Weeding and… More Weeding
Having spent four or five hours this week getting the new garden bed into shape, this morning I went volunteering with the Friends of the Fells and weeded in the woods — pulling up invasive garlic mustard. This has the salutary characteristic of shallow roots, so it’s easy to pull, but the stuff is seriously prolific. Our group made a respectable dent in the patch, but we could have spent all day at it.
My new garden is much bigger than last year’s, and had gone a while without attention. The previous caretaker left me with mint (yay…?), sage, loads of opportunistic garlic, which I tried to leave in place, and what might be some marigolds. The before and after:
Now for the fun part!
All tidied up and ready to go! The thyme made it through the winter, but not the rosemary.
The equinox is just a few days away. The garden is in shade for most of the morning now. Yesterday I cut what remained of the basil, which I probably should have done two weeks ago, and made one last batch of pesto.
In containers, the peas are delighted by the cooler weather this past week. The chard wants fertilizer. The mint has bounced back from high summer’s wilt (I’m going to try making some extract from it this fall), but the lavender isn’t going to make it. The marigolds I planted late are enormous now, but there’s no sign of flowers.
At the plot, there are a few tomatoes still hoping to achieve ripeness, and a butternut squash that might do likewise. The zucchini, indefatigable, continues to flower, along with an optimistic pepper plant that spent most of the summer in zucchini shade. The trend is clear, however; week by week, things are getting quiet.
Every morning lately I ride my bike over to the garden and see what’s going on. These tomatoes are from just the past few days, so I think our first year is going pretty well! Today I pulled up what was left of the first lettuce planting; it was looking bedraggled after last week’s heat wave. I’ll be a little more restrained in the amount I plant next time. The zucchini continues to produce ebulliently, and our one butternut squash vine has so many flowers I am almost alarmed by the prospect. The only total failure has been the cucumbers.
The driveway pots have taken a back seat this year, although I planted a second crop of peas in there a few days back. The pots have surprised me a couple of times recently. Last week one of the small ones spontaneously produced a tiny basil plant, which I have been hovering over in delight ever since it sprouted. One of the bigger pots I had planted with chard early in the year. A squirrel got into it and messed everything up, and I wrote it off and didn’t plant anything else in there, as I was already too busy with other things by that point in the spring. Well, the seeds were apparently still in there, and now are coming up like they were never bothered at all. The strawberry plant I bought on impulse after a really irritating morning is not only still alive and occasionally flowering, but putting out runners into the neighboring pots.
Honestly the only problem with this whole gardening thing is that now I never want to do anything else.