Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar


Garden Update

I realized something today - there are items in my garden that I don't know how to check for ripeness. Tomatoes are easy, they turn a nice shade of red (or yellow) and they're ready. But what about lettuce? Or carrots? Or garlic and shallots?

The strawberries are pretty easy too, when they're ripe they'll be eaten by some strawberry loving beastie before I get to them. I've gotten exactly one so far. Of course, this is the first year for these plants and there have really only been about 5 ripe ones. However, I would really have liked to have gotten those as well.

My little garden is very happily growing, it's quite the jungle. The yard may be brown and sad (only 3/10" of rain in May!) but I give the garden a good soaking every other day and it's flourishing.

My garden is 4 feet by 14 feet. It's cram packed with goodies. Some of the plants may not survive due to being overshadowed by some of the others, but it's not doing too badly. I started out with a book on getting more food out of less space and just let myself go crazy.

On this end, you can see carrots, shallots, cauliflower, lettuce, cilantro, zucchini, and a wee peek of purple basil. That one little pink flower poking up is a snapdragon. I bought it the same day that I bought a bunch of the veggies and then I couldn't remember what it was once I got home. So I put it directly in the middle of the garden. It adds a pretty bit of color.

Here are my carrots. How will I know when they're ripe? Anyone know? You can also see a pumpkin plant next to them.

The garden is surrounded by bricks to keep a certain somebody from mowing into the garden. This made him fuss greatly because he'd intended to just run the edge of the mower up into the garden. I foresaw this and wanted to protect my tender plants from the yayhoo on the mower.

You'll see plastic bottles interspersed through the garden. This was something I read about in You Grow Girl. You drill small holes into the lids, cut off the bottoms and bury them into the ground. I fill them with water when I'm watering the garden and they slowly drip it down around the roots.

Here's a little baby cauliflower just starting to grow. I'm rather surprised that this smaller plant is starting to... What's the term I want here? Fruit? Ripen? What term do you use for when a veggie plant starts to make an actual veggie? Bloom? Anyway, I'm rather surprised that this little plant is doing its thing but the larger one next to it is not.

And the pretty pretty lettuces. How do I know when they're ripe? They're looking pretty good, so I'm thinking that I may snag the largest head this weekend and have salads from it. That'll also clear out a little space to let the others grow more.

Over on the right side there, you can see the greek oregano.

Moving on down toward the other end, I've ducked beneath the leaves to show you the yellow squash. They're right next to the snapdragons. I had to hold a lot of things back to get this shot, the dill is sort of peeking in on the left side there.

Next is the tomato jungle. It's gotten so thick that I have trouble finding the water bottles in the ground there. It looks like they may choke out the basil that I planted amongst them, but as there is no shortage of basil in this garden, I'm not going to sweat it.

Here we have the far end of the garden. Clockwise from the bottom left there is corn, sunflowers, peas, and sugar snap peas. My corn is looking rather pitiful because I had to mess with it. Originally I didn't plant it very deep and as it grew it was falling over. So, I dug up the stalks and reset them deeper into the ground. However, doing so broke off some little tender roots. Hopefully it will survive my manhandling of it though.

And my final photo is of a pepper plant. I'm not positive that these guys are going to survive, being that they are overshadowed by both the zucchini and tomato plants. But they haven't died yet, so I won't give up all hope.

I didn't take an more pictures of the back side of the garden as the zucchini seems to be overshadowing everything.

Outside of the garden proper, I have two flowerbeds in the back - one with strawberries and the other with asparagus - and a very sad looking tomato plant in a flower pot. The tomato is one that I bought in a hanging basket at the farmers market. It was so beautiful the day I got it, I'd gotten one for mom and one for me and both of them have drooped over since then. I even tried repotting it into a larger pot with some miracle grow potting soil, but it's still sad looking. They're supposed to be tumbler tomatoes and should naturally droop over the side of the pot, but not in the wilty way that they have.

And the zucchini and strawberries aren't in the garden because they pretty much have to be left where they are forever and pop wasn't so sure that he'd want me putting the garden back in that spot next year. Of course, then there's always the chance that I won't even be living here in another year or two. If I can, I'll take those plants with me, and if not I'll let him just let them die. Maybe he'll at least keep the asparagus up since he really likes it.

So, in the garden we have:
sugar snap peas
tomatoes (9 varieties!)
sweet bell peppers
hot peppers
canteloupes (if they haven't died)
greek oregano (is this different from regular oregano?)
snapdragons (not edible, but there all the same)
yellow squash
pickling cucumber (one lone little plant)

and quite possibly other things that I've forgotten.

And while I'm posting pictures, here's a non gardening one.

This beautiful girl here is one of the fine ladies who provides me with my fresh milk! She's quite friendly and walked right up to the fence to see if I had any snacks. When I did not, she snuffed at me and wandered off.

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  1. That’s awesome! I’m trying a vegetable garden this spring too. Where do you live (I’m wondering about hardiness and such). I’ll post it when I get it in, check out my blog at

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