Monday, July 28, 2008

The garden continues to thrive. I just went out a little while ago when I first got up and picked lettuce, cucumber, and zucchini. The butternut squash are several inches long and there are a ton of them. It looks like there’ll be a ton of cantaloupe too, although right now they’re just little nubs. I’ve seen at least one watermelon, too.

We’ve got a couple of mystery melons growing on one of the cucumber vines. The only thing I can figure is that quality control standards were a little lax with that batch of seeds and it was able to cross-pollinate with a watermelon, because that’s what it looks like. The big one is about 4 inches in diameter already. I’m sure it won’t amount to anything taste-wise (a cucu-melon!) but right now it looks for all the world like a watermelon.

Even the small lima and green bean bushes have blossomed so we might yet get something out of them.

I planted the fall peas and a batch of fall beets, radishes and spinach, all of which are poking their little heads up.

So far this intensive method seems to be working amazingly well. My latest thought is to quadruple the size of the garden next year--up to about 400 square feet. I think I’d be able to raise most of the veggies we need with a garden of that size. I still need to get a pressure canner so I can preserve everything. At least for now I can water bath can pickles and jams and tomato-based things. And freeze and root cellar things.

I also want to build some cold frames at some point and maybe some solar pods, so I can start growing earlier and keep growing later each year.

I’d like to establish an herb garden along the side of the house too. I made an initial attempt with a few herbs this year, but some little critters kept eating everything as soon as the plants had a few little leaves. The catnip I even encircled with a bit of fencing to keep the cats out, but it was obviously something quite a bit smaller than a cat that got it. I don’t know what I’ll have to do to critter-proof the area until things get well established. I’m perfectly willing to share with other creatures, I just wish they’d not take the whole plants!

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