Garden: Good News

The April seed-starting, early arrival of summer, and recent heatwave have pushed the garden to new heights–literally and figuratively.

09garden-snappeas.jpgThe snap peas are five feet tall and blooming enthusiastically. Last year, my snap peas were duds.

09garden-snowpeas.jpgThe shelling peas and snow peas are 3-4 feet tall and maturing responsibly. Last year, we had a cold summer, and the peas didn’t bloom until August. We had a very short harvest window before frosts killed the plants.

09garden-rhubarb.jpgEllen’s rhubarb start made itself at home and is happy to produce the vast quantity I desire. I’ve promised to make room for a couple of offspring, and she’s looking forward to starting a family.

09garden-kale.jpgI’m cutting, blanching, and freezing kale and collards as they grow this year, rather than processing whole plants later in the summer. Will the leaves be less bitter and/or more tender?

How long will the plants produce new leaves? Does a plant have a certain number of leaves in its genetic makeup or will leaves sprout indefinitely?

09garden-spinach-chard.jpgI’m also processing spinach and chard for winter use. The hot weather makes them bolt more quickly, but multiple plantings should keep us supplied through the summer–now that we have a fence that keeps hares out.

We’ve also had our first two strawberries. Yum! Sorry, we ate them before I clicked the picture. I refuse to trim runners; I’m encouraging the plants to procreate so I can fill several more beds with their offspring next year. I want lots of strawberries.

Visions of the permanent garden are taking shape. I have tons of wonderful work to do. Hey, that’s literal, too, come to think of it.

Get this: I have fifty cubic yards of soil and fill (heavier than the soil) to move (yes, Bev, without a wheelbarrow, though there may be a wheelbarrow in my future). I’m well into the second pile now. According to Internet research and Mike’s miraculous math-mind, one cubic yard of soil weighs 2,000 pounds. That means I have 50 tons of wonderful work to do.

Huh. The task seemed less daunting before.

Categories: Alaska

4 replies »

  1. What a garden! I’m enjoying the story of your garden’s growth, as it unfolds.

    Off on a tangent…for years I thought the word was wheelbarrel instead of wheelbarrow. It made complete sense to me…I thought the origin of the word was *wheeled barrel”…because it’s basically an open barrel on wheels. I think I was an adult before I discovered how wrong I was in the spelling and pronunciation of the word.

  2. You go girl – that is a lot of dirt no matter how you move it. Enjoy the fruits of your labor……

  3. Garden is looking great. Our 4 basil starts you gave us are still growing. No harvesting yet though. Maybe next week. Jillian wants you to have lots of strawberries too! She will help you eat them.