Garden Progress

So it’s been more than a month since I posted garden pictures. But these pictures were taken June 27, June 29, July 7 and July 17, so the garden has grown quite a bit since these were taken!

Note: Remember, you can click on each picture to view it more easily.

June 27

Daniel is planting our scarlet runner beans by the trellis I constructed from poles. Just past the wood chip path, you can see half the next bed is covered with wood chips & half is not. We’ve been hauling bins of wood chip mulch in the car for more than a week now, covering a bit each day. A few more trips. We love the mulch, it holds in a ton of water and we don’t have muddy trails now. The hoses are not spread on the beds because of the mulching and weeding we did tonight. I decided to put the runner beans in the wettest patch because they are definitely water loving and needs lots of it (they grow so fast!). (Update: with a deluge of rain right after we planted them – 2.5 inches in a day – they drowned in that patch and haven’t ever recovered even though one flowered.)


As you can see above, the sunflowers are getting big, but will get a lot bigger yet. They’re mammoth variety.

I intentionally kept my foot by the lettuce to illustrate how big it’s getting. Not much longer to harvest the first head. (Update: We managed to harvest quite a bit over a couple weeks – yum! – and most of it drowned with that deluge of 2.5 inches of rain in a day. Only a couple have made a come back).


Well our winter squash (the longest one) decided to go crazy long. The row on the left are summer squash. (Update: They’re almost covering the whole patch now, as we expected).


Fennel roots are getting fatter. Beets are on the right, green onion just beyond the fennel, and a small view of some of the cilantro is beyond that.


The beets are forming roots. (Update: We’ve harvested a good bit of them! I’ve juiced many, leaves and all. They are very dense, deep red – as one would expect – and better all around than store bought)


The purple basil is finally spreading. (Update: It’s spread even more since this, of course, and we’ve managed to harvest copious amounts that I juice, add to salads and Daniel made pesto that was fabulous!)


Sorry about the blur, but you can see how big one of the many green bell peppers are getting! Not much longer to pick our first one. (Update: We’ve managed to harvest a dozen or so. So crunchy sweet!)


Tomato alley! We have 12 bushes (determinate heirlooms). Not pictured (on another row) are 3 indeterminate heirlooms.


Lookee! Our first little baby tomato! Actually, it’s the 2nd. I accidentally broke off the first one while marveling at it! (Update: Our bushes are LOADED with lots that are bigger than this now. No red ones yet.)


Summer squash getting big. We used a spray on the leaves that was milk, soda pop & water. So there are almost no holes, except from wind damage or hail. Otherwise, the cucumber beetles would’ve had a nice feast on these leaves. (Update: We’ve managed to harvest gobs of this yellow summer squash. Several fell to blossom end rot due to the cooler and very wet rains, and we suspect they may not have gotten pollinated – I didn’t bother with my blossom end rot spray because of a time issue, plus we knew we’d get more than we could use)

Those sunflower leaves are almost the size of a plate! (Update: By now, they’re all larger than plates!)


Swiss chard is coming along nicely. (Update: We’ve harvested countless leaves and lightly cooked or juiced them. They’re all still producing several leaves a week)


The first fruits of the summer squash are forming. Yay! (See above update! Tons harvested by now)


Sunflower alley! (Update: Most of them are taller than either of us now!)


June 29

On the way to the garden yesterday, these were some unusual cloud formations

Grapes are developing. Now I have to figure out how to keep the birds from eating them as they mature. (Update: I wasn’t spraying my soda formula on these, usually running out completely by using it on our other garden crops, so they’ve been fairly ravaged by Japanese beetles! I’m thinking of spraying them well before we go on vacation – the fruit is still developing though!)

We mulched and I planted a row of marigolds on the outside of our fence. To the left is a grassy road that we can drive on to get to our garden beds. (Update: I added one chives plant in the middle that’s not shown here)

The 3 staked tomatoes in the foreground are our indeterminates, Bloody Butcher variety. They’re already forming little tomatoes and have several blooms. The row on the left are winter squash (butternut), the row on the right are summer squash (yellow). One of them (the smallest of the 4) has blooms but is not a healthy color. No clue why. (Update: They seem to go through getting greener or yellow. The tomatoes pictured below suffered hugely from our 2.5 inches of rain downpour in one day – all three of them almost died and strangely enough, some don’t have leaves but the fruit continues to ripen and one is orangish-red – we call them our “Zombie Tomatoes” – the living dead hehe)

Just a different view of one of our rows. From L to R: Beets, fennel (anise), purple basil (harvested what would be about $10 today!), hard to see north of the purple basil, but that’s green onion, and the right row from bottom up is green pepper, boxwood basil, parsley and cilantro.

Check out all those green peppers growing! Won’t be long. (See update above!)


We got abundant lettuce from this, but all but a couple died from the rains.

On the way to the garden today, we see (on the left) Great Blue Heron meets (on the right) Egret. Just before we saw the heron, we saw the Egret catching and eating a big fish.

Great Blue Heron and Egret

Egret flying the coop (so to speak)

Sunset over Fermilab natural areas, after we left the garden today. My camera is my tablet, and it’s crappy, otherwise you’d see the sun was a large red ball. Beautiful in person

And here we have the first 3 ingredients of our salad at dinner tonight, straight from our own garden. Simpson lettuce, red rubin basil, and radishes. We added more things but these were grown by us! Yay! It was delicious with homemade salad dressing.


July 7

The timer we put on the drip soaker hoses worked! Yay!

The green onion, cilantro and parsley (hardly seen, but to the left of the cilantro)

The tomato row. One of the tomatoes is getting really big, but most are developing quite a few tomatoes.

The first nasturtium blossom finally, just before blooming. (Update: The plants have been struggling since the rains!)

Sunflower alley. We harvested a bunch of that wonderful lettuce just after this picture.

Another view of the beets, fennel, purple basil, boxwood basil, parsley, cilantro, green pepper, and of course some sunflowers in front obscuring the view

Here was today’s harvest (July 7). (cilantro, Swiss chard, Simpson lettuce, a beet, and purple basil). We got a lot more lettuce 3 days ago, and a whole lot more purple basil than this (about a plastic grocery bag full) and about the same amount of boxwood basil.


July 17

First ever yellow squash is ready to harvest!

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First ever yellow squash is ready to harvest! This one’s even bigger!

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Our first baby watermelon. Let’s hope it matures and it’s ready by the time we return from Europe at the end of August!

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Thanks for joining me in my garden! =)


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