Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's all in!

I managed to get it all in by Saturday night so that I could offer to bring my leftovers to church on Sunday. Although the great giveaway didn't happen on Sunday, it was still nice to have a firm deadline for myself.

The lovely fencing around my back areas have been successful so far for keeping both the ladies and soccer balls out of the baby plants. Rosa kindly donated her wickets for the project (because her pet is significantly bigger and didn't acknowledge the fencing). Within minutes of release though, my ladies walked right through the little spaces without slowing their stride. Hmmm, that didn't work so well and I got them outta there right quick with a better food bribe before damage was done.

Although the fencing doesn't look great covered with hardware cloth, it works and the wickets provide the support I needed. Success! I hope to remove it all when the plants are bigger. Bug control will be welcome then.

You can't see it, but little things are starting to emerge from the soil. Turnips (which I thought no one here liked, but it turns out everyone does except me), carrots, peas, beans, cucumbers, swiss chard and quinoa (an experiement this year).

These poor strawberries have been ravaged once this week, but almost look better for the beating. The vine, however, is full of white flies already and fell from the stucco wall in a messy heap. If I can't beat the flies this year, I'm ripping it out. Blech. I hate them and the passage is narrow there, forcing you to brush against the plant once in a while, bringing up clouds of flies.

This shape has to change next year to a semi-circle so we can more easily mow. It's a bit of a problem. Live and learn, I guess. It's an excuse to make the bed a bit bigger too!

I'm trying a few artichoke plants this year as an experiment too. I saw them growing successful in some city planters last year and they looked cool and are very edible. Hopefully we'll get a few artichokes from them.

This is the only other area I've expanded into this year. This is a hole in the boulevard grass that the city created two years ago when they cut down our tree and mulched the stump. They never did sod or seed it, or even provide more soil to fill it so it's been nothing but dirt and weeds. I thought a squash might fill the spot and look a bit better too (and a geranium and dahlia, although they'll get choked out when the squash takes over - I don't mind a bit of sacrificial annuals).

I started the celery really early this year indoors and it's looking so much better this year. Maybe I'll have more than just enough for one pot of soup. This variety is supposed to be self-blanching so I shouldn't have to collar it.

Now that the seeding and planting is all done, maybe I'll have time to pick up those bricks and make my paths. Even though the bricks get weedy, I find I walk on them so much more than on the mulched paths, and so do the girls on our daily walk-abouts.

The garlic is looking great. I though this would just get us through part of the winter, but Rosa reminded me that 100 bulbs (if successful, and they look like they are) will be almost 2 heads of garlic every week for a year. That should be almost enough for us. That is true of my onions this year as well. I circled every cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower with onions or shallots in an attempt to ward off cabbage moths, and that totalled to about 100 allium-family bulbs there too. And then there are the leeks as well. Although they are cheap to buy, I'd love to add onions and garlic to my "never buy" list.

Tomatoes and brassicas too, but they seem more susceptible to blight and bugs. I approached a neighbour about her unused garden as a place to plant rows of corn, potatoes and pole beans for drying, but if I don't hear from her by the weekend I'll have to shelve that plan. Although I don't need the work, it kills me to see empty dirt just getting weedy.

And now on to some paying work for the rest of the morning. Have a great day!


life in this 1880 farmhouse said...

Looks good Ev. Glad you are having good weather. It became uncomfortably hot here this week and now a cold front and we are back into polar fleece. That said my garden is so far fantastic this spring. i too am pleased with myself.

Gina said...

I love to see other's gardens. Yours looks great!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Ev! What a GORGEOUS garden! Your garlic looks stunning. I would need 2-3 heads a year, too. At least. What do you mean "collar the celery". I have to look that up as this is my first year with a bit of celery. How did you manage to get it so large from your own planting? Do you have indoor lighting? DO your children each have a patch? This is such a fun project. I am in awe!

Evelyn in Canada said...

Valerie: Maybe "collar" isn't the right word. Some celery needs to have something wrapped around it (a milk carton or so) to blanch it and keep the stems straight and light in colour and flavour. I think I'll collar a few and leave a few. If I get more leaves than stems, those are good in soups. Yes, I do have indoor lights set up. This year I had four double-bulb flourescents set up, just with regular bulbs. Maybe I should one day post my indoor setup before I take it all down for the year.

Yes, the kids each have a small patch this year. Tiny, but with room for a few flowers and herbs. Laura made room for some carrots too. It's been fun for them so far.