Well it’s the end of July. So much has happened in our little (big) garden. The layout of our garden is not the same as last year. In fact, it is almost just the opposite. Josh built us 7 large raised beds, all from scrap wood that we already had here at the house. His teenage years and early twenties were spent framing houses and so he put his amazing carpentry skills to hard work. We both agree that the upkeep (weeding) of such a large garden is a task too big for anyone, particularly for parents of 3 young children during a pandemic, and I am working from home. And Josh pulled his groin (twice) this summer. So the raised bed boxes help a ton but we could certainly use more next year.
To the left of our garden is 6 50 foot rows of bush beans (green beans), and three rows of okra. I could spend an entire day weeding a few of those rows alone. On the right hand side of the garden are our boxes and a couple of rows or peppers and tomatoes. The very center is not planted and so right now it looks like a nice lawn! Not the look I’m going for.
Our 7 raised beds contain:
- jalapeno peppers
- sweet peppers
- big beef tomatoes
- ornamental peppers
- yellow cherry tomatoes
- more sweet peppers
One mound alongside the boxes contain watermelon, squash, cantelope and pumpkins. The mound across the entire back of the garden contain brussel sprouts, cabbage, pumpkins, eggplant (that unfortunately fried and died), strawberries and some other varieties of squash like white acorn squash. The heat wave and days and days without rain recently have been hard for us and all other gardens across this country, I’m sure. Our neighbor across the street practically has a hobby farm. He wakes up at 6 AM every morning and walks with the hose, watering each individual plant for a slow count to 10. He has about 5 gardens and probably 10x the amount of work that we have. He also has more time on his hands to care for his beautiful gardens. He is retired and does not have little munchkins running around. Maybe we will be like that in twenty years…
Anyway, with the extreme heat, plants have been slow to grow but we are certainly getting there. We water the garden with two larger sprinklers that shoot out in a large circle. Some times we have to run them overnight! We can bring in a basket full of cucumbers, tomatoes, some peppers, squash and green beans every few days now. The pumpkins and watermelon are far from maturing. And the okra still have a long way to go too.
Our garden is still our favorite family project. I always love the uninterrupted family time to talk with the boys while we pull weeds and pick fruit and veggies. I love the sounds of the cricket and birds around us in the evening. But, I also can’t lie. Some mornings, most mornings really, I look out our master bathroom window, see the garden and think ugh. So, much work. So many weeds. When am I going to have time for that? But also, it is so exciting for the boys to go and find somethings to pick. It is almost like a treasure hunt. “Look Mom, Dad! More cucumbers. Look at that flower, it’s going to be a pumpkin! Do you think this pepper is hot? Can I try this one now? When will these tomatoes turn red?”
And as always, here are some photos from this July. We hope to have even more exciting updates in the garden in the weeks to come. Please leave me some comments, ask questions and tell me about your garden!