On June 30, 2023

How is your garden growing?

 

How is your garden growing? As gardeners we never seem to be satisfied with the way our flowers and veggies look. I think we are too hard on ourselves!

Mother Nature as well as critters alter our plans and give us results that don’t always make us happy. But most of what we plant will be just fine.

I am looking forward to enjoying the contents of our veggie garden. I like watching the seeds I have sown mature into beets, beans, carrots, zucchini and tomatoes. They will all be eaten fresh and some will be frozen to enjoy during the winter.

I always start tomato seeds and some flower seeds on window shelves in mid-April. They do well there basking in natural sunlight. By mid-May they can go outside to “harden off” before going into the ground. With the cold and rainy weather this year they didn’t go outside until May 23. But they quickly made up for lost time in the warm and sunny days that followed. June finally feels like summer!

Some of my flower seedlings needed a little extra TLC before going into the gardens so I put them in a raised box with a wire cover held down by bricks. Some critter, most likely a squirrel, managed to get inside the box and left me with only eight out of 24 statice plants. The box was in a state of disarray!

I also sow some flower seeds directly into my gardens. By the time my various perennials have gone by I have high hopes that the seeds will have matured into flowers displaying colorful zinnias, nasturtiums, cosmos and calendulas. Of course, my friend, the squirrel, may have other plans for those young plants. As the flowers mature they could provide a tasty snack for that pesky critter.

Let’s face it…gardens are a lot of work. But if you like “playing in the dirt” it’s a labor of love. I am always amazed that a seed which is no bigger than a freckle can produce tomatoes, kale and carrots. Zucchini seeds, which are larger than the seeds just mentioned, can produce “zukes” that turn into the size of “baseball bats” when nobody is looking! I puree them and put them in freezer bags to use for bread in the winter.

By now weeds are probably competing with whatever we are growing. Pulling them out is not the most fun task we can undertake but I find it relaxing and totally mindless. Nothing wrong with that!

Many of my flowers need to be deadheaded at this time of year in order to keep blooming. That is about as exciting as pulling weeds but it’s a heck of a lot faster to do!

Enjoy your gardens even if they are not perfect! Cut some flowers to enjoy in a vase and bring your garden into the house.

If you have “too much of a good thing” when your veggies ripen all at once, check out the best method for freezing that particular veggie. You will be glad that you did when the snow is flying and you are enjoying them in a soup or casserole.

Bulb catalogues have started to arrive. If you are looking for something different that can’t be found at a local garden center it’s best to order early. They won’t be shipped until planting time and you won’t be disappointed when you learn that an item is out of stock. It may seem like you are rushing summer along but in this case you need to if you want colorful flowers next spring. And who doesn’t want those after a long, cold winter? I don’t know about you but I am not looking forward to that.

I know that skiers can’t wait for winter to arrive once again but this “senior” is looking forward to as many garden days as I can get before the flakes fly once again!

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