We’ve gotten tons of rain in the last couple of weeks, which means the grass around my garden has gotten seriously overgrown:
Today, O and I are going to spend some quality time weeding, cutting grass and thinning out some of our plants. I confess, thinning out plants always makes me nervous because what if I choose the wrong ones to thin and up pulling a plant that would have done beautifully and leaving one that will die in a week? I am way overthinking gardening I know!
I love this post from a local farm, Clementine’s Produce, that gives a good introduction for people who are just starting out gardening. Overdoing it is so easy! Last year we got overwhelmed with butternut squash because we didn’t know how well it was going to do and it ended up taking over the whole garden. This year, with that lesson in mind we made some adjustments in our planting.
A) I’m going to aggressively thin the butternut squash seedlings – probably only leaving 3-4. We know they do well and produce a lot and even if they don’t, it is something we get frequently in our CSA bag so we’ll have lots of squash regardless.
B) We moved our tomatoes up and out to their own containers. After years of living in apartments, I know that tomato plants do wonderfully in containers. That gives us the advantage of keeping the tomatoes up and out of the butternut squash vines, in case the squash takes over despite our best efforts.
We also planted some yellow summer squash from seeds and some bell pepper plants. With our box less crowded overall thanks to thinning the squash and moving the tomatoes out, hopefully these guys will be able to produce better this year than last year.
I planted kale and spinach for the first time this year and so far they’re both doing great! The kale is down in the garden and was planted in late April, just before our last frost. This weekend we’ll be thinning it and in a few weeks, we’ll actually be harvest some leaves! I can’t wait. I love kale and I’m hoping that helping with the leafy greens like kale and spinach will help Oliver get over his opposition to all things salad-like. In his defense, he was very proud of himself for eating a shrimp with an obvious piece of parsley on it Thursday night. “Look Mama, I eat salad like you”
The spinach is up in a window box on the deck, along with all of our herbs. Everything I’ve read about growing spinach says you have to aggressively thin them in order to get plants healthy enough to continue producing, so I will be brave and thin things out today. I’ve got plans for the basil in a tomato & spinach-y egg bake for dinner tonight (hubby will be out, so vegetarian dinner night!).
I’m hoping all of our work with the garden helps O to learn to love veggies. He loves helping go through the CSA bag when we pick it up on Fridays and I have to keep him from eating the tomatoes before I wash them then, but I’d love it if we can help him branch out some more. Hopefully this will help!
I hope you all have a great weekend! Wish us good gardening weather!