Less Noise, More Green: My gardens didn't get the "on vacation" memo...can I get paid overtime?

Monday, July 14, 2014

My gardens didn't get the "on vacation" memo...can I get paid overtime?

Batchelor's Buttons, edible flowers
I came home from my trip to my edible Batchelor's Buttons in bloom. The bees love them!

I had such a great time on my trip to The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts with my BFF Roda. We did a wide variety of activities and they were done at "Mom" speed not "kid" speed. If you are a parent, you know what I mean! I have lots to share from the trip but first I have to deal with gardening reality. I think I forgot to tell my gardens to take the week off. I cannot believe how much has changed in just a week! My son did a fabulous job watering everything and 95% of the plants look great. The day after I got back, pad and pen in hand, I walked the beds and made a list of everything to be done. Welcome home.

Edible landscaping
The Edible Garden exploded!
In the front Edible Garden my biggest task (apart from watering and weeding) is deciding what to plant in the spaces where seeds just didn't germinate. I also have to start thinking about the transition into fall and planting autumn plants.

edible landscaping
I have cabbages and sunflowers ready to be hardened off and I think it's time to start the kales inside. I plan on planting Tuscany and Red Russian varieties. The radishes I planted are so huge they are now inedible so they need to be pulled and new seeds planted.

Edible Landscaping
I need to dead head the rhododendrons and the marigolds and mulch the blueberries and lingonberries with peat moss.

Lingonberry, edible landscaping

I bought two planters at the Brimfield Antiques Fair and I have decided to plant two blueberry bushes in them and position them in the front garden. The bushes are in my back beds and aren't getting enough light.

edible landscaping

I have herbs growing in the front and back gardens and it is time to start harvesting and drying them for winter use.

Peppermint Chard, edible landscaping
Love the Peppermint Chard!

 The New Zealand Spinach is thriving in the Edible Garden and I plan to start cooking with it this week (recipes to follow) but there is so much of it I'm going to pick, blanch and freeze some for later in the year.

edible landscaping
In the back veggie beds I need to weed, weed and weed some more!  I also need to plant more green onions and lettuce, harvest carrots and reseed, hill the volunteer potatoes (thank you!) and harvest, use and freeze more rhubarb. I have lots of cabbage ready to go, so starting some sauerkraut is a must.

Nasturtiums, edible flowers

urban farming
Back veggie beds

My container garden. I think I have lost all the potatoes.
The garlic is ready for harvest and curing and I need to cultivate around the peanut plants. They are starting to flower which means they will start to develop pegs soon. Last year I didn't cultivate and many of the pegs weren't able to make it into the ground which meant less peanuts for me!

container gardening, urban farming
The tomatoes are holding on, but barely. No bumper crop for me this year.
We have been debating what to do with the strip of grass by the road. We had two very old, diseased trees removed last year and the ground is now bare and ugly. I haven't decided but I think we are going to lasagna mulch (cardboard, compost, mulch) for now to kill the grass and get the beds ready for planting next spring.

urban farming
I made the first fresh coleslaw of the year last night.
I also need to fit in blueberry picking and blackcurrant picking. I think this is going to be a busy couple of weeks! Remember in February when I was desperate for spring so I could get in the dirt? Be careful what you wish for!

Green Beans, urban farming
Green beans are coming! This branch looks like a preying mantis.
Is your gardening 'to do' list as long as mine?

See you in the garden,



  1. I don't see much fencing. Do you have critter issues?

    1. Because I live in an urban area I really don't have a lot of critters to worry about. I have some cats in the neighborhood and I have some skunk activity but I don't have to worry about much else. I have friends who live in rural parts of the state who are dealing with deer, racoons, chipmonks, rabbits and more. The trade off is they have a lot more space than I do!