August looms and I was sitting on my deck wondering why about half my carrots seemed to be wilting.
I’ve often told people who are envious of my raspberry patch (which is modest at best, but produces faithfully each season) that a raspberry bush was literally the first thing I planted in my yard. We moved into our newly-built home about 15 years ago and spent two years setting the landscaping foundations that would eventually be our (mostly) finished backyard. I didnt have many rules, but one of the few that I set down as I started planning, planting and pruning was that whenever possible I wanted fruit-bearing plants to occupy the garden and beds.
Gardens are funny in the way that on one day they are potential things, they are spaces about to produce food.
It is raining as I write this, but yet I ran outside to snap a few pictures. As the first half of the year begins its final day, July sweeping into view ahead, the vegetable garden has in ten days evolved into a proper patch.
This is the point in the garden when optimism is flourishing as much as the plants seem to be.
It’s been about a month since we planted, and much has come up strong and healthy.
A co-worker alerted me to a simple tip to recycle and re-purpose newspaper and advertisements that land in the mailbox as garden weed blockers. During the pandemic, the absence of flyer advertising has been notable as anyone who knows this trick will instead be on their hands and knees plucking weeds by hand this year. Spreading out old newspapers or flyers onto the ground around the sprouting vegetables blocks even some of the more aggressive weeds from poking through. A little topsoil to hold the papers down and every page is a couple fewer square feet of weeds to pull...
During the World Wars of the 20th century, history reminds us that ordinary people were encouraged to plant vegetables in their gardens in an effort to bolster morale and supplement food shortages. To my knowledge it has not been specifically recommended by local governments to do that sort of thing during the pandemic, but the increase in backyard suburban gardening during the lockdown has likely been a reflection of not only extra free time by millions of people sheltering in their homes, but also a bit of that victory garden spirit.
May long weekend both seems to have come early this year and also taken forever to arrive.
Having extended my stay-at-home vacation from that work-from-home drudgery, I afforded myself an extra day to tackle the summer-is-looming projects that will help to shape the garden into a backyard oasis for the season. As we will not be going very far for the next few months, this seems more important than ever.