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August 3, 2014

garden report: early august
posted by soe 2:03 am

I spent several hours at the garden this morning weeding the pathways and filling water barrels, so I thought I’d share thoughts about how the plot is going this summer.

Moving my herbs to the back of the plot was my best garden idea ever. We’d moved some herbs to that otherwise wasted, shady space last year, but my gigantic rosemary, the inherited sage plant, and two other larger, spreading herbs were still taking up valuable space in the main section of the plot. When the winter reduced the rosemary to kindling and killed back much of the sage, I took that as a sign it was time to make a move. The herbs are thriving back there. In addition to the sage and a new, smaller rosemary, I’ve also got a bay, lemon verbena, mint, thyme, savory, and oregano. My cilantro and dill have gone to seed already, so I’m hoping to get a second half of the season out of them. The only herbs I wish I’d planted, but didn’t are tarragon and lemon grass.

In addition to the herbs, the back section of the garden also houses a thus-far flowerless volunteer tomato, garlic, leeks, and what I’m pretty sure are shallots (I can’t quite recall and I’m too lazy to go check the garden bag for the packets). Oh, and a nest of ground wasps who moved into an abandoned vole/field mouse hole.

Potato Patch and Herb Garden

The side section of the garden is where most of my violets grow in the spring and where my strawberry plants are. The back of it (next to the herbs) is my potato patch, which are thriving. I’ve got regular potatoes and at least one sweet potato, since I noticed the lengthening vine this morning. I chucked all my seed potatoes and then anything that didn’t get cooked before it started growing over the winter. Because I don’t want to disturb their growth, I admit I don’t usually do a mid-season harvest, but I’m a little curious what would happen if I stuck a spade in there in the next week or two…

Two weeks ago, when Rudi and I were last down filling water barrels and killing time, he dug up some of the strawberries and violets and weeds to give me a little extra space between the two crops. I’d already put a purple bean in and wanted to add a few more beans to the mix. We also wanted to get some onion bulbs in the ground we’d forgotten about before they died. The beans are now about six inches tall and the onions are two.

I also have a tomato plant at the front of that section, since it gets some of the best light. I’ve harvested a couple tomatoes off it thus far, including one that was a crucial part of tonight’s vBLT dinner.

The Side and Main Sections of Our Garden

Speaking of tomatoes, in the main section of my garden I have five plants. Four are bearing fruit, and the fifth is blooming. I also have five pepper plants and four types of basil on six plants (they need more sun than the herb garden can offer). We harvest basil every weekend for our Sunday night Capreses, to which we can now start adding our tomatoes.

In the main section (the soil of which I supplemented and put a lot of work into after I dug out the herbs), we have spinach that grew this spring from seeds I planted too late last fall, a single chard plant that is a volunteer, and a humungous cabbage that I think Rudi doesn’t quite know what to do with, so it’s still in the plot. I also have a single broccoli, that doesn’t seem to have grown since I bought the seedling in May.

I got my peas in too late and only got three pods out of what I planted, which was a shame but unexpected. I also had thee lettuce plants that finally shot up and went to seed and a handful of pak choi that went to seed right after I planted the six pack of seedlings I bought. I dumped all the seeds from all those greens back into the front patch of the garden and added some other lettuce-type seeds two weekends ago. I’m hoping something comes of some of it. The only thing I wish I’d planted in that section of the garden are tomatillos. I’m not sure how they got left off my seedling list this year.

And that’s it. Except for the ground wasps, I’m pretty happy with what’s going on in my garden.

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