One of the many fun parts of writing this blog is looking back at older posts for a visual journal of our life on the homestead. Exactly one year ago I published this garden update. It’s hugely encouraging for me to see that the garden has improved bit by bit, growing bigger and better each year. Since we started literally with a pile of manure and a round bale of straw, using the sheet mulch or lasagna gardening method, the soil has improved every season.
For instance, this bed of lettuce – WOW! While I completely overseeded the bed, it has provided us with bountiful, tender, amazing salads. And way more than we can eat (canned lettuce, anyone?) In the background are red and Walla Walla onions that I grew from sets.
Thanks to a long, relatively cool, rainy spring, our brassica crops are doing really well. The kids love eating broccoli and cauliflower in all forms, and I am looking forward to making a few batches of sauerkraut.
This trellis will be the support for a wide variety of slicing and pickling cucumbers. Making use of vertical space in the garden allows me to fill the rest of the bed with Swiss chard, collards, cilantro, and kale.
Can you tell that I have an obsession with cattle panel trellises?! They work amazingly well as a support for beans, cukes, tomatoes, peas, and even small melons and squash.
In order to combat invasive grasses that were encroaching perennial herbs and flowers, I dug up entire sections of my perennial bed, painstakingly pulled out grass rhizomes, and created three new flower/herb garden spaces. Many of these plants came with me all the way from Oregon. They carry with them stories of friends who gave me divisions, and gardens of long ago.
And in the upper garden, this bed of snap and snow peas is kicking some serious garden booty. When I look back at last year’s post and see what I considered a “good” stand of peas, I almost have to laugh out loud! The key to my success this year – overseeding. Yup. That’s the advice I’m giving you today. If you want to have a great crop of peas, sow a ton of pea seeds. Oh, and hope for a really long, mild spring with a ton of rain. That helps too.
What’s growing in your garden right now?