ALLCASTLE PRINCETON + work

How does the garden grow?
This is the time of year when I get impatient with the gardening. I've planted. I've watered. I've weeded. There is still lots of work to be done, and I've enjoyed precious few fruits of my labor. I'm trying to be patient, and know that in a month or so I will be up to my eyeballs in veggies and canning jars.

My herb garden continues to explode, volunteer tomatoes and all. This is the one garden I actually am getting some use from at this time. We've had Basil Pesto, used Cilantro in Black Bean Salsa and chopped some to freeze mixed with olive oil. Even though I harvested these just a few days ago, they look ready to harvest again.

I'm drying some Rosemary that is growing in a pot. Somehow I picked up broad leaf Rosemary. I never knew there was such a thing until it started growing in my pot. I guess it is used the same. Anyone else grow broad leaf?

My little garden is doing well. Was it Becca that said volunteers are sometimes the best plants? Look at that beast up there. It is a volunteer, zucchini, I think. Kellen and I must have pulled thirty of these little seedlings out one. day. It has its first bloom! Things are coming along. I just cut the first of the lettuce and mesclun. (They were planted a bit late.) The spinach did not fair so well. We had a very hot spring, and I think that did it in.

The big garden is also growing like crazy; crazy weeds that is. There are two big problems with this garden: One, it is at the neighbors, about 3/4 a mile away. I can't just pop out and work on it when I get a few minutes. I have to gather the tools I may need, and take the kids with me between naps, meals, and school.

The second problem is the spot. I don't know the last time it was gardened. Before this year, it was completely overgrown in weeds. The weeds are everywhere, even coming through a thick mulch.

There is also no water close. We are using self waterers for some of the plants. In addition to the ones Tim made, I made some for gallon milk jugs too. They seem to be working well, but I haven't come up with a workable way to water the rest of the plants.

The corn has not germinated well, and neither have the beets. The potatoes seem to be fairing the best. Funny, because we almost didn't plant those. We only planted them because the neighbor had more than he could use, and gave them to us.

Enough whining, onto some solutions. In the summer, Tim doesn't have to leave for work until 9:00 AM. I'm usually up by 6:30. Perfect time to go work in the garden with out the kids. Last night I packed what I needed in the van, so this morning all I had to do was grab my coffee and toast, and go to the garden.

When I got there I was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of work needing done. I decided then and there to give up any hope of having a weed free garden. Weed control is important. I will keep at it, we may do some more mulching, but with the size and condition of this spot, I will never have it all weeded at the same time.

I also decided to work in small sections, instead of trying to tackle long rows. This morning I worked in a section that included part of the potato rows, some tomatoes, and the turnips; approximately 1/6 of the garden. In about two hours, I got this section weeded, tilled, hoed and thinned the turnips, whose greens will be included in our salad tonight. (waste not, want not!) This section looks pretty good. I refuse to look at the rest, until tomorrow that is.

No one said gardening was easy work, but the payoff will come. As soon as I'm regularly enjoy fresh, organic veggies regularly, I'll be happy I stuck with it. Maybe next year we will have more cleared land closer to the house. For now, I wait, and weed!

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How does the garden grow? + work