"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola

05 August 2011

This Year's Garden- Good Eats & Challenges

Gardening continues to be one of my true loves, and like love the garden yields joys and challenges in equal opportunity. :)

My sweet little niece stopped by to labor in the garden for a while with me. :) She's a dirt-y girl after my own heart.

JOYS: Our harvest so far

~Abundant mint and sage bunches, shared happily with neighbors
~LETTUCE- we love fresh salads, and so do our Budgies
~Fresh Herbs (pronounced with the "h" in honor of global friends- heehee):

*fresh dill and basil and mints make our green salads spicy and vibrant

*crushed basil and oregano sprinkled on our pizza after the oven add pizzazz

*chives sprinkled into pasta salads and potato salad make both savory and delish

*peppermint and spearmint make wonderful tea and lemonade

~Green beans- T likes them raw, I prefer them lightly steamed. :)

CHALLENGES: This year's conundrums

~Tomato plants that are shooting skyward instead of bushing out. I guess we didn't prune as we should have early on, given the huge growth spurts that happened with the loads of rain and humidity. Lots of re-staking to keep up. There may also be an issue of not enough sunlight, but our neighbors' tomoatoes last year in the same area did well. Looks like one plant is struggling a little more and may not make it. :(

~Lots of blossoms, but no fruit on the zucchini. There have been so many big, beautiful blossoms that I was sure we would be eating loads of delish zucchini. For some reason, though, we haven't had a single fruit! All flowers, nothing growing in their place. :/ I have no idea why.

~Figuring out the golden raspberry. So far it's not doing much as far as growth, and I've never grown berries.

~Nibbling on some of our leaves and herbs by pests, especially the basil and sage. I haven't been able to find the little culprits like in years past, but I keep hand-inspecting.
Today I noticed that whole leaves of the basil were eaten.

~Fickle herbs. Our cilantro plant and dill bolted after two weeks. :( This is my first dill (I love it), but I have yet to have success in keeping cilantro all summer. I just recently read it prefers to be sown directly in the garden soil, so I will try that over replanting seedlings. Rosemary is stunted, so we are uprooting from the garden and putting it in its own pot so it can stay dryer.

PLANS: Fall Planting

Reading up on some ways to make a garden more efficient reminded me that it's time to plant now for fall crops! Just got beautiful organic seeds in the mail from Homegrown Healthy on Etsy: broccoli, spinach, more lettuce, and herbs (can't hurt to give those another go, right?). I may just grow the herbs in pots so I can bring them indoors for winter.

Stay tuned for updates. :)

No comments: