Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gardening in the rain

It's been raining pretty well for two days. I am quite happy about that. I love rain, especially when it is not cold and I know it won't stretch for 2 months straight.

I picked up two flag hangers yesterday for 1.74 each so I finally hung our dolphin garden flag out in the garden. We've had it for at least 8 years, but it has always hung inside, in the kitchen. I hung another flower flag in the back. I love garden flags but they have never seemed worth the expense. No way would I actually spend even 7 dollars for wire to hang in the garden. 2.00, I can do that.

While out to install the flags, I got distracted by the fruits in the garden. The squash are filling out, the Romano beans are at least 4 inches but thin, and the Molbaks tomato plants are going nuts. I thinned the inner branches on the tomatoes and tied some more to the higher stakes. Niki's seedlings are starting to flower and they have thick, strong central stalks. Our zucchini, quarantined in the currently underused "winter" garden, has little baby zukes on board. It's a good time for the garden, where everything is full of promise but nothing has gone so haywire that it's unusable or too much work.

My assessment at this point is that we have a good kitchen garden, but it's definitely not at replace-the-CSA level yet. It will be full complement, come August and September, but for right now all I am getting is greens and some berries. It's nowhere near canning level at all. The blackberries will give us an incredible yield, and next year we should have a good crop of strawberries. This year, though, is already five times the crop we got last year so we are satisfied.

Next steps:

finding a place for the blueberry bed
obtaining chickens and a place to put them
building the creative greenhouse with Niki and putting it to use

I talked to a squishy baby last night who liked to smile at me.


  1. Forgive me as I know nothing about gardening, but am attempting one for the first time in my can thin out the branches of a tomato plant? How? I have gobs of tomatoes and they're all green and I have this weird feeling it's because there is so much branch in the way that they aren't getting any sun to ripen. Or am I just impatient? Or both? :) And what does CSA stand for? I must say I am having the time of my life having a garden. I made a three bean salad last week w/ beans from it! And I've gotten four nice big zukes so far! It'll be something close to five years before I could ever consider canning most likely! Oh, but the thought just brings a smile to my face!

  2. RYC: I *wish* those had been blackberry canes. They were (tiny!) black raspberries (big difference to the folks that grow them - I was in the paying line behind someone who made that mistake) and just awful. But we're going back for blackberries when they're ripe, so I shall be taking my gloves. ;)

    Canning seems overwhelming and scary at first, but once you do it (and it takes like 4 times as long as the book says if you're as scattered as me) and *know* that you can do it, it's not so scary. Time-consuming, sure. But scary, no. :) Unless you're first batch of canning includes meat spaghetti sauce and you're using a pressure canner right out of the gate - I'm just now almost feeling comfortable to do that.