Some 8,000 steps’ worth of gardening yesterday, mainly while the peach ice cream was churning (there were two batches). I strung up the tallest tomatoes (this morning I plucked some suckers off, then realized if I did all I needed to I would be late for work and got in the car) and noted that my dry beans are coming up, which relieves me. I weeded a little, and took pictures, and wondered why the Beaver Dam peppers are growing so much faster than the Burans. I moved the piles of mulch from the middle of the backyard, where the previous owners had a sandbox and tried to make a sort-of flower bed around it (not well, since it’s right beneath an enormous shade tree), to the new back fence bed and to the perimeter of the herb garden.

The perimeter includes the non-edible bank by the house (because I’m afraid of lead paint residuals) where the potted pitiful blueberry, the elecampane, and some flowers are; the hostas that were already there; the coneflower and butterfly bush and scarlet flax I planted this year; perennial herbs including feverfew, wormwood, hyssop, lemon balm, and chives; and the Swiss chard, because they just happened to be on the edge. I like the idea of the herb garden being rimmed with perennials, decorative and useful, with the inner beds planted and changed every year. It’s changing even this year so far, with the removal of the brassicas, the addition of Hutterite beans, the disappearance of all celery except one, and the planting of extra basil, turnips, and carrots I did yesterday.

The brassicas are all doing okay right now. The new transplants have recovered and look good, though I don’t know how long they’ll stay that way. The kale is gorgeous, the turnips and beets are holey but healthy, and the three broccoli that are left are big and frosty-looking. I don’t think I’m going to get anything from them, but I don’t really need the space, so they’re welcome to hang out and grow for the time being. I figure I can plant my second try at fall brassicas where the lettuce and rocket are once they’re finished, and probably where the first wave basil is once it starts going to seed. I must say, this succession-planting thing is more taxing on my organizational skills than the plant-it-and-be-done philosophy I was mostly following last year. But it’s more interesting, too.

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