Garden achievements


Here’s some clarification for Saturday’s somewhat garbled post. This is The Botanist’s garden (well, the west end of it) where we’ve been doing so much work, mostly weeding and laying weed-discouraging newspapers (the ones that were blown about in the winds).

Decoding: OS = old strawberries; NS = new strawberries; Peas = (English) peas; On = green onions; Pep = green peppers; Tom = tomatoes; Asp = asparagus. Here’s the story….

The strawberry plants not only produce berries, they also send out runners, which extend a foot or so from the parent plant, then seek to root, making a new daughter plant. The Botanist trains them in a single direction, thereby creating a strawberry bed with sections each of a different age. So the OS is on it’s third year, and the NS is either on its second year, or, in the area with sparse plants farthest from the OS bed, the plants were bought new this year. We removed all blossoms and incipient fruit from these newest plants, so this year they put their energy into making plants rather than making fruit. The second year and newest plants are surrounded by newspapers, every one put down by JCB (an unexpected skill-set, perhaps; he’s really quite good at it).

I checked the pea pods, and they were a little over an inch long yesterday. Perhaps in another week the peas will be big enough to pick. Then shell. Lots of work. But excellent sweetness and flavor—nothing like those frozen ones…. Actually, the “Peas” label is more on top of a lot of extremely tasty lettuce that is growing between the peas and the newest strawberry plants.

For a little extra Vitamin K, there’s three-quarters of a row of green onions. Toward the back of that row is about six feet of collard greens and then about five feet of beets. Clearly, The Botanist prefers onions to greens and beets….

Behind the fence, where there’s another place with lots of newspaper over open spaces, there’s a row of green pepper plants then a row of tomato plants. The individual plants are almost impossible to spot among the greenish weeds that are holding down the newspaper.

The fluffy tall plants behind all of these are asparagus. They grow from buried crowns that sprout every spring. You can snap off the sprouts (as it were) for a while (yum!), but then you have to leave some to mature and go to seed.

You can’t see the raspberries (pruned to be fall-bearing) and peonies and grapes that grown in the lowest corner of the yard beyond the asparagus. At the other end of the main garden, to the left outside the frame, are un-hilled hills of muskmelon and a row of cucumbers at the base of a fence (they’re easier to pick and take less room when trained up a fence).

No sweet corn this year. Raccoons have gotten the entire crop the last three years. The Botanist says not this year.

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