Monday, August 6, 2012

Mid-summer update and renovations

The August long weekend usually marks the beginning of a significant harvest in our garden. We've been eating bits and pieces all along but now the root vegetables are ready. Jessica pulled out some Nantes and Yellowstone carrots (the yellow ones) to thin out her plot and they were tasty.

I also started a couple of "next year" projects. I shoveled all of the dirt out of one of the older raised beds and put it into the two new raised beds/cold frames I built last week. I seeded these with some late lettuce and some Swiss chard. Hopefully we can eat fresh food into November this way. I then disassembled the wood from the old bed and set it aside to build to new cold frames that better fit the glass I have on hand. Maybe this week--we'll see how the rest of the garden shapes up.

I then decided to move all of the irises out of the back bed to make room for more vegetables for next year. This has meant moving over 100 iris plants. Some were donated to a friend, some I guerilla gardened into a bed at the local school, some were shoe-horned into my front and side yard. I still have about 20 plants to go before all of the spiky foliage in the picture above is cleared. Then I'll dig the bed and weed it for the rest of the summer. My arms are really feeling this work but the last day of my vacation has been motivating.

Around the back of the house, things are progressing nicely. This is basically useless space that we've put five raised beds into. In the foreground, Jess is having a bumper crop of beets, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and flowers. A bit further back, beans and peas are doing really well and there are some potatoes in the far bed. The only disappointment here was the loss of the onion crop.

The painted lady beans are now carrying huge pods. The one above is about seven inches long and you can see the beans forming. I'm just water these and then leaving them to dry on the vine.

On the backyard, the carrot bed (4x16) is really filling in. There are a few tomato plants stuck in here as well. Unpictured in the huge potato bed, which seems to be doing fine. Im keen for a big harvest there. In the meantime, I continue to put up and eat green beans. So far, a good summer!

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