Friday, June 16, 2023

2023 garden status

It's been a few weeks since we planted the garden and we had to reseed some of the corn, but everything is coming up beautifully. Of course, the rhubarb, dill, and strawberries are perennials and were already waking up by the end of April. I had a couple of strawberries disappear as soon as they started to ripen, so I put a cage around them last weekend to keep the birds away.


The biggest surprise is that we already have grapes! That big bush of a grape plant was just a tiny twig when we planted it last year with only a few leaves that were halved when one of our cats chewed them off while the plant was inside, but it sure took once planted in its permanent home. This spring it roared out of dormancy with a vengeance and more than doubled in size. Plus, you can see the cluster of grapes growing on it. They've doubled in size in the last week alone. I wasn't expecting grapes for another year or two.

The back grape plant in the pic was a new one this year, It was already bigger than the first one when we ordered it to replace one that had died.

The main garden

Cucumbers love to climb, so we always plant those near the corn. This year, we also put in some panels to encourage the two plants to climb something else instead of becoming a ground bush hiding all the fruit. It does that in the corn too, but more often than not, they will wrap upwards on the cornstalks naturally. It doesn't harm the corn. Those stalks are strong.

Last year, hubby and I built the trellis for the grapes together, then he spent much of the summer building the 2-ft garden fence. You may not see it in the pics, but there is chicken wire on the inside of the white lattice. The white lattice is for looks. The chicken wire is what we used all the years prior to keep the ground critters out.

The tall fence in the middle is a temporary fence that we always put up for the peas to climb. That does require some attention. I regularly help the peas by taking their vines that curl in seeking something to latch onto and gently wrapping them around the fence wire. I'll do that as they need it, and they will climb to the top of that four-foot fence.

This year, we cut back on the amount of corn, since no one is really eating it (and I can't anymore) but we still like having some to give away to family. We also needed the room since we have the perennials on one end and my husband has a LOT of peppers (three types of hot peppers and three different colors of bell peppers). I also have one tomato plant in this and the two rows of peas.

We also have our raspberry patch near the house, and if the birds don't get them, I'll be eating them by the handfuls soon! The branches are thick with raspberries almost ready to turn.

And we'll have our pumpkins again. Those are planted outside the garden about twenty feet away and getting bigger by the day. We learned early that if we planted pumpkins in the main garden, we only had a pumpkin patch, so we started planting those well away from the main garden. Pumpkin vines grow like weeds, once they really get going, sometimes a foot or more overnight! Cucumbers and squash can be the same way, but they are all in the same general family of fruits. Cukes are just a bit easier to control because they can climb without being too much of a burden when full of fruits. These pumpkins are HUGE and sweet, good for puree or jack-o-lanterns.

One other trick we learned is to keep the ground moist until things sprout a few inches, then cut back the frequency of watering to encourage roots to grow deeper.

Gardening is rewarding but a lot of work. We don't use pesticides on our garden, although we do use herbicide around the fence to control the weeds there. Rather, we do the work of weeding.

We'll see how it looks in another month.

No comments:

Post a Comment