Friday, May 18, 2018

Garden Friday

It's Garden Friday!
With abundant rain this week,
things are poppin' up all over!

This bed near the front porch has been overhauled.
Everything that had been planted here was taken up
because it hid the entire front of the house.
I had added the pansies a couple of months back,
it was time to clean this bed up and replant.

We added some allyssum, lantana, sage and lemon grass.
A lone sunflower is creeping up there in the middle.
More Mammoth sunflower seeds have been planted
and we will add to this bed as these things fill out.

 It's been fun watching the straw bales do their thing.
The consistent rain has meant that no watering was needed by me.

 Lettuce and kale has been picked regularly for my daily salads.
Harvesting first thing in the morning is important,
as the heat of the day takes its toll on the crops.


The lettuce varieties include Buttercrunch, Red Salad Bowl, Red Sails,
and two kinds of Romaine.
 I've been picking enough greens to last me a couple of days.
Can't get fresher than that!

 The potato towers are out of control!
I may need to add another hoop over this one,
to ensure that the leaves are covered.

 The cucumbers have really loved the rain.
They are starting to take off and climb up the trellis.
I see pickles in our future!

 It was time to add some more twine to the trellis
for the snap peas to climb.
Hopefully, soon we'll see flowers
and then we are on our way to the sweet stuff!

But alas, everything is not perfect in Garden Town.
Critters have found my greens.
The easiest way to find these guys
is to look for the poop on the leaves.
Follow the trail, and you'll find the source.
Then, it's SQUISH TIME
We garden organically,
so this is the solution we use.
I'm going to try adding coffee grounds to the tops of the bales,
as I've read that it may deter these nasty creatures.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results of the straw bales.
Next year, I will increase their numbers and change the configuration. 
These bales will be repurposed as compost bedding around the garden,
as they will most likely be too broken down to use for growing.
Nothing goes to waste!

I noticed yesterday that the morning glories I planted on the sides of the bales
are starting to sprout.
They are going to be used on the arches to shade part of the bales,
so that the sun will not scorch the lettuce and kale.

 This week I was able to harvest a few leeks and share them.
They probably should have been pulled up long before now,
but they still taste mighty fine.
This is a crop that I've had a lot of success with.
The two varieties I have grown are Lincoln and Lancelot.

The sweet potato slips are off to a late start.
I had a hard time finding organic sweet potatoes,
otherwise they would have been started two weeks ago.
Usually the potatoes are placed in a jar or can,
with the bottom 1/4 or so sitting in the water.
I've used toothpicks in the past to suspend them,
but didn't have any on hand.

 Paperclips worked in a pinch.
Soon, these spuds will be sending out leaves and roots.
It would be fantastic to have a mess of these to store.

 A neighbor was throwing out all of this cardboard, 
so you know I helped myself.
This will be the site for the new butterfly garden.
Right now we're killing the grass (YAY!) so that we can fit a few lovelies in here.

There are a few plants ready to be installed once I get the soil in here.
Hopefully, I'll get to that this weekend.
I'm sure I'll need to get a few more plants,
(no hardship),
but the beautyberry I purchased really needs to be planted.
I can't wait to see the butterflies and caterpillars enjoying this spot.
Pollinators of all kinds will likely find it appealing.

Our magnolia tree is loaded with buds.
Here's the first bloom I spied.

 A few of our neighbors have peonies planted.
They are so amazing!
I might have to snag me some of these 
and find space for them.

The humble clematis is slowly climbing the lattice on the back deck.
I think it would be much happier with more sun,
so it may get moved before long.

So many tasks to complete!
It's a blessing to be a busy gardener.

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