A Garden Update

Well, the garden is still coming along.  The zucchini plants are above my knees, the tomatoes are flowering, and I’ve eaten three things from it, all salads: baby beet greens, young Parris Island Cos lettuce, and last night, a shaved turnip salad.  Yup, I pulled a young turnip out of the ground, and it was beautiful.  I broke out the mandoline and shaved that sucker into wafer-thin slices. I dressed the turnips with lime zest, lime juice, shallot, extra-virgin olive oil (pressed by our friends in Tuscany!), and some sea salt. Wow! The citrus was a nice contrast to the somewhat peppery turnip.

The cucumbers struggled at first, but they’re starting to take off.  The carrots are a big question mark, but I”m not too worried about them. I suspect the watermelon and cantaloupe aren’t get enough sun where I planted them, so they may not work. My biggest unknown is the cauliflower.  I planted two different types, and one of them started to flower a couple of weeks ago.  I was initially excited about that until I read that this means the plant is “going to seed” and will likely not produce cauliflower.  The other type of cauliflower is growing, but I just don’t think it will produce, now that it’s so damn hot. I’ll keep hoping, but I believe I planted too late in the season.  I should have switched the location of the melons with the cauliflower.

The weeds are a royal pain in the ass. I now know why people put down plastic for weed control. Live and learn, I guess.

I forgot to take decent photos, so you’ll have to live with the iPhone versions.

This is actually from 10 days ago. It's grown a LOT since then

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5 Responses to A Garden Update

  1. andrea weigl says:

    Matt finally figured out how to control weeds this year after many tough years of weed pulling. He puts down cardboard between the plants and covers them with hay. This works really well among the tomatoes and peppers, not so much in the lettuce patch. But just an idea.

  2. Varmint says:

    Thanks. I don’t mind weeding the plant bed area, but it’s the areas between the plants. The weeds thrive there. And that pigweed is the worst, with its thorns and long root.

  3. Congratulations on your harvest! Isn’t it fun?

    We just yesterday got our first squash and what is probably the last of the broccoli.

    When we started doing our urban gardening we went with the raised box method. It meant that our initial costs were higher (boards, nails, landscaping fabric, multiple types of compost and top soil), but we barely have to weed, and where we do it comes out so easily that it’s a cinch. Conditioning the soil and maintaining it as permaculture (we don’t use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides)is easier as well.

    Are you doing any composting? We finally ended up with multiple methods of composting since we at heart pretty lazy about that kind of thing.

  4. Lurker says:

    Congrats on getting started! You may want to do some research into when to plant things in our area (and how – i.e., seeds vs. transplants) because you’re trying to grow some things are the wrong time of year (carrots and cauliflower, the latter of which really only grows well in this region when transplanted as starts). Hopefully this website will get you started:
    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/plantingguide.html

  5. Varmint says:

    I was a bit worried about some of those crops, but live and learn. I’m about to eat a LOT of lettuce soon, as the heat is going to destroy it.

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