A short mid Summer note of happenings in the Veggie patch recently. So far it has been a most interesting and productive season. Already canning non-GMO corn and organic tomatoes and the Fall cabbage, kale and lettuce are planted and growing well. Always lots to do so here we go:
THE VEGGIE PATCH
- We are eating fresh ripe tomatoes from the gardens each day (at the end of July). Absolutely sweet and delicious. Some of the vines have 20+ tomatoes. Away for a few days and came back to a great crop of ripe tomatoes. Delicious fresh and canned.
- Apples are ripening and sweet and delicious when just picked from the tree
- Non GMO local Jubilee corn is for sale in the Valley in the last week(s) and the canning has begun. Delicious fresh corn on the cob with a BBQ meal = a real treat.
- Sugar Peas have grown and are almost finished, with some seeds dried and saved for next season
- We were away for a week and on return the Red Russian garlic was ready for harvest. Two days later the bulbs are outside drying for a couple of weeks before storing. Saving enough garlic cloves for next years crop which will be planted in October (2023)
- The purple grapes have quite a few bunches on our three small vines - another fresh taste treat
- Potatoes have not had much care since being planted so that will be a surprise
- Was given some Butternut Squash seeds and just had to dig up part of the back lawn to plant five which are now growing well.
THE BIRDS & THE BEES
This has been an absolutely fabulous year for the birds and the bees in the veggie patch. We have had so many different species visiting our gardens this year. There were at least three new bird species of which we were only able to identify one! Plus a delightful family of red headed sparrow-like birds have been with us since Spring and have visited the kale bushes almost daily eating the seeds.
My currant top three bee attractant plants are:
- Borage and
- Bonus: Chives, sage and oregano bloomed earlier and are garden essentials
They ALL deserve an article of their own in the future. Here are some ideas in the meantime: PLANTS TO ATTRACT BEES TO YOUR GARDEN THIS SPRING
In May / June we were having problems with a lot of wasps in the back gardens and near where the Mason bees have been visiting for some years. Here's what happened - GETTING RID OF WASPS WITH HERBS & FLOWERS It was a fun experiment and I believe a success as we have rarely seen any wasps in the back gardens this year.
We had quite a few beautiful blue striped dragon flies visit the gardens but sadly very few butterflies. Check the links below.
FALL FROST FREE DATE
I spent a few hours and planted and transplanted (in the empty garlic 4 x 8 ft raised bed garden) a Fall Garden with :
- 10 Savoy cabbages
- 10 Curly kale
- 2 Purple kale
- 9 Lettuce (varying)
- 2 Italian Parsley
- Seeded a packet of Detroit Beetroot (38 seeds)
- In my 4 x 8 Square Foot Garden this equates to 32 squares and I think there was one square left over for a marigold and borage!
- The last frost free date in our area is in the middle of October
I have met such interesting people this summer and enjoy hearing what, how and why they grow the plants they do in their gardens. Always something to learn. There is no denying that a large Veggie Patch keeps a person busy but it is such a joy to share fresh home grown, chemical-free tomatoes, etc with friends and neighbours. As always, hoping you are encouraged in some way to plant a few veggies of your own.
Happy Gardening ~ Liz
Links & References:
"Vegetable Gardening: It offers many of the same benefits as other gardening activities, including exercise, fresh air, landscape beautification and enjoyment. In addition, it promotes a varied and nutritious diet at a lower cost by reducing food expenditures more than the costs associated with growing the vegetables"Vegetable Gardening from University of Missouri