Garden Update: July 2009

I have to tell you, this garden could have never happened but for the assistance of my mother’s boyfriend Joe. He’s done all the heavy lifting when it came to getting everything set up. His input has been invaluable, and his gardening knowledge has saved me from disaster more than once. I’m so lucky to have him mentoring me in this project.

Right after I took the June pictures of the garlic, I had pulled them to harvest. Once you harvest garlic, you have to let it cure a bit to dry out. After curing, we had a handful of compact, yet tasty heads. Hard neck garlic has a fairly short shelf life, though – so you still want to use it as soon as possible. If you’re looking for garlic to store, go with a softneck variety. Also, another important hint. If you decide to grow your own hardneck garlic, it will go through a phase of growing where a part shoots out and then curves around at the end. This is a garlic scape, and if let be, will turn into a flower. You want to chop these off once they’ve got that curve at the top, so the plant can focus all of its energy into bulb formation instead of flowering. But there’s an added benefit to this – garlic scapes are great eating. We love to make pesto from them.

Also, at the beginning of June, I had a handful of sungolds to eat, a few zucchini, and the first of the early girl tomatoes.

Garden Harvest 7/2/09

For a couple of weeks, it was pretty much the same thing every day.

Garden Harvest 7/9/09

And then, somewhere in the middle of the month, things started getting really prolific. I was harvesting more every day than I could eat alone. You’ll notice the addition of a pickling cuke and some green beans.

Garden Harvest 7/16/09

The vines started getting so long that Joe decided to build a trellis out of chicken wire (which were anchored by stakes) so they’d have something to latch onto as they grow upward. Vines will go in whatever direction you train them. We decided that vertical was the way to go. Here you see a pickling cuke on the vine.

Pickle in My Garden July 2009

And a picture of the muskmelons starting to climb up the trellis.

Pickle Plant in my Garden July 2009

Here it is from a different angle, with the zucchini plant in the corner for reference.

Cantaloupe Plant in My Garden July 2009

And speaking of zucchini, man did that plant go crazy. Hard to believe that at the beginning of summer I had considered planting more than one plant next year. Now I see why people give away zucchini. It’s like the Energizer bunny – it keeps going, and going, and going…

Zucchini from My Garden July 2009

Here’s an overall picture of the garden, with all the rock laid down. We’re quite pleased with the way it turned out, it looks even better than we imagined it would.

Garden 7/19/09

This was about a half day’s harvest, somewhere near the end of July.

Garden Harvest 7/21/09

And this was the harvest the day that Anne and Walker of Columbus Underground came over to do the article on the garden. I was able to finally harvest my swiss chard and some eggplant as well.

Garden Harvest 7/24/09

From here on in it’s been utter chaos, and I learn something new every day. I can’t wait until the end of August so I can fill you in on the bounty it provided. I think this gardening project is one of the most rewarding (in more ways than one) things I’ve ever done.

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