All Quiet on the Eastern Front

After we got our transplants in last week, it rained…AGAIN. It was incredibly frustrating to watch the pool return around our raised beds. However, it prompted a discussion about improving the drainage around the beds, which is something we plan to tackle next year. The yard dried out considerably over the course of the week, with some portions still a little damp. After it was all said and done, we lost a couple of the transplants, But, with all our extra plants in tow, there was no problem replacing them. And we still have a number of started peppers that need homes — not sure yet where they’ll end up.

In terms of our established plants, the dampness killed the spinach patch unfortunately. We didn’t even get one decent harvest! However, the cucumbers that next to spinach are thriving, so the bed now belongs to them.

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Or perhaps that was their nefarious plan all along?

The excess water also did in a number of our pea plants; however, we did harvest them earlier (to delicious results!) As the soil dries, some seem to be reviving themselves. In the meantime, our carrots are having a great time!

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Death in the background; life in the foreground. Hmm…a metaphor for life?

Our watermelon, zucchini, and corn patches couldn’t be doing better, even in and among all the rain!

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Having never grown watermelon before, it’s very exciting watching these plants!
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Zucchini bread, fried zucchini, zucchini casserole, steamed zucchini, zucchini stir-fry…
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We planted some later corn among these guys, but the seeds never germinated…and we’re pretty sure a squirrel or two enjoyed some popcorn.

As great as the edible food is doing, we have something of a dilemma going on out front.  In our two quarter-moon-shaped beds by the front sidewalk we planted two types of marigolds (French Dwarf and Crackerjack) and calendulas. One bed looks like this:

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Big and beautiful!

And the other bed looks like this:

[Insert sad trombone sound]
[Insert sad trombone sound]
Last year we didn’t notice much difference between the beds, but we also planted different flowers. We don’t have much experience with flowers, so choosing different flowers to plant this year was definitely an experiment. Both beds get a decent amount of sun, especially in the afternoon; however the sad bed is partially shaded by a tree that sits by the road. Marigolds require full sun, but calendulas can handle partial shade (or so we’ve read). Still, the French Dwarf marigolds in both beds are flowering. The Crackerjack marigolds are just starting to bud in the good bed, but they barely make a showing in the sad bed. And the calendulas, well, they just didn’t take off in the sad bed like they did in the good bed. Sun? Soil imbalance? Water? Critters? The reason for the disparity is still a bit of a mystery.

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