Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mid-July Garden Updates

Hello! I've been quiet! That means I've been outside enjoying this wonderful summer we're having here in New England. We started out weak with a drought in May, but June and July have provided rebounds with stormy weather. 

They need a little rain; looking a bit droopy!
We had the added benefit of the greenhouse this year to get our seedlings off to a happy, healthy start. We've got thirty (yes, 30) tomato plants in this year on a much better rig that previous years. I'm really kind of happy with our tomato structure this year, which is mostly just heavy gauge chicken wire. Neither Chris nor myself actually know what it's called, but we bought it when we started with the chicken run and ended up not needing it. Came in super handy for the garden!

So we've got an assortment of interesting things planted this year:
  • Carrots, which wintered surprisingly well considering the snow we had
  • Beets, which also wintered, but not quite as well thanks to chickens
  • Provider beans, which did not provide nearly as well as I had hoped
  • Sugar snap peas, which have outdone themselves this year!
  • Zucchini, only three, which have already given us more than we can handle
  • Eggplant, just four, but are starting to blossom
  • Lettuce and kale
  • An assortment of different peppers, from bell peppers to ancho poblano
  • Six broccoli plants which have started to come in, but I think they're a little delayed
  • Thirty tomato plants, ranging in variety from Big Boy, Early Girl, Roma, Ace, and a whole bunch more
  • Boston pickling cucumbers, though I can't remember how many. There's just a patch of them.
  • About 40 Silver Queen corn stalks
The newest thing is the corn. Chris was excited to try it and see if we could do it. The neighbors on our south side suggested the variety, and we intend to share. I'm a little astonished at how quickly they bolt once the sun is right and they're happily transplanted. Literally within seven days, the corn grew from Chris hip to above Chris's shoulders.
Silver Queen corn adjacent to the cucumber patch
We also transplanted some raspberry cuttings from our neighbors prolific bush with hopes of being able to stop sniping their raspberries and canning up our own. 

We planted a dwarf apple tree in the front yard this spring, along with two Concord grape vines in the chicken area. The chickens get about a third of the back yard to hang around in, so they're going to need to share their space with us a little bit.

So far, we've had a few zukes for dinner and in salads, and have happily munched on the sugar snap peas while working outside. They don't last long; they're like candy! 

Today I canned up three pints and two quarts of dill pickles after stockpiling them for a few days.

We're really moving right along into high summer here! Can't wait to get the tomatoes going!

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