Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Garden update

I spent Saturday morning working in the garden, before it got too hot, and learned a lesson that can apply to many things in life: if something seems overwhelming, take it one piece at a time. Simple advice that has been repeated in many different forms, but well worth a reminder from time to time. On Saturday morning when I wake up there is always one brief moment when the day looms full of possibilities. Then I start to go over my mental "to do" list, and the hours of the day suddenly seem not long enough.

So I made up my mind that the garden would be the task of the morning, but even the garden can be a complex job. There were tomatoes to plant (still!), weeds to be pulled everywhere, edges to be trimmed, paths to be mowed, one bean tepee to set up again after the wind blew it down, etc. I threw some tools, a jug of water, the tomato plants and some seeds into the garden cart and headed out.

My garden is a series of thirteen wooden-sided raised beds, with four more square bins for potato plants. I promise pictures some day, when everything is bigger and better looking. I took a systematic approach to the day's work, which is surprising for me considering my more spontaneous, distracted personality type. I started with one bed, did all of the weeding and planting until it looked respectable, then moved on to the next. At any point I could look back and see that progress had been made, bed by bed.

Everything seems to have taken off growing with the hot weather of the last week and the relatively warm nights. The pole beans are about eight inches high, still not grabbing the poles yet but looking leafy and green; the butternut squash that I planted from seed in the same bed already looks robust. Broccoli plants are not forming heads yet but have increased greatly in size. Cabbage seedlings are still tiny, although I have not given up on them completely. The tomatillos are already blooming and large enough to need staking. The Diva cucumber plants doubled in size over the weekend. Tomatoes are all in various stages of growth but looking good; the ones in the covered hoop houses seem to be the biggest. I planted extra tomato plants in the last unplnated bed, throwing caution and gardening sense to the wind as I crowded plants closer together than normal and didn't label everything.

I think I will buy some new carrot seed and replant, which I can still safely do this time of year; only a few carrots sprouted. I thought parsnips were a bust as well, but I discovered two seedlings that looked like they may be parsnips; I'll keep them in and see. All in all, things are looking good, as good as can be expected anyway.


shannon said...

I'd love for our garden to be all raised beds - for that same reason - you can divide it into little chunks and always see the progeress you've made. We'll see how much I can put E to work next spring :) If baby waits another day or two, I'm direct seeding some carrots too :)

Deb said...

Thanks for stopping by Shannon! From the reference to "E" and the impending new arrival, I assume you're from the "Not So Virtual Homestead"...good stuff there, I need to update my link list! :)