...looking like a fool with our plants in the ground. On the contrary...when everyone else is paying $2.50 per pint for cherry and grape tomatoes, $1.99 per pound for sweet peppers, and $0.99 per pound for zucchini at Wegmans later this summer, we'll just have to venture out to the garden, pluck a few veggies, and voila! We attempted to keep a "harvest log" during last year's growing season and we're going to try it again this year. With the 3.5 pounds of strawberries we've already picked (at $2.99/lb.), the value of our harvest is already $10.47. We stopped keeping track last year at the end of July and the value of our harvest was around $83. We picked stuff well into September, so I know we made it past $100 and then some.
With Chris not doing a giant pumpkin this year (boo!), we had plenty of space to spread our plantings out a bit more than usual. It always amazes me that the garden is 30' x 32', but once I start laying out plants based on spacing requirements, it never seems like we'll have enough room! But, once I got everything laid out and spaced correctly, I think the garden looks really good.
|Our vegetable garden - bottom right corner is lettuce and the tomato plants.|
I am very excited about our plants this year. With just one plant of each variety of tomatoes - grape, cherry, and better boy - I won't dread harvesting them. Sure, a market pack of six tomato plants is cheaper than one, single, usually-bigger-and stronger tomato plant...but when you have to harvest six times the yield?!? Oy. We've had tomatoes coming out of our ears for the past three years...even with me taking pounds upon pounds of them to work to share. It was nonsense and it stops this year. One plant of each should yield plenty!
|Two rows of beans - yellow on the left, green on the right. |
Third row to the right is the row of Orange King sweet peppers.
Yes, I realize I have six plants each for peppers, green beans, yellow beans, and broccoli. That's OK...aside from the beans, I am not worried about an overabundance. And really...can you go wrong with an overabundance of green and yellow beans? I mean, come on! I could eat fresh beans with dinner every night. And have you ever had raw beans as part of a veggie tray with dip? Raw beans are delicious; they make for a great snack. Oscar sure loves them raw.
|Cantaloupe plants in the foreground, broccoli plants in the background to the right.|
|Zucchini and Gold Rush squash, with watermelon in the far corner.|
|Our strawberry patch - which is apparently feeding at least one chipmunk and one Gray Catbird.|
|Three pounds of strawberries picked today!|
In other news, the first water lilies of the season bloomed late morning on Saturday!
|The first lily to bloom.|
|The second lily to bloom. More buds are emerging!|
Finally, the Rhododendron bushes out front are blooming like mad. They are quite lovely. One of them is just outside of the living room window and we have been able to watch a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly visit and move from flower to flower. So far, we haven't managed to snag a picture of him, so the link above is mean to give you an idea of what he looks like. The fact that the butterfly in that picture is shown on a Purple Coneflower makes me hopeful that once my Coneflowers start blooming, this butterfly will move from the front garden to the back garden and be just as happy!
|Close-up of the Rhododendrons - a favorite for bees and butterflies alike.|
So...is your garden planted? Are your flowers attracting butterflies or hummingbirds? What is happening around your homestead? Tell me your tale in the comments section!