First of all, this is Pauline with Mini-me and Munchie. She is a widow that lives not too far from us and that we met, and later adopted, during pear season last year. She is a sweetheart and the kids and the Hunter and I really enjoy her. Her husband, Earl, used to garden extensively, so she had a pretty big garden spot (with no trees!) not being used for anything but growing weeds. I talked to her about borrowing her garden space to plant a garden in return for some produce and she said she would love that. Pauline had never gardened as Earl did all of it and sounds like he was pretty particular about how it was done.
Well, for someone who never gardened before, Pauline has turned into quite a gardener! She has planted stuff all along this fence row. The stakes have tomato plants that already have some green tomatoes on them. To the right of the tomatoes are some potato plants, then some corn and asparagus. There is something else in there also, I just don’t remember what. As you go back along the fence to the little outbuilding she has cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and more corn. Behind the little building is pepper plants, some volunteer squash, bush beans, carrots, okra, and more pumpkin and other stuff.I planted stuff to the left of her tomato row clear to the fence on the left. Next year Pauline gets all this “prime” area seeing as she enjoys the gardening so much and I will take the back part or possibly increase the size some. If I had any idea at the beginning of the season I would have done it this year, but as Pauline says, she had no clue she would like to garden!This photo was taken June 15th. You can barely see the hills where I planted squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins. I also planted two rows of corn between the hills and then three rows of corn to the left of there. They aren’t yet up in this picture.
From the right side of this picture, the first row that you can actually see green plants on is a row of cowpeas. There are two different varieties. I have never grown cowpeas before, but Pauline said they were a staple in her family garden in Arkansas when she was growing up. The next row to the left is a row of bush beans. I have three varieties in there – Blue Lake, Dragon’s Tongue, and then the end of the row has lima beans. The next row has tomato plants, then more lima beans, and one Ambrosia cantaloupe plant. The second to last row has more tomato plants, then Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans, and another Ambrosia cantaloupe plant. The very last row has beets – but they aren’t doing so well. They didn’t come up well first of all and now don’t seem to be growing worth a hoot. I haven’t yet had much luck with beets, which is a shame as the Hunter and I both love them. Where they didn’t come up well I planted five sweet potato plants so the space wouldn’t be totally wasted.
The picture above shows the same area to the left of Pauline’s tomatoes. You can see the corn is now up both in the row with three rows and between the squash and cucumbers. I don’t know if it will make it to “knee-high by the fourth of July” or not, but it sure is growing! Last year my corn got mowed down by cutworms when it was about an inch tall – twice! Two plantings of it! So I was really relieved to get this as tall as it is. This picture was taken this morning after I hoed the rows. The cowpeas and beans are also much bigger.
This picture shows my tomato plants (not yet staked, I have to get that done this week!). For some reason these at Pauline’s have just not grown as fast as the ones at my house. It could have been that they got drowned in the rain we had for two or three weeks after I first put them out. The ground at home drains much better. The Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans are getting runners on them, so I really have to get the stakes up!
The tomato plants you see in the background belong to another friend of Pauline’s named Bill. He has all that back part of the garden and has tomatoes and melons there. His tomatoes were in by the end of April I think, and you can see how much of a head start they have on mine.
These three plants are some yellow watermelons originally from Russia. A good friend gave me 9 seeds in a little pill bottle this spring. I planted two shortly after starting the tomatoes inside, but when I went to harden them off I got some early blight or something that killed quite a few of my tomatoes as well as the two Russian watermelons. The two Ambrosia cantaloupe plants survived. Anyway, I found a nice fertile spot and planted three more of the precious seeds – that way I have four more left if these go bottoms up! I am tickled that they are still growing.
This hill is my Marina de Chioggia squash and you can see two rows of the corn beside it. I am praying the corn gets tall enough, quick enough that the squash don’t smother it! Here is what the Chioggia looks like when ripe. Isn’t that cool and warty looking?
These puppies are my Dragon’s Egg cucumbers. I really only planted five seeds here like three weeks ago. NONE of them had come up on the 15th, so I planted two or three more. Now look at them! What is up with that? Most of my squash and cukes did that at Pauline’s.
This picture shows my Poona Keera Cucumbers. As you can see, I am trying some really different varieties. It was probably pretty obvious why I got the Dragon’s Egg cucumbers – for the kids’ fun. I am hoping some of the different varieties will convince them to eat some of them.
The photo above shows the Queensland Blue squash. Remember my fun with pumpkins last year? I adore pumpkins and all the different varieties they come in. This is one of them. See the white stake? Mini-me claimed these as “his” pumpkin plants.
This picture shows Mini-me and Munchie’s rows of sunflowers. We tried it once with a sunflower head with seed still on it left over from a few years ago. The kids found the head in the shed, and Pauline said Earl grew then several years ago. The seed never came up, so the kids planted some store-bought seed.
Speaking of garden, the kids and I dug up some of the potatoes from one of our beds at the house. They thought that was better than any treasure hunt! I didn’t get pictures of the digging, but we still have about half the bed to go, so I will get some pictures then. The kids were a mess, LOL! Here are the fruits of our labor.
One other thing that June always brings is blueberry pickin’ time. I picked three gallons last Monday, and Mini-me and Munchie and I picked two gallons Friday. This was the first year I let them go with me, and they both did wonderfully! I think I have three gallons in the freezer, we gave some to Pauline, have had blueberry cobbler, and I made blueberry muffins today.
PS. The pictures of the grown squash came from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds website. I bought the cucumber and the squash seeds from there, as well as some of the bean varieties I planted. They have wonderful stuff and if you like eye candy, you should sign up for the catalog – WOW!