Saturday, July 30, 2011

Garden Mid-Season Update

We are right in the middle of our growing season, so this is a good time to look at how things are growing. Often, this time of year, we are so busy picking tomatoes and figuring out new ways to use zucchini that we don't get a chance to take any pictures of the garden.  I had to force myself to get the camera outside this morning.
Above, you see one sad rosemary plant (I don't hold much hope for the winter for this guy), some fantastic sage on the ground and a fragrant pineapple sage in the center.  I do love sage.

Below is another shot of the same herb garden, in which you can see some fennel, chocolate mint, and peeks of very crowded oregano.  I transplanted some oregano to another herb garden in the spring because the oregano is clearly losing this fight.(see their spring pics)

The cone flowers (echinacea) are at the end of their glory; the bees and butterflies have stopped visiting them and have moved on to the mint and Russian sage.  We will leave these as a winter treat for the birds.

Below is the Italian garden.  The tomatoes, basil, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, and flowers are all doing well. I've mulched over the new asparagus planted this spring just outside the fencing.

It is getting difficult to walk in the squash garden, below.  My new butterfly weed just outside the door has finally stopped being food for the wildlife, so I removed the cage my sons made for it.  The purple cabbage is grown mostly for the chickens, which means I don't need to worry about any bugs eating it (extra treats for the chickens).

I do love little pathways...
This one leads to the newly weeded and mulched strawberry patch.

The cucumber plants are doing really well.  I'm hoping to try making pickles this summer.

Searching for the cucumbers is fun.  Equally fun is the search for pumpkins in the mass of vines below.  If you look carefully, you'll see a large green one hiding in the leaves.  We've gotten zucchini, spaghetti squash, patty pans, and pumpkins so far this year.

Not everything is going as planned in our garden.  The blackberries are looking less-than-lovely this year.  I'm thinking that the chickens might be getting more berries than normal.

The struggle to grow pole beans AND limit the Mexican bean beetle population by planting in the chicken coop is a work-in-progress.  The first problem we found is that the chickens kept getting into the bean area of the coop, trapped in there with nothing to do except eat bean plants. I limited the area by just fencing two of the best plants.  The second problem is that the chickens don't seem interested in eating the bean beetles! Figures.

We never realized how the wind patterns around our property would affect what we grow, but now that we've got six fruit trees on the top of our hill, we realize that there is somewhat of a wind tunnel going through there.  We've staked one of the peach trees to help keep it upright during the gusts.

The blueberries in the above picture are finished for the season, so they've been weeded and mulched.  At this point in the year, we are turning our attention to harvesting vegetables, bracing ourselves for the big apple harvest in September.

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