Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mama Bean has a garden update - with pictures!

Before I was a mother, when I met people who are poorly socialized or behave maladaptively, I would probably think a little less of them, or think I don't want to be around them more than I have to be. Or if I were forced to spend a great deal of time with them, I might save up mocking stories about them to laugh about later. Because I can be cruel and judgmental just like everyone else. Now that I am a mother, I find I just wonder, "How do I parent to avoid this in my children?" What do I have to do to raise up little people that become big people who aren't jerks, and aren't weird? (I mean, in a maladaptive way. Lord knows I'm plenty weird, but I get along in the social world alright, with only tinges of Awkward, occasionally. Occasionally often. Moving on...) And I realize that most of these people have lovely parents who didn't do anything "wrong" and that it's not About Parenting. But I still feel the monumental Responsibility of it all. And at least I'm not spending as much time remembering cruel, mocking anecdotes, right? Motherhood will make me a Better Person before we're through, as God as my witness!

I don't know why that thought just popped up. I'm having a listless, melancholy day. I am tired. I probably should be taking a nap as Bean naps, but then I can't fall asleep at night, no matter how late we go to bed (which lately has been quite late, thus the tiredness in the first place.) So. Anyway, I didn't come on here to be morose. I wanted to share the drama that is life with a garden.

Did I mention it was a rainy spring?

Last year we planted seeds and seedlings on May Long Weekend, like everyone else, and then we had a freeze on June 5th. It was a sad lesson learned. We vowed to be more cautious this year. So we didn't plant May Long. Anyway it rained that weekend. And then it rained two days out of three for the next three weeks. So when it was finally kind of dry enough to sort of plant some things, it was two days before we left for a vacation to Cowtown. So I just shoved those seeds in the ground and hoped for the best. But we only planted half the plot, and not everything we had planned made it into the ground. Anyway, another sad lesson learned, or maybe just a completion of the same lesson. Many seeds can take colder temperatures, even potatoes planted deep - certainly peas, and lettuces/spinach, carrots and beets. I should have planted those as soon as the dirt could be worked. Next year!

Here's what made it into the Big Garden:
Section 1: ruby queen beets, nantes touchon beets (nantes have a blunter tip than imperator type carrots) and red cored danvers carrots (not sure if these are imperator or not)
Section 2: improved long green cucumbers, another type of smaller pickling cucumber whose package was given to Bean to chew on and now I don't know what they were called. Gardening with kids! Yay!
Section 3: stoplight beans! royal burgundy bush beans (red-ish?) improved golden wax bush beans, and tendergreen improved bush beans.
Section 4: sugar snap peas (edible pod) and little marvel peas (shelling)
Section 5: longstanding bloomsdale spinach, early great lakes lettuce, fordhook giant (white stalk) and rhubabrd (red stalk) swiss chard, buttercrunch lettuce, and sweet basil.
Sections 6-12: some cabbage transplants, struggling butternut squash plants, grass and weeds. Oh, and a random green bean plant from last year and sprung up as a volunteer! We'll be planting a vetch-based green manure in this section to control the weeds and restore some nutrients to the soil.

top left: greens (lettuces, etc. crazy chard in the centre), bottom left: stoplight beans, centre: peas, top right: cucumbers, bottom right: great beets needing thinning, patchy carrots.

What didn't make it:
Onions, which were to be interplanted with the carrots and beets - Section 1, the root ~fiesta~
Zucchini or the white marrow (like white zucchini) I picked up on a whim
Tomatoes (save some plants for Russian giants a patient passed on to me, which are planted in our front flower bed)
Thyme or sage (thought they were perennial, but nothing came back)
Kohlrabi, also picked up on a whim

Our basement growlight worked great for the early seedlets. We started soy, but didn't plant it out in time, and it died while we were on vacation. The giant pumpkin, acorn squash, and cantaloupe did survive, and are planted in our Little Garden out back. One acorn squash plant has flowered brilliantly, and I've been pretending to be a little bee, hand pollinating diligently. The giant pumpkin has so far only sent up male flowers, which is very disappointing. It's looking to cross-pollinate with another plant, but unfortunately, only one survived from the basement. So that whole project (which is really Papa Bean's baby) may be a wash this year. Anyway, here are some pictures!

top left: giant pumpkin wants to take over the world! bottom left: female squash blossom (saying that always get Fat-bottomed Girls stuck in my head) centre: pumpkin tendrils, top right: leeetle bebe acorn squashlet, bottom right: more spirally vinedrils of doom


  1. Nice garden! I have plenty of tomatoes so if you'd like some just let me know!

  2. Wow. you have a nice looking garden there. I have a garden but a little bigger than yours. I have plenty of tomatoes and peppers and some herbs as well. Anyways, I would love to see more about your garden and your harvest! Thanks for sharing these photos!

  3. Nice garden. You really have organized it well. Your squash is so gorgeous. I hope that it will grow big. My garden is better now than last month. My tomatoes are really growing very huge and my zucchini is growing enormously too.