Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In the Vegetable Garden in Late May

Not much going on here yet.  Except for ...

Beautiful, tall, strong Garlic.  We had almost no snow cover all winter and so this garlic started growing strong in February (during a one-week heat wave).  Hope the bulbs are as big as I imagine they should be:
Fenced-in Onions, which are not as big as they should be because they get too much shade.  But according to the rotation schedule, they are the lucky ones to get the shadier bed this year, so I will have to make do with small onions. 
(I fence them in because we once had a raccoon get inside the fenced-in garden one night and walk all over the onions, knocking them all down and stopping their growth when they were just babies.)

Cabbage seedlings planted in front of the Onions.  I never have luck with cabbage but I keep trying.
The first ripe Strawberry of the year
The tiny new path that I put into the Raspberry bed.  
When I first put the bed in, I didn't realize that I had made it too wide to comfortably reach the berries once they filled in (four-feet wide).  Okay, I knew it was too wide but I didn't care at the time.  (Trust the experts when they say to make the beds no more than two-feet wide.)  But after a few years of reaching deep into a thorny mess, I decided that smaller is better.  Oddly enough, last year nearly all the raspberries in the middle of the bed died off and left a blank strip down the middle.  It upset me last year that they died off like that, but this year I saw it as an opportunity.  A blessing in disguise.  And I placed some stones down the middle and tied the vines back to keep them out of the path.  And now I have a nice little place to walk so that I can get right into the thick of it and get the berries that I usually miss. 
The soon-to-be-ripe currants
Soon-to-be-ripe gooseberries 
The newly-planted tomatoes in their cages, with sweet peppers on the side
(They got in late this year because it was so cold.  And then three of them got some sort of wilt almost immediately.  I replaced them, but I am still watching them carefully.)

My experiment this year - a mixed bed of randomly-sown veggies
It contains ... Carrots
... Kale and Lettuce
... Beets, which are barely growing
(I never have luck with beets, either.  But I keep trying.  Even though I hate beets.  I'm not sure why I keep trying to grow them if I hate them.  Maybe it's because I think I'll magically start to like them if I grow them myself.  I guess time will tell, if I ever successfully grow one and get a chance to eat it.  And if not, maybe it's meant to be.  Because honestly, I hate beets!) 
... Chard, which is barely bigger than the baby clover next to it.  Chard is from the beet family.  The stalks taste like beets but the leaves taste like spinach.  So I pull off the leaves to use in salads, but I toss the icky beet-tasting stalks. 
Because ... I ... hate ... beets!
... and Radishes, which I don't like, either.  But my husband tolerates them.  And they grow fast.  So it's kinda a shame to not grow them.
And that's about it right now for the vegetable garden, except for ...
the first pea blossom ...
the pole beans which sprouted several days ago ...
and which I had to dust with diatomaceous earth because the bugs - pill bugs? - nibble them down and make them look like this:
And the zucchini and cucumbers that have just started sprouting ...
  Maybe we'll get some heat soon and then things will start to really take off!
Oh, and I also have these beautiful blueberries starting...
The new black raspberry bed which is really starting to fill in ...
(I think black raspberries - not the same thing as blackberries - are even better than red raspberries!)
And my thick patch of Greek Oregano!  Love drying this to use all winter!
Oh, and then there was this lovely surprise ... 
I woke up yesterday at 6:45 a.m. and found these guys in the yard.  This is exactly why I have chicken wire around the garden (not to mention the squirrels and deer).
This is him sitting by the chicken-wire fence, looking longingly into the garden
This is him up on his feet looking into the garden,
absolutely sure that there is something really good in there that he can't reach 

This is him 5 seconds later . . . inside the garden.  Just after I took the last picture, he darted right through a hole in the fence that I didn't know was there.  Thank God that I woke up at 6:45 a.m. and grabbed my camera and decided to take pictures of the bunnies . . . or else I would have never known he was in there, eating all the beans and raspberries and peas that he could stuff into his fat little face.  (He's in the middle there, turned away from me, looking for a way to get out since I was chasing him around the garden with a stick.) 
This is how filthy my previously white socks got after I chased him around the garden trying to shoo him out as he threw himself up against the chicken-wire fence looking for a way out.  (He finally got out through the gate I left open for him.)  I was standing outside in my socks and big green robe taking his picture when I saw him dart through the hole.  And I didn't have time to go back for shoes.  Stupid, adorable bunnies.

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