With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row? Because my garden froze. In mid-June!
Frost! In June!
I am not sure at this point how much of it will recover from an unseasonably cold night two weeks ago. It looks like all the of the squash, zucchini, and pumpkins, as well as the peppers, cucumbers, and basil are done for. Such is gardening in the mountains! Of course, I am kicking myself for not having thought to double-check the weather and cover my garden. I have replanted the pumpkins and squash and we will see what happens.
Before this week I was feeling pretty good about my garden. I planted: beans, peas, squash, zucchini, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, mint, and rosemary.
We expanded the garden area from last year, added a permanent fence, and last fall layered cardboard, composted manure, straw, and leaves on the garden area. As this is only the second year for our garden we are still dealing with a lot of grass and weeds, but the area we mulched looks really great. At this point, I feel really good about continuing to mulch each year and have found that the areas I mulched really do not need tilling.
With the new fence, I have been able to keep the goats and cows out, so the frost was our first major disaster for the year.
Cats in the Garden
I have been struggling with my barn cats in the garden. Those dirty boogers seem to think it is the perfect spot. I read that mulch would deter cats, but apparently not these rough and tumble barn cats. A little mulch does not seem to bother them at all. Another suggestion was to add citrus. I started saving my citrus peels and scattered them around the perimeter of the garden and it seems to be helping. I have also read that mint is a deterrent. Because of mint’s tendency to take over, my mint is planted in a pot. I did move the pot to under the gate where I have most often seen the cats coming and go.
Failure to Thrive
While everything I planted sprouted or lived, it does not seem like anything has really taken off. It has not been particularly warm here yet, so I am hoping my plants have been busy growing strong roots down into the soil and will take off once the weather really turns warm.
With all that said, my potatoes look amazing! The cool weather and rocky soil appear to have been just right for my potatoes!
I need to really study up strategies specific to growing food in the specific climate I live in. While it is easy to look at pictures on Instagram of beautiful gardens and those already bringing in armloads of produce from their gardens, I need to remember to stay realistic about what I can grow here. (Speaking of Instagram: please follow backtoourboots!)