Garden Blog Last Hurrah


The “salad” garden grow box from a previous post now looks like this:

Potatoes & Beans

I have five of these boxes. This one, which sits in a somewhat sheltered corner near the deck, is producing its third harvest since May. First we had radishes and cilantro, then carrots and lettuce, and now potatoes and beans. The potatoes came from my pantry, little reds that had sprouted in the summer heat. I don’t know how well they will produce this late in the season. We will find out.

Behind them, the nasturtium battles for territory while lima beans climb the trellis.

cardboard collars protecting baby bean plantsYes, the cardboard collars did work to protect the baby beans from the sowbugs, and the weather finally shaped up. We’ve had a few handfuls of Kentucky Wonder pole green beans and these heirloom speckled lima vines are working at fattening up their pods.

I forgot to show you the leeks last time.

Leeks in Top Hat

This is a 1-foot square bottomless box called a “top hat” that sits inside the regular 2’X4′ grow box. You plant the leeks into the soil of the big box, and as they grow you add composted soil to the top hat so you’ll end up with nice long white roots. This is a convenient alternative to the trenching method. With trenching, you’d have to give over the whole box to leeks. The top hats allowed me to grow a few leeks among onions and flowers in the same box.

Leeks generally winter over quite well and in their second year they produce seeds, so not all of them will become soup this fall.

We’re still enjoying an abundance of chard, beets and tomatoes also.

Speaking of which, late afternoon yesterday we were sitting on the deck and after a few minutes Abby sneaked off. When she didn’t return in a minute or two we went looking and found her sprawled next to a grow box, stripping berry tomatoes off a low-hanging vine. Next time, maybe we’ll think to creep up on her with a camera.

All of our German Shepherds have either harvested or begged tomatoes but not our other dogs. Maybe it is a breed characteristic.

I hope Abby sticks with the berry tomatoes. They are fine — I’ve oven-dried a bunch of them — but I’m hooked on tomato-and-basil sandwiches for lunch and hope to pick a few more ripe Lemon Boys for the purpose before the season is over.