When I look back at old photos it’s hard to believe that I actually gardened in this heavy clay soil. Hoeing out the clods of soil to a manageable tilth was hard work. I never realized how valuable a hoe was until last summer. I am very glad we built the new kitchen garden in this spot this year. I don’t miss all the weeding that came with this area of the garden.
Farmer Jim knew raised beds were easier for me to use and he is great at building. We didn’t start to build until the third week of May so plants and seeds would be planted late. With our warm summer trend over the last few years, I wasn’t really worried about timing of my crops. Well, secretly I was but didn’t want to rush my helper.
Progress was made quickly once the beds were built and filled with soil. Transplants went in and the weather was hot. That meant watering daily to get the plants off to a good start.
I always grow too much basil so a whole bed is devoted to this delicious herb. Peppers fill the bed in front along with onions in the front bed to the right.
Weeks later all the plants were in including 45 tomato plants, some in beds and some in containers, and a bed of cucumbers, melons and cucuamelons. We decided to plant some Dahlias in the front to attract the bees. Pollination is always on my mind.
I took this photo last night. I am now the queen of pesto making and finding all sorts of ways to use basil. The cucumbers are doing well and it looks like they are resistant to mildew as none has appeared, yet. Each miniature pepper plant is loaded with eight to ten fruit and I am ready to start harvesting.
My biggest joy so far is tasting my first cucamelon. It has to be the cutest fruit ever! I will post more on this unique fruit soon.
The tomatoes continue to be a work in progress. The foliage from the bottom of the plants have been removed as we are about to approach late blight season. Of course, it seems like every time I remove a branch it stimulates a new one to grow.
Signs of either mold or mildew plague some of the leaves of the tomatoes so a trash can full of leaves has been removed. Will it help? Only time will tell as its raining now and humidity is high. The plants never go into the night wet. I water in the mornings to prevent any disease issues. I have harvested a few tomatoes but not as many as last year. With temperatures close to 30C or almost 90F the flowers are failing to produce fruit. Cooler weather seems to have arrived so there is still lots of time to harvest.
Next to my kitchen garden is a huge rose arbor. It was here when we moved in and is actually a greenhouse frame covered in old climbing roses and clematis. The trunks of the roses are thick with age. I look at it and think, is it really serving us well? Perhaps its time for it to go. There is a lot of shade under this structure. Just think, if it was gone I could grow more food. A gardener can dream, right?