Sunday, July 28, 2013

The state of the garden

A couple of you asked to see some pictures of the vegetable garden. Here 'ya go! After a slow start during our cold and wet spring, summer arrived at the beginning of July and did its thing. The plants are growing well and starting to mature. I've already harvested some zucchini and cucumbers, but the tomatoes will be a while yet.

The winter squash plot with nasturtiums sprinkled about. The nasturtiums re-seed themselves and come back every year.

Long-time readers will remember that the garden's four-square design is based on a jardin potager (kitchen garden) that I saw at the Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre back in 2003. I laid out each square at four meters on a side with a meter-wide grass strip separating them. The actual dimensions have probably changed over the years.

 Four squares in the background and part of the long strip in front.

We've since added a long planting strip beside the four squares for more space. You can see part of it in the photo above. This year it's home to eight tomatoes, some lettuces, and radishes. The radishes are all done now and what's left has gone to seed. I'll dig them up soon and put in some jalapeño seedlings I've got going.

 Zucchini in the foreground and sixteen tomato plants in the back.

This year I've got twenty-seven tomato plants. They're a mix of varieties that I grew from seed and I'm not sure now which varieties they are. Three of the plants are volunteers; dozens of cherry tomato seeds sprouted in the plots from last year's fallen fruit. I kept three of them since I didn't plant any cherry tomato seeds this year.

 All four squares (mostly) and the strip behind. It's not your imagination or my crazy photography, this part of the yard is on a slight slope.

There are also four zucchini plants and four cucumbers, all seed-grown. Our rhubarb patch is a row in one of the squares, but that's done now so I'm letting the remaining leaves feed the rhizomes below ground (and the weeds are enjoying being left alone). We've also got a patch of collard greens and kale in the same plot. I tried a row of sweet peas there, too. We got one meal out of that.

So that's the state of the vegetable garden at the end of July 2013. It's not the most lush and luxuriant garden we've had over the years, but with the crazy weather we've been having lately, it's doing just fine.


  1. if we had a jardin like that, it would be eaten by wildlife in no time! you have to fence everything to keep it to yourself and not the hungry hoards or animals.

    nice to grow your own, isn't it?

  2. what a lot of tomato plants! Nearly as many as ours! And about as big as ours too. No spring this year, just February, February, February, August. P.

  3. It's lovely to see the vegetable garden thriving at last.
    We've done well with petunias and broad beans this year, not much else.

  4. Walt, The garden looks great. What a difference since I visited in early June! You've done a terrific job. Hope the crops will live up to your expectations. Btw, Ken told me (on my blog) that you are using Windows 8. Can you tell me where to find the 'shut down' button? I have a new laptop that came with Windows 8 and I'm having some difficulties finding my way around ... especially the 'shut down' function : :( Martine

    1. martine, I can tell you how it works on my desktop. I move the mouse down to the right-hand corner and select "settings" which is the gear-shaped icon. Then I click "power" and then the "Shut down" option. I hope that helps!

    2. Fantastic! It works on my new laptop as well! Thanks so much! :) Martine

  5. Looks great, Walt. Assume those winter squash
    plants include Kiri (aka Poitu-Marron?). It's only
    been the last few years that they have appeared
    in our markets, and they are now my favorite
    variety. Lots of seeds, though. Tomatoes look
    good and sturdy.

  6. Meant to add that any tutorials you have to offer
    Martine on Windows 8, will be appreciated here
    too. Jim is contending with its mysteries on his
    new laptop. Finally gave up trying to shut it down.
    Guess we can always call Mumbai.


  7. You have a lovely garden- remarkable that you've done it all from seed. Those tomatoes will keep you busy when they come on!

  8. Evelyn, once again, has expressed every word that I was thinking of commenting. *R*R*

  9. Thank you for the update on your jardin. It is looking very nice - even though it looks more like the end of June rather than end of July. Are your neighbor's gardens fairing as well? Here in the Northwest we have been having many 90 plus days and my friend's with gardens are finally starting to see the results. What a crazy summer! At least we're enjoying heat. My friend from Milwaukee, Wisconsin told me yesterday it was only 58 at noon and that was probably going to be their high temperature. I forgot to ask about her garden.

  10. Are those wiggly sticks a different kind of tomato support? Haven't seen them before that I recall, but they look as if the plants would be happy growing up along.

  11. I used to use those curly tomato stands; they work well.

  12. ann marie, my yard is fenced in, otherwise the deer would eat everything.

    pauline, that's exactly how it felt!

    jean, I didn't do any beans this year, for some strange reason.

    sheila, I don't have potimarron this year (but I did last year and the year before). This year it's acorn, spaghetti, and another variety I've forgotten...

    evelyn, I know! Lots of sauce. Right now the cukes are starting up. I've got four in the kitchen this morning!

    judy, you have to get up earlier! Or stay up later... lol

    mary, everyone I've talked to has said things are very late this year.

    emm, yes, they're supports for tomatoes or beans or other things. Very common around here.

    michael, I tie my tomatoes to them with twisty-ties. Works great.

  13. You guys are such good gardeners!!


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