June 11, 2011 - Today in the Garden

It was another good day for gardening. It actually got too warm this afternoon, it was 84F in the shade. I had made a list of chores for today, and I got most of them done.

1. Harvest some kale leaves and pull the last lettuce plant from the kennel garden. Done.
2. Pull all the remaining lettuce from the east garden. Done (and cleaned and refrigerated)
3. Cut the remaining lettuce in the cut-and-come-again barrel. Not done.
4. Make five more seeds mats of carrots (3) and beets (2). Done.
5. Fill three pots with compost and plant pickling cucumbers. Done.
6. Plant a hill of yellow crookneck squash in a compost enriched spot. Done.
7. Start a bucket of compost tea. Done.
8. Plant a row of bush beans in front of peas. Done.
9. Prepare a compost hill and plant zucchini. Not done.
10. Cover the manure pile with a tarp to keep it dry. Done.

This is the bed that was prepped with fresh compost last night, then planted with seed mats. There are three squares of carrots and two squares of beets, with a few onion sets tucked in between the mats. There is room on the other side of this bed for the five carrot and beet mats I made today, but I might wait a week or two before I plant them.

The Fortex pole beans finally woke up and began to grow. In fact, there are several that are beginning to climb up the fencing. Although they aren't visible in this photo, there is a double row of tiny carrot seedlings in front of the beans. This is the second planting of carrots in this bed, the first disappeared just after germinating. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this planting will succeed.

Inside the kennel garden it's cool and shady, a nice place to sit and rest my old bones on a hot day. The alyssum are all volunteers from last year.

In the corner are kale, which got its outer leaves harvested right after this photo was taken, and one lone lettuce that was also harvested. There are morning glories all along the fence on the right and in the back. The front is bordered with blue lobelia (grown from seed), and nasturtiums and a couple of volunteer forget-me-nots are beginning to finally show some growth.

The strawberries, which were thinned out and replanted, are finally looking pretty good. They have quite a few blossoms, and a ripening berry or two. With this variety, I don't expect much of a harvest until July.

The newly planted rhubarb just languished for a few weeks, but recently put on a real growth spurt. I may even get a small harvest from it this year.

The rhubarb and strawberries are going to need all the room they can get in this garden, so I decided it's not the best place to have full of volunteer California poppies. The pots must be moved immediately!

The shed garden would be a good spot for a zillion poppies.

I moved the basil pot (center) forward a few inches, then snuggled the two poppy pots on each side. Perfect.

I might get a lemon from Leona! She's had nubbins before, but they've all dropped off while still tiny. This one (lower right, just behind the new blossoms) has grown as big as the end of my thumb, and is hanging on tight. Fingers are crossed that it will mature.

This makes me so sad.....

Last year I planted this strip in my neighbor Pat's yard. I planted tomatoes, beans, squash and cucumbers for her.

I took this picture of last year's garden while standing in her yard. Look at how neat her side of the fence is. Stan and Pat always kept their place up so nice. After Stan died, Pat hired someone to keep up her large yard, and it was always neat and so pretty. Last winter Pat had to go into a retirement facility, so she sold her house.

The new neighbors don't even mow their lawn. I'm glad Pat can't see how bad her place looks now.


  1. You should get the little slats that go in the chain link so you don't have to look at the other side. You could also plant more in that area on your side as the slats would keep the plants from going through the fence.

  2. Peggi, that's where I put the three pots of cucumbers. Hopefully they'll cover the fence. I can't put too much stuff there, as that is now my walkway, and the only path through the garden. I had to do it like that, as the weeds are so invasive, I didn't want them getting into the veggie beds. I have to try to get at them as they come under the fence. I hesitate to grow anything on the fence, but I'm going to....but I can't put in the slats, as it's their fence, not mine.

  3. Did you plan on pulling out all of your lettuce because it just ends up getting too hot for any of it to grow without bolting?

    And maybe once your new neighbors get a sight at your tremendous garden, you will inspire them to take more interest in the property surrounding their house. You can always hope!

  4. Prairie Cat, no, I just wanted to get it out of that side of the garden. One was in the way of a forget-me-not that I wanted to grow, one was tossed into the compost because it was full of slug holes, and there were three that needed to come out of the tomato bed to make room for some straw mulch under the toms. So far none of it has begun to bolt. Those were just some "extra" plants, there are still lots more in the lettuce bed behind the shed, and in the cut-and-come-again barrel. And my refrigerator is full of it again.

    I'd be happy if they would just mow that lawn and cut down the weeds! They're an older couple, both with good jobs, you'd think they could hire some kid to mow for them. :-(

  5. You've got me beat in the rhubarb department. The place I put them doesn't have much soil below them. It is very shallow. They aren't happy with me. It might take them years to grow big enough to harvest.

  6. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Leona's little lemon will mature.

    Boy, your neighbor's yard is a real hot mess! There is nothing worse then looking at a messy neighbor's yard. At least my new neighbor mows the lawn....that's about it though! I tend to the perennial bed between the two properties...but, all the beautiful landscaping I did there is all over grown and full of weeds!

  7. That's too bad about your neighbor. Perhaps you can entice them with your amazing harvest and they will want to start a vegetable garden too!

    I love that you have so many cool volunteer plants!

  8. Nice job on that rhubarb, it's a beautiful plant!

  9. Oooh, I hope you get lemons too. Do you fertilize your meyer lemon tree? Mine has never grown lemons, but this year I've been fertilizing it with Growmore citrus fertilizer. A tip from Thomas. Your carrot seed mat idea is the best, I used that method for the first time this year and it's doing fantastic!

  10. Daphne, it sure was a slow starter, but I'm happy to see it taking off now. In my previous garden (the one I was growing 22 years ago), I'd pile on the manure just as it was breaking dormancy, and I had huge rhubarb.

    Robin, I try to reach over the fence and pull the taller weeds every now and then, but I don't know how far I should go messing with their property, even if it is all weeds. They brought in a bunch of plants in containers about two weeks ago, but they are all still sitting in the back yard. It looks like mostly iris and maybe a rose bush. I though they were going to do something....I guess not!

    Charmcity, I hardly ever see them! She works all day and evidently leaves town on weekends. He hasn't moved here yet, as he hasn't found a job locally. When he's here, he works on the house and does some yard work. Last (long) weekend he pruned all the overgrown trees and bushes at the back of the property. There's a riding mower sitting on their patio, I wonder why they don't use it!

    I love the volunteer alyssum, but I'm not so happy with the volunteer four o'clocks that are coming up everywhere! They are thicker than weeds. Of course, they're not growing in the places I want them!

    It is, Isn't it, Erin? I hope it's a flavorful variety, not too terribly tart.

    Meems, I use a citrus tree fertilizer on the Meyer, but it sure doesn't seem to be giving it what it needs. Last year I just gave it fish emulsion and it did great...I think I'll try that again.

  11. If I were your neighbor we could share that lettuce and you could help me grow what ever you fancied :o), but you'd have to have greens to intice me :o) and some chickens too . I've planted Rubarb three times , the first I didn't know what to do with it and it was picture perfect..the other two times they died. :o(

  12. Ginny, if we want chickens we'll have to get rid of Mr. Granny! I suppose that's doable ;-)

    I love rhubarb pie, but it has to be made with lots of sugar and a beaten egg stirred into the filling, that cuts the bitterness of the rhubarb. I also had a recipe for an upside down cake that was made with marshmallows, rhubarb, and I think strawberry Jello. I'll have to find that one! Rhubarb crisp or cobbler are also really good.

  13. Granny I have a similar situation so I can feel your pain. We have lived in our house for 10 years. When we first moved in, my neighbors had the most beautifully landscaped yard you would ever see. St. Augustine grass, pear tree, azaleas, you name it they had it looking good. They were both work horses even in their 80s and you could tell they took pride in everything they did. They were in their 80's when we first moved in and the wife passed on to the Lord first and then the husband a few years later. The house is owned now by one of their children, and I know they are probably rolling in their grave if they saw what it looked like now. He cut the grass two times all last year and most of the shrubs are as tall as the house. I keep hoping he will sell the place and someone will move in and take better care of it. Good luck with your neighbors, for mine it is going on three years and I have just learned to accept it and love thy neighbor anyways as hard as that is sometimes.

  14. Kris, I want to invite my old friend over for a visit, but it would break her heart to see her place in that condition. There is a bridal wreath hedge between her house and mine, and she always had it professionally trimmed three times a year. Now it's overgrown and flopping over onto our property, and I'm going to have to go whack it off before we can't walk down our side yard any more (the only way to get the mower to the back yard). I hope the husband moves here soon!