The New Home Economics

Garden update: solstice edition

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Happy Summer Solstice!  Gardening in my narrow spot between two two-story buildings has really made me keenly aware of the sun’s angle.  Sad but true: in only a month part of my garden will be shaded by the neighbor’s house for part of the day.  So I hope these guys are soaking up the sun while they can.

beans62009These beans are really confusing me.  It said “bush habit” on the package, and they’re sorta bushy.  But they’re sorta vine-y too.  So vine-y that they started wrapping around themselves and the garlic over on the right of them.  So today I constructed some little teepees to give them a little bit of support.  These are “Black Valentine” beans, an heirloom variety.  Anyone else grown this type before?

peas062009Adam also added more support to our pea/pole bean structure this week.  The whole thing was on the verge of collapse, then clutsy Jennifer fell onto it and collapsed it for good.  I think my head has been elsewhere lately because I didn’t notice until today that WE HAVE PEAS:

peasLike, ready-to-pick peas!  Going to try to hold out another day or two so there’s enough for an actual meal.

brussels62009Brussels sprouts guild: It looks like my guild plan here might not work out after all.  The brussels sprouts have gotten so huge that the lettuce, green onions, and dill that I interplanted with them are now completely shaded.  I will probably still eat that lettuce as “micro lettuce” when all my other lettuce is done, but I don’t expect to get much dill or green onions.  But that’s OK because the main point was that those plants benefit the brussels by repelling insects that eat brussels sprouts (supposedly).

lettucepeppers62009Lettuce/peppers: My lettuce is ready to be picked.  NOW.  It will bolt soon.  But I have two heads of lettuce from my CSA in the fridge.  I am overwhelmed with lettuce right now.  It’s even kinda crowding my peppers right now, poor things.  If you live in or near Minneapolis and want some lettuce, send me an e-mail at jrensenbrink [at] hotmail [.] com and you can totally come and pick some up.  In return would you have coffee and talk about sustainability with me for 1/2 hour?

radishesparsnipsRadishes/Parsnips: Once again not much to see here, except the fact that the radishes are completely gone, and now the parsnips are really starting to take off.  I had a parsnip anxiety moment last week when I was afraid that only 2 or 3 of them had sprouted in the left-hand row.  Without mercy, I pulled every single remaining radish.  Shortly thereafter we got a nice rain, and a bunch of parsnips suddenly popped up.  Thank goodness.  Parsnips are my favorite garden vegetable so I’d be very sad to get a less-than-optimum harvest.  Note to self for next year: when doing companion planting of radishes/parsnips, plant the parsnip seeds rather thickly to make sure you get enough of them to germinate in the shade of the radish leaves.

tomaters062009Tomatoes: OK, this is the lamest animation of the bunch.  I cannot seem to get two pictures from exactly the same angle.  Hopefully you get the idea.  My tomatoes are freakin’ huge!  And covered with blossoms!  Yippeee!

Another thing to note about the garden:  last weekend I put down some mulch that I concocted out of:

A pile of leaves that didn’t fit into the compost pile last fall
Two bags of manure compost
A couple shovel-fuls of semi-composted compost from my bin

I put this around all the plants in my garden, to help hold in the precious little moisture we’ve been getting (we’re in a drought here in central MN) and to give them a little nutritional boost from the manure.  Here’s a picture of the entire garden, about a week ago, with the mulch just added (little to no bare ground showing anymore; that was my goal):

gardenwithmulch

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2 thoughts on “Garden update: solstice edition

  1. looks awesome! it’s nice to see the final picture to see the whole thing! also i like the animations.

  2. Very cool & I’m jealous – the rabbits ate my beans. Think I may start over in a container – by the house (and dog)

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