What could the cats be looking at?
Where are the …?
It’s June, and that means strawberries. Big, bright strawberries. Handfuls of them day by day.
I even remembered to put out beer traps for the slugs. Oddly enough I haven’t caught any yet. Nor have I found the characteristic circular bites taken of sweet, sweet berries. I wonder if the recent heat dried them up?
My first tomato has set fruit!
It’s finally shorts weather, and I went a little nuts today planting warm-weather seeds. In my herb garden, where a squirrel grew some corn last year, I planted to some corn. Also a random packet of sweet basil, which may or may not sprout.
In the pocket where I grow a tomato, I sowed edamame, and Cousa squash. Also a random packet of Dusty Miller, which is even less likely to come up.
At my community garden plot, I harvested another pound of Chinese mustard greens, and a couple pounds of spinach, slightly sun-burnt. And planted some green beans. By then, it was too hot to pick a random packet to sow, but the spinach was growing in all sorts of random spots, so that has to do.
It smells like victory.
At the end of the season last fall, I dug up about two dozen well-formed parsnips, almost six pounds worth. Also the usual tomato, eggplant, and chile pepper. This was the biggest surprise, as I had never had any luck before growing carrots or parsnips. But last winter, I had enough parsnips to last me until April!
Over the winter, I tallied up which plants were more successful and which weren’t. On the worth it list: Tomato plants, Parsnip seeds, Shallot sets, Eggplant plants, Carrot seeds, Pepper plants, and Squash seeds. Not worth it: Broccoli plants, Potato sets, Parsley plant, Snap pea plant & seed, and Lettuce plants. The mushroom kit was a nearly complete waste of money, and the raspberries & strawberries that I planted years ago continue to pay off.
This spring I renewed my resolution to avoid buying plants, and to trust my seeds to sprout. I resolved do better at growing greens. I have done better at planting my community garden plot to square foot grids. I marked out paths inside the plot.
Today was my first harvest. I picked several ounces of pea tendrils, a pound of flowering yu choy, and three pounds of turnip greens! Smells like victory!
So I celebrated by planting more parsnips.
Finally my first harvest of Brussels sprouts, after planting them last spring! They grow so slowly. I think they didn’t even form sprouts until late in the summer. And of the four plants, only one has formed sprouts worth snipping, just barely the size of my thumb, and just barely starting to open.
On the happy side, it’s a cole crop and hardy in cold weather. A little snow come and gone, and the Brussels shake it off. And then I remember that maybe I might want to eat a few, so snip, snip, snip — a bowl of cole!
My late season of “everbearing” Heritage raspberries is coming in dribs and drabs. There are just enough flowers to keep the bumblebees coming back to the raspberry patch, and just enough fruits to keep me checking on them every few days. Some days, I almost get a handful of raspberries!
A frost warning sent me out to my community garden plot yesterday to gather all the green tomatoes that were never going to get ripe.
I picked a heavy bagful of tomatoes, a few from my Butter Bush, a lot from the Rutgers, plus four more huge tomatoes from a volunteer tomato plant in my home garden. It was so many, it felt like more than all the ripe red tomatoes I’ve picked put together.
The squirrels plant corn all over the place. You might think they’re just caching it, by hiding kernels in the ground, but in some spots it comes up spaced so evenly, it looks deliberately planted. And in this one spot, which doesn’t actually get all that much sun, somehow two years in a row now, the world’s smallest corn patch has sprouted, grown, flowered, and ripened. All so the squirrels can eat some more corn kernels and cache the rest.