“The forecast for the next week will include rain.” I cannot even begin to explain how many times I’ve heard that this spring and summer. I’m not complaining, as I’ve yet to have to water my garden. With the Midwest getting so much flooding, many gardeners are having difficulty. I have never been so thankful that I did raised beds. In my previous garden update, I mentioned that our cool spring worked to my benefit as I was late getting plants into the ground due to the fact that I had to replant my seedlings.
At the last update I was at the point of having to plant the seed directly into the ground. I was waiting for the weather to have period of time where we were not expecting a lot of rain. I thought it would never dry out. My daughter-in-law and her children came over to help; I was able to get the seeds planted and they came up so nicely. The garden was constantly a pit of mud, as we did not get a break from the rain. The sun would come out long enough for the plants to grow, but also the weeds.
My daughter and I spent and entire week getting caught up on pulling weeds, just to be able to get the straw down around the plants and in between the rows. Once the straw was down, it was so much easier to maintain the garden. As I mentioned above, we have had flooding in the area, but the raised beds and the straw made a huge difference in our garden.
Our garden has also been successful with companion planting. No pesticides on these plants and they are doing fantastic. I’ve also been putting epsom salts around my tomatoes with ground egg shells for added calcium and magnesium. Our old coffee grounds are being placed around the broccoli and Brussels sprouts to give the soil a PH boost. With these little extras we are expecting a bountiful harvest. We have harvested the sweetest, crisp lettuce and this weekend we will harvest our first crop of green beans. I’m looking forward to starting my canning season. I will keep you all posted with how to process, preserve and dry foods from your garden. Until my next garden update, happy gardening.