2000 Garden Diary
August 9, 2000
I'm really going to get some new pictures up soon (Really!). Suffice it to say that things are really starting to come in now. Click here to see my chart of the daily harvest. Gretchen and I are busily canning and blanching/freezing things as they come in, but it's getting hard to keep up with the flow. Some things I'm letting stay on the plant just so that I don't have to deal with them until another day! The weather has finally heated up, as traditional Washington Summers do. Interestingly enough, we are still getting tremendous amounts of rain. Our tomato plants and squash are really suffering from all the damp weather & I'm afraid that our carrots are all but ruined.
Speaking of ruined - we have given up the ghost on what we called the 'experimental' garden, which was our original plot before our neighbor loaned us his tiller & we plowed the larger section of land. I was bound and determined to show that my book-learning method of farming (known as double digging) would outperform the traditional land-excessive old style. I was wrong. Several things that I didn't take into account were: 1. The heavy clay soil that we are using is not condusive to double-digging, since the roots cannot penetrate. 2. I foolishly did not include drainage in my plan & therefore had two 3x4 lakes whenever the rains came down heavily (as they have been doing in recent weeks.). So, with that lesson learned, I look forward to the fall when I take down the entire garden & plan for next year. I think with the combination of adding organic material: Gypsum and some sand mostly with the organic compost that we have been creating (Oh boy, the smell!) that we should be able to rehabilitate the land within the next five years or so.
Well, here we are in September and still no new pictures. We've had an outbreak of spider mites that have decimated our tomato plants - we didn't even notice tem until it was too late. We've basically lost four of the Roma plants to them and one of the Sun Leaper plants. It's not like we don't have enough tomatoes - so far in the past few weeks we have canned over 36 jars of various kinds of tomatoes. Some are peeled romas (canned in our own tomato sauce), some jars of our famous spaghetti sauce and some just plain tomato sauce for things like tomato soup. I've also been taking nine or ten peppers and cooking and then bagging them for the freezer for later use. The larger, nicer looking ones I just empty to stuff with rice & bag and freeze whole. Squash are completely gone, I was not able to save them from the mold that they got from all the rain this summer. I suppose that I should be getting ready to plant lettuce and other fall crops, but think that I may just call it a year. With luck, I'll get some pictures soon. Otherwise, look for details of my fall rehab plan for the soil to be coming soon.