Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Garden Update: Things Are Growing

Just a quick garden update....

A lot of things are growing really well!  I am pleased as punch with my broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard this year.  If I can keep the damn groundhog away, I might finally be able to claim success in the brassica department!  {knock on wood}

I have a total of 32 tomato plants.  A few of those are tiny as they were suckers I clipped off a few weeks ago.  I do this every year and it has mixed success due to our shorter growing season.  But still...32 tomato plants.  And so far {again...knocking on wood}, they look really healthy.  It all comes down to blight and human theft though.  Both will happen...but how much and how early in August is the question!  Crossing my fingers I am overflowing in 'maters because I love to can tomato sauce and tomato salsa and tomato jam {it's like adult ketchup}.  

I have so many potatoes this year- it's crazy.  No complaints there though as I love potatoes and they keep really well.  My sweet potatoes {which are actually only distantly related to a regular potato} are off to a slow and tiny start so I am not sure if I will actually get any this year.  Regular potatoes though are promising to give me a bumper crop.  Few things are tastier than a new potato you pulled out of the ground an hour earlier!

My winter squash are off to a great start.  I say this every year and know full well that I often lose out due to squash vine borrers and squash bugs.  But I have most of my plants covered to the best of my ability in netted hoops for as long as I can.  All I can do is try.  I also over plant what I need in hopes that if just a few produce, I will still be happy.  I have several fun varieties growing this year so if they make it and then still survive the human theft, it will be my kind of big time excitement.  Woot woot!

Now let's talk about summer squash.  It's a sad sad state of affairs.  I normally have a few green zucchini, yellow zucchini, round zucchini, white patty pan, and yellow patty pan growing well.  This year they were nearly all decimated by bugs before they could do anything.  The two that I have growing now I believe have squash vine borrers.  I am going to attempt to do surgery this week but my time is limited.  Agh!  Ditto on cucumbers.  The two easiest things to grow.

Speaking of normally easy but proving impossible this year...carrots.  I planted carrots three times.  {As well as parsnips.}  Nothing.  Just nothing.  So I just last week put in bush beans in hops of salvaging the season.  I wouldn't complain if I got a big crop of beans in to freeze for later use.  I love fresh green beans!

And that about sums things up.  Overall, I am really pretty happy with how the garden looks and how things are growing.  Every year is a giant lesson on pests and soil and growing practices.  I get a lot of compliments on Instagram for how my garden looks but I have to be very honest that for every success, I have at least two failures.  Or more.  I'm just persistent to the point of being a touch crazy with my willingness to keep trying and keep learning and keep tweaking my practices.  

So tell me...what's growing best in your garden right now?  Any big challenges this year in your garden?  And please tell me if you have the magic solution for Squash Vine Borrers or Squash Bugs!

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