Last week our square foot garden was in its prime. With everything looking good, I thought I should snap some pictures. Above is a head of “EZ Serve” lettuce, which is a compact variety of romaine.
Our arugula is growing so well. It’s really sad that we planted it in the wrong season, and as such it is way too spicy. I mean, it could not be any spicier. One leaf will burn your mouth off. It’s terrible.
This is the endive. It’s delicious, and almost all gone now. What is left will be made into salads this week, as next weekend we’ll be tearing out whatever is left.
Our plan is to remove a whole heap of the soil and start amending it. We’ll take out about 1/3 of the clay soil that is in there, and mix it with a bail of peat moss and 1/3 of the compost we’ve been making since March. Then we’ll have a nice fresh bed to plant our salad greens in, and we plan to keep a rotation going in this box throughout the winter, since it is the closest one to the house.
Our basil is finally growing, but there is no point to that. It’s in the middle box, and the middle box will be gutted tomorrow. We’re going to plant some fall crops in there, like broccoli, peas, and maybe cabbage. Most fall crops will need to go in by August 1, and sadly nothing we did in this box was right. After the fall crops are done, we may make it a second bed for lettuce greens and other winter crops.
The broccoli is going to go too, as it’s also in the middle box. It got pretty decimated by bugs anyway, and we’re growing it in the wrong season. I recently learned that broccoli grown in the heat will turn out spicy and bitter. So will spinach. Even if we were to let the broccoli go, it likely would not be anything we’d want to eat.
Our pole beans are also in the middle box. Next week they’ll be gone. That is fine, because some sort of animal came in a few days ago and ate the tops off of every vine.
This is what happens to peas that are planted in the wrong weather.
Our carrots are in the far box. They get to stay. We’re leaving everything in that box. The tomatoes and hot peppers are thriving, and we don’t plan to use that box for anything over the winter. We didn’t keep any notes, and of course we can’t remember when we planted the carrots. We dug one out 2 weeks ago to see how it looked, and it looked like a root. A pale orange skinny little root. Nowhere near done, but we did taste it and it definitely tasted like carrot.
Onions are next to carrots, and doing about as well. I have concerns about these root vegetables finding enough room to grow properly in such a dense clay soil. Who knows what we’ll even get.
This is what we’re actually excited about.
The tomatoes in the foreground are called Everlast tomatoes. They don’t ripen for 3 months after being plucked. That is to allow you to have fresh tomatoes later in the season. Though, since we didn’t keep notes I don’t know when to pluck them. Since they won’t turn red, how will I know?
The ones in the background are from CG‘s parents. I’ve known them for nearly 20 years, and they’ve always been backyard gardeners. They’re Moreton tomatoes, and I expect they will turn red on the vine.
The gardens look pretty good, but by this time next week 2 of them will be completely empty. And you know what? Empty boxes with quality soil is actually going to look better to me.
This is our hops plant. We may not get anything usable from it this year, but it will grow back next year if we protect it.
It’s a very healthy vine.
And this? Well, I may be nurturing 2 very slow growing weeds. Or I may be nurturing 2 small Meyer Lemon tree sprouts. Saplings. Whatever. My mom suggested that I try to plant the seeds. After some googling I decided to chop up the peel and smush up some of the pulp, mix it with a handful of good looking seeds, and bury it in some soil. Crappy soil, I may add. I wasn’t convinced it would work. In fact, I was convinced it wouldn’t work. I left it on a heat mat for about 2 months, letting it dry out regularly. Like, bone dry. In clay. Then I moved what I thought was a pot full of just clay outside. A month later, when my husband went to empty it out, there was a sprout. Now it’s been over a month, and there are 2 sprouts. They seem to be growing far too slowly to be weeds, so I’m just going to let them go. If they really are Meyer Lemon sprouts, I’m going to be sad about the quality of the soil they’re in.