Friday, June 7, 2013

A Backyard Garden Tour

Hey, folks!  I thought I would break down a garden tour into my front and back yards.  Since I took down all of those trees, the backyard is now getting pretty good sun, and I'm seeing the benefits like I've never seen before.  This past week, we have been drenched with rain, and this farmgirl is not complaining.  Though it does make the animal yard look like a monster truck's dream.

My cilantro and dill are going to seed as is my lettuce, so bye bye cool weather crops.  But, we've had a cooler spring than normal and for the first time I've been able to enjoy a salad with my own lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Normally my lettuce has bolted in the heat by the time the tomatoes and cucumbers are coming in.  I could probably do a better job keeping my lettuce around longer each year, but I can only do so much with the time I have.  Anyway, I'm just starting to pick cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green beans, a few blueberries and blackberries here and there, and of course, summer herbs like basil.  Everything is building up to what looks like a productive year.  Preserving season is upon me, and I really need to get myself organized and ready for it.

My back garden consists of Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkins, Waltham Butternut Squash, a variety of heirloom tomatoes (Black Cherry, Black Plum, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Hillbilly, Yellow Gooseberry), Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Beans, Yellow Midget Watermelon, Zucchino Rampicante Squash, Oaxacan Green Dent Corn, Rattlesnake Pole Beans, Japanese Pickling Cucumbers, Delikatesse Cucumbers, Purple Hull Pinkeye Cowpeas, Red Onions, Buran Bell Peppers, Red Marconi Bell Peppers, Purple Jalapenos, Craig's Giant Jalapenos, Beauregard Sweet Potatoes, and Yukon Gold Potatoes.  

A few lessons learned already are: 

Squash Vine Borers love pumpkins.  I don't plant summer squash because I have a long standing battle with the vine borers.  However, when I decided to try pumpkins for the first time this year, I didn't realize they were suseptible to vine borer damage.  One thing I've noticed though is that the pumpkins are very prolific rooters, so even though the older parts of the vines are getting hit hard by the borers, the vines are rooting themselves as such a pace that I hope they can stay ahead of the vine borers.  I've been killing quite a few squash bugs too, but at least they are easy to catch and dispatch. 

I decided to try a different jalapeno variety this year, and I'm already regretting it.  I don't like the Purple Jalapenos.  They are too thin walled.  I used up the rest of my Craig's Giant seeds this year, so next year, I may go back to them. 

I am attempting the three sisters, but one of the sisters left the party early.  She got jealous because her other two sisters were taking all of the limelight, I mean sunlight and space.  I planted ------- Green Dent Corn with the Waltham Butternut Squash and the Rattlesnake Pole Beans.  The corn is coming along and the pole beans are climbing their way up the corn.  The beans don't look like they will be as prolific as my trellised pole beans.  They aren't in a raised bed like the trellised ones, and are really struggling with all of the clay we have in the ground.  Regardless of the outcome, I love to experiment to see how much and what I can grow in my small space.  Live and learn. 

Now, for the main event, pictures.  Enjoy!

Happy homesteading,