Well, we have been a bit remiss on sharing what’s up in this year’s lower and upper (new this year!) gardens!
This year we got off to a rough start… the ROBINS, yes, those lovely birds of spring, almost decimated our tomato sprouts and squash. They took half of our tomatoes, the squash, and cucumber sprouts. Thank goodness I had extra seedlings I had reserved in peat pots on my back porch. Well, tomato seedlings, not so much. But, we had seeds and I did some direct sow of Blue Beech Tomatoes in the upper garden with the surviving Firminio’s Plum Tomatoes.
HOWEVER, good gravy, the lower garden is growing volunteer tomato plants from last year’s plants that dropped some tomatoes and apparently left A LOT of seeds behind! (Some of these “volunteers” are getting big!) So, we might transplant those into the upper garden. We shall see!
Right now growing we have tomatoes (2-5 kinds – because of the volunteers mentioned above), 4 kinds of potatoes, onions and leeks, carrots and 2 kinds of beets (some Fuerer Kegel Beets, but mostly Ruby Queen Beets), zucchini, cucumbers, celery, 3 kinds of peppers, 2 kinds of squash, French green lentils, 3 kinds of beans (baking, black, and kidney), Italian pole beans, sweet peas, purple podded peas, and 2 kinds of corn. Marigolds, too.
Okay, some photos from the gardens (upper and lower).. taken on June 23, 2019. Enjoy! 😀
We began by bringing in more compost to cover flourishing potato plants.
Mr. Gordon adding compost to the four kinds of potatoes we’ve planted.
We had blue fingerling potatoes (from last years garden) that sprouted in our basement this spring, so we thought, why not plant them again? Plus, we ordered seeds potatoes (King Harry White, Yukon Gold, and Dark Red Norland) from Wood Prairie Family Farm and those seed potatoes were beautiful!
Lower garden: lovely potatoes! Another angle of mounding up the compost.
Carrots are coming up!
Direct sow, of course. Last year I planted (accidentally) 100s and hardly any came up. This year I also planted a lot. Hopefully I’ll have better luck! I’m using a different variety, too: Scarlet Nantes Carrot.
Celery – Planning on Making Mirepoix.
First year planting celery (Tall Utah). I’m not much of a celery fan, but we will use it for mirepoix. (From Wiki: “A mirepoix is a flavour base made from diced vegetables that are cooked, usually with butter, oil, or other fat, for a long time on a low heat without colour or browning. It is not sautéed or otherwise hard cooked because the intention is to sweeten the ingredients rather than caramelise them. It is a long-standing cooking technique in French cuisine.”)
The celery is REALLY looking good. They were transplanted as seedlings, and I wasn’t sure how they would do, but wow!
Yes, I am fascinated with growing Potatoes.
We lost the first transplants to the birds. Gordon put up netting to cover, but you can’t see it here! We have about 8 to 10 Double Yield Cucumbers – good for both eating fresh and pickling!
Mostly Ruby Queen Beets (we grew them last year and loved them), but a few Fuerer Kegel Beets on the end. Wonder if we will be able to tell the difference?
Our Lovely Black Beauty Zucchini
We ended up with 3 plants (2 are really close together). Probably more than we need, but I love this zucchini! Sparkly French Marigolds were planted close by because I was worried that insects were also getting the sprouts early on. The zucchini will probably cover the marigolds, of course, but I think they helped a bit. Maybe. Well, didn’t hurt!
Le Potager du Tracy and Gordon
So, here’s just a little photo showing the lower garden on June 23. It’s 24 X 24. This is the same space we used last year. For stats on what we pulled out of this space last year, visit this post: Journal Entry on 2018 Garden
Another angle… lower garden. Hope our onions and leeks come up. Direct sow mostly. We shall see.
New This Year: The Upper Garden
We expanded with a new 20 X 20 “upper” garden this year. To cut down on cost, we decided to not put up a fence around it.
Tomatoes – We had 20 Firminio’s Plum Tomato Plants and 6 New Yorker Tomato Plants that we grew from seed and transplanted… then the birds nailed us. So, we replanted seeds (mostly Blue Beech Tomato seeds – we think) in those “blank” spots you see here in the pic. Gordon put up a great hoop with deer netting. It works to keep the birds away!
And, we brought in a little help.
Meet Mr. Owl. His head swivels as the breeze blows. If it’s really windy, it’s like a scene from The Exorcist.
Maybe he’s kept out rodents (rabbits, mice), but the Robins simply did not care. They. Didn’t. Care.
They waved at him as they flew by with our tender sprouts in their beaks.
Another shot of the upper garden. Three kinds of peppers (Bridge to Paris Pepper, Joe’s Long Cayenne Pepper, Sweet Pimento Pepper) and some beans… Hank’s Xtra Special Baked Beans, Light Red Kidney, and Black Turtle Beans.
Peas and Corn
Sweet Peas and Top Hat Corn popping up.
We are planting in succession. Here are 18 corn stalks. I then planted 45 more kernels. I once read with regards to planting corn: 1 for the blackbird, 1 for the crow, and 2 to grow. I think I saw that via the Farmer’s Almanac. Anyhow, decided to go with it!
(Also once read – again I think in the Farmer’s Almanac – that “when your wife comes to bed naked, it’s time to plant the corn.) 😉
Little French Green Lentils by the Beans
Beans and our little French Green Lentils. By the way: not worth it to plant beans and lentils inside and raise to sprouts. It was an experiment this year. Next year I’ll just direct sow.
New Yorker Tomatoes
We planted 6 transplants, only 2 survived the birds.
These were interesting: when we planted the seeds inside earlier this year, they took awhile to sprout and then were very frail. We decided to try them because they are supposed to yield small “eating” tomatoes in July. We’ll see if they are worth it!
Did I mention that we also have a side garden?
This one is a little messy, but we decided to see what we could produce. Mr. Gordon planted garlic last fall. This spring we planted Yellow Squash and Honey Nut Squash. Again, the Robins weren’t our friends, but finally we got things growing. Also planted: Golden Bantam Corn. We’ll see how that goes. We planted that corn variety last year but wasn’t over the moon about it. It didn’t do that well and the corn was meager.
Side Circle Garden
Another experiment is a side circle garden in which I planted various herbs, including 2 types of basil. The garden isn’t producing much yet, but I do seen some Basil sprouts.
Garbanzo Bean Plant
Once again, an experiment!
And that, my friends…
…is our update!
How does your garden grow?