September Garden

Fall harvest 9.22.17

My goodness, this summer got busy. I say that because it is the truth – we started doing some significant renovations on the house, went on vacation, and just a lot of other activities. And also because it is kind of a cop out and excuse for the fact that if I’m totally honest with myself, my exuberance and enthusiasm for the garden kind of just got overshadowed by other things, and I kind of let it (and this blog) go by the wayside. The vegetables struggled this year, partly because they got so much rain early in the season, and then I was kind of out of the habit of watering as much as I should later in the season. I struggled with powdery mildew this year as well, leading me to pull some stuff up earlier than I would have just because it was too far gone to save and I didn’t want it infecting the healthy plants. I can’t say I had a fantastic harvest of anything – although I have had some good tomatoes, and my carrots are definitely ready to harvest. My flowers in front are doing amazing though – due in large part to the fact that I finally stopped over watering them and gave them that great mid-season fertilizer boost.

So it’s September. Time to pull up the garden, reflect on what worked this year, what didn’t, why I ran out of steam, and start planning for next year. On dock for this weekend – potting up the tropicals and taking them inside for the winter, and planting the Allium, Tulip, and Crocus bulbs I have for next spring. Pulling up the remaining vegetables plants that are done for the season and throwing them in the compost, emptying out all my pots, and getting my tools and stuff organized so I can find it next spring. I am also thinking about doing some research on using cold frames so I can start a little earlier next year, when I’m good and stir crazy and itching to be outside. It might be a project that we will make and if so, I’ll share the tutorial! The renovations we are in the middle of might yield some great windows we can use for these.

And let’s also be sure to celebrate the beautiful fall flowers – mums!! My goodness, are my mum plants huge and covered in buds and flowers! They are such a beautiful way to greet the wonderful fall season! And carrots – so many carrots! It takes a long time to grow them but it is such a joy to harvest them. So pleased at that harvest. Happy fall gardening friends and looking forward to planning for a wonderful next year!

Garden update June 6, 2017

We spent the last two days at Lake Lemon, boating and kayaking and and playing outside. After little man went to bed, Scott and I sat outside and looked at the stars. It was wonderful, and it turns out that little man has no fear whatsoever of jumping off the dock into the lake! We just got home a little bit ago, exhausted, a little sunburned, and happy after a wonderful couple of days. And I discovered I have two exciting garden updates to share! 

First, the first buds on my Asiatic lily have opened. I love the color – a deep maroon. They just really add something special to the flower garden this time of year! 

Asiatic lily blooming

The second update is even more exciting to me – I have my first little baby tomato on the vine!! I always plant an Early Girl plant so I can enjoy fresh tomatoes as soon as possible. Nothing says summer like cutting into a freshly picked, juicy tomato and putting just a touch of garlic salt on it – maybe some cottage cheese or basil or vinaigrette if I’m in the mood – I can almost taste it now!! Oh – and garden fresh green beans and Indiana sweet corn are also summer favorites, I can’t forgot to mention those… but tomatoes. They are just something special!!! 

First baby tomato of the season!! An aptly named Early Girl

How does my garden grow? Initial update 5/31/17

To preface this initial update, the best intentions get us all, and although I planned to keep copious notes on the garden this year, I am not off to the best start. The good news is that it isn’t too late and I remember when I planted most everything! So I will start with planting dates (and sprouting dates if I remember them) and update this post as things continue to grow, bloom, and produce! Fortunately, there is a lot of growing season to go.

4/7-4/8/17 – Preparations underway for the new year of gardens! A massive pile of mulch, new beds in the back, and my new cultivator (which made quick work of turning over the garden). Also set up our DIY arbors for the vine plants to grow on (stay tuned for a separate post on how to make your own DIY vine arbors).

4/30/17 – Purchased herbs from Indy Urban Acres, an amazing urban community garden that has a big flower and herb sale at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately for me (and probably fortunately for my pocketbook), it had rained all day and I was with a 2 year old so my browsing time was cut very short but I picked up some basil, parsley, lavender, and lemon balm.

Herbs and Sayo
Our old dog checking out the herbs. From top – Parsley, Thai Basil, Basil, Lavender (2), and Lemon Balm (2).

5/7/17 – Garden is planted! Kale, two kinds of lettuce, spinach, green beans, cantaloupe, carrots, and some zucchini from seed, the rest from plants purchased at Lowe’s – tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower. In a similar time frame, planted jalapenos and eggplant in pots.

5/7-5/8 – Frost 😦 Of course. We protected the plants though and the only casualty seemed to be my Thai Basil. Disappointing, but glad I didn’t lose a whole lot more. I refused to believe the forecast – until I was out in the dark of night covering my tender plantings.

5/26 – Finally planted cucumbers! In a pot – was running out of room. We’ll see how they do. Enjoying my daily walks around the garden with little man, who excitedly tells me that “the plants are doing good!” And “the flowers are getting so big!” And “we are doing a great job in the garden!”

5/27 – Picked my first big bowl of raspberries. So many raspberries!

bowl of berries

5/30 – Spotted some tiny cucumber sprouts.

5/31/17 – Today, I purchased some Delphinium and some False Indigo (Baptisa) at the Farmer’s Market. Of course, I went to the Farmer’s Market with just $10 in my pocket so I wouldn’t buy too many flowers. Of course, the lady with all the beautiful perennials was more than happy to also take my credit card. Go figure! Can’t wait to see how these do next year. They are probably about done for this year but perennials are always a fun investment into the next year’s garden!

New plants from the Original Farmer’s Market (Indianapolis City Market – downtown). Delphinium (L) and False Indigo (R).