Early in the gardening season, I almost gave up on my veggie and cut flower garden. With Mark having surgery I wasn't sure if I was going to have the time to plant, mulch, weed and harvest my garden. I talked to The Farmer about it and he urged me to do it. I also thought about how much I love having fresh flowers and fresh food in the summer and so I gave it a go once again.
I never plant my garden until late in June. I buy plant starts instead of dealing with seeds - except for sunflowers which I do plant from seed. I buy my plants from Walker Farm up in Dummerston, VT.
Now that the end of August is getting close, I am really happy I got my garden in. We have been eating zucchini and yellow squash every night. Green beans are coming soon and the basil needs to be turned into pesto. The cukes got some kind of blight and died but I replanted with zucchini and am hoping it will grow and give us some late season squash. I planted Kuri squash and Butternut squash and they both seem to be taking over the world.
Last year I bought one of those spiralizers and it is a great way to use up some of the larger zucchini. I feed the really big ones to my chickens and they devour them in seconds.
The sunflowers are slowly growing. We haven't had much rain this summer so they have been slow to grow. I think they will bloom in September like they usually do. I didn't plant them until July and they took forever to germinate because of the lack of rain. One day, we got some rain and like magic, they germinated in a few days. I can't water my garden because we don't have much water in our well so I do a heavy mulch with leftover bales of hay. The mulch really helps things grow.
The zinnias are doing fantastic after a brief bout of black spot. I ripped all the affected leaves off and gave them a hit of Azomite and they are now performing beautifully. That stuff is like magic. I think I shouldn't mulch them as heavy as I do because I think it causes the black spot but it also makes them grow. I get that black spot every single year.
I usually only grow the large Benary strain but this year, I bought a 6 pack of Come and Cut Again and they are doing great.
Here's an overall view of the garden with my Pottery Studio behind it. I love this view. The little building is so sweet and the flowers just make me smile.
This year for some crazy unknown reason, I had an outbreak of Hollyhocks in the garden next to my office. Usually I plant sunflowers and annuals in this ramshackle garden but with the emergence of small Hollyhock plants, I decided to see what happened. I didn't know what color they were going to be but I guessed they would be lemon yellow. A few years ago, I had one lemon Hollyhock plant (just one) so these seeds must have been just waiting to do their thing. Has anyone else ever had an explosion of Hollyhocks?
I hope they come back every year although I would love some pink and red Hollyhocks too. They are almost done blooming now and I will harvest the seeds and give some to friends and maybe spread them around our place. The bees and the butterflies love them.