June Garden Update

Garden Update 5-7-10, or Life and Death Among the Vegetables

There's been quite a bit of excitement around the homestead this morning! Mostly good, some not so good, and some downright funny!

First the good.

The radishes are here! I harvested them this morning!


I figured it was time, because I found this guy peeping out at me while I was weeding:


I think I'm going to try pickling them, using lacto-fermentation.

The carrots are still just wee little sproutlings. Some of the radishes didn't form a root of any significant size, so I am leaving them in the ground to shade the carrots and protect them til they get bigger.

A couple of new shots of the garden:


That big pouf of green in the top right is all mint and wild strawberries, both of which grow vigorously and invasively everywhere. I don't mind, though, because the mint smells so good and the strawberries are pretty....much better than the weeds that would be there if the mint and strawberries weren't. I like to dry some of the mint and use it in my cooking, too.

My tomatoes are doing pretty well...I was worried that I may have killed them, trying to get them through the tiny little holes in the bottom of the hanging planter, but they seem fine, if a little confused about being upside down!


My cucumbers and peppers are really thriving in their earth box!


And finally, my square-foot garden box is full of new sprouts.


I had to build a fence around it to keep Noah out. I kept finding cat-sized foot prints and holes! I'm surprised that so many things still managed to sprout! The only things I think I need to replant are the eggplant and ancho pepper.

Here is the little digger:


He's heading straight for my bed of sunflower sprouts.

And that leads to the rest of the excitement this morning. Actually, it all started last night. The cat came in with something and started chasing it. I realized it was a little chipmunk just as I saw it scramble to a secure spot under the couch. I got the cat and locked him in the back, and I used a butterfly net (that I bought for a costume prop!) to catch Chippy and get him out the door. He seemed alright, but maybe not moving as fast as chipmunks normally do.

Well, sadly, this morning I found the poor little guy half-eaten and smeared across the great room floor. :P

I cleaned up the mess, and went on to make my coffee, water the garden and take all the photos I've been posting here, as well as start writing this post. I realized that I had forgotten to take the photo below of my newly planted sweet potatoes (I sprouted them in water on the window-sill, which took me back to the days of being a kid; my grandma wanted me to see how things grow, and we had a potato or two growing in her kitchen window sill):


I don't really care if I get usable potatoes out of these would be nice, of course, but I'm more interested in having some nice ground cover in this spot. Also, I've read that even the vines are edible. I might have to give them a try.

Anyway, getting back to the I was walking out of the office to go take the photo, a chipmunk suddenly burst out from under the closed bedroom door and ran right past me into the office! I have no idea how he got in there. I am guessing that Noah had a busy night of chippy wrangling...he seems to be getting pretty good at rounding things up. I just wish he wouldn't bring them inside!

This little guy was fast and I'm pretty sure he wasn't hurt. I got out the butterfly net again and managed to corner Chippy 2.0 and wrap him up in the net. This time I put him out the front door, so maybe he will live on to tell the tale of his adventures to his children and grandchildren. :D

This net is becoming one of the most useful tools in the house! I think I've used it at least 2 or 3 times a week since I bought it.


I'm about to go start working on the watering system, before it gets too hot. Hopefully, the rest of the day will pass without too much critter distress. At least Noah seems to be taking his ease now.