We had a lot of help this year from the family and made some changes from last summer. One big change is the fence. I felt like we lost a lot of potential garden space last year because the fence shaded some of the garden, so we used the boards from our old fence to create a pseudo split-rail fence. LOVE. We just added a wire mesh (similar to chicken wire) to keep Mocha in and deer, rabbits, etc. out. Bartlett’s a wild place to live you guys!
We also expanded the garden… by a lot. We had a lot of veggies go to waste last year because our plants were so close together and full which made it nearly impossible to pick ‘um. So we made more room and solemn vow to strictly adhere to all plant spacing suggestions. It’s for sure been a group effort this year: The garden wouldn’t be what it is without a lot of work from our family! Here’s a little peak into our backyard.
(Top, left to right: Bell Peppers, Jalapeño Peppers, Eggplant)
(Middle: Male and female cucumber blooms, Tomatoes)
(Bottom: Basil, Rosemary, Tomatoes)
Some interesting things…
:: The Bells and Jalapeños have apparently cross pollinated resulting in a HOT bell pepper… so strange and so delicious.
:: I took a lot of pictures of our garden last year and don’t ever remember seeing that white blossom on the cucumbers. The yellow ones will actually produce fruit, but the white ones are closed in the day and only begin to open once the sun sets. At first I thought it was just some other vine that had come up because it reminded me of a Moon Flower the way it opens and closes and is crawling along the fence, but sure enough… it’s part of the cucumber plant… just doing its own thing.
:: See that mangled mess that used to be my tomatoes in the middle row? Then below it the magic that my parents and J made happen. In LOVE! They’re like little tomato bridges and when it comes to pickin’ this sure beats rummaging through all those tangled vines!
:: We did companion planting this year again and holy smokes does it rock. One improvement is that I used regular basil instead of the lemon basil that we planted last year and it seems to be a better repellent for some of those little creatures that would like to make a meal off of my tomato and pepper plants. Last year I literally picked worms off of my peppers to save them. This year I haven’t seen single one… but then again I may have the jalapeños to thank for that.
:: Lastly… please allow me this short rant about the bane of my existence: The dreaded Squash Vine Borer. Spitefully referred to as the SVB in this household. My goodness are these things a pain. They have singlehandedly wiped out ALL of my zucchini and squash plants and even started on one of my cucumber plants. They actually burrow inside the vine and there’s no sign of them until the plant starts wilting. It looks like it needs water, so you water, but it only gets worse. Organic sprays and natural predators (which have worked awesome for us in the past) don’t work on these guys because they are inside the plant. You can’t get them out of the plant without literally cutting the vine and at that point its too late anyway. Apparently you have to catch them before they hatch. This gardener has learned her lesson and next year those SVBs should watch their backs.