Sunday, July 8, 2012

Quick, Belated Garden Update

There is so much more to do with our summers than sit in front of the computer updating a blog. I do feel guilty, though. I had a goal, after all. And much of what busies me is indeed relevant to this blog. So many post ideas...  I'll give you some garden photos instead.

All of these, except for this first one of the garlic, are about two weeks old.  The garden has changed since then, and I will try to post another update in a timelier fashion.

Here's our first head of garlic, pulled a little early as you can see by the still-green leaves resting on the porch railing below and thus, small. Our garlic plants are just starting to brown at the bottoms, so yesterday I dug up this one just to see. It's a head! It has cloves! Grown from just one clove! I'll leave its siblings in the ground until their leaves completely brown out. Perhaps the extra time will make those remaining heads of garlic bigger.

These are from our, um, extended garden. It's called urban gleaning, OK? And we've talked about it before. We had a surprise apricot season here. Suffice to say the tree we thought was dying for the last two years is actually just on a three-year cycle or something and produced like crazy this year. By mere chance, I biked past the tree and saw the fruits ripening a whole month earlier than our 2009 super apricot harvest. Must be the heat. Pardon the strange lighting; this was taken indoors, against sheer white curtains on a bright, sunny day.

At left, a tiny bunch of tiny grapes that may or may not make it to autumn ripeness thanks to 100-degree days and hordes of Japanese beetles. The skeletonized leaves in the photo on the right were our first evidence the beetles had reached crop-decimating adulthood. We try to keep them at bay by regularly spritzing the leaves with soapy water (because then the leaves don't taste so good!). It somewhat works.

A bloomin' onion. Those pretty white flowers have since closed up into little seed pods. Soon they'll be dry, ready for saving, and I'll pull the onions themselves out of the ground.

The potato patch. Or should I say potato pile? As the plants grow taller, we keep heaping on the mulch, soil and used coffee grounds. The spuds seem to like it.

The beans, shortly after sprouting.

And their friendly neighbors, the carrots.

And Len, sprinkling some spent coffee grounds over them both, enriching the topsoil a bit. We've been collecting coffee grounds from a Caribou coffee shop near us. We drop off a five-gallon bucket (with a lid) and they dump their used grounds into that instead of the trash. About once a week, Len trades them an empty bucket for the partially full one, and we haul the grounds out to the garden or dump them in our compost bin. No coffee grounds for the front yard garden bed, though. That soil was already too acidic from the evergreen bushes that used to be there.

I suppose that's plenty of garden updates for now. As you can see, not much harvesting going on yet, just a lot of watering, weeding, soil amending, and pest control. So I'll leave you with one last pair of photos.

The cat, enjoying some homegrown catnip. What a life.

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