Mutiny of the Bounty

Spring is quickly sliding into summer here on the mountain, and the explosion of verdance is both refreshing and frustrating, particularly as we look around our garden.

In my youth, the family garden was something of a novelty at best, and a weed-ridden albatross at worst. The early morning rays of March sunlight seemed to instill my mother with the belief that this year, well, THIS year was going to be different. And, like clockwork, every spring we would till the garden, spend entire weekends planning and planting, and by the Fourth of July, it would be abandoned and left to its own devices.

This had some interesting consequences. Almost always, one crop would take over and completely dominate everything else without meddling hands to keep it in check. There was the year of the monster zucchini. The pumpkinpocolypse. Bean Fever. The list goes on.

The point of all this is that, this year, in the early morning rays of March sunlight, I KNEW this year would be different.

And here we are.

So, without further stalling, here’s where we’re at:

You can see the difference in overall landscape from our previous post about readying the beds. And yes, I’m aware this looks vaguely like something from the peasant fields of feudal Europe, but hey, it worked for them.

So, first up on the tour, our peas:

We sowed these directly into the soil after testing a few indoors to make sure they would germinate. The inside plants exploded so quickly that we figured straight into the ground was a good bet. Well, it took FOREVER for them to germinate, but they finally did and look pretty healthy. They’re at the front of the garden, and so far the slugs haven’t made their way that far.

Oh, right. The slugs. More on that later. Next up: tomatoes.

These have been a mixed bag. We started them as seedlings inside, and hardened them off gradually, but some of them really didn’t like the transition to the ground. The only constant I’ve found is the bigger they are before they’re planted, the better they seem to adapt:

This one seems to be doing pretty well, for example. We’ll see, but I suspect we may be buying some established seedlings shortly and trying again next year.

We’ve had pretty good success with lettuce so far, except for the slugs. They are like heat-seeking slime missiles headed straight for those leafy seedlings. A few have survived the onslaught:

We started these as seedlings as well, but as of late we sort of sprayed the last empty bed directly with lettuce seeds, so we’ll see.

Bean FEVER. I got some looks from the wife when she saw how haphazardly I planted these, but so far they seem to be coming along. They’re planted close to the chicken wire fence, so my hope is they’ll be able to climb that versus a dedicated lattice.

Lastly, we have some collard greens, various root veg, and cucumbers, but they’re all pretty sad to behold at the moment.

As for now, we’re still weeding and watering, and haven’t given up yet. Though I’ve recently been approached by a large clump of mint that offered to oversee the remainder of the growing season…

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