Thriving In My thrifty Week–Garden Update–May 24, 2020

Most of this week was rainy and wet. On the day we homeschooled Jake, one thing we did was venture out with umbrellas for a nice walk–he’s required to exercise daily for P.E.

Rob took Michaela train spotting.

They saw one this time!

Jake spent the night, as he’s been doing every Wednesday. His Mom works Wednesdays and Thursdays, from home, and needs complete peace and quiet to do so. This is a great schedule for us, as well, and he loves it, school and all.

One day we had a pretty bad hail storm. It was brief, but violent, and beat down some lettuce, put holes into cabbage leaves, crushed some spinach, and laid low some other delicate garden plants. Thankfully, most things survived, or will outgrow the damage with no problem, but a few had a setback, to say the least.

I went ahead and picked the outside leaves and the damaged ones off the spinach and Rob ate them in salads this week. I froze 2 very small portions for later, using the torn up leaves that way. The inner leaves have already grown since then, in the few days since I did it.

We picked most of the artichokes on the bushes. I froze 2 packages of artichoke hearts from the small ones, shared some and have some to eat.

We put strings up on the pole bean trellis so they can climb up as they grow.

The box on the right is a potato box Rob built after seeing it on U-Tube. The bottom box has some old potatoes in it, covered with dirt. (As in, we did not buy them, they are left over ones that are trying to grow anyway and some his mom couldn’t eat in time, I guess–). The idea is that as the potato bushes grow, they are covered with dirt and another board layer is added, making it taller and taller. Supposedly, the potatoes will continue to make bushes and then more and more potatoes as you stack it higher and higher throughout the season. He thought it would be fun to try. He used reclaimed wood and junk potatoes… it’s a fun experiment for no out-of-pocket for him.

Every time I think the garden is full, I find another place to tuck a few more plants…. Like celery under the sprinkler tripod. They say it likes it really wet. Rob planted some really old seeds that have been around for several years, and got them to grow. There are more, but no more space right now.

Tiny head lettuce plants around the rock that holds the sprinkler head and hose down….

More head lettuce by the dahlias….

…And leaf lettuce under the Tronboncini trellis. Rob can eat a head a day, if it’s small, or close to a gallon ziplock full of leaf lettuce, when he’s in a salad mood, which is almost always. He’s been eating lettuce at least twice a day, stir-fried snow peas, zucchini and mushrooms with onions and peppers for breakfast with his eggs….you get the idea of how much produce we are going through right now! I’m going to keep planting lettuce everywhere I can, all summer long, and fill in every area with other succession plantings as space fills up. He’s got another batch of lettuce growing in the greenhouse, so I can plant it out when space frees up. It’s all worth it to me!

I picked all the rhubarb. I froze some and shared some.

We did get into the garden to weed and hoe, but not until the end of the week. There is plenty left to do in the upcoming week, and the weather promises to be very nice. I’m glad, because some things really need some sunshine to explode with growth. They are just sitting there, waiting for the opportunity.

I made banana bread again, using up the rest of the bananas Rob found in the chest freezer.

He stumbled upon 10 pound bags of chicken for $2.90–29c/lb. He bought 6. He was at the store getting prescriptions and a little produce. Go, Rob!

This was the week we usually would not shop, since we’ve been going every-other-week, so it was a real blessing that he had to go in there for another reason, and found the chicken.

Our county is opening up a little. For us, since we have so many underlying health conditions in those we have around us, it won’t make much of a change for a while. Speaking only about ourselves, my diabetes and asthma keep me at home. Rob absolutely cannot risk getting sick before his surgery. As it is, he’s got a couple of owies on his legs that are being well cared for so they will hopefully be healed in time. But, it’s still encouraging to see that things are moving forward. Let’s hope this pandemic continues in the right direction! In the meanwhile, I can be found at home, pulling weeds:).

14 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–Garden Update–May 24, 2020”

  1. Your garden looks great! I know it is a lot of hard work but so worth it. Great deals on the chicken.
    Glad you all are staying well, and I hope Rod”s surgery goes without a hitch and he will soon have less pain.

    1. Thank you! We are just crossing our fingers that Rob will get past all the little hurdles that keep cropping up–June 29 is the big date, and they haven’t changed it so far this time.

  2. Love the photos of your garden and hearing what you’ve been up to. I love that it’s in traditional rows- it reminds me of the one my sister used to grow every year. Back then, my four nephews and BIL would till it for her on Mother’sDay. That was a great tradition.
    Me– I’m trying to get more and more into my two little community garden beds and the garden here at my apartment. I can still expand my garden here at the apartment by almost 2ft X 5 Ft. But every time I have the energy to do it, it’s started to rain again. That’s ok, I’m patient.
    Love to hear that you harvested artichoke. My one plant is still thriving. I noticed aphids on it last week so sprayed it two days in a row with water-Dawn soap-cooking oil. One leaf got a little burned but otherwise, the plant is healthy and the bugs are gone. I also just planted a six pack of Marigolds around the base of that plant to help discourage the bugs. It was my first time using the spray mix.
    I too have to stay at home for health reasons – mine is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). One side effect is a really whacked and deficient immune system.

    1. We are going to have to try the mixture because I know the aphids will come when it warms up a bit! Is it equal parts of each?

      I’m glad you can expand your area where you garden. Every little bit helps!

      I’m glad you can stay home and don’t have to go out very much:)

      1. No, not equal parts. I have a quart size squirt bottle. I put water in that to almost full. Then added just a squirt of Dawn and about that much cooking oil. Not even a teaspoon each of Dawn and oil to the quart of water.
        Kind of like my cooking – no precise measurements, LOL

  3. That’s a crazy price on the chicken! Good eye, Rob!

    Your garden looks wonderful. You all are about 3 weeks ahead of us in terms of plant size – we’ll get there. We had lovely weather and then a real cold snap (we had to cover everything for about 4 days) that set things back. Impatient me is, well, impatient! We have harvested lettuce, rhubarb and the first of the radishes. I guess that will have to do for now!

    I’m glad Michaela got to see her train – she would love the park by our house. We have a rail yard about 5 miles up the line and get trains through about 10 times a day. There is a perfect picnic table for watching, and a few people do on a regular basis. We also have heron and egrets (and what seems like a million geese) so it’s sometimes hard to tell the train watchers from the bird watchers!

    Have a wonderful week, Becky!

  4. What a beautiful garden. We are trying to grow celery for the first time, and didn’t know they like it wet. Good to know. Growing my own artichokes would be heavenly, but I’ve never pursued it. I believe we have to start them very early here, like maybe January, and I just haven’t done it yet. Hope you and yours stay healthy and safe.

    1. You do have to start artichokes early, and around here, it takes until the second year before they really do much of anything. Then, because it’s mild here, they usually over-winter. Every year, they die down after producing, and then new shoots come up and they are the ones that give more artichokes, and so on.

  5. Your garden is amazing! I know it is a lot of work, but, it looks beautiful! I love the potato box, and want to try it sometime – need to get some wood to build the box, first! That is a great price for the chicken! I’m glad Rob was able to get six bags of it!

    Hope you have a good week ahead, Becky. Take care and continue to stay safe at home.

  6. Your garden is unbelievable! Good job! I keep looking at it and am amazed at how hard you have worked. I like the way you keep finding empty spots to stick more things in. Mine is almost completely out but I can’t make up my mind where I want a few things to go. I need to sit down and decide…sit down (hard to do) decide (even harder to do).
    I still have a few things (okra and lima beans) that haven’t germinated yet. I just planted my herbs a few days ago, but other than that, my garden is rocking!

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