Weather people say it was the coldest, wettest spring in this area since the 1960’s. I just know it was bad for a gardener who wants to get started early, and we sure couldn’t this year.
But all good things in their own time and now we are underway. It was a lousy spring for germinating beans of different kinds, and I won’t have as many of most kinds as I normally do. But lots of other things now look like they might give a good harvest, and the earth should give us many blessings again. So, time to write a garden blog.
I took some blocks and a piece of slate and made myself a little garden stool. I can sit there and rest, or put stuff on it like coffee and my phone, or hopefully sit there later and admire a wildflower bed right near it. I scattered maybe 10 different kinds of wildflower seeds in a spot near the rest of the garden. Good for the bees, good for the people, cos flowers make people smile.
The newest idea here is 3 Sisters, a companion planting concept used by Native Americans now for centuries. The oldest sister, corn, gives support to beans, and squash gather around to cover the ground with lush leaves which help to hold in moisture. The beans also provide nitrogen to the ground, and the other plants need that. I planted Hopi blue dent (always eaten dried) corn, seeds given to me by a friend. And turkey craw beans, seeds also given by the same friend, (bless you, Sam for sharing some very unusual seeds). Turkey craw are only grown in certain regions of the south, so nobody around here has ever heard of them. The squash are already being encouraged to put their vines out in the Sisters area, to keep all this together in one big spot. The squash are spaghetti, zucchini and pattipan.
The herb bed is looking good and I’ve been using herbs from there, and also have some Swiss chard planted in there. I’ve been eating that too. My daughter in law got me that pretty thing in the middle when she and my son were at the beach on their honeymoon. Parsley, marjoram, sage, cilantro, savory, chives; some to eat, some to use to make herb butters, and some to use to make pickles.
There are purple sprouting broccoli plants doing well, (from seeds traded with another gardener) and a couple small collards in the area with them. I love my collards; eat them all summer and when they start producing more than I can eat, I clean some, cook it and freeze it for winter.
We have quite a few different kinds of tomatoes planted, and all are doing well, with flowers on most. Purple and yellow cherry ones, beef steaks, Pomodoros from Italy, Romas and even some white ones that my daughter in law got seeds for. They’re pure white from the pictures we’ve seen in the seed catalogs. That will be interesting. The seed company says they’re sweeter than other colors.
I built a big “encouragement” tee pee for cucumbers, cos we had some of them go up 8′ last year. They are just now really starting to take off.
Then there are beans, sweet and hot peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, some interesting little melons that were free seeds from ordering other seeds and a few other different things I might write more about later.
But you can’t eat everything, and here’s a pot of morning glories called Grandpa Ott. I got the seeds for these from trading seeds with a lady on a FB gardening page. They will be purple with a pink throat and will hang down all around the pot once they get going good. One already has little buds.
All our plants are heirlooms, most grown from seeds, and you’ll notice my several references to seeds, and trading seeds with others. I can’t write a garden blog without going onto my soap box, short version. Heirlooms will give you the same good results every year, and trading heirloom seeds with other people is how we keep them alive! End of soap box, for now.
Then there is this. If you’re a regular reader you know I often write about my grove of bamboo. I’ve written blogs about the new shoots that come up every spring, and the need to break some off every year to control the spread of bamboo. I love my bamboo but if you ever plant any, about 2 years later you need to be prepared to start controlling it. And, imagine my surprise one morning when I saw a bamboo shoot in a pot of basil seedlings. Yes it did, it pushed its way thru the bottom of this plastic pot.
The shoot looked a little worse for wear, coming thru hard plastic, but it made it. Then I broke it off, cos I want to be able to move the pot and not have it impaled with a full grown stick of bamboo. There are lots of surprises in a garden, but this is a new one on me.
If you grow a garden, I hope it does well for you this year. Grow on!