Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The summer gardening season begins

It's that time of year again, when I post about the garden and promise myself that I'll blog more often.  I guess time will tell if my resolution will stick this time.

Part of my reluctance to post too many pictures is that I always think I'll get around to making my garden "pretty".  You know, with nice walkways and cute art-y items placed here and there.  But I never seem to get around to that and I blame two things: 1) I hate to shop (and I'm cheap), so I never buy the art-y things and 2) I spend all my time fighting the woods back to hold onto my few gardening sunny spots.

In my mind, my garden will someday look like this, but in reality, this is what our land wants to look like:

View from the front door

It's beautiful, but all of those trees keep growing and making baby trees and sending out roots and suckers and making shade...  In other words, they really don't care that I want to have a garden.  In addition, we have all sorts of other things that want to grow in the sunny spots: crab grass, nut sedge, dewberries, dewberries and more dewberries... So, in an attempt to at least partially control the jungle, we put in raised beds this year. 

Two of them (including this one with the tomatoes) are experimental hugelkultur beds, with rotting logs underneath.  In case I haven't whined about mentioned it before, our "soil" is sugar sand for the first 6 to 8 feet.  That's a lotta sand.  On the bright side, I never have problems with standing water!

Blondkopfchen tomato blooms

We've been eating fairly well out of the spring garden: broccoli, snow/snap peas, spinach, radishes, carrots, onions, cabbage, potatoes and asparagus.  Great googley-moogley we've had a lot of asparagus this year!  This is year 5 for the crowns and we've had pounds and pounds of asparagus.  I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever slow down!

Asparagus bed with strawberries

We started with Jersey Knight and added some Mary Washington the next year.  The year after that we added what was labeled as Jersey Giant, but I'm guessing it was Mary Washington as well, since it contains a lot of female plants and they aren't nearly as big as Jersey Knight. 

My strawberries gave up and died during the heat wave last summer, but I found a couple packs of bare root strawberries late in the season.  I'm not expecting a ton of berries, but I'm hoping that they will spread and produce for next spring.  Since they've always spread to the asparagus bed on their own in the past, I decided to just plant them there this time to see what happens.

So there, I have at least one garden post for 2012.  Hopefully there will be more to follow!