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broodings from the burrow

June 21, 2020

two weeks in the life of a cucumber
posted by soe 1:00 am

Two weeks ago, I had cucumber flowers:

Cucumber Flower

A week ago, those flowers had developed fruit:


Four days later, the cucumber was several inches long (Yes, I should have thought to show it in comparison to something. Hindsight.):


Today, it’s longer than my hand:


Spoiler: Cucumber is possibly my least favorite vegetable. I will not be eating these when we harvest them, unless I decide I’m going to try making refrigerator pickles out of one of them. But Rudi loves cucumbers and is happy just to munch on one like a apple, which is why I planted it. And watching it grow has been sufficiently fascinating to make it a success for me.

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June 8, 2020

notes from the garden: may & early june 2020
posted by soe 1:14 am

Early June Garden

I didn’t give an update on the garden last month, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t going. Thank goodness, right?

This shot was before Rudi and I did some work today. Rudi pulled out a lot of weeds and planted some new seedlings. We now have half a dozen basil plants, a half dozen tomatoes, several peppers, a zucchini, and a cucumber in addition to the plethora of herbs and spring veggies. I harvested the rest of the arugula today, unearthing a bed of lettuce beneath it and will probably pull the spinach later this week. I will need to thin the sorrel again. (more…)

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May 2, 2020

notes from the garden: april 2020
posted by soe 11:43 am

I fell asleep while photos were uploading last night, so we’re getting my post this morning instead…

The garden doesn’t know the world is falling apart. It just knows that rain has been falling and the temperatures have been pleasant for stretching a little taller each day. So each time we show up at the plot, it looks like this:

End of April at the Garden

The violets are done for the season, so Rudi and I yank out the leaves. Because they grow by rhizome, they will be fine and will bloom again next spring (or, even, in the right conditions, in the fall). But without this step, there will be no strawberries, because the violets have dwarfed them for the most part.

End of April at the Garden

The dahlia and gerbera daisy that I planted a couple weeks ago are bright spots in the garden, and it’s obvious from looking that the slugs think they look nice, too:

End of April at the Garden

End of April at the Garden

The tallest of my peas have reached the top of the supports I could give them once it was obvious I might have to work with what I had, rather than being able to acquire more garden stakes. I threw the tomato cages in to pinch hit last month and the peas thought they made a great addition to my more traditional trellising:

End of April at the Garden

And they showed their pleasure with this:

End of April at the Garden

There will be peas within the month!

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March 29, 2020

notes from the garden: march 2020
posted by soe 1:34 am

March Garden Shots

Rudi and I did some more tidying of the garden plot this month. I find if I do a section at a time I hate it less. I hate it even less if Rudi does it.

The big tufty grass-like things are bunching onion grass that we planted one of our first couple years in the garden. The greens at the bottom are sorrel, which we also planted ages ago and which just reseeds itself.

Our herbs, which are at the back of the plot, also mostly survived the winter.

This is the bronze fennel, which grew to a six-foot behemoth last year.

March Garden Shots

I’m still working on clearing this back section out, but there’s purple sage, oregano, and mint back, at the very least.

March Garden Shots

The strawberries and violets are doing well, but I’d like several more strawberry plants and haven’t yet found any.

March Garden Shots

March Garden Shots

I planted peas a month ago, and planted more last week, because a month gave me better insight into which peas had not come up. I plant half-rows of single types at the start of the season for precisely this reason, although I’m not always great about keeping track of which type is which. Some of my seeds dated back a decade, while others were new last year or this.

March Garden Shots

I also planted spring greens — chard, lettuces, spinach, kale, and some others. Again, I can tell you which things are in the garden, but maybe not which ones they are until they come up.

March Garden Shots

March Garden Shots

That second shot is from Friday, and the amount they’ve grown in a week is noticeable. They’re at the top of the previous shot.

Our bunny may be back, because I notice the seedlings I planted (kale and spinach) had been munched. Of course, I did also pull a happy slug off a spinach leaf, so it may not be vertebrates that are the culprit.

If you can plant something, even just in a pot, it feels especially good this year to see seeds coming to life. Peas and greens are hardy and can be outside well before the last risk of frost.

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March 22, 2020

from my garden to you
posted by soe 1:33 am


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February 24, 2020

garden 2020: day 1
posted by soe 1:48 am

Winter Garden

As I’d hoped, the weather and my schedule cooperated and I got to spend time today puttering in my garden plot. And by puttering I mean, clearing the main bed, turning soil, and planting seeds.

But after a couple hours, it felt nice to see something looking so … tidy and taken care of.

Garden 2020: Day 1

The back portion is several rows of peas and the front row is several rows of spring greens.

I haven’t bought any new seeds this year, so we’re seeing what will sprout from past seasons. I feel more optimistic about the seeds from last year than the ones from 2009, but either way those seeds are out of my house and in the ground.

And while I’m relatively sure that doing this much planting so early in the year will guarantee a blizzard and frozen ground in the next two weeks, these are all plants that flourish in cooler weather and should be able to withstand a certain amount of cold.

Have you started thinking yet about what you’re going to grow this year?

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