It was hard work in the garden today, the longest day of the year. GGMa is here and with her help my west garden is completely weeded and mulched. The seedlings are still small and some are even tiny, but so were the weeds, making them easy to pull, rake, flatten or otherwise destroy. The onions are hardly there so we did nothing with them, but the carrots are feathery and the beans are working on their second and third set of leaves….exciting!
Here are carrots, one of my six Mrs. Wrinkles Pumpkins, poppies from seeds we saved from our other garden and some other kind of perennial flower (I can’t remember what it is, any guesses??)
We’re starting a no-till method of gardening this year, so I spent a lot of time and pulled a lot of muscles building the beds with small logs from a pile-o-sticks that was here when we bought the place. G-Hub and Stephen helped a lot with that, Thanks Guys. I like the layout so now we can build on the beds and mulch the paths. To start the process this year I’ve mulched the pumpkin and quinoa patches between the rows and anywhere there isn’t a seedling with a thick layer of very dry hay. I’m hoping this will help keep the weeds away and I know it will help hold the moisture.
The pumpkins are on the left and the Quinoa on the right. We have another patch of Quinoa in our East garden which will get done next weekend. There are six Pumpkin seedling out of 14 planted and about 80% of the Quinoa seeds germinated. Overall our germination rate was poor this year. I don’t even have to thin the beets or carrots. The peas, however, are full and doing really good; you can see them next to the Quinoa. I think the poor germination rate had everything to do with the weather and amount of rain we did’t get; spring was very dry and frost date was very late.
In the fall we will harvest the fruits, seeds, and veggies and leave all the left over plant material on the garden, including all the mulch. The thick and heavy snow we get every year will compress it all and we’ll plant directly into the residue in the spring. No tilling , no turning, no need to loosen the soil. With the dedicated pathways and the beds being no more than 4 feet wide, except the pumpkin patch, there is no need to walk on the areas we plant in. We added manure fall before last and so this fall before snow we might add a layer of compost to the beds, or at the very least a layer of leaf mold.
There’s something about working in the garden. I can’t explain the satisfaction I get from getting on my knees and grinding dirt into my jeans, completely roughing up the skin on my hands and filling my fingernails with black topsoil, and then standing back to gaze at the results of hours of sweating in the heat and sunburning my back.
Cool moist texture of the soil
earthy aroma of new and fresh plants
thriving from the energy of old and decaying organics
fat brightly colored vegetables bursting with tasty rich flavours….