Sunday, May 22, 2011

And then the sun came out

Yes, I'm sewing - the dress is coming along well, but I've come up for air and food.

And now that it's finally stopped raining (I think), I can catalog what's going on out back, what washed away, what's growing well, what isn't. 


It's actually kind of frightening just how much food you can cram into a 20x20 urban back yard, especially considering I haven't given up roses yet and there are 20 or so rosebushes left, plus a few large clumps of iris and lots of coral bells for edging.

Here's what we've got now.

Fruit:  4 blueberry bushes, 2 strawberries, 2 currants and a gooseberry.  And 9 tomatoes, though I do still think of them as veggies.  Mostly plum tomatoes, for canning and sauce, but a Sungold for garden snacks, and one larger one for salad.  No heirlooms because the local squirrels have good taste and ate them all last year.  I'll get those at the farmer's market.

Veggies:  a bed of garlic, a bed and 2 pots of mixed salad greens, a bed of arugula, 2 peppers (hot and sweet), a zucchini, a cucumber (both going to be trained up a chicken-wire screen on the back fence), pole beans (with bean tepee built out of crutches), peas, and a tire full of yellow finn and yukon gold potatoes.  If you can grow tomatoes vertically, I see no reason you can't grow potatoes that way.  I've got beets coming up as tiny potted seedlings, and since they were successful, I sowed some seed directly in an empty spot.  The seedlings will go in the ground later, after the next rain.

Herbs: perennial rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme.  Mint, anise hyssop and lemon balm safely in pots.  Remind me not to let the lemon balm re-seed this year.  All my weeds are lemon-scented.  Lots of basil.  Dill because I want to try pickling this year.  Probably more to come, because I can't resist them. 

The area in the center of the yard where I removed the patio is where I've planted the beans, peas and potatoes.  That's also where I'd like to construct a chicken coop for next summer, but it's really going to depend on how happy I am with the garden yield by the end of summer.  I can always buy eggs at the farmer's market; I love going out and digging in the dirt and coming in with dinner.

9 comments:

Marie-Noƫlle said...

I am very impressed by your gardening skills. I have none at all.
My husband is the gardener, though.
How can you manage sewing and gardening and all the rest????
There's something I must do wrong.

annie said...

Karen, my son and d-in-l had one of those Philadelphia back "yards" for 2 years. I am thoroughly impressed with what you've got there!

KC said...

Very impressive! All that fresh home-grown food will be delicious!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Karen - the city allows you to have a chicken coop in your backyard? Cause there are all kinds of restrictions here on what animals we can have. Your roses are beautiful, btw.

Laury said...

Look at you with a crutch teepee! That IS a lot in a small space. I shall watch and learn...

Linda T said...

Love your use of the crutches--I may use that idea myself. Just came in from the garden a little while ago with green beans, a few small tomatoes, yellow squash, and a bell pepper. I, too, love to garden. Enjoy - it's addicting!

Jane M said...

Oh, Karen, your garden is way ahead of mine this year, bravo. I was visiting my brother in Texas last weekend and we saw chickens in the backyard of several lovely neighborhood homes. Great eggs and bug control as well.

melissa said...

Ooh we have such similar gardens! And mine's about the same size, but all in containers up on one deck. I'm getting so many strawberries already - by a conservative estimate I must've picked a good 20-25.

I put photos and my plant list up on our boat blog a few weeks ago!

patsijean said...

Your garden is going to be quite wonderful. Love the mixture of flowering plants, fruit and vegetables. I Googled "growing potatoes in tires" and the result was several links. This is not the first time I have heard about doing this. The technique makes good use of your available space. Here is one of the links:
http://www.kiddiegardens.com/growing_potatoes_in_tires.html