|New Squash and Cucumber Beds|
|Garden Greens Plot|
Good morning! I'm sorry for my absence last week. I had every intention to blog as usual, but a week that was initially planned as a productive gardening week quickly turned into a string of interruptions with lots of running, with each day becoming crazier than the one before it. Monday started out very promising with lessons being done outside in the warm sunshine, and, with no track practice, my afternoon was spent in the vegetable garden, and a bit of housework and laundry was done the evening after supper. I was excited! I planned to follow much of the same schedule for the rest of the week, hoping to have the garden completely planted by Saturday, but life has its own set of plans, and my week did not play out as expected. I didn't step foot into my gardens again until Saturday morning, and neither did I get a chance for any blogging; but here we are at the start of a new week, with fresh plans, and a steaming cup of coffee to get us started.
Despite my failed plans for the week, I was able to spend Saturday in the vegetable gardens, getting most of the planting done in the main garden. Hubby's plans to help me went awry, though, as he found himself attending to emergencies such as replacing the toilet and fixing a flat tire on his work truck. Finally by late afternoon, he was able to finish laying the boards for our raised squash and cucumber beds, and this week we will hopefully be able to put newspaper and straw in the walking paths, lay black plastic in the planting beds, and finally plant the squash and cucumbers. I usually plant these items as seeds directly into the garden, which is why I wait until the soil is warm (squash and cukes love the heat and need it for successful germination), but this year my mom was given a number of squash and cucumber seedlings by a friend who owns a small nursery, and she shared many of the plants with me. I will plant what I have for seedlings and then fill in what is needed with the seeds I purchased. Since we had to wait a bit longer than usual for planting, the seedlings are a wonderful bonus.
I turned my old squash garden into a garden greens plot this year, planting lettuce, arugula, spinach, radishes, beets, and carrots in it. This garden gets a bit of shade in the afternoon which the lettuce will enjoy, and the soil is very light and airy which will accommodate the growth of the root vegetables quite well. I'm anxious to see how it works out.
In an attempt to grow more food, I studied the book, How to Grow More Vegetables, especially the sections on plant spacing and companion growing. This book is loaded with wonderful information (a bit technical at times), and I plan to slowly implement some of the ideas with each new year of gardening, but I found myself constantly going back to and picking up a little book that Hubby found in a box of books at the dump, The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book. I could easily look up the vegetable I wanted and find growing and planting tips, spacing recommendations, and answers to frequently asked questions. Sometimes the unexpected things can be the most valuable. I planted three rows of bush beans this year, instead of my usual one, with plans to eat off one row this summer and preserve the harvest of the other two rows for winter consumption. I also planted more kale, spinach, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts, with specific rows and plants designated for either summer consumption or for preserving. It will be interesting to see how my plan works out. I'm hoping we will have a freezer full of home grown veggies for next winter.
This week (hopefully) will be spent wrapping up school lessons, planting the squash and cucumbers, and finishing the porch. We shall see how our plans unfold.
How does your garden grow? Please, feel free to leave a comment with a link or description of your gardening this summer.