Sunday, June 3, 2012

Early June in my garden

This year we decided to start working in the garden early.  Last year I think we started working in the garden around Memorial Day.  This year, thanks to the mild winter in my area, the garden could be worked mid-April. We worked the soil in the big garden a couple of times and planted crops that could be planted as soon as the soil could be worked:  Lettuce, beets, snap peas and onions.

Last year we decided to put a strawberry patch in.  It was a losing battle unfortunately.  We didn't properly prep the area and the weeds were too much to keep in check.  Not to mention trying to keep the baby strawberry plants in some sort of order.  They went all over and were rooting where they weren't supposed to.  At the beginning of this year we decided that we were not going to keep the patch and plowed it under when we roto-tilled.  We felt really bad about tilling all those plants under after doing our best to nurture them last year.

Well, when we started working the garden soil a second time we found baby strawberry plants growing. We just could *not* turn under the plants after they made it through one roto-tilling.  It was decided that we were indeed meant to have a strawberry patch of sorts.

So we started looking through and picking out the plants and my hubby made me a 3 foot by 5 foot raised bed in the area I call the "grotto".   We saved 25 strawberry plants out of the original 50 that we purchased.

There are strawberries growing!  We may not get many this year, which is fine.  I think this is the beginning of something beautiful/

One of the other things we decided to plant again was potatoes.  Last year we didn't really plan to plant potatoes and when we got some seed taters I just kind of dug a whole and threw them in the ground and said "sink or swim". It was towards the end of the when I was planting stuff, already getting hot and I was feeling weary. I had pretty much tried to get everything done in one weekend and really burned myself out.

We did get some potatoes but certainly nothing to really brag about.  They were the size of peanuts.  Great for soup but not much else. In fact, my MIL made a fabulous soup last fall with all kinds of fresh veggies from the garden.

This year, hubby made a planter box for me in the grotto.  We cut up some taters that were starting to grow and we planted them.

This picture doesn't do the plants justice.  The plants really took off.  They are a very healthy green and are almost ready for their first hilling.

A true first for this year is grape vines.  We purchased four grape vines.  Three "King of the North" and one "Concord".  The picture below is one of the King of the North vines.  I'm super pumped.  The grape vines seem to really like it out there.  We purchased the vines at our local Menard's and they were grown in Wisconsin. 

A lot of the seedlings that we planted in mid-May have sprouted and are starting to grow.  I'm not done planted seeds yet.  I'm trying to do the successive planting so that I have a crops come at different times. I have a feeling that we aren't done finding places to plant stuff either.   At some point I'd like to pick out a spot for a little herb patch and get the area ready for next year if nothing else.

One thing I planted last year was Mesculan mix lettuce.  It's a quick growing lettuce, having a growing time of 28 days or so.  Last year it grew much faster than I was expecting it to and it flowered -- alot.  I now have that lettuce growing ALL OVER.  In my driveway, out by the main road, down the trail -- it's everywhere.  I never would have dreamed it would turn into a weed of sorts.

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