What a gorgeous first day of September – just warm enough to jump in the pond, but not so hot that we had to hide indoors. The garden is full of bounty and our meals consist of pieced together bits of harvest – corn on the cob, a tomato basil salad, fresh ripe melons, and green beans.
I’ll take you on a tour of my late summer garden in just a moment, but first I want to give a great big shout out to all of Homestead Honey’s sponsors, including:
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Now, let’s take a stroll through the garden…
Remember the upper garden space that we created new this spring? Some crops have done fantastically in this tilled garden – melons, peppers, okra, and sweet potatoes are growing and thriving. Sadly, the corn, beans, and squash did not fare as well. I suspect that this garden needs quite a bit more organic matter, and I’ll be adding this with a cover crop and additional manure and compost amendments.
The lower garden is a jungle of vegetables and flowers and herbs. You can see the cattle panel trellises have worked wonderfully for cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. I have been so impressed by a cucumber variety called Delikatesse, from Baker Creed Seed Company. This is a dual purpose cuke that just keeps producing!
We expanded the garden fencing this spring, leaving space to create new beds. This is a newly built lasagna or sheet mulched bed, which I’m treating essentially as a compost pile. Cardboard was layered, followed by decomposed straw. We continually add food scraps and garden matter, as well as manure. Getting this bed built now means that it will be perfectly ready for planting in the spring.
Ella’s garden bed is a perfect example of successional sowing. This bed started out with an early spring crop of fava beans, sunflowers, and potatoes. As we harvested plants, new ones went in their place. We sowed a late crop of zucchini in late July to be sure that we had back-up plants in case squash bugs killed others. Recently, Ella sowed lettuce, mesclun, radish, and purslane, and we filled in with a few kale transplants.
A few pin up shots of some of my favorite plants. This cabbage (I believe it’s Perfection Drumhead from Baker Creek) has far surpassed my expectations, especially with the cabbage worm problem I seem to be having – I handpick easily 100 per day. And the cayenne peppers! We’ve already put a half-gallon jar of them in a brine to ferment for hot sauce making, and I plan to dry the rest to use throughout the winter.
Flowers, bunching onions, new kolhrabi, and turnips combine in a bed, which is typical of how I love to garden. In the background you can see the waning sunflowers which have given us such delight as goldfinch habitat and feed.
Now it’s your turn – what is growing in your garden! Share a link or just comment below!
Establishing garden beds as materials become available is such a practical method, and has been the only way I have gardened over the past couple years. It satisfies my natural bent towards frugality and using
materials that would otherwise be discarded. And it lets nature do some of the work for me! 🙂 Judging by your gorgeous harvest, the results speak for themselves. Question… Do you have a way of securing the cattle panel trellis? If so, how do you do it? Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pics. I think what you are doing is awesome and a wonderful example to others.
Teri Page says
Hi Karen, Thank you for your kind words!
As for the cattle panels, yes, we do secure them. We basically drive four small posts into the ground, two on each side, and they should be on the outside of the curve, if that makes sense. You can tie the panels to the posts, or just let the tension created by bending a cattle panel hold them in place! Let me know if that isn’t clear and I can try to take a photo.
Makes perfect sense. I have some runaway grape vines needing additional support. Thanks!!
Jeff Schwersinske says
I like your Big garden,mine apt garden,5,ft by 10 ft,tomato&cherry tomato,s hot chilies,make chili,like.Jeff
I’m a new reader am am enjoying your blog. 🙂
Just gotta ask: what do you do with 100 cabbages per day??
Teri Page says
Ah, I must have made a grammatical error! Pretty common when I write excitedly about my garden 🙂
I meant to say that I pick 100 cabbage worms per day. But if I had that many cabbage, I’d surely be making a lot of sauerkraut! Thanks for reading!
Hilarious! I see it now! And I think the error was mine.
I think I will try something similar to the cattle panels for my goldenrod tomatoes next year. That looks like a great solution. And, apparently, our compost was so fantastic that the tomatoes plants were easily 8 feet tall! So, we will be adding lime to it next year too. I love the variety in your gardens!
Teri Page says
Thanks Kari! Sounds like a wonderful year in your garden!
One note about the cattle panels and tomatoes – they do work really well, but you have to tend to them as they climb the trellis. I use ties to secure them up the cattle panel, and it’s a process that should be repeated several times.
On the other hand, the cucumbers and pole beans just secure themselves to the cattle panels with little intervention.