This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, June 29, 2012

sideyard garden

aerial 178
thermometer 010 squuirrel 178

It was evening when I took this photo from the upstairs window. Earlier in the day I caught the thermometer at 106*F! The sensor is located in full sun in the middle of my open cold frame. With the adjacent house walls and the stone path, it gets really warm. If I move the sensor a few feet to the shade, its a good 10* cooler.

As I am posting this photo I notice a squirrel in the far left bed. What is he doing!!? I spent the day working in this bed. I pulled the peas that were there, added fresh compost from my tumbler, and spread and worked it in. I then planted 3 blocks of plants: Teddy Bear sunflowers at the front, Blue Scotch and Winterbor kale in the middle and zinnias at the back mixed in with some feverfew volunteers. The squirrel is back near the zinnias. I think he has probably found something tasty (to him) in the fresh compost.

I also worked on the little paths between the beds. I spread a good layer of newspaper and covered this with brown wood bark mulch. I have finished the two rightmost paths so far.

The coldframe is filling fast with growing plants. Along the back are cucumbers and a couple watermelon plants. In the middle are eggplants and a tomato. At the front are rosemary, parsley, oregano and basil.

The beds at the left have mostly green beans and soy beans (edamame) in them. (Also some tomatoes, mustard greens, alpine strawberries, y0ung blueberry bushes, sage, chives and parsley.) I have trouble with beans at my community plot because of rampant bean beetles, and trouble with soy beans because of the chipmunks. No beetles or chipmunks here and beans do pretty well in the less than full sunlight.

I've been sowing bean seeds every two weeks all June. They haven't been sprouting well. I think partly because of cool damp weather we had early June. But also my seeds were old. I ended up planting handfuls of the old seeds thick in a little trench. And I bought some new seeds. And the weather got warmer. I have lots coming up now.

At the far right, I have another bed of peas to pull and replant when I have time. I am planning to put in summer crisp lettuces here. Am hoping in this shadiest bed, lettuce will do well in midsummer.



Blogger Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

I love how you have the garden set up!! I want to do a similar set up.

June 29, 2012 11:23 PM

Blogger Gracie Ayers said...

The squirrel is cute! Your right paths look really nice, I'll keep in mind how you layered with newspaper and then mulch. Can't believe how hot it is, hope you finished your work early in the day and that the country cools off some 20 degrees.

June 30, 2012 4:00 PM

Blogger redbird said...

And you have all that humidity!!

June 30, 2012 7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen this before. He is eating the sunflower seeds you planted. The seeds have an oil that will attract chipmunks and squirrels from at least a mile away. Happy Gardening!

July 01, 2012 8:17 AM

Blogger Popcorn House said...

Just did a search for Vegetable Garden blogs and yours came up. We have been gardening for 3 years and having success. This year we have tried a lot of new things and update our family blog with garden pictures. I have read your last few posts and will keep coming back to learn more.

July 03, 2012 10:53 PM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Hi, have seen about the heat and storms there. Well, we are still damp and grey. Tomatoes look the same as when they went in end of May, it is quite disheartening this year. So many strong plants grown and they are just about holding it together. Could this be the first year that we won't have Courgettes to give away? Hope not.
Marian (LondonUK)

July 04, 2012 4:09 AM

Blogger Pam said...

Hi Kathy - you mentioned planting summer lettuce. If your temps stay in the 90s, I doubt you'll be successful. I've tried to grow lettuce in the summer without much success but our temps and humidity are probably higher than yours (although not 106 this year!).

I usually sow mesclun and other lettuce seeds in September, cover with floating row cover. I'll have a good crop of lettuce by early November that will last until May. I've thrown in the towel with cool weather stuff in July and August. You may have better luck - I hope so!

July 04, 2012 11:27 PM

Anonymous Jean @ garden said...

Wow! I am really amazed on your garden. Great blog.

July 05, 2012 1:53 PM

Blogger 38th Street Gardener said...


you're garden is spectacular! I love it. I just found your blog and I'm following it now. I'm a fairly new gardener and garden blogger. You are my new inspiration. You're awesome!

July 09, 2012 1:27 PM

Anonymous garden maintenance tips said...

so nice to see your arrangement. my congratulation for your garden maintenance. Keep it up. It is inspiration to gardeners. Thanks you for shared your experience and secrets.

July 19, 2012 7:22 AM


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