Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taking a break in early June

We went away this past weekend to visit the great state of New York. It was a wonderful time visiting Adam's parents and family friends, and we got to see some of the recent signs of revitalization in Syracuse, including the Onondaga Creekwalk.

Out for a creekwalk with Briar

Leaving the garden behind for a few days allowed me to take a mental and physical breather. In our climate, early June is a somewhat tense and impatient period. You've done all this work in March, April and May preparing the beds, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, worrying about the last late frost, fretting over early heat waves... and then June hits - and you just have to wait. The plants have a lot of growing to do; even the early-planted kale and rapini (broccoli raab) isn't quite ready for harvest.

In early June, the weather can start to get really nice and sometimes it even feels like it's high summer. But to the plants, it's still late spring. Which means that it's going to be a while until I start harvesting baskets of produce from the garden. (Right now, I'm harvesting handfuls - check out my 2012 Harvest page to see what's coming out of the garden each week.)

Patience is something that gardeners must cultivate, but when it's is in short supply, I recommend getting away for a while. The garden will keep growing without me, and I can always tackle the weeds next week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Ever-Expanding Garden

Watching plants grow is a life-affirming practice, and you long to have more.
I can now see how gardening can begin to take over your life.

We built two raised beds three years ago on the far side of the driveway.
We started with two.
The pink stuff is creeping thyme in flower - the bees love it.

A day later, we realized we could build a bed on the near side of the driveway.
And so, we had three.
Peas, chard and turnip greens

Last year, our neighbor asked us if I'd like to grow vegetables in his garden.
And so, we had four.
Garden four is larger than the other beds put together.

This year, we discussed at great length, "Why not put raised beds in front of the house?"
And so, we have five.
New Garden Beds
Look now while there are no weeds.

Actually, we had been growing fruits and vegetables in front of the house for a few years, but the soil was poor and the drainage off the roof directly onto the garden plants wasn't great either. To fix these problems, we built raised beds, set them farther out than the drip edge of the roof, and filled the beds with well-aged composted manure from a local hobby farmer. I have a lot of hope for these new beds.