Tending Tuesdays: What’s happened to my garden

10 08 2010

I am home now, and the anticipation of seeing my garden is passed.  I now know all the ins and outs of what has happened since I left.

The sad news is, unsurprisingly, my cucumber plants did not overcome downy mildew and are now in the final stages of the disease and will, most likely, be completely dead by the end of the week.  The happy part is, the cucumbers hadn’t all been affected yet, and so I got to harvest a giant bowl of them!  Most of them are too big for pickling, but I feel like I will probably ferment some relish instead and maybe make a nice, cool, cucumber soup.

(my dying cucumber plants, next to a healthy nasturtium and a healthy, but completely unproductive broccoli. I think it was planted too late)

The most exciting news is, after gorging on nitrogen and growing into bushes, with no fruits, one of my pepper plants has a glorious, baby pepper growing on it!  Hopefully it will be able to mature before the end of the growing season.

Another piece of exciting news is that my squash are reproducing now and I have at least two squash growing.  The sad news is it looks like they may have powdery mildew.  All this humidity is a real excitement for the fungi family this year.

(a baby squash with its glorious flower still attached)

My carrots, beets and peas have all sprouted, as have my basil seeds.  Calendula is still blooming, though I was able to pull up some plants that had obviously completed their life cycle.  If they have their way, my whole garden will be calendula next year too! Zucchini is easing up a little on the crazy production of fruits, which is fine by me as I’ve eaten more zucchini this year than ever before. 

(peas on the left and beets and carrots on the right)

The potatoes are seeming pretty happy and my fig tree is putting on foliage like crazy, which is awesome considering it got sunburned badly earlier this spring and lost ALL of its foliage.  So, maybe next year we’ll be able to get a good harvest of figs from it….

Another sad loss was my coriander seeds which seemed to have been removed/”maintained” by someone in my absence.  Instead of a beautiful bounty of many seeds, I came home to a small handful that was left on a seriously trimmed stalk.  So, I planted them in the space they were before and maybe I’ll get some cilantro out of it.

It was so nice to come home to the bounty of my garden.  I love it.  I love the picking, the weeding, the growth and the death.  All of it reminds me of how precious our food is, and how much effort goes into growing good, organic produce.  Today, I spent the morning with little A out there and came home with a big bowl of goodies.

(so, this would look better, but little A insisted that most of the cucumbers be photographed inside an unused dog poo bag.  so, imagine the bag brimming with luscious cucumbers.  Also, imagine a REALLY happy toddler, brimming with joy from the bag full of cucumbers)

Also, this year, I am learning SOOO much about gardening.  Books are great, but until you actually throw seeds into the dirt, there’s not much learning going on.  I am already planning my gardens for next year in my head, based on what I learned this year, and how much of what I actually like to have and eat.