Garden Update: 05.27.24

I wanted to get a Garden Update in before heading out on vacation in a few days, as the yard looks good and the garden is mostly void of weeds (though there absolutely are some…). It’s in pretty good shape so far, and hopefully we keep getting rain while we’re gone!

Speaking of which, in the past few weeks, we’ve had at least 15″ of rain, I’d hazard to guess? We had about 8″ a few weeks ago, but each week since, we’ve had a steady 1-2″ fall here and there, usually in at least 0.5″ increments. This is a far cry from last year, where we barely had any rain to speak of. I did water the garden late last week, but even while we were gone over this past weekend, we had 1.5″ fall randomly. Off to a good start!

Brooke planted kale and spinach over a month ago, and obviously the kale is doing well. The spinach has come in and is doing fine, but only a few of the seeds actually sprouted, yielding a somewhat random looking row. Still, we should have plenty by the time we return from our vacation.

The bean plants are mostly up, as well. A mix of green beans and black beans, we usually end up with a pretty solid number of pods, so we expect those plants to be quite a bit larger by the time we return.

Our family friend, Rich, yet again came through and supplied us with tomato plants, most of which came up looking great. One or two unfortunately didn’t make it, so Brooke “borrowed” a few plants from a co-worker who didn’t need them and supplemented our supply. We still have a few jugs covering the plants, but most of them have been removed because they’re plenty big.

The pepper plants all look great, too! We expect a few of those to die off, as we tend to have “hit or miss” luck with bell peppers. They’re pretty tightly packed in there right now, so if they all survive, I’m curious as to how they’ll handle the proximity to one another. Usually, we separate them out quite a bit. Not this time! Living dangerously.

Aunt Marie also came through with a ton of sweet potato plants, pictured in the upper right portion. The mounds in the foreground are a mix of zucchini and cucumbers. The zucchini seem like they always produce, but the cucumbers are more “hit and miss,” so again, curious to see how that will go.

This plot also features corn and soup beans around the edges, but those were planted relatively recently and aren’t up yet. We haven’t planted sweet corn since……Iowa? Maybe? It’s been a long time! The goal is to train the soup beans to coil around the cornstalks, but we’ll see if we even get that far.

Brooke planted carrots and potatoes in the above ground bags, but only the potatoes are doing anything. There are a few, solitary, carrots growing in there, but frankly, those are cheap enough that I’m not going to be all that broken hearted if we don’t get anything. We haven’t tried growing legit potatoes in a long time, either, so we’re intrigued to see how that turns out!

The strawberry yield this year has been…..fine? As in, we’ve gotten bowls like that shown below, but they came in quite a bit earlier than usual (on account of spring starting in, like, late-February this year?), and many of them were smaller, and somewhat “mushier” than we’ve had in the past. Whether that’s the weather or the age of the plants, who can say.

Still, we definitely got some solid bowl-fuls of them like this one. If I were going to guess, I’d say we got at least 4 or 5 of these amounts during their main productive period? Brooke made some strawberry ice cream with one batch of them that turned out really well! Apparently getting strawberries in the right consistency for ice cream isn’t a trivial matter, but you’ll have to ask Brooke about how she did it. I just ate it, and it was good. 🙂

Lastly, the cherries. Ahhhhhh, the cherry tree. The tree itself looks good! (…unlike the almond, peach, and pear trees….all of which are gone now…) We had a lot of flowers on there earlier, but there was a pretty good frost around that same time, so we think a lot of the cherries were taken out back then, leaving us only a handful to make it to now.

Luckily, the remaining cherries were ready to pick just before heading out for vacation. Here’s our sad little bucket of them, but bear in mind that we actually had twice this amount on the tree: it’s just that Brooke and Calvin ate the other half as they were picking them!

It’s Brooke’s birthday, though, so it’s cool. She earned it. 🙂