It’s nearly the middle of August (how the heck did that happen?!) and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the productivity of our small garden spaces. We planted in clay, with a modest amount of good, rich compost mixed in, and hoped for the best. We mostly transplanted seedlings that we raised from seed indoors, but direct planted a few things from seed as well (carrots, naturally). It’s nice to look back now and realize that we’ve enjoyed more salads than we can count, numerous dishes using kale and chard, and enjoyed our first ever homegrown green beans. We’ve been enjoying ripe tomatoes most days since the very end of July, but most of the toms are still green, so lots to look forward to there.
In addition to the beds shown here, and the additional tomatoes mentioned above, we also put five or six kale plants in a bed that is about a five-minute walk from the house waaaaayyyy out in a field where we first gardened last year. The soil is richer out there, but being so darn far away we don’t tend the plants out there daily. If they get a look-in once every week or so, they are doing well! Absolutely no supplementary water is available for those plants, so they have to get by on their own reserves. Those kale plants are also caged (they would be gone in a heartbeat otherwise), and I have harvested a decent amount from that bed this year, but it’s succumbing to other pests now. We put one other bed in just below our raspberry bushes (about a one-minute walk from the house) and direct seeded carrots and beets. We’d run out of cages at that point and I said a prayer, knowing deep in my heart what would happen: about two weeks after planting we had lots of darling little seedlings well on their way and I was thrilled to see that we might have carrots in quantity this year (a plant I tend to have trouble growing). The beets were so pretty too. And then, a couple of mornings later, all gone! Did I mention that we have deer?
We’re getting ready to plant some fall crops now, so I’m trying to turn my attention there. We also know that we must get any more beds dug this year, as we do NOT want to find ourselves digging clay in the wet spring months ever again. Tilling compost in before planting is fine, but breaking ground in the spring is absolutely unforgiving on a body, not to mention stressful. So more beds to be dug and fences to be built. Oh, and my husband is absolutely loving this job: scything the grasses, weeds, etc., in a field of several acres solely for the purpose of compost creation. He scythes and I stack it in great piles. If you think I’m joking about my husband’s pleasure in this job, you obviously don’t know us!