Summer Approaches; How the Garden Turns

Before the lovely Memorial Day weekend even started, we knew that whatever we did in the garden would likely be washed out by Tropical Storm Bonnie. Still, we really had to get stuff in the ground, so we went ahead with two major rounds of prepping and planting on Saturday and Sunday. Come Sunday night, Bonnie hit with enough rain to completely fill one of our once-empty 55-gallon rain barrels! To say that the garden beds turned into mud puddles is an understatement. With the warm weather ahead, we’re hopeful that things will dry out before another possible storm arrives in a few days.

And…we still haven’t transplanted the tomato and teensy pepper seedlings yet! Blergh. Of course, if we had done so this past weekend, they would have been washed away, no doubt. Fingers crossed that this weekend will be decent enough that we can put them out, because we’re really at the eleventh hour with them.

So before the rains came, things outside were actually looking pretty good.

You wouldn’t know it yet, but we planted the cucumbers in their normal bed. Since we had previously planted greens in the center of this bed, some of which are actually growing, we kept the cucumbers to the perimeter of the bed.

017cucumbers

Then, we got all the squash and melons planted in the second stone bed. (Last year we put squash, melons, and tomatoes in here together — it was too much. We’ll see how things go this year without the tomatoes.)

017stonebed2

Curious about our “crop circles?” (Haha.) This a new technique we’re trying this year with seeds that we’ve placed in hills — mainly squash, melons, and pole beans. Around each hill we dig out a small trench and then fill it with grass clippings. The idea is that the grass clippings will help keep the soil around each hill and eventually the plants’ roots moist, as well as somewhat free from weeds. We want to see if this will help cut down on how much we have to water, as well as blight and rotting plant stems. Plus, it looks kind of cool. 🙂

Speaking of which, we also got the long bed planted — all beans this year. No soybeans, sunflowers, or corn. All we have right now are pictures of rows and dirt…but eventually, this side of the bed will be filled with shelling bush beans, like Pinto beans.

017longbed1

And then in the middle, we planted all the pole beans, which we’ll eventually trellis using extra tomato cages because they need to climb. And at the very front of the bed, we planted an extra row of bush beans — Jacob’s Cattle.017longbed2

We used the same trench and grass clippings technique around each hill o’ beans. (And hopefully they’ll amount to something!)

And on the far side of the bed, we planted our string bean varieties. Doesn’t look like much yet, but it will!

017longbed3

All that we enough work for one weekend! And we did take advantage of being out on the warm sun, which was nice after a cloudy few weeks. Our over-wintered peppers and blueberry definitely enjoyed the change of scenery, as well.

017peppersandblueberry

And it looks like we’ll be in for a strawberry harvest soon. Yummy!

017strawberries


In other, non-garden news, this past weekend we also discovered (or caught up with the rest of the world) that Memorial Day weekend is the BEST time of year to have a major appliance conk out! Our refrigerator went on the fritz last week — it seemed whatever kept the chiller going stopped going, so we ended up with a leaky machine and a freezer that no longer froze things. After looking online and through a number of store circulars, and coming up with a budget, we decided to go appliance shopping.

Fun? Erm…well…

Turns out that things didn’t go as drearily as we thought it could have. The first store that we went to had tons of stuff on sale. And we, of course, immediately fell in love with a fancy fridge that was well out of our price range. The items in our price range were okay, but most too large for two people. (Do we need a fridge that can hold 25 bags of groceries??! Certainly not!) But we took some notes and decided to head to the next store. But then, on our way out of the first store, we saw it — the perfect fridge! And it was on sale for an unbelievable low price, way less than we figured we would need to spend. And it wasn’t a scratch-and-dent or floor model or anything!

While we searched for a salesperson, something else caught our attention — a lovely new stove also at a phenomenal price. But since it wasn’t on our list, we just took note of it and ordered the fridge.

During the drive home, we talked about that stove. Since we’ve been working slowly on a kitchen remodel, we knew we would have to replace the old stove at some point. So we decided that if the new stove that we saw fit into the space of our old stove and if it rated well, we would go back to the store the next day and order it.

In short, we have a new fridge and stove coming soon! And we got both within the budget that we had originally set for the fridge alone. And now we have new motivation to get some more work done in the kitchen. Good thing we’re not in a hurry. 🙂

 

Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back next week with further updates, hopefully with less rain!

 

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5 thoughts on “Summer Approaches; How the Garden Turns

  1. weird weekends 06/01/2016 / 1:37 pm

    very curious about the “grass” trenches… keep us informed on how well they work…

    • Garden State-ments 06/04/2016 / 5:59 pm

      Thanks! We should be in for a large rainstorm soon — that’ll be the real test!

  2. fmajewicz 06/02/2016 / 8:50 pm

    Nothing like new appliances to make one want to cook or bake something. By the way, what’s with all the branches in your long bed? If that’s what they are.

    • Garden State-ments 06/04/2016 / 6:00 pm

      They are sticks, and they are our row dividers! Not very fancy, and they’ve been moved out of place, but they mainly tell up where to step so we don’t accidentally step on any plants. We’ll probably remove them once things really start growing.

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