They are finally up! I dug their bamboo teepee poles out from alongside the garage this afternoon so they can start climbing. Peas are such a great crop with which to start and end the season. Because they are hearty and fast-growing kids enjoy planting them and watching them climb and bare pods. My kids love to eat the whole pods right off the plant.
This is the time of year where I really need to dig deep and get my second wind. I’ve already sowed and reaped two harvests and now I need to nurture my winter garden. This is the first year of our “expanded garden.” Stay tuned for a blog post on how we built a garden where our neighbor’s used to have a pool. Here is a teaser…it was a ton of work. I have to remember there will not be a whole lot of local organic produce at the store this winter.
Right now I have lots of kale and coming up. The spinach I planted is not doing so well. I have some lettuce but plan on planting more. I also plan on seeding more carrots. I plan on sowing some radish too. No one in my family really likes radish but they pop up fast. It is kinda like a home pregnancy test “yes your garden is growing.” Because we do our own composting you never know what will start growing where. We do have some random lettuce and potatoes starting to grow here and there as well. Last year I planted lettuce and carrots alongside the house and they grew through much of the winter. Kale and swiss chard can both take a frost and even a little snow.
The wintersquash is full of potential. Beetles got at my summer squash. After losing that crop we planted a ton of marigolds and the beetles got lost. However today I noticed some mold on the vines. Any tips?
A lot of plants from earlier in the season are still doing well. The broccoli is just now starting to bolt. The heirloom tomato plants are heavy with big green tomatoes. This year on a whim I put in a tomatillo plant and it looks cool, about 4 1/2 feet tall with lots of foliage and but no fruit yet. The pepper plants are yielding the sweetest peppers ever. The funny thing is they are only about a foot high. We grew them from seeds from peppers we bought at the store and started them inside back in May. They grew so slow I was sure they were duds. Then one day there were peppers almost as big as the plant itself.
There is a watermelon plant that we transplanted from the back yard. My dad calls these plants volunteers. I think the kids were spitting seeds early in the summer and one took hold. Steve asked me to clean up the yard so he could mow and I spotted it. The vine has since grown long but t won’t last through a frost so if it is going to grow fruit it is now or never.
Because we are still building up the beds from nothing (sand and clay) we are trying some new this year called green composting. I bought a small bag one pound bag of winter rye. The plan is to let it grow in the beds over the winter and come spring till it in. From what I have read it sounds like the plant will pull nutrients up from deep in the soil to the top layers where our spring crops can thrive. I am sure I am over simplifying that process but like I said this is a new one. I’ll keep you posted.