What a long way we've come since February! In two months' time, we've fleshed out the bare bones of the vegetable garden. Green onions are now ready for harvest (the rest will be left to fatten into bulbs); spinach and lettuce are producing well, and these herbs are ready to toss into our culinary makings: rosemary, chives, sage, Greek oregano, tarragon, thyme, mint. Garlic scapes, the rage of high-end gourmets, are here; if you don't know what all the fuss is about, try an internet search for details and recipes. We love adding them to eggs, sautés, and garnishes because of their fresh, light garlic flavor, unlike anything we've tried from a grocery store.
Transplanting is almost finished; Bryan moved all varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs dill and basil into their permanent growing locations in the garden. We quickly ran out of milk jug covers for all these plants, but the broccoli have adjusted and are growing so well they were ready to relinquish theirs to be reused on others. That master garden plan drawn up and dreamed over in January is finally coming to life. This Saturday, Bryan made a trip to Whispering Pines Stables in an experiment to see just how smelly he can make our SUV! Not really, but he did find plenty of fully composted and garden-ready horse manure which he brought back in buckets.
High temperature more consistently in the 80's F is warming the soil so that cucumbers, cantaloupe and honeydew melons, zucchini, squash, green beans, and corn will now readily sprout. We plant way too much of this stuff to finish in one weekend, so sections of the garden are divvied up and each planted on a schedule. Coming up this week are the vine crops, cucumbers, and melons. We leave our cardboard and leaf mulch in place to discourage weeds and to keep developing fruit off the soil. This way we do not have to till and disrupt soil structure underneath (keeping those earth worms happy!) We simply pull a circle of leaves away from the planting mound, dig in lots of composted manure, and plant our seeds on top.
Don't miss it! Coming next month: our attempt at growing the Great Pumpkin. In summer 2009 Bryan grew this 83-pound Bix Max, and that was only the start of the fun. This year we have Prizewinner seeds, and it will take all the right conditions - water, nutrients, and weather, to make a heavyweight that beats our previous record!