Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Victory Garden (?) Mid-July

Okay, okay, I haven't been updating like I thought I would be. It's still there, and it's actually producing some stuff. There were some minor snafus with my first try doing intercropping...mostly that the onions are thriving and going crazy. I switched hybrids...I had been planting the Stuttgarter variety for years and had marginal results...only green onions from sets, and about 50% success in getting them to actually grow. I can't remember what type these are, but I know where I got them...they ALL emerged from the ground, and they're bulbing beautifully.

The main problem with that, however, is that I had intended on having them out of the ground already to make room between two rows of green beans. It's crowded!

You can kind of see them just above the center...the row goes left. I've been pulling them for spacing and telling my neighbors to take whatever they need as we still have tons left.

Because of the onions still taking up room, I decided not to put in the basil that I had planned on the other side of the beans (where the onions are in front of)...I knew it was going to be a really tight fit with the broccoli.

Oh...the broccoli....the @#$($^!@#@$%#$@ broccoli. I might be dining on some hasenpfeffer in the near future because the damn rabbits mowed down the broccoli plants (not counting the 2 that got trampled on by the boys). They had spinach. They had lettuce. Do they go for that?


They decide to go for the cole crops!

After they leveled the broccoli, they started turning to the cabbage. I actually watched this tiny bunny eat about twice his weight when he attacked one of the base leaves on the cabbage. I actually let him take that one out as it was getting in the way of the tomatoes. Hey, with the broccoli gone, we bought a basil plant from the local farmer's market and planted it in the broccoli row. It's not taking too well...I'm still trying to decide if I want to sow some basil now or will be pushing it to get a lot of leaves by late summer.

Speaking of getting in the way...HOLY COW the squash got big!

I'm going to put in a disclaimer here that I have used fertilizer VERY sparingly. We've had some good rain at the right time, and the summer has been fairly mild. I was hoping the sun would reflect off the house, and it looks like that's exactly what's happening. I had planted one hill of acorn squash, one hill of spaghetti squash, and two hills of zucchini. One of the zucchini hills didn't germinate, so, when I thinned out the other hills (2 plants per hill), I attempted to transplant into the bare hill. Miraculously, both plants took, and all 4 hills are going crazy. The runner vines on the spaghetti squash are constantly being moved by me to fit where I want them to fit (the runners are winning). We've harvested all but one cabbage plant, which is still developing the head (in a bit more shade, near the deck).

...and then there are the tomatoes.

Again, I'm not using much fertilizer at all. There must be a lot of nitrogen in the soil because I feel like I'm in a Jurassic Park setting sometimes when I'm working in the garden. The tomato plants are so big that a rain will put too much weight on the cages, and they topple over. The scary thing is that I'm pruning the plants like crazy to reduce the chances of this happening. There are hundreds of tomatoes growing...Sheri is considering an attempt at canning them if we get a good enough crop.

Soooooo....are we actually getting anything from the garden, or just a pretty show? I'll let you decide:

To give you a little perspective...that long zucchini is over 13 inches long. That head of cabbage easily tops 4 lbs in weight. The Zatarain's...well, we don't grow rice in central Illinois. We're pulling onions like that almost every day, and the zucchini is starting its offensive. We should be able to provide cole slaw for the neighborhood for a month with that head of cabbage. We're getting green beans now in the first planting, and both plantings of limas are starting to blossom. I was so proud of the fact that we had green beans already...that is, until we went to the farmer's market and found that three of the stalls also had beans (grrrrr...way to burst my bubble). We're starting to get cherry tomatoes, and we're about a week or two from the onset of the regular tomatoes. The acorn squash is progressing nicely, but, being a winter squash, it has a while to mature yet. The spaghetti squash, however, apparently didn't get the message that it's also a winter variety, because there are 3 or 4 that look to be full-size already. I'm resisting the temptation to pick one. Sufficed to say, I think we're going to be very busy in about 10 days.

As the harvest really takes off (like it hasn't already), we'll provide some more updates.


Mare said...

I've been waiting on an update! =)

Your Victory Garden looks amazing! Right about now, I wish I was one of your

Mush said...

We've got a house for sale next door, Mare...come on up!!! :P