Friday, July 24, 2009

Garden Report, 7/24/09

Rain, rain go away! June was almost daily rain, and July has shaped up to be rain every 2-3 days. The pickings at local farmers' markets and even from our CSA farm share are slim compared to past years. From what many local growers have reported, many crops have simply rotted in the ground.

Our garden is just starting to get productive. Yesterday, I harvested eight peppers. There are several cucumbers ready to come off the vine either today or tomorrow. There are three tomatoes ripening on the vine, but dozens more flowers on the tomato plants then there were just a few days ago.

The bean plants are doing ok, but not spectacular. Most did not survive when put into the ground. I started them from seed, and they had wet feet in the containers. The plants were rather thin, and the wind and rain caused several to bend and break. I've planted a second group of beans and planted them much deeper so that there is no chance the wind will do that kind of damage again.

Yesterday, I put in the last of the cucumber plants and some replacement green bean plants. It was a race against time before the rain to get them in the ground. Such has been the story of our garden this year!

It's getting to be time to plant seeds for fall planting. With such a late season, it's somewhat hard to believe, but fall is but two months away. We will still keep some produce plants on our balcony, as it is a beautiful micro-climate for container gardening later in the season. I've got onion, carrots, garlic, lettuce, swiss chard, and elephant-neck squash planned. Some will actually get planted at our location in Maine, which is a really exciting to us.

As this garden is largely experimental, but it has taught us the importance of planting much more than you think you need, and multiple plantings. Redundancy in a garden plan is crucial if you are depending on the garden as your main food supply. A greenhouse, and plenty of large containers would be another source of garden redundancy, though that's something we're planning on for our Maine location. However, we will be using cold frames to extend the season here in MA as long as possible.

Live better, a little every day.

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