I feel guilty for resting on the garden's laurels -- only because I know I should be making the next season happen already. Maybe I'll get some done this evening. It's been warm, after an unseasonable rain storm. The garden has reacted with raging growth:
Except for the pitiful peppers, of course. Every year, it seems that there is one plant which does much better than expected. Last year it was bell peppers. Next year, I'm going to plan them much more carefully -- I loved those peppers. Oh well. Guess I'll haunt half-off sales this summer so we have enough to grill, because I'm not going to harvest enough. But some thought-dead Padrons have greened up, so there will at least be a few of those. Yum.
This year, the unexpected performer was leeks:
I planted them partly as a lark. I love leeks, and hate to buy them. But these puppies really did well. Lisa had some issues with hers this year, so I was afraid that mine must have been bolting. This morning, before the heat hit (how the Victorians dealt with this I do not understand), I was nipping through the garden, eyeing the about-to-bolt-or-get-too-big stuff.
Apparently they weren't bolting. Now I have to sell the family on Vichyssoise as a viable dinner, I think.
The strawberries continue to just crank out berries -- we harvested a pound today with no end in sight. I did nip off runners conscientiously. How do you with strawberry patches deal? Do you transfer the plants via runners and rogueing out the originals? How often? Do you do a Lord of the Flies let 'em rip kind of system? Pull them all and replant new plants? So far, no disease or slug issues, and the birds haven't been bad. In fact, Mikey's been the worst pest so far, and we just watch him now.
The grapes are growing crazily. Some day I'm going to learn how to prune them properly. I hope we get enough for jam again this year. We're running low, and the grape was terrific last time. Reminded me of my pb&j childhood!
In addition to "junglelike growth," this year's theme seems to be "volunteering." My produce isn't bagging itself to give to neighbors and the soup kitchen, but extra bits of plants keep popping up. There's the kale on the brick patio, the squash in the compost and near the chicken coop, and tomatoes everywhere. Tomato alley:
Johnny Jump-ups make me smile. After finally getting some from seed last year, I had hopes of babies this year. They did not disappoint. How many years do you think it will be before I finally preserve some in sugar to put on cupcakes?
This is about how high an elephant's eye is, right? Ellie may actually get some ears of corn this year. Wish we'd planted more!
The Italian soup beans are rampaging. I still feel slightly guilty over not liking green beans enough to grow, pick, and prepare them. Dry beans are more my style. But really, they seem like a crazy use of home gardening space. These earned it by being flown across the Atlantic:
One of the kinds (either Fagioli Stregoni or Pavoni) has luscious apricot flowers.
Other flowers include the ubiquitous (though fortunately less-numerous than last year!) sunflowers, just opening up:
And a few sweet peas. Those fence beds are going to have to be dedicated lettuce beds, I believe. The things there are so far behind for lack of sunlight that it's perfect for a slow-bolt planting of lettuce. Remembering that is key, of course.
Speaking of bolting, I indentured two kids today to prepare and freeze about ten pounds of kale. It's got to get done or the chickens will get it all:
Finally, I assume that either from the planted plants or those multiple volunteers, there will be tomatoes. . . some day.
Sorry about the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach. I'm not blogging regularly and oh how I miss the good camera, but when I do get things photographed, might as well cover as much as possible. Busy times, as you all know.
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