The strawberries I planted two years ago are starting to produce! Anya picked fourteen ripe strawberries a few days ago, and she found a handful again today.
We’ve had a lot of trouble with deer eating our veggies — corn, beans, lettuce. All very good deer munchies. We had a little luck playing talk radio all night long, but I think they get used to it pretty quickly. Then eat all your not-quite-ready-to-pick sweet corn. This year, we put in a decoy garden full of deer’s fav foods. There are brassicas, beets, radishes, oats, and rye grains. Scott tilled up a big area where our garden used to be, I raked it out to level the soil, and then I spread a bunch of seeds. We did it in three sections — the north-east quarter was finished first. The south-east quarter and west strip were done second, and the strip in the middle was done last. The first section is coming in quite vigorously. The second section is just starting to come in, and the final strip is pretty much dirt. We’ve been lucky to have a few heavier rains since the seeds were spread, so everything is watered well. This should be really cool. My next adventure is to replace some of the lawn with a wildflower seed mix so we’ve got plenty of bee chow available.
We’re in for a drastic temperature drop this week — 70 degrees one day, 27 the next night. We’ve covered our hops before; but, as the plants spread out, they get harder to cover.
This year, we built a quick (temporary) greenhouse over the entire hop bed. Rebar and longer metal poles are pounded into the ground at an angle, and the 1″ PVC that I had for the low tunnel greenhouse is mounted to the poles. A large sheet of greenhouse plastic covers the entire bed, and a lot of bricks are (hopefully) holding it all in place. This should keep our new hops from freezing.
It’s almost time to start seeds for this year’s garden. I’ve got about two weeks to get some pots ready — we’ll get the peppers, asparagus, celery, and verbana started. There are a few herbs that we can start too — oregano, rosemary, and thyme. I’m not growing any eggplant this year.
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The peppers are getting bigger
The corn is taller than Anya
I’ve still got plenty of green tomatoes growing, and for the first time ever I have carrots growing. We’re enjoying the bush beans. There are a lot of flowers on the climbing beans, but no beans yet. I do have a large wall covered in green, leafy vines and a collection of purple and red flowers.
It’s almost time to plant the broccoli, brussle sprouts, and kale! We’ve gotten a few harvests from the bush beans (and I planted more seeds a few weeks ago), and the wall of pole beans is covered in flowers. Anya and I have been snacking on pea leaf microgreens (and macrogreens!) — and rabbits apparently love pea plants above any other plant. The little bed of microgreens seems to have saved the rest of my garden from nibbles. The corn is almost as tall as I am, and the cucumber plants are covering the A-frame. Tiny peppers are starting to form on the plans
And I’ve got dozens of green tomatoes
It looks like moving the garden to a sunnier spot has been a huge improvement in production.
Next year,I want to adjust the planting schedule:
March: Start the peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, pumpkins, squash, and cantaloupe indoors. Plant snow peas outdoors.
Late April: Start the corn indoors.
Mid/late May: Plant the plants that have been growing since March. Sprinkle carrot seeds around the tomato plants — that worked quite well as I’ve never had carrots grow before. Plant the bush and pole beans outdoors.
June: Plant the corn outside. Start the broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower indoors.
July: Plant second round of bush beans outdoors.
August: Plant broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower