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So far, 2018 has had some of the strangest weather. It started out with an extremely cold winter. Then, we had a wet spring. Our local weather forecaster announced today that this weekend will be our first dry weekend since before Easter! Mother Nature is weird.
That said, my garden beds never got started this spring, but there is still a lot going on out there.
One bed has been overrun by lambsquarter and another is covered in wild strawberries! I really need to get out there with the children and focus on clearing the beds so we can pick up a few seedlings at the local nursery and have some sort of garden this year.
And while the backyard beds are bare, the front yard beds are doing well. We have harvested strawberries and broccoli. The rhubarb is HUGE and needs to be harvested. Our flower garden has sprouted and we even have a few blooms, but not quite enough for cutting and bringing in the house quite yet.
My favorite things
Right now, my favorite part of the garden is seeing all of the fruit trees, berry bushes, and grape vines producing. Some for the very first time! On our little quarter-acre homestead with have a peach tree, 3 apple trees, a cherry tree, 2 pear trees, 5 grape vines, and over a dozen blueberry bushes.
Some of the grape vines are still quite small, but the two large ones are laden with grape clusters. The only problem, I don’t remember what variety they are! We planted concords out front, so I know this isn’t those. But, these are either Tompson, or a red-seedless variety that I can’t remember the name of at the moment.
The apple trees all have apples this year for the first time, and I’m hoping to at least be able to pick a few later in the summer and into the fall. Each tree has a different harvest time, so I’m hoping for enough to make a pie or two.
Our pear trees have been weird. We started with established trees, and the year they were planted they produced pears that we pinched off. The following year, only the Bartlett produced pears, and then neighborhood children picked them all while we were away for a few days (even though they weren’t ripe). Then last year, our Moonglow never even produced flowers at the start of the season so our Barlett didn’t produce fruit. This year, both trees flowered (YAY!) and our Bartlett has a few pears on it, but I don’t see any on the Moonglow.
And the blueberries! Oh, my! They are so abundant this year. I think I figured out exactly when in the season to fertilize them and that has been beneficial to their fruit production. We’ve had a few ripen on one bush, and the children and I stood outside snacking on them yesterday afternoon. I’m expecting a fairly decent blueberry harvest within the next few weeks.
In the Works
I have a herb garden that currently only has thyme growing in it. I need to transfer the basil plants I started in the house outdoors, and then pick up a few more herb plants to fill in that space.
We really want to grow a salsa garden following the square foot gardening method. I’m going to the nursery this week in search of all of the plants we will need. I have already picked up sweet peppers and jalapeño pepper plants, so now its time to track down tomatillos, cilantro, and select the tomato varieties that we want.
There is also still a lot of other vegetables I’d like to get growing if I can find the plants at the garden center or if it’s not too late to start them from seed.
- Summer fruits & vegetables for summer harvest – corn, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe, & eggplant
- Root vegetables for fall harvest – sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, leeks, & onions
- Winter squash for fall harvest – butternut & pumpkin
There are also plans for a fall garden. Right now that’s only a plan because we will need to figure out exactly when everything will be ready to harvest and clear out of our main garden beds first.
Even with a late start, we will soon be enjoying an abundant harvest from the garden. I really do believe gardeners are some of the most optimistic people because we just have to believe it will all work itself out.