It’s always rough for me to start a new work week but the trick is to start planning the fun activities and to-dos that will keep you busy until the next weekend begins. I had grand plans for lots of walking but that nagging leg pain is back again, so the weekend was spent foam rolling. Luckily I’m already noticing improvement – so I just need to keep doing it. Maybe I need a daily check off calendar on the fridge or something…
It’s about time I did a nice garden update, so I’ll walk you around the garden to see what the late summer and little rain has done to my bountiful oasis.
The green beans are just about officially done now. There’s a few stragglers here and there but the top leaves have all fallen off (or eaten off by something mysterious?). I was considering ripping these all out right away and planting a late crop of snap peas… not sure.
We’ve gotten 6 or 7 large zucchini and we are still getting a few more flowers blooming so I think we’ll get a couple more before this plant dies off too. We only had one zucchini make it this year so there’s not as much produce as last year when we were swimming in them.
I’m not sure what to say about the tomatoes but they were a bust this year. The plants got so heavy they all toppled over exposing a lot of their roots. The two plants we actually bought turned out to be romas, but we still have some caged and un-caged plants that re-seeded from last year – including a cherry tomato that looks like I may get a dozen or so from. Hurray!
The #1 thing we wanted the garden for was peppers and I’m happy to say they are doing really, really well. We’ve picked 3 so far and there are a ton waiting to be picked. I’m monitoring because I need to pick them before they start rotting but I’d like to let them have more time to turn red/yellow. Either way, each one of those babies saves us a whopping $2.28 – the price of an organic pepper in our local grocery store. I am keeping a running produce tally so we can see when we begin to break even on the garden. The pepper haul should help!
I spent all of June/July picking the flowers off our strawberry plants to force more root growth. Now, however, we’re experiencing the late crop of berries that we can actually eat! Whoop! We got a wind whirly-thingy for my bridal shower that (so far) has done a great job keeping the birds off my berries. The couple we grew in June got eaten right away – but not these – and I can only guess it’s because of the colorful distraction.
Check this out – I get this crazy smile every time I see them:
Super healthy plants – tons of new shoots and lots of berries yet to come. Every day now I’m able to walk out back and pluck a handful or two. It’s just perfect.
Judging by the amount of blooms, I’d say we’re still going to have berries for a few more weeks yet. That’s crazy for Wisconsin. I had not expected to get anything this year, so this is a fabulous bonus. For the 10 plants at $1/each, we’ve already gotten our money’s worth out of them.
As wonderful as the strawberries are doing, the opposite can be true about my raspberries. They seem to be constantly attacked and chewed by bugs.
It’s totally gross and nasty but I’m at the point where I’ve been picking them off the leaves and then crushing them under my shoe. I’m over 20 nasty critters demolished now – and somehow I doubt that’s making any difference…
I hate to spray and I’m just hoping they don’t interfere with the fruit production next year…
Although, I’m seeing some interesting growth making me wonder if maybe we’ll see a few, tiny berries yet this year.
But, overall, the fruit garden looks like it’s thriving. If I could keep the bugs away, it would have been a 100% success year one. Everything is growing nicely and all but 1 of the 20 fruit plants I bought survived the transplant.
We still don’t have the actual door made yet – but the makeshift wrap-around fencing is working just fine. No critters have tried burrowing underneath (yet).
So I’m really, really pleased with the gardens this year. I think each year I’ll learn a bit more about what grows well in this environment. I already feel smarter and more confident then I did last year. This is, of course, the best part of the gardening season – when you get to harvest all your goodies daily!! 🙂