages around them, and this is probably good enough.  they were spreading out quite a bit, so i'm glad they're now growing "up" a bit.  lots of flowers, lots of little cuke buds.  so excited about trying pickling!

tomatoes:  they are rocking!  so many tomatoes out there.  we bet the farm on the celebrity variety being our "slicer", and roma plums being our salsa/sauce go-to girl.  i waited too long on figuring out a trellis system, so we settled for quickie "teepees" over 1/2 the box.  don't think i'd do that again, as there has been a lot of tying up with twine to the posts.  but overall, not too much work, and lots of production!

swiss chard:  loving the chard!  i think there's a total of 7 "bright lights" plants out there.  they put out so many leaves, that i am cutting some every few days.  we are loving the chard sauted with pasta, in stir fries, and i stuffed some into veggie burgers.  all good!  i think this is a goodly amount of plants.

thoughts for next year's garden
even though we are in the thick of tending, weeding and harvesting, my mind already races ahead to improvements.

greens:  next year, i think i would like to do more greens.  loving having the fresh chard around for daily snips.  i would like some variety.  hopefully we can get some spinach in early, then add some kale.  i would love to try some salad-y greens, too.  arugula?  mesclun?  radicchio?

cole crops:  forget broccoli.  not worth the space for what they give.  maybe the same story for cauliflower?  i can get lovely heads of both at the farmers' market for cheap and probably spend the same amount as i did for starts.

peas:  would love to add these to the mix.  sugar snap.  is that what they're called?  anyway, the kinds that have the edible pods.  i can see snacking with the boy in the garden while playing outside.  yum!

herbs:  must remember to do more succession planting instead of all at once.  all my cilantro bolted, and i only used it about 5 times.  and i think starting marigolds from seeds was fun, but i will start them early inside, as they are just starting to flower now.

6:00 am weeding with the boy who promptly steals the kneeling pad such that he can wing it around


progress in june

boring post alert...

we've been making slow progress on the driveway now that the veggies are rockin out.  here's hubs doing the hard work of digging out the dirt to straighten my path out of the garage:

dig, honey, dig!  note:  new (to us) truck!

sidenote:  we acquired hubs' dreamboat of a truck.  he tried calling it clifford, the big red truck, but it can only be called the b.l.t. - big loud truck.  it's diesel, and he loves it.  it's very useful.  the boy loves it, too.  i love what it does for our yard.

then we got a massive pile of gravel/stone dust mix delivered.  yeah, 14 yards.  as hubs pointed out, "it never goes as far as you think it will."  at first i didn't believe him, but then he started shoveling.

no cars parked in garage, just the bubble mower surveying our progress

the gravel is to help bring up the level of the driveway at the street, as well as widen it to straighten it.  the bulk of the pile, though, is to line the walkways in the veggie garden.

everyone is helping out

biiiiiiig pile of gravel
 first we're putting down construction grade landscape fabric so the inherent rocks have a harder time migrating north.  then we'll pile a couple inches of gravel onto that, then, if we can find a local dealer of pea stone, we'll put a few inches of that on top.

i don't know why this makes me think of a fashion show catwalk, but it does

the drip irrigation system is in place and i couldn't be happier!  it's awesome!  hubs nerded out and made it so that we can turn on and off different rows of beds.  what's great about this tinker toys-esque system, is that it's super flexible.  if we wanted each bed to have its own shut off valve, we could easily splice it in.  that will be for garden 2.0.

the herb garden is doing well.  lots of growth due to some nice warm weather.

ok, the photo sucks, but the effect is nice - lots of greeeeeeeeeen

nice work, there, cilantro.  now what the eff do i do with this much cilantro at once?

ah, hello, basil?  what the eff?  your game is weak.  step it up.

four borage seeds = scratchy scariness!

morning glories are liking their new pot and bamboo stakes.  i actually see some buds!

sweet bay potted up.  failed on centering it.  sigh.
so, projects for this weekend will be:

transplant three of the borage animals somewhere else
transplant more marigolds into the tomato beds
put hay on strawberries and tomatoes and maybe other veggies
finish putting gravel onto the walkways
fertilize veggies with pro grow
get the house buttoned up for a week away!

happy 4th!  and as hubs' grandad used to say, the summer is over after the 4th...

i think (and am hoping) not.