Friday, July 13, 2012

Garden Update

The tomatoes are taking happily to the new cages.  The are super easy to train, especially in comparison with the rigamarole we use to do at the rental with a trellis and string.

A view down the tomato cage.  Gotta love that human holding out the camera shadow I've got going on here....
We planted three varieties of squash this morning (mountineer, butternut, buttercup).  We are behind in planting them, but will just hope for the best.  This one is a volunteer so it will be a surprise. 
We've got green tomatoes in some of our cages.  Exciting.  And we still have one last jar of last year's sauce in storage which is way longer than it lasted last year.  We're getting better and better at supplying our demand every year. 
With the peas pulled we had room to add in the peppers.  But, it was a rough, hot, windy week for transplants.  We're hoping they pull through.  Some of them look pretty sad.
Matt is compost crazy.  He loves it.  I find it useful and practical and impressive, but you won't find me out there smelling it and running it through my fingers lovingly the way he does.  He told me this week that when he was going to turn the big pile he stuck his hand in it (as he always does) to see how warm it was getting in the center (he's even got out the thermometer to check more accurately).  But, in this particular instance the heat was so intense in the center he said he jerked his hand back because it was burning him.  I guess that means our pile is pretty active. 
Sad, sad peppers....
A Hungarian wax pepper transplanted weeks ago that is decidedly NOT sad.
We've been pulling the blossoms off the strawberries for this first crop in order to encourage them to set better roots and produce more in their subsequent crops.  But, we missed a few so we occasionally get a surprise strawberry.  Like this little guy!  So sweet and so tiny.
We're attempting to train the volunteer squash.  As the are volunteer we didn't get to exactly choose where they are growing.  Rather than yank them out we've decided to just try to point them in the desirable direction and hope the listen! 
We bent left over bit of metal from the tomato cage project to use in training the vines.  Works well and make scrap into something useful again.  I always like those solutions.

Matt in the middle of his little piece of heaven.  Tomatoes in the foreground, squash and onion in the bed in front of Matt, peppers, cauliflower, and kale in the bed behind him,  rhubarb and strawberries in the very back.
Grow little garden, grow!


  1. "Grow little garden, grow!" I love that comment!

    From the looks of it, you might be able to feed yourself all year. Did you know they actually make compost thermometers for enthusiasts like Matt? My compost never was any smellier than dirt, but still, it did its thing without my sticking my hand in it.

    I have used bent clotheshangers as anchor pins in case you run out of pieces of the metal you have.

    1. Matt likes to smell the compost because he thinks it smells good, like dirt. I neither love nor hate the smell of dirt so I am not sniffing compost. I bet he'd like a compost thermometer. We might have to look into that someday. He loves it when the pile steams while he turns it.

  2. You said, "We're getting better and better at supplying our demand every year." Sigh. I guess I am getting better at supplying our demand. We did, after all, get enough from our little garden for the family to eat fresh in season this year. But we did not get anything to freeze. The only things I got to can were pears from an 80 year old tree in my yard.

    I have arranged to purchase some tomatoes so I can make salsa, but it's really discouraging to me how hard it is for me to get to abundance in the garden. Last year was a total bust. This year has not been that, but it hasn't been abundant, either. It's still pretty spare.

    Aiming for abundance in the garden. That's my goal.

  3. Wow, that's all looking great. I like your tomato cages, much better than staking and tying them up..mine always end up a bit all over the place!

    1. We were tired of that problem, too! So far at least they've been a dream to manage in these cages.

      And thanks!

  4. Once your transplants take hold, the hot weather should really move them along. We're going to have to commit to a greenhouse here at 6,000 feet some year...

  5. Wow, beautiful! And amazing what you both did with that spae in such a short period of time. And, can I just say how wonderful is Matt's love affair with the compost pile?! :D

    1. Thanks so much, Jamie. We're really pleased with the progress (though there is still so much to do!). It certainly has been a labor of love. At points we've felt overwhelmed at taking on so much in such a short time but I think its all been worthwhile now that I can sit on the patio and look out at all this.

      And I always say thank heavens that Matt is obsessed/in love with a hobby that saves us money and puts food on the table instead of the opposite. He's such a gem and a real blessing to me.


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