Well things are continuing to grow. Our tomato plants are 8 feet tall and my garden looks like an over grown jungle. It is truly a magical thing, to think that a couple of months ago it was just dirt in raised beds, now it is a vegetable wonderland.
This weekend we harvested 10 cucumbers, 2 pounds of beets, 2 pounds of green beans, a couple of handfuls of blueberries that never made it in the house and some strawberries that also never made it out of the strawberry patch. The down side of using children as garden assistants is sometimes they eat more than they bring in the house. But I would rather have that then children that do not like to help in the garden. My little girl not only eats all the berries, but also eats green beans and cucumbers fresh from the plants. We are not able to can the beets right now so I am going to boil them, slice them and freeze them. I would much rather can them, but this works great too.
Everything is continuing to grow. The tomato plants are taking over, to the point that I am having to cut them back and pull tomato plants up and transplant them into the aquaponics system. Our white beans are very close to being harvested, because they are a dry bean I have to pull the whole plant and hang it all to dry. This was the first year that I planted drying beans and I learned that those should not be planted till much later in the season. In fact, I have not planted my black beans or red beans yet because I want them to be able to dry on the vine. The potato plants are starting to turn yellow, I look forward to harvesting fresh potatoes. That is another thing that I would do differently next year. I would plant potatoes in waves, so that I would have a more constant supply and have some ready right at the end of the season for the winter. This is the first year we have planted sweet potatoes and they look great. It is so much fun learning new things. The carrots are also almost ready to be harvested, my husband and I always argue about carrots, I always want to pull them up to see how they are doing, and he wants me to leave them in the ground until fall… we will see who wins.
Now that we have harvested all the beets, I did my second planting in the bed. My husband help me build a pallet trellis for butternut squash to grow up. Under the pallets, I planted head lettuce, hoping that the shade from the butternut will keep them from bolting in the heat. I also planted 2 more rows of beans, and a row of chard. I am just starting to figure out how to do second plantings. I really need to get better at it. Every year life gets in the way, but I guess that is what makes it life. I am looking forward to seeing how this bed turns out, I will post pictures. Below is a picture of it now.
In the aquaponics system the fish are growing great. The new filter that we put in works great for keeping the water clean. I am so frustrated though because the cabbage moths have found all my cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. I have been pulling cabbage worms off every day, but they are still doing a fair amount of damage. With these plants being the aquaponics system there is very little I can do to get rid of them. I have thought about netting the plants, but my husband things that we are just going to have to grow these plants under row covers in the fall when the moths are not around. We are lucky that these are the only major pest that we have in the garden.
This is a very busy time, I am enjoying the fresh veggies and having dirt under my nails. Keep getting dirty!