Here is our garden midsummer, we are always a couple of weeks behind everyone else. I don't strive to have the first tomato of the season. We've had some setbacks, but things are coming along. It is so helpful to have a good perspective on gardening. I try not to get too attached to things being a certain way (try...I do try). We have mostly a no-till garden in raised beds. This works best for us growing as we do on a rocky creek bank. To get the beds ready for planting I add compost to the top and use a digging fork to lift the soil without turning it over. Then I rake smooth. This retains the natural composition of the the soil structure and keeps all the helpful critters beneath alive and well and happy.
By far, the crop that has done great through drought, flea beetle infestations, and a very hungry groundhog was the swiss chard. I guess groundhogs don't like chard. We do.
The radicchio, however, was a prime target for the groundhog. The odd thing is that I had a little fence around the radicchio for the longest time when I first set out the plants. I babied these along for so long I could sense their vulnerability. But at one point, it didn't appear that we were having any hungry visitors to our garden so I took the fence down. silly me. But fortunately, despite being eaten almost to the ground, they are coming back and heading up nicely. I think we will have radicchio and fennel salad at some point afterall.
We have some baby zucchini coming on finally. Our drought situation really slowed everything down. It was almost as if everything was deciding whether it worth the effort to grow if there was no rain. I had those thoughts as we were having to water every day at first by carrying 5 gallon buckets of water from the creek and then we got smart and borrowed a submersible pump. I would really like to have a rope and washer pump at some point.
The dinosaur kale is finally growing faster than the flea beetles can eat it. I had almost given up on this crop completely. Anyone have a flea beetle solution? I will be getting beneficial nematodes to help with next year's situation, but if someone has a way to get rid of adult flea beetles, I'd love to hear it.
Speaking of beetles. I found this guy 5 feet up a butterfly bush. I'm not sure what he was doing there.
This is Jude's little garden plot. He has a lot growing in a very small space. Radishes, beets, purple beans, lemon cucumbers, bird house gourds, marigolds (that he picked out and bought with his own money). I'm wondering how that trellis will hold up with all that wants to climb it. You can't see them, but there are little bubble bee garden ornaments in there and on the right hand side you might be able to make out a dragonfly that we put in to scare away the groundhog so they would stop eating the beans. And what seems to have worked for the whole garden, was stringing a line of aluminum pie plates at groundhog level along the side I was pretty sure that he (or she) was entering.
The best part of gardening is reaping the harvest. We chopped all this up for our dinner last night and braised it with a little bit of olive oil and salt. Simple and delicious!
How is your garden growing? I'd love to hear...
If you haven't heard, Lisa has launched a great project for all of us who love to garden...