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Hello, faithful readers! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shown you the gardens (which seems to be what life is all about around here lately… You don’t mind, do you? I kind of love it! 😊) MUCH has happened since we last spoke on the subject. But first, in case you’ve missed anything, here are links to the first 4 installments:
Now let’s get you caught up to speed on our backyard garden.
We had 2+ weeks of beautiful (and sometimes rainy) 70°-80° days, so I went ahead and started planting some things, as you know. Well, welcome to Ohio! Here we were, 2 weeks past our frost dates with beautiful, unseasonably hot weather, and would you know it… FROST! Yup. It randomly dropped into the lower 30’s, and I was not prepared. I had moved my starts and potted plants into the garage, but I didn’t cover the garden… And my plants suffered for it. 😞
The broccoli, lettuce, and kale did fine… They are cold season crops anyway… Which we haven’t really had, so they might end up dying because of the heat instead. But my marigolds turned black and withered, all but 3 basil are gone, several of the beans that had sprouted died off, and the potatoes were heavily damaged. 😢
Thankfully though, beans are very fast growers, and I had a ton of seeds left. The potatoes were my real concern, but they bounced back. And much to my surprise, the marigolds starting to get new growth as well! The variety of kale I planted is supposed to taste better after frost, and it actually started growing a little better after. So, thankfully, we aren’t too much worse for wear.
I was a bit hesitant to replant after that craziness, but the following week we had several above-80° days, so I went ahead and spent my morning transplanting and sowing seeds so that the warm sun could help them grow.
A few weeks later and things were slowly growing on… A little slower than I had hoped, but I think the reason was that all the hot days were drying out the dirt and roots. So, we finally got around to getting some mulch in there. Mulch does two things to benefit the garden: 1) It keeps weeds down 2) It helps maintain moisture in the dirt by preventing evaporation and by absorbing excess water to redistribute once the dirt below starts to dry out. Since putting down the mulch, we have had fairly-regular rains about once a week, and I’ve only had to water the garden twice. And it has taken off! It is growing like crazy now!
I love looking out the sliding door and seeing all the fresh growth in the corner of my yard. My husband thinks I’m really weird, but I love just going out there and looking at it… admiring the way God orchestrated everything so intricately… marveling at how so much could come from such tiny little seeds.
But then, sometimes I go out there and don’t like what I see… Like when my celery never came up, so I had to alter my plans a little bit and plant something else. Or when I see that my kale has been almost completely eaten and isn’t growing because it is covered in aphids. Or when my broccoli is infested with cabbage worms. Or when my “bush beans” are suddenly obsessed with and unrelentingly climbing up the neighbors fence (seriously… how do they even know it is there from 10″ away?)… which is exactly why I chose bush beans instead of pole beans… so they WOULDN’T climb on someone else’s fence.
But those times, like life, are growing and learning opportunities. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes we have to make adjustments. Sometimes we have to look to other, more experienced individuals for help and advice. Which is what I did.
I’ve been hand-picking the cabbage worms, and my broccoli is looking and growing better. I sprayed off the aphids and keep checking for re-infestation, and my kale is growing better. Celery not growing wasn’t too big of a deal (except that I apparently accidentally ordered like 3 packs of seeds). I had a few extra tomato plants anyway, and a friend gave me a cucumber plant that I didn’t have room for otherwise. And about $13 later, I have 6′ bamboo stakes holding up all of the bean vines (hopefully they will be tall enough… if not, oh well). So both garden and gardener are happy again!