And Summer Begins

And Summer Begins

I got everything out a bit later than intended this year – but nothing too heinous. We were smacked with a frost warning right at the end of May, so it wasn’t so bad of a thing that I was slightly later than intended (although I don’t think the frost actually came).

I’m quite pleased with the selection this year – a variety of shapes and sizes of tomatoes, addition of more bean varieties, and a few peppers, squash, cucumbers, and melons thrown in. I made room in my problematic bed (chickweed likes to run rampant there) for garlic, onions, shallots, and potatoes – all plants I think will help bust up the compacted soil from the weed roots left over from last year (we’ll see how that goes). I did cut back on tomato varieties to make more room for the additional diversity of plants, which also necessitated me not growing corn this year.

I love growing sweet corn, there is nothing quite like harvesting some ears and popping them right onto the BBQ or into a boiling pot of water, and eating them less than 20 minutes after they were picked. As soon as corn is picked the sugars in the kernels begin to degrade, so by the time you pick some up at the market or store, your corn has already lost flavour. Home grown corn is the best way to go in my book, and if you have decent wind in your area (corn is pollinated almost exclusively by wind), even 4 or 5 stalks in your garden can give you an excellent harvest of corn (generally 8-12 ears for four stalks). While I know the idea of a single, larger harvest can turn off some gardeners because you aren’t reaping the rewards of your work over several weeks or months, the stalks provide support for beans or squash the rest of the season, making them an extremely useful, living staking system.

But, alas, that’s not in the cards for me this year. I think the addition of a melon, and my larger harvest of beans will have to tide me over. Corn is a big water hog, so it will be nice not to have to dote white so carefully in that respect this year.

It’s always such a moment of relief when everything is done and planted. It’s all about care now – no more humming and hawing over whether or not there’ll be any more frosts. I look so forward to going out into the garden each day and checking on the plants, pulling a few weeds, and really following along with the progress of how they all do. Collecting and examining the data in my garden is a favourite thing of mine, and this year I’ll be adding a weekly overall photo to visually track growth as well.

Bring on the summer, I’m so ready for you.