Our Garden This Week

Our garden is so sweet.  It’s very small, still a beginner’s garden.  I’m seriously thinking we need to graduate to something bigger next time.  I started dabbling in gardening in 2003, in Iowa, starting with two summer squash plants in a corner of our backyard.  I was hooked.

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As much as I love having fresh, organic produce, I love having pretty flowers to cut and bring in too!  For a couple years I’ve been saying that I was going to plant more flowers and I just haven’t gotten around to it.  Next May there’s going to be hydrangeas and peonies placed somewhere!

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I had decided to expand this year, but then Scott’s job suddenly required a lot of traveling (and being a homeschool family, all of us traveled with him!)  I was afraid to leave my garden unattended for a week at a time.  It was over 100 degrees for several weeks last summer.  This year I think we’ve reached 100 once…  But still, the garden would be history without water for a whole week.  So I kept the garden small (an experiment in unattended gardening.)  So far it’s done really well and I’m dreaming of expanding again!

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I have been a bit dismayed at the small number of squash we’ve gotten so far this year.  But everything’s late this year too, maybe they’re still to come.  (We had LATE freezes this year, well into May.)  Last year, at this time, we were heavy into ripe tomatoes everyday.  This year we have a 100 little green tomatoes today…  Told ya’.  Thankful to have had 3 zucchini though (the easiest thing to grow in the world) and having made 4 loaves of chocolate zucchini bread for my babies!

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Mindful neglect results in basil, probably flowering sooner that I want.  (meaning I knew flowering was happening and chose to do nothing about it.)  Because without tomatoes, we just aren’t in need of basil…  I only planted two basil plants this year – because I had tons last year, with just two plants.  However, this year one of our plants is a weird basil/mint hybrid – not sure how that happened, but it isn’t edible.

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I wish I had space to start my own seeds.  And sadly,  I don’t think there’s a chance that I can get my dream greenhouse before time to start them again next year…  Isn’t this greenhouse beautiful?  If you google “beautiful greenhouse”, this is one of the images that comes up.  Just WOW!  I love the brick/stone bottom wall.  This would be very expensive.  Do you start small with a plastic one or do you commit all the way, right off and do glass and stone – a permanent structure?  (I guess for us, it all depends on the work situation too.  Let’s wait and see some more, shall we?)

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Our bell peppers are doing really well, especially considering that these two plants were almost completely destroyed by hail the first week they were in the dirt…

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Our banana peppers have thrived both years we’ve planted them in the shadow of the tomatoes.  I  cook with them, just like I would a bell pepper.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them, until I decided to treat them like bells.

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Here’s our ONE, CURRENT, RED TOMATO.  So excited for turkey sandwiches with my Dood again!  These are supposed to be beefsteak tomatoes…  I don’t have a lot of experience growing  tomatoes, but this doesn’t look like any beefsteak I’ve ever seen…  And it’s on the one plant that’s been trying to die all summer…  Ugh.

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See that dead boxwood on the end?  That’s where a peony is going to go next Spring!  We have some draining issue to fix on that end, cause everything we’ve put there the last couple of years has died!  I think I’d like an ornamental grass there as well.

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I love  Blue Spruce trees!  We have two, one on each side of the front yard.  They are BEAUTIFUL!  (and they seem to love our terrible soil, here.)

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This second tree is now around 12 feet tall.  It was maybe 3 feet tall when we planted it the second year here in Sidney.  I know my 4 and 5 year old boys were taller than this tree when we put it in…  I love thinking about them all growing big and strong and healthy! 

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So, all in all, I think things are going well, although everything’s late this year.  We’ll have tomatoes, just a month later than normal.  We’ll have to wait and see about everything else.  This year is not going to be the year that I have so much garden produce that I have to give away a bunch…  Someday…

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