I’ve been putting off doing another garden update because I’m so ashamed of all the weeds! They’re just so hardy (and big!) out here. The other day, I went to pick a couple weeds out of a plant pot on the front step, and one turned out to be stinging nettle — ouch! I wasn’t wearing gloves at the time, but luckily I only barely touched it — just enough to have a couple stings on my thumb and side of my palm. I didn’t even know we had stinging nettles around here!
Anyway, I’m pleased to say that the pompon marigolds in front of the first raised bed — which look like weeds — are getting ready to finally bloom. I’m hoping they’ll be pretty spectacular. You might have noticed that my pocket hose is sitting on the ground (in the walkway to the left). That’s because it exploded the other day! So I guess that answers the question of how durable they are. It’s such a shame, because it really was the most convenient thing, but it loses some of that convenience if it has to be replaced (at a cost of $20) every few months. Bah.
Did you see how one of my bean tepees has partially collapsed? These beans are heavy! I wish I knew somebody with a pressure canner, as it would be nice to pick a bunch more right now and have a way of preserving them (I don’t like the flavor after they’ve been frozen). I have a ton in the fridge right now and brought a huge bundle of them over to the neighbors, but there’s probably as many again ready to be picked. Next year, I’m planning to grow beans for drying instead, so at least I’ll be able to ignore them until the plants die.
The tomatoes are ripening! And check out how huge this heirloom Roma is! (I should dig out the tag from under the plan — it might be an Amish Paste instead.) I’d be impressed if it were a regular slicing tomato, never mind a paste tomato. I had the first Caspian Pink yesterday — slices on toast with fried eggs from the neighbors’ hens. Homegrown tomatoes (especially heirlooms) are just a different fruit from the hothouse ones you buy at the supermarket. Those, I tolerate, but I love in-season tomatoes.
The Caspian Pink, by the way, reminded me a lot of a Brandywine. Nice and meaty, not too many seeds. My all time favorite varieties have to be Oxheart and Mortgage Lifter, but I wasn’t able to get either of those this year.
The corn is looking nice and corny. The ear in front is actually pretty big, but I’m reluctant to pick it yet. I opened another big one a little while ago, and it didn’t look great. I think maybe corn isn’t the ideal crop for me, as I don’t reliably water the garden every day.
Oh, kale. I should probably pick and freeze most of this, in case I redevelop my taste for kale after the baby is born.
My potato plants started dying off really early, and they were done fer by this week. It’s just been so dry, and they weren’t on the loop of soaker hose (meaning I had to water them by hand). I went through yesterday and pulled all the weeds from the area, so it would be easy to go back today and dig up the potatoes. In pulling a couple weeds in the beans’ raised bed (just to the right of the photo), I discovered a dead shrew! Fairly recently dead, which makes me wonder if Nova had killed it the day before. She loves going in the garden with me, and now I know why! And I also know who was nibbling at the bush beans.
I went back out this morning and dug up the potatoes (despite having a good energy level, I can only do so much at a time before my back starts to complain). This is a big colander, so there are a lot of potatoes beneath the ones you can see! The Yukon Golds actually grew much larger than the Russets — there are probably a few big enough to be baking potatoes. A lot of these are soup-bound, along with the onions. I’ve never grown such nice onions before! I pulled up one leek, but the rest are still pretty small. I think the beans have overwhelmed them, but they might plump up a little if I leave them alone. I know they like cool weather, so they should still be growing by the time the pole beans have died off.
I’ve been doing my gardening fairly early in the morning, since it’s been pretty hot the past few days. Yesterday (when I took most of the photos above), it was overcast but SO muggy and still pretty hot even at 7:00am. Today, I went out at 6:30-ish, and the weather was completely different. Relatively low humidity and actually cool. I kept my sweatshirt on even while I was digging! To the east, the sun was coming up in a clearing sky.
And to the west, the barely-waning moon was still nice and bright.
After I brought in the potatoes, I sat out on the deck to enjoy the nice morning. I love the part of summer when the mornings start out nice and cool. I wore my sweatshirt, but I drank an iced coffee. I pretty much always drink decaf, even at my least pregnant, because the regular stuff upsets my stomach and makes me feel ill. I get that there are coffee connoisseurs, as there are with wine, but I have no patience for highly-caffeinated people who think decaf is some sort of crime. No, it doesn’t taste exactly the same, but there are some of us out in the world who can’t deal with the caffeine but still like the flavor of coffee!
It’s been a really still morning, as you can see by the clear reflection on the pond. Just me and the birds, and the tractor across the road, bringing in bales of hay.