July 28, 2009

General Garden Update

I've been feeling like the world's worst gardener lately. June and most of July were so rainy and cool that I hardly had to water. I all but completely ignored the garden and let the weeds take over. This week I turned a corner though. I got up at 5AM on Monday to reign in the wild arms of the tomato plants and harvest a few things. Today again, I was up at 6AM to give the garden a good soaking now that it's actually hot out. The weeds are taunting me, but perhaps I will deal with them tomorrow. I'm quite pleased with the harvest this week: more collards, several beautiful cucumbers, beets and celery (first time ever!)

There are some good things happening despite my neglect. Yhe cucumber plants really did climb up the trellis and the cukes are dangling well above the ground, just like I had hoped. Unfortunately, all of the lower leaves seem to have rust colored spots on them. I assume it's some sort of fungus from all the rain, but I've been too lazy to even get to the bottom of it.

The leafminers chewed the hell out of my beets and my aggressive defoliating didn't seem to make much of a difference. I can still eat the beets though, and they look pretty good. Sad to say it, but I think for the next year or two I'm going to skip the beets and see if I can chase these pests away.

The best thing the garden is doing now though is donating produce to a local food pantry. We set out a cooler over the weekend so gardeners can drop off their harvest, and then someone picks it up early on Monday to take the bounty. I gave up some collard greens and cucumbers, but I think we're going to need a bigger cooler once the tomatoes get going!