Tag Archives: mulch

Garden Update Mid-June

After 10 days away from my garden, I was keen to check in and see how things are coming along.

Garden Update Jun17In a nutshell, stuff is growing! This in itself is a wonderful thing, which I don’t take for granted. I mean, if it were up to my expertise, the seeds I planted would be sunk. Fortunately, they know what to do without much help from me.

The broccoli is growing like crazy without much to show for it. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m supposed to be clipping off the lower leaves to help the plant focus on bearing fruit, so to speak. I’ll have to check into that. In the meantime, after dinner I did discover one floret which will be eaten soon. The book I checked recommended harvesting to encourage more growth, and that’s all the encouragement I need.

A few weeks back I mulched the garden via a couple of found bales of straw. As far as I can tell, the mulch isn’t doing much to keep the weeds out, but I think that may be because it’s not laid out thickly enough. This I can remedy.

<b> Radishes Gone Wild</b>

Radishes Gone Wild

My mutant radishes keep wanting to go to seed. I’ve never seen such huge radish leaves in my life! I’ve chopped off countless seed stalks but they just keep coming. A couple of weeks ago I tested one of the radishes, which was long, thin, white (no hint of red in sight) and very sharp and peppery. Yum! But I’m not sure they are “ripe” since they do not resemble any of the pictures on the packages of 3 kinds of radishes I thought I planted. (Adding to the confusion is that the Scientist, in a fit of spring cleaning, seems to have tossed out my lovely, meticulously, handwritten garden map. Oops!)

The kale is coming along nicely, now I just need to find a recipe and try and figure out how to get the Scientist to try some. He’s not really a veggie kind of guy…unless there is butter or sugar slathered on for disguise. He has, however and thanks to my efforts, discovered that he quite likes asparagus as well as grilled bell peppers of all colours. This is progress!

<b>Happy Snow Peas</b>

Happy Snow Peas

The snow peas are climbing like crazy, and it’s clear I need to get the climber mesh up at the end of plot C before the last ones planted start to topple. The green beans in the far corner, on the other hand, don’t seem to happy. I may need to move them out of that low lying area and into a new spot. Or add some dirt and replant them there?

And finally the bell peppers. Those poor guys have been completely eclipsed by the broccoli and are now completely shaded. When I originally planted, the plan was to keep the smaller stuff in back. Note to self: broccoli grows big, fast. Peppers, not so much.

Straw in the City

Here’s a cool story. I’d read that straw is great for mulching the garden, and keeps moisture in while keeping weeds out. Sounds like a good plan, so I began my quest. Where does one find straw in the middle of the city…

Straw BalesI mentioned my quest to a friend who, it turns out, has a sister-in-law with horses. She offered to get me a couple of bales next time she was out that way, in a few weeks time. In the meantime, I was out and about one sunny hot day about lunchtime, and pulled over to eat my sandwich in a shady spot.

Lo and behold, in my shady spot next to a small park behind a strip mall were a few bales of hay behind one of the stores. They were near, but not next to the dumpster. Hmmm. I couldn’t just take them, even though they looked like they might be garbage, so after my sandwich was done I went around to what I calculated was the correct store.

Turns out, someone had put the bales in the dumpster, the city garbage collectors wouldn’t take them (Why? They compost really well.), and now it was the responsibility of the store owner to get rid of them. They were going to arrange to truck them down to someone’s farm in Surrey to burn them. Would they mind if I took them?! No, they would love if I did, take as many as I want, it would be less hassle for them!

I called the Scientist, who happens to have a vehicle big enough to haul a couple of bales and he duly picked them up that night. They were thrilled, I was thrilled. Not only did I get the straw I needed, it was within a 2 minute drive from the garden (not miles and miles to the farm), and I was able to use something that was destined for the landfill and would have been completely wasted by burning.

That feels good on a lot of levels.

And, in the end, my friend wasn’t able to get the bales she promised anyway. How cool is that?