Monday, May 28, 2012

Whoopsy, seems as though I have been neglecting the garden blog again.  Not good for record keeping purposes!  Truthfully it has been quite rainy in these parts and until this past weekend I had not been out there much.  It has been an interesting season so far. This year the tomatoes are separated into three beds- no "tomato alley".  Asparagus beetles have been wicked this year, along with the caterpillars that de-foliated the beach plums, apples, and low-bush blueberries to the point that there will be no fruit production.  It was an abnormally bad spring for insects in my yard.  My theory is that with the warmer than normal weather we experienced early in the season the asparagus beetle larva emerged earlier than normal, so last years fronds were still in the asparagus bed (rather than in the woods) when the bugs came a  calling.  I have been cutting and bagging spears in an effort to reduce next year's population, though doing so will also decrease next year's spear production.  Small price to pay if I can stop the beetle cycle going forth.  Here is an arial view of the garden, much greener than the last time I took one back in April:

Excuse the toys and mess in the garden, I ran to take a photo before it did not happen, so stuff is everywhere.  Today I put in some peppers, eggplant, and summer squash seedlings.  My beloved Magda would not germinate for me, and something got to the stem of my Sungold plant, so I went to the nursery and picked up some Eight Ball squash and Sun Sugar tomato to try instead.  I also stocked up on herbs I did not start from seed and threw in a pimento pepper for good luck.  This year I finally got it together and tried to house *most* of the herbs in one bed:

The basil overflow is stuck amongst the tomatoes (salad leaf, sweet, pistou, and thai).  In the herb bed I have thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme, sage, oregano, chives, garlic chives, bulbing fennel, lavender, rosemary, basil, summer savory, parcel, cilantro and alpine strawberries.  YUM- lots of great flavors to be had in there!

I did something else that has been on my wish list for years as well, which was to use wire fencing to make an A-frame trellis for the cukes:

I find cukes in my garden want to spread out more than up, so I am curious to see if this will be a good system (the trellis is taller than it appears in the photo); the variety is Persian Baby, a first-timer for us.

As an experiemnt I put strawberries on the perimeter of one bed tomatoes were going into.  So far it has worked quite well though I am curious to see if the berries become unhappy later in the season when tomatoes are shading them out.  At least fruit production will be done by then as they are june-bearing varieties:

Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are flowering like mad which is fabulous.  A few tomatoes and pepper plants are beginning to blossom so things will be coming along in no time.  Mostly we have been harvesting pea greens, strawberries, herbs, and asparagus (before the beetles began munching).