Hyperlocal: The Backyard Garden
This has started out as an absolutely fantastic year for the garden. All of my garden beds are now raised and it has reduced the work load dramatically. The raised beds also help to concentrate the fertility where I need it. Add that to the very pretty nature of the raised beds and you have a fabulous situation for the garden.
The strawberries have passed and the peas and lettuce are soon to be gone as well. In their place are so many wonders in the garden. A few days ago I harvested the first of the Cosmic Purple carrots. They have a reddish/purple skin, but the inside is orange. They’re absolutely delicious.
Bush beans will be taking the place of the peas. This is a variety called Provider. I love the pretty purple flowers. These beans are prolific and tasty. Many like pole beans, but I have always liked the ease of bush beans.
Peppers love the heat. While we’ve had a few super hot days, it really hasn’t been a very hot year so far. Surprisingly, the peppers are doing very well already. This is an early jalapeno. It’s still tiny, but there are several on the plants.
The tomatoes are going gangbusters. Here we have some Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I’m starting to realize that purple is a big theme in my garden this year. These tomatoes are absolutely delicious. I’ll be putting straw down around the plants as mulch this week. The straw helps to keep the moisture in the soil, reduces weeds and can keep the plants from getting too hot during heat waves.
Lastly, the squashes and pumpkins are starting to flower. So far there are only male flowers on the plants, but next week the females will start producing. This is a Jarradale squash plant. It will produce large blue squash. The flesh is orange and can be used the way you would use any other winter squash or pumpkin. The vines will grow to be 10-15 feet long. Make sure to plant them where they can sprawl. Mine tend to go in the outer beds. You can trellis the vines, but will need to find a way to support the very large fruits.
Heather Smith can also be found at Heather’s Homemaking.