2015 Garden Part 8

Time flies while you're gardening and it's been over 2 weeks since my last garden update.

This season has been a mix of rewards and struggles. As always, right? So let's hop into some of the highlights:
The amaranth is growing - slowly but surely. The growth has all been vegetative and I have not noticed any signs of flower heads. I have eaten a few of the leaves (raw) and they taste almost exactly like spinach. Depending on how many seeds they end up creating, I may grow this instead of spinach from here on out.

This blueberry (with the blueberry inspiration rock below) has taken the hint and put out massive amounts of berries this year! The chippewa bush is also full of berries. The Northland has created a "new bush" while the old one dies, and the forest blueberry is surviving well but with limited berries.
pak choi seed pods
The bok choy has created a mass quantity of seed pods. We opened them and ate a few. They were like peas, mixed with asparagus, mixed with grass. They looked like little fish eggs. We did not get sick or die from eating them, lol. I will have a lot of seeds to save!
We have started gathering ripened seeds from the buckwheat. They are still full of flowers, but some have turned black and we have harvested them. I peeled them by hand and tasted the groats. They taste like oatmeal. We are saving up enough to make a batch of buckwheat pancakes and the rest of the seeds will be saved for planting next year.
 This is a look at the sweet corn brought home from school. I ended up planting a few popcorn seeds in the areas where I thought the sweet corn was dying. We left on vacation and I forgot about it so I am unsure which is sweet corn and which is popcorn. Oops.
 Our dwarf sunspot sunflowers look nothing like they are supposed to. I bought them from a reputable company (as opposed to my usual ebay seed buying...) but they still look odd.
 Our fava beans are setting beans. They had the neatest flowers - black and white like a Holstein cow. A bird (or some other horrid beast) has ate the tops off of my parsnips and cucumbers. That same bird also picked out every single one of my cantaloupe seedlings. We are now back at square one with cantaloupe in the middle of June! Heaven help us if we are possibly going to get any melons!

We have two pepper plants that are slowly starting to take shape.
 Flax is turning out to be one of my favorite crops. It grew right on through the frost and makes the most beautiful little blue flowers. Each of these flowers only lasts a day and promptly drops to the ground around mid-day. I am hopeful for lots of seeds! I love flax seeds (they make a great egg substitute and are super healthy - a rare plant source of fat!) so I would love to be able to continually grow my own crop every year.
 2 Ground cherries survived the birds, bugs, and frost. They are starting to pick up in growth. This one has a small yellow flower already.

The white grapes are not obeying the original espalier prunings. I will have to prune again this winter to account for the lack of growth on the branches I had left.
 The super sugar snap peas are growing nicely. I have eaten a few and can not tell a difference between the sugar snap and the super sugar snap. Both are good and sweet.

 The potatoes have wilted to the point of death twice. I guess they need to be watered every day when living in pots. Oy! They are also harboring little orange eggs, tortoise bugs, and a lot of diurnal lightening bugs. I have squashed the eggs and every tortoise bug. It turns out diurnal lightening bugs eat other insects, so they are welcome - even if they are creepy looking.
This is the last scarlet runner bean - climbing the trellis built by my son. All of my beans (bush and runners) have been decimated by something. "Something" keeps eating off all the leaves!! It's super frustrating. I have the smallest surviving crop of bush beans ever and have planted out all my seeds (in 3 consecutive plantings!!) I hope this runner can make enough beans that we can sample them and save some seeds to plant next year. We are all out...

 The strawberries took to this bowl fabulously and even have baby strawberries inside.

The watermelon are marching on - struggling but hanging in there! Grow babies grow!!!

This is the view from my back door. Where is the garden!!?? My trees and shrubs have grown together to hide the garden, so that in order to visit, I have to go through their leaves like "the secret garden." I am loving it.

honeyberry planting area

And this patch of bare earth will be planted soon with haskap (aka honeyberry) plants. I am planting two of them - a borealis and a cinderella. They will live in the semi-shady area between the garden and the forest. The ground is the hardest, most unforgiving clay, but..... I am hopeful that they can survive and even thrive.

Perhaps the clay will limit their size and keep them a reasonable 3 feet or less. It should also provide a tremendous amount of minerals and nutrition. Honeyberries ripen around the same time as strawberries, so they will be ready before the raspberries and blueberries. I am banking on this so we have "year-round" berry production (or from June-October) and since they come out earlier I hope they can be safe from the dreaded SWD (spotted winged drosophila.)

They should arrive next week and I will get digging...

More articles from this year's garden:
19 Tomatoes and counting
Growing Heirloom Tomatoes without electricity
2015 Garden Part 1
2015 Garden Part 2
2015 Garden Part 3
2015 Garden Part 4
2015 Garden Part 5
2015 Garden Part 6
2015 Garden Part 7
Growing Potatoes from the Grocery store 
Growing Espalier Grapes on a Fence
Can Tomatoes Survive temperatures below 28 Fahrenheit?


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