How does your garden grow?

Potatoes in foreground, salad greens, onions, garlic.

Potatoes in foreground, salad greens, onions, peas, garlic.

I need your help.

I love wandering through, driving past, and hearing about other people’s gardens. I’d like to see your garden, but it’s unlikely I’ll make it to everyone’s home this summer.

Let’s track and share the progress of our gardens during the summer months. With photos.

Every Tuesday I’ll publish one or more of your photos as we move through June, July, August and into the autumn harvest months.

Years ago, after visiting a demonstration of sand painting by Buddhist monks visiting the St. Lawrence University Brush Art Gallery, I realized that gardening is a lot like sand painting. Your “canvas” changes on a daily basis and, at the end of the season, like a sand painting poured into the river, your garden is cleared and you start with a fresh surface the following spring.

Rhubarb gone to flower, pole beans in the background just planted.

Rhubarb gone to flower, pole beans in the background just planted.

Of course, unlike sand painting, you get to eat what you produce.

I’ve got the ball rolling here with a few (very wet) photos I took this morning before heading into the station. Garlic is doing great, ditto for onions and salad greens. Carrots, beets, chard have emerged but not very large, yet. I’ve added a second round of leaves to the potato patch so this must be good spud-growing weather. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are on strike: they’re not going to grow until the sun comes out and stays out. Corn is a couple of inches high.

Martha Foley and I were talking about gardens yesterday and agreed that everything looks great right now: weeds still smaller than vegetables, plants fresh and bright. But I’ll show you the weeds in my garden as the summer progresses. I promise.

 

 

garden6-13Aa-002Oh, and one more shot, from this morning: the saturated and drooping peony in our flower garden. The white border at the top of the photo is the plastic bag I was using to protect my phone from the pouring rain.

What’s growing in your garden? Share a photo of all or part of your garden, or just a single plant. I want to see!

Email your photos to: ellen@ncpr.org

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2 Responses to “How does your garden grow?”

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  1. cassandra says:

    Wow. What an ample garden! You have so much garlic. How do you harden it off? Do you braid it in the fall or just toss it into a sack for storage? And do share how you store your spuds when the time comes. Are you eating them all or donating some to the local food shelf?

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    Hi, Cassandra. Garlic: until recently, I had mixed results storing garlic. I have finally found the perfect storage location: in a mesh bag on a shelf in my cool, slightly damp cellar. I was always afraid to store it there because of dampness, but I have found the moisture is good–keeps the garlic from drying out and shriveling up by mid-winter. I am still using the last couple of dozen heads of last summer’s garlic. I consider this a huge success. I pull garlic, usually late July or very early August, let it lie on the ground for a sunny day, brush off dirt, wipe with damp cloth to get the worst of the remaining dirt off, cut off tops (I do not grow the variety that is easily braided), put in mesh bags and store. Potatoes: We use every potato we grow–my husband could eat spuds 8 times a day. However, we do generally give some to neighbors we know can use them–particularly Amish friends who have large families. I store my potatoes in our pantry, which is located at the top of the cellar stairs. It’s probably a bit warmer than ideal, but if I’m careful about pulling out any flawed spuds, the potatoes keep in bins or large pots–some air, but dark. I rarely grow enough to get us past January or February, though this year I think there may be enough. I am always interested in storage techniques, too. I don’t have a real root cellar anymore, but my neighbor has a wonderful root cellar that keeps root crops, cabbages, onion-family stuff…perfectly. I am envious.