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Mid June garden tour – 2014

Oh late spring, almost summer time.  This is a time of promise, when you think you can grow anything.  Things are looking gorgeous and lush, and you feel like the world’s greenest thumb.

Spring is also the time of year when my allergies are so bad, that I want to rip my face off and scratch it on a brick wall.  While writing this post, I sneezed so hard, for so long, that I am fairly certain I sprained something.  This is also the time of year that I’m thankful our childbirth courses required us to do thousands of kegels.

But enough about my triumphant lack of snissing (sneezing and pissing) my pants.  I think it’s time we had a proper garden tour around here.  When  my friend Elaina came to visit in January, she saw my front “yard” and said “this looks much bigger on your blog”.  I swear this space is pretty darn small.

The main bed, a month ago.

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The main bed today (tomatoes, herbs, a volunteer pumpkin, and lavender, aka bee porn)

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Some blueberries that will need to be spread out a bit more at the end of this season:

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Our “orchard”.  I have five apples (up from three last year!) on my Akane tree.  The other trees were planted this winter, and will hopefully start producing next year.  Planted around the base are strawberries that I put in this year.  Next year, I’ve commissioned multiple strawberry stands from Troy:

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Our raspberry bed in 2012 when Troy and Jack built it:

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Our raspberry bed now.  A lovely $40 investment if you ask me:

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Our raspberries produce twice a year – early in July, and mid to late September.  Come September, the plants will be so high, that I have to pick most of them from the top; via our neighbor’s yard.  Thankfully all our yards are terraced so we can easily access them.

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Our first nearly ripe raspberry!  Jack is going to freak:

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For the last three years, I’ve been adding 3-4 blueberry bushes every season.  I buy them from a guy who sells them at the farmer’s market.  He sells three and four year old plants for $20 or $25.  BUT, if you go to his house (don’t worry, he is older and his wife is always there, so I’m not walking in to a creeper’s den), you get a hell of a discount.  This year, I intended to add three more plants, but somehow walked away from his house with four bushes, which was $55 for $110 worth of plants.

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Our first nearly ripe fruit of the year:

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Our garlic (scapes are coming in), and the asparagus “stalking” the garlic.

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The three planting boxes on what used to be a parking space.  They’re full of  potatoes, peas, kale, and volunteer pumpkin plants.

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And the random raised strawberry bed that we have, lovely decorated with cement splashes from the foundation that was poured last week.  That hose wand would make you think I water the strawberries, but I don’t.  I didn’t even know we owned that hose attachment, until it was unearthed during the construction.  Someone should do something about that morning glory underneath.  Oh, that’s my job?  Shit.

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Our coop, and the ladies out for a stroll.  The orange bucket screams “class”.

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Sadly, I haven’t planted any zucchini, green beans, or cucumbers planted yet, but plan to direct seed them early next week.

Ok, here are some answers to questions I always get about my garden:

Q: How big is your garden?
A: I have absolutely no idea.  I think the three beds by the road are 3×5,  The strawberry bed is 4×6 I believe.  Everything else just comes down to me finding a space here or there when I can.  Someday, I’ll show you all the photos of what the yard looked like when we moved in.  Holy smokes, we’re talking 5-foot weeds everywhere.

Q: How much does your garden produce?
A: As much as we need.  🙂 Half of the produce doesn’t make it into the house, because it’s snacked on while picking, and that is perfect.  Jack, Mr. Veggie hater, recently declared “I love peas”.  What the what????

Q: Does anyone give you weird looks for turning your whole front yard into a garden?
A: If they do, I don’t see those looks because I’m too busy stuffing my face with free blueberries and raspberries, thank you very much!  During the summer, we have our windows open any time we’re home, and I love to be in the kitchen and hear people walking the hills stop and admire our garden.  They don’t know we can hear them, but they’re still extremely kind in what they have to say.  My favorite moments are in the evening when we have a group of senior citizens who climb our hills for a nightly stroll.  If I’m out there working, they’ll stop and talk with me, and compare my garden with the victory gardens from their early lives.  It gives me warm fuzzies.  Front yard gardens build communities.

Q: What is your soaker hose set up?
A: I don’t have one!  Here is my dirty secret…I only water my garden like four times a year. I know, shocking!  You might think it’s because I live in Seattle, but honestly, the summers are pretty dry around here.  It’s not unheard of us for us to not get rain from July 5th until some time in September.  Next week, I’ll share my secrets to almost never needing to water, while still producing a kick ass crop.

How is your garden growing this year?

 

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14 comments on “Mid June garden tour – 2014”

  1. I feel like it took me forever, but I managed to get a few things planted. Mostly tomatoes. Actually, lots of tomatoes. We have an organization that gives out free tomato starts if you promise to donate a portion of the harvest. I took 18 and have given a few to friends, but I still have 8 that I need to plant.
    We also are trying radishes (even though we haven’t been eating them much this year), carrots, string beans, onions, garlic and some herbs. I really wanted to do more, but I just suck at budgeting my time and school is my biggest priority right now. Which I should be working on…

    Your garden looks lovely!

    Oh, and that orange bucket just tells me that you reuse your water. Probably looks better than the plastic garbage can I have halfway down my house to catch the water where the eves are broken.

  2. Looks great!
    I have been picking lettuce and I have a few early tomatoes just turning red now! My dog Neal keeps weeding my watermelon patch, so I probably won’t get those to go (he plucks them out), I have the beginnings of some green peppers and my cucumber plants are starting to climb! I live in NY so we are in strawberry season now. I don’t have a patch because..again Neal the dog likes to pluck fruit plants. However I bought 4qts at the farmers market last night and made some jam today. Yum!

  3. This is so awesome! I had to Google “volunteer pumpkin.” It seems magical! 🙂 I’m a horrible gardener – I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about how you almost never water…

  4. Okay, I got to your sentence about snissing and just lost it! that so describes what happens after four kids and not keeping the weight down like I should. I love that term, though, and will have to pass it on!

  5. Front yard gardens build communities. I love it! LOL You garden looks great! I spent quite a bit of time outside yesterday working on mine. My strawberry bed had got quite overgrown and we had to go in and thin things out. Since I couldn’t bear to throw some of the thinned plants away I now have random strawberries all over!! Oh an on raspberries I planted 3 canes 2 years ago and they have spread quite well. We are going out today to get some bare root plants from a woman out in Rochester. Her raspberries came over with her grandmother from Germany in the 70’s. I can’t wait!!

  6. It’s official. I have a garden crush on you! I am working at turning my 1/4 acre piece of America into a garden as well and it so refreshing to see that you are making huge leaps of success with yours! Strawberries around the base of my trees?! Mind. Blown.

  7. I absolutely ADORE this post! Your humor is hysterical and I am so unbelievably jealous of your garden/chicken coop!! Hubby and I are planning on buying our first home next year and I can’t wait to get to work in the yard. Have a great summer!!!! 🙂

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