So far this year the garden has been thriving overall. Which is wonderful since gardening is one of my favorite things to do. As is eating wonderful fresh foods. 😊 While the weather has been pretty cool (here high in the mountains, that means around freezing) for most of the spring and early summer, the frost covers have continued to do their job well. I probably covered the garden 85% of the nights, as well as some days, from planting in early May till
about the past week. When the weather finally stayed reliably warm, in the 40's F, at night. But even with all of that, things are thriving, some better than any year yet in this location. So here's a little glimpse into what's growing now.
The peas are looking wonderful! After loosing almost all of the peas two years in a row, first to pocket gophers eating every single one before moving to the gopher proof beds, and then last year to I think Aminopyralid residue (If you're not familiar with it, this nasty herbicide can get into your garden from hay it was applied to, or from the manure of any animal that ate that hay. It's not broken down in compost like most things are, and can remain in soil killing or sickening everything in the pea/bean and squash/cucumber families for up to a decade.) from hay I'd mulched with years ago, this is very exciting! I can see just a tiny bit of leaf edges curled on the peas from the nutrient blocking that results from Aminopyralid, but they are still growing almost as tall as me, loaded with blossoms, and now lots of small peas that will be maturing soon. The beans and squashes are still struggling to outgrow it and are the only things that really are not thriving this year. Though again, they are better than past years so it must be gradually breaking down 4 years after that hay was used and then all removed when I realized what had happened. Suffice it to say, that's not something you ever want to get into your soil.
The gooseberry bush I'd planted 5 years ago as a little baby is now huge and loaded with berries that should start to ripen soon.
The rhubarb is also huge and I've harvested quite a bit already. Though it will soon wrap up for the year and die back till next spring.
I have several patches of onions in different garden beds and they all look healthy. Onions are something I use so frequently in cooking, it's close to impossible to have too many.
Both beds of potatoes are looking wonderful, tall, lush, so healthy, and just starting to send out blossoms. They are one of the things that I think look better than they have any other year.
Several things like this despite the very cool weather this year make me wonder if the minuscule amounts of a few minerals that I added to the soil after doing that soil test last fall really helped. Overall the soil test showed a well balanced soil with plenty of organic matter and most major minerals. Based on the recommendations from that I added a couple ounces each of zinc, copper, and boron to the whole garden. As well as a little kelp powder. I wonder if those things being present when the plant's cells needed them really helped push some things to be more vibrant than ever?
The strawberries are just turning read and I've picked a couple handfuls so far with lots more to ripen.
Lettuces, like most green leafy stuff, loves the cool climate here and thrives. I usually plant 8-12 varieties as I enjoy all the colors mixed together. I've enjoyed a lot of salads of various kinds, lettuce in sandwiches, etc. and will continue to cut and come again with these little plants till they get buried under snow again.
The cabbages, both purple and green though it seems I didn't snap a shot of the green ones, are growing well and just starting to form nice firm little heads in the centers. Cabbage is another things I can't really have too much of as I can always make more sauerkraut and Danish Christmas Cabbage to enjoy through the winter.
All four varieties of kale look pretty and while still this young and tender also make good additions to salads or as a cooked green.
Harvesting of asparagus shoots has ended for the year, and above is what the mature stalks look like. They leaf out with a beautiful fern like texture and will now spend the rest of the summer feeding nutrients into the roots so they will be even larger and more productive next spring. I also happen to think their fern like texture is lovely and wonder why more people don't plant them just as an ornamental plant in flower beds even if they don't like eating asparagus?
The broccoli has grown a lot of beautiful heads and as I harvest the first batch of big central heads, they continue to produce many little side shoots for the rest of the summer. Which adds up to a lot more tasty meals!
And there's lots more. As you can see, overall the whole veggie garden looks quite green and happy. I get a lot of pleasure just walking up and down the paths and observing everything in the garden. And it really doesn't take that much time and care either. After all the initial work to create the beds which was finished up last spring, all I've done this year is plant all the seeds. Then water everything with the sprinklers every 4-5 days if there is no rainfall. And I've weeded the beds once. It's about time to go through and pull out any little ones I missed or that have sprouted since that initial weeding. But as you can probably see from most of the photos, I stagger most plants and plant things a little closer than normally recommend. Partly because I know in my cool area with very short summers they won't have a lot of time to get really large. And this also keeps the soil covered by growing plants with almost no bare ground. Which means that it's nearly impossible for any weeds to start because after the initial weeding in the spring, they can't hardly find any space, light, water, and nutrients to grow with since the things I want to grow are using all those things.
While there's only a little over 600 square feet of bed space in the garden, I also have a lot of things growing along all the edges of the woods as well as the planters around the house of course. Mint is one of the things I really enjoy and above and below are two of the many mint family plants filling in those edges as a beautiful and tasty ground cover. Again, this saves me a lot of time as the ground being covered with something growing means there's almost no space for anything else to get started, helps slow evaporation in our dry climate, and produces a tasty product. Or beautiful flowers that are enjoyed by all the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Raspberries are one of the things that the mint is a working as a ground cover for. They are just forming little berries right now.
And then there's stuff like this little hops vine that I got from a friend when she had an extra little start off the side of hers. It is crawling up a repurposed trellis and since it's outgrown that, I just added a taller one up the side of the little tool shed.
The whole edge of the wood/yard boundary is full of flowers and herbs actually. Too many to go into in this post, but a wide variety of things that I use herbally, medicinally, for teas, a few edible foods, and lots of flowers for all my little pollinators and garden helpers. But that's a glimpse into what is happening in the garden these days. How are the things you are growing doing? I know many of you are at a very different stage of growth in warmer ares.