Friday, June 30, 2017

A Week in the Life

And what a week it's been--for the garden, that is.

Right now, we've been enjoying some really wonderful garden-growing weather. Last weekend, we had a downpour in the morning, followed by temps that slowly rose into the 80's. Needless to say, these guys loved it.


Usually you have to choose: heat and sunshine, or watering? We got both, and not too much of either (which is often a problem).

I've done things a bit differently this year, most notably putting down mulch, and also spreading plants out a bit more. I used to put the same plants all together, and I still do that (melons, sweet potatoes, cucumbers), but for some of the other things, I spread them around different spots, or put them in different kinds of containers so that I don't lose I'm less likely to lose absolutely everything if we run into a problem with bugs or blight or whatnot (tomatoes, I'm looking at you).

I've also tried to get a bit savvy about pairing plants. So, I planted squash in a spot where it can spread out and maybe, just maybe, use those trademark enormous leaves to provide a bit of shade for my lettuce leaves, so they'll last a bit longer.


I also put broccoli in with the same agenda: can it provide shade as it grows, and extend the lifespan of my lettuce (since the typical July heat and sun will make it bolt in no time).

I've also put basil around the tomatoes this year, instead of planting it all in one planter. It's rumored to keep the bugs away, and I really don't need tons of basil this year--I'm still working through the pesto of years past (my two storage freezers were the best investment ever).

And speaking of storage freezers and investment, yesterday was a day for cherry-picking. It's a 70 mile drive each way for me to get to a place that has them, so every year it's always a bit up in the air whether time will be on my side.

This year it was. I didn't take pictures of them, but trust me, they are quite wonderful. I put over half of them in the beloved freezer, and I'm enjoying the rest. During the winter or next spring, I'll have plenty to make into jam--right now, I'm still working through last year's batch on that too.

Sunday will include a wee bit of raspberry-picking. Although the big push for those usually comes in early August, the first early crop at the picking place was apparently large enough that they've opened it up to the public for a one-day, four-hour extravaganza.

I will be there.

And of course, any minute now, blueberry season will be upon me.

As I said, as a week in the life of the garden (and other assorted fruit), it's been a good one. A growing season to be very grateful for so far.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."