Friday, July 15, 2016

Midsummer garden update

I had such a delightful lunch date with a friend yesterday.  She and her dear daughters came over bringing this basket of garden goodies to share for the most delicious salad and afternoon of visiting.  
Fresh lettuce, zucchini, herbs, nasturtiums, and even sweet peas just because they smell so good - all fresh from her garden.

You know how they say that everyone's life always looks perfect on social media?  
If I had posted this photo on Instagram without a description, you might think I had an overflowing abundance of summer fresh produce, or a picture perfect garden, or a superb green thumb.  Nope. that would be my friend, @pnwgardening_girl.
Instead, I am here to show you my mid-summer garden update,
 and it is far from picture perfect. sadly.

We've had cool temperatures and LOTS of rain.  Like downpours of rain - for days. Last weekend I was doing a little weeding in the garden, and was a bit surprised at how loose the dirt was.  I wasn't surprised at how small everything still is, but definitely disappointed.
Each year is such a learning curve.  Because my friend is an experienced gardener, I asked if she would visit my garden and give me some advice. 

These are our radishes...and notice those holes?

Here is our tiny lettuce 

and more holes

basil...which needs hot and sunny.  It's actually not looking bad, just small.

cilantro...and holes.

She took one look at the rows with all the holes and declared.  You've got MICE.  
The mice eat the seeds.  Apparently, we are gracious gardeners and have provided a complete banquet for all the little mice families around. 

Except for the zucchini, apparently, they don't like zucchini.  

That middle row that looks promising...yeah - nope.  That's just the path, I didn't finish weeding.  

The good:
  • Eric harvested about 2 cups of blueberries from the bushes.  That's the most we've ever gotten. 
  • The sweet peas are growing and might survive the mice. 
  • It's looking promising for zoodles on future menus. (zucchini noodles)

The hopeful:
  • It will get sunny and hot and the basil will grow.
  • The mice won't eat the beets.
  • I'll be able to transplant the lettuce seed and harvest some lettuce.

The plan:
  • I'm picking up a bag of mousetraps tomorrow. 
  • I've planted new lettuce seeds in a starter pack in hopes of transplanting, when said mice are gone.

The Lessons learned: 
  • This year I tried something new.  Instead of planting an entire row of seeds and then thinning them, I only planted as if they were already thinned. (1 every 4" or so.)
  • There's an old farmer's rhyme about planting seed: "One for the blackbird, one for the crow, one for the soil and one to grow."   And now we know why. 
  • Thank God for farmer's markets!  :-)  
  • All those charming children's stories about endearing mice families...don't believe them.

Do you have a garden, or grow in containers, or visit the farmers' market?  Whichever way you do, I hope you are able to enjoy summer's best!  


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