Posted by: David | June 23, 2011

Happy Summer 2011

Sorry but I’ve been a very bad blogger lately. Just been too darn busy I guess- it’s summer now, weeds to pull, grass to cut, bicycles to ride, etcetera. But I do have some garden pix to share. Sort of the boring catalog style, wherein I do some record keeping. Garden friends may enjoy this, others may apply for full refunds.

My daughter took this one of me replanting some peppers that were destroyed by deer, woodchuck, or just failed to thrive.

Behind me (and yes, I tie-dyed that t-shirt at last year’s Mountain Day festivities) you can make out the asparagus bed. Technically it’s bed #14 of 17. The weather has been somewhat on the cloudy, dreary side on average. We’ve only had one really hot spell, and that’s when the plants, with root systems fully established, really make time, so to speak. They need more of that kind of weather.

Bed #1 is planted with a few lettuce varieties, sorrel, celery, basil and some volunteer dill.

Beds #2 and #3 are onions and some basil. Bed #4 is peas, which are doing poorly, and some borage, a ‘weed’ that we and the bumblebees like.

Beds #5 and #6 are garlic. Beloved garlic. Lots of it.

The garlic scapes are into their second curls now. I’m letting them go this year. Some say that the garlic stores better if you don’t pick the scapes. But most agree that if you do harvest them, the bulbs get bigger.

There’s also the possibility of trying to grow the little bulbils that form at the end of the scapes. Supposedly they can, over the course of a couple of years, be grown into full-sized garlic bulbs. Beds #7, 8 and 9 are brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. They’re too small to be photographable as yet, even by such a boring documentarian as yours truly.

So, bed #10 is another one for climbers. But the cukes are not doing well there at all. Beds 11 and 12 have shrimpy pepper plants biding their time for the hot and humid weather. Bed 13 is more broccoli or cauliflower, not sure which yet. Bed #14 is the aforementioned asparagus. Replanted them again back in May, this time being careful not to bury the roots too deeply. Most of them have sprouted, but very timidly. Bed #15 is mostly unplanted, but there are many rootbound seedlings in the greenhouse which may or may not make it out there.

Bed #16 is mostly leeks and some onions which barely made it through the winter in storage. Planted them to see if we can gather some seed from them.

Behind the barn is the usual corn patch. A row of potatoes to the left, and the horseradish plant at bottom left of frame. Off frame left 3 rows of tomatoes.

This is also where we planted winter squash and pumpkins. I’m trying to replenish my mustard seed supply. Trying to grow both yellow and brown seed. They all germinated well.

Baby plums. This tree blooms nicely, but few plums make it to ripeness. Pity. They’re not too bad.

I’m taking a trip to Connecticut to visit my best buddy and his family for a few days. I’ll be on the road in a couple of hours. It’s about a 3 hour trip.

Until next time …


  1. I am a bad blogger this year as well. I loved the gardening update. So different from gardening in MT, yet so similar. maybe I will try to do a similar post.

    Thanks for commenting Maleesha. You are one of the ‘target audience’ for these gardening posts. Garlic will be ready soon. I’d love to see some photos of your crops, but I totally understand the time and busy-ness factors. Happy July 4th!

  2. You’re a damn fine blogger and a right fine gardener. Bunny would love to be your neighbor. She would love to get her hands dirty while absorbing every ounce of gardening knowledge from you she could. I think that would be pretty cool too, but chances are you’d find me inside or at least under a decent shade tree. 😉

    Thanks for your very kind comment Peter. I wish that everybody could and would do some gardening. I’d love to have some help with the weeding.

  3. It all looks great, except isn’t the garlic supposed to have orange dots on it like mine does? Today I evict the peppers from the greenhouse, not that it’s warm outside. I love straw mulch but mine grows oat grass. Does your mulch sprout?

    The garlic has plenty of yellowing leaves, so how about that? It really starts to decline after the solstice. It’s a bit tough to leave it alone and not worry about it. I want to give it more fertilizer and such, but I know I shouldn’t. I prepped the beds really well last fall and used tons of oat straw. The oat straw is just as you say, a ridiculous mulch material. Overpriced too. The bales we bought last year were exceptionally full of seedheads. Sprouted like crazy. However, since the mulch on the garlic over-wintered it wasn’t a problem. Not so for the onions planted this spring. It’s picky work to weed out the oatgrass shoots from the onions. One must pay attention.

  4. I don’t know squat about gardening, but the sheer quantity of yours is impressive. Garlic, onions, corn … wish I were a neighbor! I’m intrigued by your beautiful tie-dyed shirt. I know how to do the big circular ray patterns but I can’t figure out how you did this one.

    The new header pic is great!

    Thanks Pied. The gray squirrel hasn’t been back since that day. We still have no idea how it was able to get up to the window like that. The dog was beside himself. Really didn’t know what to do. That was a lucky shot.

  5. I think that of all the things you mention, there isn’t one that I have seen growing. Instead of those botanical gardens that kids have to visit to see plants and treews from the other end of the world, by now in the city parks there should be a vegetable garden.

    It is the same with animals. Instead of those zoos with giraffes and crocodiles, there should be places for kis to see sheep, goats, chickens, cows, rabbits. I am sure that would be successful.

    Anyway, I am lucky because next door there is a large greengrocer’s where Azahara who sits at the cash desk wears a veil.

    Yes! There are some enterprising farmers in these parts that turn their animal collection into tourist attractions called “petting zoos”. Then there are those that endeavor to share their produce via the “community supported agriculture” model, which requires a little more active participation than the farmer’s market or greengrocer stands as you describe.

  6. What is the title of this new header?
    There but for fortune
    Pax domini tecum
    Take the rag away from your face (with apologies to Dylan, and instead of rag it should be be glass)

    I like your proposed titles. I submitted this snapshot to the local TV station with the title “Terrier vs. Squirrel Staredown

  7. You’ve a lovely veg garden! It makes me hungry and tired just looking at the photos! Garlic looks so cool when it’s growing. It gets sort of all spinney and stuff.

    Nice plums.

    Have a grand time!

    Thank you S. Le! Sorry for the hunger and fatigue. I love the way the garlic looks too and get a great deal of pleasure staring at it as it progresses. The “spinney” things are called scapes, and are just one of many fascinating aspects of this plant. It took me many years of gardening before I finally undertook to grow garlic, and I’m awfully glad I did.

    • P.S. Love your new banner! lol

      I know right? What a lucky shot!

  8. Wow. you’re certainly doing better than me. My ‘garden’ this year is a single potted flax plant. I call him Fred. He’s looking pretty green springy and happy though!

    Well that’s cool. I’d love to see what a flax plant looks like.

  9. 84º F in the shade and – for the first time — also indoors. It has been like this for about 5 days and will go on fort another 4 or 5. At night it cools down, but not much.
    I didn’t know it was a squirrel. Isn’t it strange that it should trust the glass?

    We’ve had a great deal of rain here. Just a few times the temperature has climbed into the 80s.

    Yes, the gray squirrels are quite large, fast, aggressive and plentiful. We once had a cat that tried to tangle with one and regretted it quickly. I don’t think the squirrel had much time to consider the glass’s trustworthiness as much as it was hanging on to the window frame and trying to calculate a trajectory toward the bird feeders. It failed, after 3 attempts, to get any seeds and it has not been back since. It succeeded mightily at freaking out the terrier. Now that you mention it, it’s more strange that the terrier didn’t decide to ignore the glass.

  10. Love the tie-dye shirt!

    Sadly, I have an elevated garden bed in my backyard that grows nothing but weeds and baby gum trees.

    Have a great trip.

    Thanks Allison, I did have a nice trip, which by the way was 4 hour drive not 3. As for the tie-dye, it’s a yearly tradition at the college’s Mountain Day festivities. Past few years I’ve been doing an accordion folded rollup pattern with two colors.

  11. Not the most frequent blogger myself recently, but glad to see your garden is looking well. I have a three-spike condition with my desert spoon at the moment; quite a phenomenon. I ♥ your tie dye skills, too. The picture at the top is way scary, dude!
    Did you get back from your trip? How was your friend?

    Hi MusEditions! Thanks for visiting. I bet that desert spoon is a sight to behold. Now I see that it means a lot to you after visiting your blog.

    No injuries resulted from the terrier-squirrel staredown. The squirrel has not returned.

    My trip was great but short. My friend and his family have a new puppy, an adorable ‘golden doodle’ named Abby.

  12. Because “Boing boing” is in your blogroll and I had seen it mentioned many times I went to see what it was, and I don’t like it rather vividly. It has such a disenchanted voice or humour, dry, ugly, taking for granted that everything is haha haha rather than blabla.
    And as to the “Spanish revolution”, I have started to smell a rat.

    I read many times that there was no leader. It was “the people” who was taking action.I could not believe this but had to tell myself that after all I had also predicted that Wikipedia could not become anything useful.

    But yesterday I found a webpage with instructions for the next march and there were perfect translations into many languages. The translator called them “the outraged”. That is much better than “the indignant” which invites all sorts or ironies and sounds silly. Well, “the people” might generate translations but they would not be able to decide which is best.

    I hardly ever visit boing boing either, but being of the nerd slash geek stripe, I am obliged to have a link to it. When I look there it’s for nerd satisfaction, not for wit.

    Regarding the Spanish revolution and rat smelling … I would be surprised to read that you are surprised. I wonder what’s really going on besides the normal greed thievery. If ‘the people’ have a real voice via the internet, then the media machine must feel threatened.

  13. I’ve posted 2, admittedly tiny, posts since your last one. Throw us a bone there Dave! … or at least a doggy treat! The lack of Dave is troubling.

    That’s a nice compliment S. Le, thank you. I’ve been tired from work this summer. We’re ‘rolling out’ 220 new computers, and taking down the same number of old ones. It’s exhausting. Ironical, no? All this computer work is taking my web energy down. It’s also a matter of time. When the summer weekends roll around, I have to weed the garden, mow the grass, ride my bike, go to a party, whatever.

    Anyway, I’ve accumulated enough photos around which to assemble a post, so buck up.

    • …make that 3 posts.

    • Cheers!

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