Hey folks, A lot has been going on in the garden since our last post! Here's a quick review of the past eleven months at the Wedge garden:
(Henry picking squash bugs.)
Last year was another epic battle against squash bugs and squash vine borers. We scouted and hand-picked our way through a more-or-less full season, but I couldn't help but feel like the bugs won in the end. This year we've got a full-scale plan for controlling them and making sure we have a steady squash supply.
We had a lot of bees! Especially towards the end of the summer, the bees were swarming in abundance on the flowering veggies, but also on our copious flowers and flowering herbs. They especially liked the sunflowers, as did the birds and squirrels.
Summer was pretty brutally hot, but when the weather got a little milder we had a surprise -- a new round of green and hot peppers.
We harvested these in November. All the tomatoes (besides the cherries) refused to set fruit all summer, but when fall came around they produced like crazy!
We continued to grow things like kale, onions, garlic, lettuces, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. clear through the winter. But I don't think any of us anticipated that we would also have a nice smattering of brightly colored flowers in our front beds. Just in time for Christmas. :-)
The cabbage did a great job keeping the front end of the garden looking somewhat respectable throughout the winter, when all the flowers had started to die back. The thing we're learning about crops like cabbage, onions, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. is that they take FOREVER to grow. We're still waiting on the first head of cabbage to finish firming up, and at this rate it looks like it'll be made into coleslaw for a 4th of July cookout.
Due to the very mild winter, our lettuces just kept thriving all the way through. This is what they looked like at their peak in February. All that hot weather in March caused a lot of the non-heirlooms to bolt and go to seed, but many of the heirloom varieties are just now starting to look like they're finished. Guess there really is something to the notion that heirloom varieties are better...
Something that's been very different this year is the huge increase in the numbers of pollinators and predatory beneficial insects (read: good bugs) we're seeing around the garden! So far this year we've seen a ton of tachinid flies, a dragonfly, a mosquito hawk, a preying mantis and a whole lot of lady bugs and their babies!
Today we pulled the rest of the carrots we planted in the fall. We also harvested the overwintered kale and what was left of the Brussels sprouts and donated that stuff to the Interfaith Food Shuttle. This year we're participating in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program through Logan's Trading Company, which has already been a great partnership for us. So far we've donated a nice little pile of produce, and we're just getting started!
That's it for now, but I promise we'll post again soon. Happy spring, y'all!