It’s a jungle out there!

Our garden is doing so well this summer! So I thought I would post some photos so you all can eat your hearts out over our gardening success…

Here’s a picture of the overall setup in the “main” garden plot ((As we have a ton of plants in pots by the garage and the deck and on the front porch, we have to differentiate between the main area and everywhere else….)):

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So, these are our left-most beds:

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1: Leeks
2: Red Onions (drying, obviously)
3: Tomatoes (there is no way on God’s green earth that I’m listing all of the cultivars we have)

These are our middle beds:

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1: Cantaloupes
2: Watermelons
3: Shallots
4: Carrots
5: Green scallopini squash
6: Zucchini
7: Piccolino cucumbers
8: Marketmore 76 cucumbers

And these are our right-most beds:

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1: Okra (Burgundy and Clemson spineless)
2: Beets
3: Hot Peppers
4: Sweet Peppers
5: Bush beans
6: Pole beans

So far, we’ve been able to harvest at least one edible thing from every crop except the carrots, peppers, and melons. Granted, some of the veg we’ve picked may have been a little underripe or small because we may have gotten over-excited, but whatever. They were still delicious.

A few things that we’ve already learned this year –
-The Piccolino cucumbers have to be picked really small or they get way too seedy and don’t taste great. They also spoil more quickly than the Marketmore cukes do; I don’t think we’ll plant these again.
-We’ve already gotten a ton of beans off the bush beans (Jade, in case you’re wondering which cultivar we picked) but have yet to get a single bean off the pole beans. Next year, we’re only planting the Jade beans.
-We didn’t put rings around the squash plants when we planted them (because we didn’t have them then) and then they got too big to get the rings around their leaves without breaking them by the time we got them. Now watering them is a pain and it washes off all of the Sevin dust. We will definitely put the rings on right away next year.

Watering the garden is a Herculean task and takes us at least 45 minutes. We try to use rainwater as much as we can, but carrying 5 gallon buckets to and fro across our enormous backyard is very tiring. We keep toying with the idea of installing soaker hoses, but the cash outlay required to equip 500 square feet of garden with soaker hoses makes carrying buckets and wrestling with the 100 feet of traditional hose a lot more appealing.

People ask me sometimes why we have such a huge garden or why we put so much time and effort into it. But honestly, it’s fun for us. The DreadBrewer’s happiest places on earth are working in our garden and brewing in our driveway. (Those are mine too, but for me you also have to add Target. And airports.)

Is there anything better than basking in the sunshine while digging in the dirt with the people you love?

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