Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What's Growing?

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"

If you redirect that question toward Jessica, the answer is like a weed. The weeds, too, for that matter, but that's another story. The 2014 Bauer Family Garden is well overdue for an update post. It seems this backyard garden just improves with age. The weather has been amazing {knock on wood} and thanks to these frequent summer storms, we haven't turned the hose on once. I took pictures last week with the intentions of writing, sat down to work on it this afternoon and realized the garden doubled in size. Figured it would be best to take it from the top.

Perfectly round fruits hang in the small tomato jungle that's as appealing to worms as it is to me. All but one plant boasts tons of blooms, and that one is catching up quickly. The pepper bed is filled with, dare I say it, the best pepper plants our backyard has ever seen. Our neighbor's fertilizer may have done the trick, because I've never seen them this tall and this leafy. They're still not as tall as those in the next yard over, but the long jalapenos and bitty bells tell me things are growing just fine.

The bed I let Owen seed is a different story. We're going to call this bed a lesson in thinning. I did thin the sprouts, perhaps not to seed packet specifications, but I did. Who knows where this unmanageable sea of green came from? They're gorgeous, though, and tiny beans are forming beneath the delicate white flowers. I'm unsure of which picking method to employ. My best bet may be to rip up the plants, harvest in the kitchen, and drop more seeds for another round. The cucumbers tell a similar tale. After attempting to rip the tendrils from the aforementioned bean plants and direct them to the trellis, I gave up. There are more vines than I can count, and they're tied in knots. Most are making their way up just fine, and bright blooms fill the fence. I'm going to let it bump and just hope I find all the hidden cucumbers in time.

Our newest patch, dug especially for the Bauer Boys, has provided our first summer harvest. Two straight-neck squash now live in our refrigerator, waiting for the perfect moment to be roasted, sauteed, or fried. You should have seen Nathan's face when he told me his garden grew quicker than mine. There are a few more waiting to be picked, and the watermelon vines are quickly filling the empty spots. Unfortunately, Owen learned this weekend that the plant he was most excited about growing makes him sick. We once again learned another food allergy the hard way, but thankfully the medicine knocked back the hives just as quickly as they sprang up. No more watermelon for this dude.

Tough break considering A) watermelon is his favorite, B) we live near the home of the world's largest watermelons, and C) his sister is having a watermelon-themed birthday party in two weeks. Let's all take a moment of silence for this poor fella and the loss of pictures like this:

Okay, are we good? He still has grapes, apples, and peaches, y'all. He'll be fine. :)

Back to the garden! Although we haven't been watering, we have still been working. Extra rain means extra grass and weeds, so our knees stay dirty. However, I am happy to pull weeds if it means basking in the prettiest part of our summer season. Everything is lush and green and strong and healthy. No scorching temps are causing damage, and no swarms of bugs have begun to dine. At this exact moment in time, life is good on the farm, y'all.

Happy Tuesday and happy gardening, friends!

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