Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In the garden

It rained today! My garden drank it up and drew the slugs out earlier than usual. You don't want to hear about their untimely fall into the container of salt water.

This Garden Is Illegal posted a picture of her first baby tomato sighting on June 13th. I sighted my first two days ago, but didn't get the camera out until today, when I found more. I can't imagine they'll be ready by July 4th. My vegetable garden doesn't get direct sun all day - but each corner of the garden gets a good chunk of sun time at some point during the sun's journey. There are some tall and thriving trees at varying distances from all sides of the garden. As the weather gets warmer, the shade time helps with water conservation -- along with thick heaps of rotted straw mulch.

Check out the salad and herb bed -- it is lovely and lush. The echinacea is almost ready to join the nasturtium in a riot of blooms. The bed also contains: two varieties of thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, dill, three types of basil, chives and lavender.

Notice the thick straw mulch as described above. I learned about this "no-work" method of gardening in the books by Ruth Stout, sister of Rex Stout, noted mystery writer. (I must pause to note with outrage that Rex has a Wikipedia entry but Ruth has none.) At Homestead.org, I found this long article about her methods, her life and her eccentricities. The article claims she liked to garden in the nude, but thought the garden itself looked ugly bare naked without a thick covering of mulch.


redhorse said...

Hope all turns well, VG. I'm a bit miffed with mine.

The tomatoes are growing like weeds but barely blossom. The red chili peppers are doing well, but the serano and habenero varieties are slacking.

Not happy.

I think I need to re-evaluate the garden's placement and work on the soil...

Village Green said...

Soil enrichment is an ongoing process. I add several bags of orgnanic cow manure at the beginning of the season and shovels full of compost from my bin. When I moved in here 8 years ago, the soil was dark but heavy with clay. It has lightened up considerably with all the doses of mulch, manure and compost.

This year I'm trying a new fertilizer, made from seaweed concentrate. Bought it at the Mustard Seed. It was pricey, but only a little bit goes into each watering can full of water. The plants are thriving -- both veggies and flowers. In fact, I even poured some on my almost dead indoor orchid plant and within three days, a new leaf appeared!

As for the sun, it helps to take a day to sit in your back yard and observe where the sun travels during the course of the morning and afternoon and on into evening -- especialy if you have lots of trees around.