My Summer Organic Garden 2020 and covid-19
Let’s face it, it’s been a very strange year. Covid-19 seemed to have wracked all of our brains like a torturous wind blowing through a hollow canyon. At least that’s my perspective. I needed help, I needed control, I needed my garden! Summer organic garden 2020 is why I’m so, so grateful that I do have a place to tool around, get my hands in the soil, and create. Even though my garden plot is somewhat on the small side, it’s enough for me not to be enslaved by it, but rather to be inspired by it.
I love nature, and to me, nature is not orderly, neat nor always precise. Instead, it lacks all the above. Plants tend to land and bloom wherever the conditions are right. I tend to go with that. I like the cottage-garden look where anything goes. This year was a bit more difficult to control, as with all of the garden centers and seed buying not being allowed (?!?!?!?!), it delayed and limited both my summer garden lay-out and my start. Still, I’m happy with what has transpired thus far.
Odd luck in gardening
It seems, I’ve had better luck with a few crops I’ve tried in the past that didn’t succeed. Carrots are one area that I have always failed in. But, this year, my seeds came to fruition. As of now, the second week in July, I have 2 to almost 3 good section rows of carrots that have not succumbed to the slugs. The other crop that is doing quite lovely is the little radish patch. I seem to have several hundred little round red balls growing below the green toppers. Fingers crossed, the slugs have too missed this area. I also decided to try my hand at salad from seed. Sewing into small containers first, when they seemed strong enough to try it on their own outdoors, I put several sections through out the garden. I went with endive, and a few radichio…so far, so good.
Garlic, garlic everywhere!
I ended up having a nice hearty crop of spring/summer garlic. I left it in the ground from last fall, as it was an utter failure. Not tilling it under before winter, I noticed in mid-February, that the green shoots were looking strong and healthy, so I left them. A few months later, I was able to begin harvesting these beauties, and boy…has it been a delicious surprise. I do believe I should have enough garlic to not only ward off the evil spirits, but to last me a few seasons. Dried well, they should last several months or longer in a dark, cool location (my cellar).
In addition to garlic success, I’ve also began picking the first few young zucchini. I’d say I’m zucchini dominate in the garden this year. I’ve already picked many of the male flowers for my vegan version of fried zucchini flowers, and a few for pizza toppers. But, I’m really anxious to make a few batches of zucchini jelly. Not to mention zucchini fritters. I figure since zucchini is a normal part of my daily cooking, I couldn’t go wrong with my over 20 plants that I’ve planted. For now, the bees are loving the flowers, and I’m loving the fruits. It’s a win-win for bees and humanity.
Weeds for composting
I’m certainly not neurotic with the concept of weeding. I tend to allow anything with a flower to remain there until it goes into seed, but I’ll tend to tackle the green weeds. Borage is not in that weed category, but I have borage in abundance. So as not to let this lovely delicate yet hearty herb take over, I will pull it out in areas where I need the space. Borage by the way is a great herb used in herbal therapies to help with almost every ailment in the human mind and body. But it’s not only good for us, it’s great for the garden.
Benefits of borage
First, the bees love it. So, your bee/pollinator activity will greatly increase when this flower is in the garden. Second, it’s a great soil enhancer. So, when I pick it, I just lay it in the rows and let it decompose naturally. Thus it gives the soil oxygen, macro and micro nutrients, phosphorus, magnesium and so, so much more. I’ve also made a tea compost in a large barrel a while back, giving the veg garden direct waterings with this nutrient rich, natural fertilizer.
The little herbal garden
In addition to my veg garden, I’ve begun a small section where I grow my herbs for the teas and healing. I have 3 varieties of peppermint, yarrow, yssop, wormwood, borage, catnip, chamomile, baldrian, verbena, salvia, St. John’s wort, and comfrey. It’s all I can do to keep it orderly, as when it decides it’s ready, it really takes off. Then the job really starts, as it’s my duty to go in there as often as I can to take my cuttings of herbs to begin the drying process.
This is all done so that I’m securely reassured that my herbal tea cupboard is well stocked to get my family and myself through the dark winter months. I tend to always have on hand winter-mood lifters. Both St. John’s wort and Baldrian for example are great in providing a good balanced mood (when winter is long and dark). Peppermint, yarrow and the others keep us healthy or are a great ally in staving off winter colds, influenza, or maybe even covid! Along with the plentiful bounty, the possibilities of herb healings are endless!
As you can see, just having a little garden for vegetables and herbs is enough (I hope) to keep my spirits up during and through this time of pandemic. When society fails, and hope fades, sometimes all it takes is a nice moment in the garden, observing the activity from the bees, the birds, and the many, many insects that pay homage to me and my garden. They are saying “thank you” each and every visit. And in these unsure times, it’s the little things that matter, and it’s the bit of stability that I crave.
I encourage you to get your garden on! It’s never too late. Container gardening is also quite pleasurable. I have filled a large metal container with over 15 tomato plants that I started from seed. In addition, I planted my basil, and pepper plants in containers. It was a 2-fold reason for me. First, I think it gives me a bit more protection from slugs. Second, I just ran out of room. So, no excuses…get out there and garden your blues away.
In my garden this year is:
- zucchini (started from seed, over 20 plants)
- cannabis (started from seed)
- arugula (started from seed, direct into ground)
- carrots (sewn direct into ground)
- radish (sewn direct into ground)
- onions (directly planted)
- garlic (left-over from previous season, did great this year!!)
- potatoes (left-over only a small patch from my failed crop last year)
- chives (sewn direct in ground)
- pumpkin (started previously in container)
- endive salad (sewn direct in ground and some started in container)
- peppers (4 different varieties. Bought a few plants, and sewed additional varieties)
- tomatoes (multiple varieties, all started in containers before going into ground)
- green beans (started in containers)
- eggplant (bought 2 plants)