Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Garden in July

After years of fighting the Willamette clay soil I've finally upgraded to raised beds. What a difference it has made! I got seed in late but everything has done spectacular!

Baby pumpkins are scattered all over the trellis that arches over the gate. These are from seeds I saved from a couple volunteer plants last year. Last year's pumpkins were beautiful miniatures with a bright orange flesh, the arch looked wonderful around October with tiny pumpkins hanging down like little lanterns. I had no idea what variety they were (most likely the original pumpkin was part of mix of decorative gourds) but this year's crop seems to be quite larger.

The arch is eight feet wide and the pumpkins take up the first four feet. The remaining four feet have much smaller watermelon plants. This is my first year attempting watermelons and I'm not quite sure what to expect. We've had several weeks of extreme heat which helped them grow but we're due for a few weeks of normal/cooler summer temps. There are tiny grape sized melons all over the vines, my fingers are crossed that they'll reach maturity before fall.

The tomatoes are growing up two cattle panels in the back of the garden. They were meant to provide western shade for the bunny hutches but, alas, I miscalculated the distance by two feet and the tomatoes spend most of the day in the dappled shade from the fir trees. The plants are growing well but slow to set fruit.

I may have gotten a late start on the summer sowing but I'm right on time for fall. Might be the first time that's ever happened! Here a couple broccoli seedlings are shooting up. My hope is to have something to nibble on all year long.

Not pictured in the INSANE potato bin, the bug-ridden turnips, or the forest of kale and beets. It is really amazing what these raised beds are doing. I chalk it up to the bunnies. I filled the beds with the best planting soil my local landscaping supply store had to offer but I think the real kicker has been the bunny poop I've been working into the boxes. The nutrient rich manure has done wonders, even to the older flower beds I haven't worked much.

Speaking of bunnies, here's Ruby with her latest litter:

The ducks we hatched out earlier this year have grown huge! They are spoiled and follow us around like puppies. I can't wait till next spring when they start laying. Meet Miss Pip (white) and Miss Ollie (barred blue). Not pictured is the drake, The Black Tulip (aka Too-Too).

Elsewhere in the garden the butterflies and bees are enjoying the flowers.

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