Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garden update

A sudden, sharp uptick in activity with my soap business has temporarily sidetracked me from blogging in recent weeks ... but life still goes on! When I haven't been busily packing orders and updating spreadsheets (or warming a chair at my day job), I've been tending the garden.

This year's garden promises great things to come. We managed to put together a third garden box to accommodate the broccoli and lettuce plants. I've already picked some tender broccoli "crowns," having learned from last year's crop that the best thing you can do with broccoli is pick it as soon as it begins to look like broccoli. Delicious!

As usual, we have far too many tomato plants, but can it really be too many when you have so many different varieties? Early Girls, Better Boys and standard beefsteaks, not to mention the three or four heirloom varieties I brought home from the plant sale at the co-op a month or so ago. It's a matter of hurry-up-and-wait, as I want a nice thick drippy homegrown tomato sandwich now.

The strawberries are doing well, judging by the nibble marks from some hungry predator (note to self: Must make the time to set up the chicken wire, maybe that'll keep the neighborhood bunnies away). I managed to actually pick and eat a ripe one that survived ... and it was good. We have over a dozen individual plants at one end of the long bed beside the house.

The bell peppers are looking good as well. I have one plant that's actually producing a pepper! Very exciting stuff. Last year's pepper plant fell victim to a tomato plant that grew so large that eventually I was unable to even enter the garden. Let's just say things are laid out a little differently this year.

This year, I have an entire garden bed devoted to herbs! In addition to sweet basil and Greek oregano, I have rosemary, cilantro, Thai basil, mints (peppermint, pineapple mint and chocolate mint), wormwood, and lemon balm. Plus I threw in a random heirloom pea plant and an eggplant just because it looked like there was enough room.

Off to one side, I planted "double yield cucumber." Hmmm ... double yield: is that a threat or a promise? I expect it will eventually rear up on rudimentary hind legs and emit a feral roar as it overtakes the garden.

So far everything is off to a wonderful start. The mints are definitely feeling at home and in fact, all the herbs are quite large and bushy already. Time to get cooking! There are the beginnings of actual tomatoes on the Early Girls and the cherry tomato plants are in full bloom. As I mentioned earlier, the peppers and broccoli are doing nicely.

It's a bit late right now but I want to post some pictures of the garden. Coming soon!

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