After a goodly stretch of dry (not remotely like anything happening in other parts of the country), we were blessed with a solid two inches of rain late Wednesday afternoon (just so I could negotiate the potholes and traffic jams through a torrential downpour), until early Thursday morning. I could almost hear the garden sigh with relief. I am also happy to say that my rain barrel is finally full.
Here's a little disclosure on the rain barrel. I am using myself as an example of Haste Makes Waste. I had a reasonably functioning two-barrel system until I got a bee in my bonnet to put a faucet fixture on the runoff barrel. I trotted into the house, found my rain barrel kit components (a miracle unto itself), grabbed my trusty Makita 18w drill, and eyeballed the drill bits for boring the hole. There, my dears, was the problem. Why I would trust MY eyeballs, I have no idea. But I was hellbent on finishing the project. Well, I finished it all right. I eyeballed the medium bit which was just ever-so-slightly too big. I am now down to a one barrel system. My advice to you? Measure, measure, measure, cut.
The garden seems to be coming along pretty well. I am so enamored of my mustard greens, that I can hardly bring myself to cut the leaves. But I force myself. I have yet to thin out the chiogga and red beets, but that is on my weekend list. I am also going to dry the rest of the dill, leaving a few guardians to reseed. Because I am a masochist and I tend to go through amnesia over the winter. The lettuce has perked up - every other year, when I attempt to plant nice, neat rows of arugula, I get nada. This year, I put all my elderly arugula seed in a shake bottle and sprinkled it all over. I've got a quarter acre of arugula!
|L-R - Chard (hidden by the voluptuous Mustard greens), collards,|
|Tomatoes top, peppers bottom. Fennel planted around, |
basil planted between.
|Arugula in the foreground, lettuces in the|
I continue to get a quart of berries a day from the strawberry bed. While it's a pain in the bupkus to have to fish around through the netting to pick them, at least they are there to pick! The potatoes shot up overnight and now I must be vigilant to make sure none of those nasty insects are laying their orange eggs under the leaves. My popcorn is growing well, although I don't know if I planted enough for it to pollinate. I hope so. Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are doing well. The cukes are starting to reach up the trellis (with a little encouragement). My second sowing of kale, collard greens and chard has popped up - I am hoping for a fall crop. All in all, this year seems to be better than last.
|Popcorn and beans.|
|Flowers on my cukes!|
My squash in a bag, however, was a big fail. While I watched the plants grow anemic and lethargic, I finally had had enough and whipped together a makeshift frame for a bed, filled it with cow manure, and then replanted the squash. They seem to be perking up. The squash plants that I stuck in the manure pile are huge! I think, next year, I will just shove all the squash in the manure pile and not bother doing something tidy, like a raised bed.
|Poor little squash plants... :(|
It is with some relief that I realized I only have three more scintillating posts to create. I am just about scintillated out!