Even though the weather has turned to fall, with almost freezing temperatures at night, stuff still grows. Just look at the size of these sprouts! So far, all except one plant are aphid free, but there has recently been a hatching of snails which are tiny and hide in the top new leaves. So spent some time today picking (I got slimed!) them off and dropping them into a salt pile – ick!
It’s two months since I planted the garden and I have never seen anything grow and produce so fast!
First we had the kale and lettuce, then everything else started coming in. Now th brussels sprouts are waist high with little buds forming, but the plants are so big they have shaded some of the other plants which struggle. So next time I plant, I will have to give them more room.
We had our first batch of green peas the other night and I’ve picked all the cauliflower, including the beautiful purple ones. Last night I made the most delicious cauliflower au gratin. One thing about having a lot of one type of veggie is that I have to get creative with the recipes, which for me, is all part of the fun. The trick now is to start planting for the second part of the summer, and hope things have enough time to mature before the cold hits.
The red cabbage and some cauliflower are already in and I have some scarlet runner beans climbing madly. A New Zealand spinach is doing well, too and it looks like the onions will be ready to pull soon. My tomatoes are finally setting. They were doing nothingfor a while and one of the growers at the farmers market told me the soil is probably too rich and that I must be the bees! So I have been ‘tickling my tomatoes” and the are starting to form en masse and by harvest time, I will probably be wishing I hadn’t bothered!
Today I picked carefully and we have our first salad from the garden. It’s amazing! I planted on May 18 – today is June 2 and already our little starts are producing more than enough salad and soon the kale will be big enough to cut. Peas and beans are going nuts; broccoli and cauliflower and brussels sprouts are taking off! I love it!
Square foot gardening seems like the way to grow veges and with prices of food skyrocketing, along with the gas prices, I decided it was time to get growing.
So last week Chris and I built the frames and last weekend I put it all together. The hardest part was mixing up the growing medium, and I had to fudge it a bit as the vermiculite was sooo expensive and the nursery hardly had any. The lady at the nursery said that with our soggy weather, it really wasn’t that important, so I went with very good compost ( bat guano, worm casings, chicken manure etc!) and peat moss with some vermiculite for good measure.
I pour the bags out in batches, onto a tarp and layered the stuff and then turned and turned it. Of course, we were actually having a heat wave (90F) so it was hard work. But I got it done and shoveled it into the boxes. (If you are wondering why Chris didn’t help, he was sailing the NOOD regatta in Seattle.) By the end of the day I was pooped!
Saturday was a fun day. I went to the nursery to pick out the plants. It seemed like everyone and his brother was there! Amazing what happens around here when the sun comes out! I had mapped out my gardens so pretty much knew what I was getting but ended up with some different plants. I also bought the dividers (see the pix) to make the squares.
So home I went and started planting. Oh and I forgot, I put bird netting over the mix so the kitties didn’t decide to make it their own. I cut holes in the netting and dug into the very friable mix and got a lot of the veges planted, plus some additional seeds.
Sunday I finished the planting, leaving some open spaces so that when my seeds are up, I can thin them out and have additional space for them.
I planted, peppers, eggplant (aubergine) basil, lettuce (several varieties) celery, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, swiss chard, walla walla sweet onions, red onions, chives, carrots, beans and peas. Whew.