Garden Update–June 20, 2020

The garden is growing like crazy! I’m excited, because all of our hard work is starting to yield a lot of vegetables and fruit, and there’s a lot more vegetables that are coming along nicely, although not ready yet.

The pole beans are happily climbing up their trellis. These will yield until fall, and give me fresh beans for a longer period of time. I will can as many as I am able to get from the bush beans, as I need quite a few this year, but having fresh ones longer enables me to save the canned ones for winter when nothing grows. There are Blue Lake Pole beans and Violet-Podded Pole beans on this trellis.

The main broccoli heads have been picked and frozen or eaten. Now, side shoots are forming. I put some fertilizer on them and will get lots more before these plants are finished. They look awful right now, but trust me, there will be more broccoli! Rob planted some new babies in the greenhouse, and I will put them out in mid-late summer for a fall crop.

This is the third planting of Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas. The other 2 have been pulled up, and more have been planted wherever I can find a small space to do so. We have eaten them several times a week. Rob stir-fries them up for his morning scramble, and I’ve made several stir-fries for dinners. I don’t try to freeze any. They get too mushy for our taste.

We’ve eaten several cabbages. I have a cabbage blend, and some Golden Acre cabbage. Coleslaw has been a part of our meal plan often. We like it with raisins in it. It has also been added to soups and stir-fries. There are still several cabbages growing, and Rob has some baby ones in the greenhouse for a fall crop. They are called Quick Start cabbage, because that is the kind the store still had. We will see what they are like. I really can’t see how any cabbage would be a bad choice around here. It grows well here.

We have 2 raised beds near our deck. One is full of strawberries and the other is mixed vegetables and herbs. I just keep filling every crack and corner in with new little lettuce plants as I pick things. In that blank space on the right, I filled in a few snow pea seeds just yesterday.

We are having tremendous success with Rob’s plan of growing little seedlings in the greenhouse while waiting for space to free up in the big garden or raised bed. He has planted some unique varieties of seeds a friend sent us, and is excited for me to plant them out. He also keeps a steady supply of lettuces growing so I can fill in partial rows, or little spaces that free up.

The new spinach row is growing nicely, next to the sad and sorry okra that is not. It’s just not hot enough for it to be happy here, I think.

The Blue Lake and yellow Carson bush green beans are growing nicely, though. To the left of the broccoli, the empty space has been planted with more pickling cucumbers. There is another patch already growing elsewhere, but I want to do a lot of pickles. I have dill tucked here and there, and even planted some more in one of the front flowerbeds yesterday to get ready when this later patch of cucumbers does. We love pickles and they have been a great boost to Rob’s dieting, since they are very low-calorie. He’s almost wiped out my supply, so it’s time to do many more jars.

Once this yellow zucchini starts pollinating we are going to have a ton! There are some green zucchini bushes as well. You have to have a male blossom open to pollinate these females…a couple finally opened this week, so I know I now have hope for the zucchini to grow and produce as long as the insects did their job. Rob eats zucchini almost daily in his morning scramble, so I’m excited that I won’t have to buy them any more. It’s not that a zucchini is expensive, it’s that it’s going to be so handy to be able to pick them and get most of what we need from the back yard when Rob is laid up after surgery. I will have lots of choices to feed him without leaving home.

The tomatoes are growing well, and I’ve picked a small handful of the Glacier Ultra Early ones.

I have peppers in a couple of places. They are not setting fruit yet, and look a little sad. They want more heat. Next week, they should get some! The Alderman Telephone Peas in the back love this cool weather we’ve been having, but there are no blooms yet. Let’s hope the heat doesn’t fry them:)

There is a bumper crop of raspberries this year. These are the ever-bearing ones. They are smaller, and not so sweet as the June-bearing kind I have, but I get berries sooner in the season, and later into the fall from them. I’ve frozen several trays of them and we eat them fresh, or in a bowl with a little milk or 1/2 and 1/2 on them sprinkled with a little sugar. The June-bearing kind are just starting to ripen, one here, and one there, and I have a huge amount of green ones on the bushes.

I’m getting about a quart -1/2 gallon of strawberries every couple of days. We’ve had them on ice cream, in smoothies, and sliced in bowls. Jake loves them sliced with a little sugar on them. I’m delighted, since it’s difficult to get him to eat very many healthy foods. I’m freezing the rest.

The weeds are growing as well as the rest of the garden, probably even better. Instead of despairing, I just try to hoe or weed out a few each day. Yes, I will never finish, but, I’m also getting an awful lot of good food despite the weeds that keep cropping up every time I turn my back:)

Rob’s snapdragons and pansies look so pretty by the herbs. You can see that the rhubarb is already growing back from when I pulled each and every stalk a few weeks ago.

It’s really almost ridiculous, the amount of snapdragons that grew from those little Dollar Tree seed packets! We have them in lots of places, along with other flowers–some Rob grew, some we bought, and some were wintered over from last year. It’s looking pretty good around here, and I feel good about the garden’s progress.

I will not be suffering from lack of work once Rob is laid up next week after surgery, but I do feel like I have as good of a handle on it all as I possibly can. We have family members already lined up to come help me out, so I know I can go out and pick things, weed a little, etc. And, the best part is that he will be getting better each day instead of worsening as he is doing now. In a few months, who knows what he will be able to do? But, even when he is recovering, after the first couple of weeks, he should be able to transplant his little baby plants, and so forth. For now, I’m under strict instructions to water them each and every morning, without fail. I can handle that!

20 thoughts on “Garden Update–June 20, 2020”

  1. Your garden is just beautiful! How wonderful to get to eat all the homegrown goodness. The flowers are lovely. Wishing the best possible outcome for Rob.

  2. Your garden is looking so good! I know you put in a lot of work to get it to that stage, but, it must feel good to know that the garden is rewarding your hard work by producing well. By the way, did you know that you can eat broccoli leaves as you would kale? Okra leaves, too, are edible, so, if your okra plants don’t produce any okra pods, you can still harvest the leaves (and flowers, too, for that matter). šŸ™‚

    I’m getting ready to can the last batch of peaches. I made a batch of chutney and a batch of jam.

    1. Peaches are earlier there than here, but it won’t be long until I can put some up as well. Thankfully, not next week–it’s going to take a few weeks until I am even able to go pick fruit, I think.

      At this rate, my okra won’t even give me leaves to eat. I weeded around them last evening and they are scrawny sticks at this point. Let’s see what the upcoming week of warm weather does for them. You can’t have it both ways, I think…and I do love that I can grow spinach and lettuce and snow peas all summer.

      1. Becky, do not despair. My okra plants are still only about 2 inches tall. they should be knee-high by now. I planted them 3 times without success and then had to buy new seeds. We are in the middle of a “Grand Solar Minimum” which is a time when the sun shines less. It is the reason for some of the crazy weather around the world and the swarms of locust are a direct result of it.
        Your garden looks great!

        1. Those locust! I saw on the news that they were swarming in India. Then, today, I think it was Argentina! That’s 2 completely different parts of the world. I’m so glad they are not here where I live. Creepy and destructive!

          1. They say (the locust experts) that we should not have any problems because there is no longer a massive empty area of vegetation where they can reproduce without being noticed. We have too many subdivisions…and that is a good thing?

  3. Wow, it looks so gorgeous and lush, Becky! I make do with my few pots and raised beds atop our rocky, dry clay soil, but l surely enjoy dreaming of a beautiful garden like yours. ? You have an amazing green thumb. Rob’s greenhouse crop is looking fantastic, as well. I’ll be thinking about him (and you) next week and hoping for a smooth surgery and recovery.

    1. It sounds like pots and raised beds are the way to go where you live. I know that each place has it’s own learning curve. I’m glad you found what works for you.
      Thank you for the kind well-wishes. It’s getting close now. I’m excited and a little anxious. I just want the surgery over with so we can get on with recovery:)

  4. All your and Rob’s hard work is paying off!!!! Your garden is absolutely amazing! I’m going to show my husband this post. It may depress him a little. We are trying so hard to learn how to grow food, but still have a LONG way to go!!! You are such an inspiration!

    Good luck and prayers for Rob’s surgery! Keep us posted!

    1. Thank you. You know, this has been a work in progress for years and years. Even with all of our growing experience, every year, there are complete failures in the garden! So, don’t give up…just keep trying! You will get a lot of good food, just maybe not everything you try for:)

  5. Your garden looks so awesome. But I have to say I’m surprised you still have lawn in the back yard…LOL
    There’s never enough space, imo, with a veggie garden.
    Will keep you in my prayers for the upcoming surgery and a great recovery.

    1. No kidding! Rob and I already talked about how he could extend the garden into the lawn a little…..maybe later:)

  6. Your garden is absolutely beautiful and inspiring! We started our first raised bed garden this year , a 16 by 5 foot area. I keep reminding myself about the learning curve.

    My husband is also going for hip replacement surgery tomorrow. We only found out three weeks ago but was in agony since March. Dr. said it was so bad that the ball of the joint has changed shape because of the grinding. I am hoping he does as well as his two friends who had the same doctor….one had his second hip done a month ago and walked three miles on the Appalachian Trail this week!!!

    I look forward to reading your blog! I will keep you and Rob in my prayers.

    1. Thant’s very encouraging! Thank you for those cheerful thoughts:)
      I hope your husband has a marvelous recovery.
      Rob has been in the excruciating pain for 2 years, and his hip bone/ball/joint is broken down so badly. He had to lose weight, which he did by last October, but because the doctor changed hospitals, and Corona Virus, his surgery has been delayed twice. I’m so glad your husband could get in quickly, since I know first hand how much pain they are in.

  7. First off, good luck to Rob. We are praying for him and his doctors. Second, WOW on the garden. Mine is no where near yours yet. I am picking lots of kale, lettuce, strawberries herbs, and sugar peas.

    1. Thank you! Our garden is way earlier than normal. It’s just been an early spring around here, and I’m grateful because it’s in and growing, and I can turn my mind to other things:)

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