Garden Update

We’ve had a pretty wet planting season here in the midwest. Getting the garden planted was pretty tricky. Trying to keep it all from drowning once it got planted has been even trickier. Not really much you can do, but watch Mother Nature do her thing. We recently had a few rain-free days where the ground had a chance to dry out a little bit. This gave us a chance to weed the garden like crazy ladies! Since we last talked about our garden, we’ve planted a lot more. Our potatoes and onions we had planted back in April are flourishing! Tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, and green peppers have all been added to the garden. Due to having such a wet spring….I’m talking 5 inches in 2 days, I was unsure how everything would hold up. So far, I’ve replanted a row of green beans, but that may be due to old seeds.Side note: Anyone else struggle with buying seeds vs. plants? Buying the plant is more expensive, but I may only use like 6 cucumber seeds, for example. I always think I can just use the seeds next year. However, sometimes they germinate and sometimes they don’t. Pretty sure they “expire” like 9 months after you purchase them, so I guess I just get lucky when I do get 2 years out of a bag of seeds.

This year I told myself I was going to start my seeds inside, but that didn’t happen. So I’m back to replanting at the last minute, hoping I will get a good crop. I hate wasting the seeds that I don’t use.

Back to the garden….

We did plant one cucumber plant and planted cucumber seeds on another mound that have not come up yet. Fingers crossed they’ll start popping through the mud! Last year we were overflowing with cucumbers! After our friends and family were all sick of cucumbers, we canned a lot of pickles and even tried our hand at a couple different types of relish. They were all delicious! My sister and I still have plenty of pickles and relish left, so if we don’t get a lot of cucumbers then we’re okay with that. But who doesn’t want fresh pickles for little cucumber sandwiches?!I replanted the zucchini plants due to old seeds. I usually like 2-3 plants on one mound and may pick off the runt. Survival of the fittest! I won’t lie, most of the time I leave all the plants and they do just fine. We had gotten a lot of zucchini last year before our plants died an undetermined death. We also planted butternut squash, which usually does really well in our garden. I love pureeing it and freezing it in ice cubes to add to soups and mac ‘n cheese. Shhh, don’t tell the kids!
We planted 8 tomato plants and 3 green pepper plants. All doing well. Just a little mud splattered from the torrential downpours. One bell pepper plant even has a bloom on it! Baby bells coming soon!

Once the tomatoes get a little bigger, we’ll add the tomato cages around them. We’ve tried the metal cages that you can pick up anywhere, but are lucky if they make it through 2 seasons. Megan’s husband built us wood tomato cages that are much sturdier. We are hoping these will stick around a little longer.
We have 6 broccoli plants also. Last year, was our first year growing broccoli. Both our families eat a lot of broccoli, so it was nice having frozen broccoli stored away in our freezer. Prepping it for the freezer is very time consuming though. We had a ton of little caterpillars and other bugs that would wedge up in the broccoli and hide. Being able to pull out our garden broccoli in the middle of winter was well worth all the effort….just don’t ask me while I’m in the midst of doing it. I would probably rather just buy it at the store at that moment! More on that process later though. Well, that’s our current garden situation. We can’t wait to start canning some spaghetti sauce and green beans! And two words: Fresh. Salsa. Yum! Luckily, I have some volunteer cilantro that has popped up to make it extra delicious! Hope you all have had a good planting season and are off to a good start!

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