I am pleased as punch. My backyard garden on borrowed land — whether because of, or in spite of my attempts — looks awesome. I’ve been eating cabbage, kale, broccoli, snow peas, regular peas, and even the occasional yellow wax bean, with no end of tasty produce in sight.
I suspect that the soil, though clay-ish in some places and low lying (and therefore prone to pooling water) in others, is pretty darn good quality. That, or the manure and bone meal added in at the beginning has made a big difference. (Its nutrients certainly haven’t been depleted by anything other than weeds in the past 10+ years, so maybe it’s been stock piling!)
With all the other plant life in the area, the garden is prone to a multitude of weeds, but many of the crops do not seem to be affected. Plus, the straw mulch is doing its work rather handily in many spots.
There is a surge in clover growth along the edges of the garden, which I understand indicates good nitrogen content in the soil. This may also be why the peas are growing like crazy — they can’t get enough of the stuff. Clover was not in evidence in the yard at the beginning of this gardening experiment, so I’d be curious to know if it needed the cleared space that the walkways provide, or whether the improved soil conditions are to blame.
I haven’t had much success with some veggies, such as carrots and radishes, but I’ve discovered in recent weeks that’s due to my own ignorance and lack of attention to detail — when they first sprout, you’re supposed to thin them out. Some of my seed packets said not to, but the successful radish grower at the local farmers market set me straight. Better late than never? Maybe I’ll try some in my box garden, which is closer to home where I can keep a closer eye on things.
The spinach and all lettuce seeds have had a zero yield, despite a second planting at the height of warm weather — I have no idea what’s up with that. There is an ant nest in the area where most of the salad greens were planted and I do wonder if they wandered off with the seeds.
There are lots of tomatoes on the vine, but none have turned red yet. They are getting very plump, though!
Aside from 3 that reached maturity, the strawberries are a complete loss. There were about 8 little berries that something (Mr. Squirrel, me thinks) got a hold of and munched at the beginning of the season. This prompted the construction of a sophisticated mesh covering, but no further berries, or flowers for that matter, have appeared.
The weird thing is, the stuff that’s supposed to be the easiest hasn’t grown for me and the “difficult” plants like broccoli and cabbage, are coming along nicely. But, despite some challenges and no baby spinach in sight, I am inordinately pleased each time I am able to harvest and eat something out of the garden.