I feel like I’ve really worked my tail off this year, and will soon produce photos and blog entries to prove it. And though I don’t have many actual fruits of my labors yet, the gardens are the fullest and healthiest I’ve had since I began this journey.
My flower garden where my latest trellis is has been a bit of a disappointment, but that’s my fault. It’s mainly that I didn’t get to spend as much time on it as I wanted since I was creating and tending to new areas in both the front and back yards, and planting more things than ever before. But the raspberries in this bed came in and promise 10 times more fruit next year, and I revamped one trellis and built a new one. Some flowers reseeded themselves, and I did get a chance to scatter some other seeds, but it doesn’t even come close to what I wanted to do, and much of it was done late, of course. Part of it is that what I planned to have grow up the trellises didn’t work out, so I had to figure something else out, like the Morning Glories on the frame trellis. Need some perennial anchors.
One day last week I stood and watched a few honey bees flit from one Forget-Me-Not plant to another, while a couple of wasps were looking under these daisy-like things, and the mason bees were concentrating on the German Chamomile – all within a few feet of each other. It was fascinating to see them specializing, at least for that moment since I’ve seen them each on all the flowers before.
I still have a lot to learn about starting seeds indoors, and have come to the conclusion that cold frames don’t work that well in the high desert, unless you are a full-time gardener and can maintain them properly.
I’ve gone completely organic in my garden practices this year, though not all of the seeds I purchased were certified as such, but at least all of the veggies were heirlooms (if not certified organic as well). I only purchase organic products like starter and potting soils, have continued with my own composting, and now make all of my own liquid fertilizer teas (or “goulash” as I like to call it). Also am now making my own weed killer and using boiling water more. And I’m mulching so much more than ever before, and it is paying off!
I’m paying close attention to companion planting dos and don’ts, though I am still looking for a measured definition of “near,” which is a word that is used so often in the literature on this subject, but rarely defined. For example, you’re not supposed to plant onions or other alliums near pole beans, but didn’t have any good area in any of the other gardens, so have planted them in the same 12×24 main garden. But the onions are on both ends of the gardens, with tomatoes, basil, and bush beans between – so, is that good enough of a barrier? No one can seem to answer that, so I did it anyway.
The pear trees are doing well, though not as nutzoid with fruit as last year. This year the blooming seemed to come in waves, whereas last year it was all at once and the trees were fuller than I thought possible.
Since I now have three separate areas in the backyard that are mainly dedicated to veggies and herbs, I’m naming them each after the month that most of their planting was complete. So soon I’ll be posting April, May, and June (in August?). :-)
-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell