The garden remains an ongoing experiment, which is a nice way of saying I continue to realize I have utterly no idea what I’m doing. My father helpfully told me tonight that his first garden didn’t produce anything; I hope that wasn’t supposed to make me feel better. (Although, so far we’ve harvested exactly three strawberries, all of which tasted quite delicious, so it won’t be a total loss.)
I planted 4 winter squash that I started from seed. The packet contained 4 varieties, so I picked out 4 seeds that looked reasonably different from each other and planted them; hopefully I’ll get at least one acorn and one butternut. Once in the garden, two sprouted blossoms and, save some yellow leaves, seem to be doing quite well. The other two…not so much. I read that the yellow leaves may indicate a lack of nitrogen in the soil, so I added some fertilizer yesterday. We’ll see if that helps.
[You’ll notice grass clippings. One thing I never thought about was that when the lawn gets mowed, the clippings get into the raised bed. I think the answer, in part, is to mow the lawn before it is taller than the raised bed, but alas I have happily abdicated/assigned all lawn mowing responsibilities to the VEB. As such, I shall not nag. (Ha.) And yes, these photos were before a session of weeding.]
On the tomato front — I wound up with a total of six plants, five of which I started from seed and one I bought. I’m pretty tickled that they all survived being transplanted, and have grown quite quickly. What were initially very leggy, spindly plants have filled out quite nicely. However, only the purchased tomato plant has blossomed yet, and yesterday I found what appeared to be fruit flies on the plants. So, I’m not out of the woods yet. I have big plans for homemade sauce though, so fingers are crossed.
The pepper plants I bought are also flourishing, which for some reason surprises me. These plants have also gotten quite tall, taller than I expected anyway, and may need to be caged at some point. I also have two watermelon plants that seem to be perking along, and while the strawberry plants aren’t producing a whole lot, they are sending out runners.
Not pictured? my very sad cucumbers. All 4 of the plants I started from seed and transplanted are struggling, to the point where I am very tempted to pull them up and put them out of their misery. I did buy a cucumber plant at the nursery, which seems to be doing okay so we should get some cukes. Still, I’m disappointed; of all the things I planted I thought the cucumbers would be the no-brainers. Apparently they don’t like being transplanted, though. I’m entertaining the idea of direct sowing a few more seeds into the garden, just to see what happens, but it is admittedly a little late for that.
Meanwhile, our local farmers market started this past weekend, and while it is too still early for a lot of produce Balance Rock Farm was there with what we call the Magic Piggy Bacon. I don’t know what they feed their pigs, but it is worth every blessed penny.