Mary's Veggie Garden

August 3, 2017

A Trip to the Farm

Filed under: Bicycling,Vassar Farm — marysveggiegarden @ 6:44 pm

Some days it is quite challenging getting to my community garden plot at Vassar Farm. Not only is it challenging, it is downright dangerous.

Rain fell on Monday 7/24:  1.2″ as measured by the National Weather Service. Tuesday was heavily overcast and rain threatened, but there was no precipitation. Wednesday 7/26 we took a trip to the garden for some much delayed harvest.

We are heading to the only available drive-in/bike-in gate. A gravel road runs from the barns, along the west edge of the garden to a pair of  lanes leading to the gate.

Two choices – and the road on the left is nasty. Those puddles are several inches deep.

I choose the road on the right – only slightly better.  The tiny strip of grass provides a bit of firmness.

Continuing through – the grass strip disappears and the puddle runs edge to edge. The mud is silty clay – very slippery. I’m getting nervous.

I ease left through the mud to the stability of the grass and resume pedaling.

The gate! This is the only way to bike or drive into the garden area and it is mud from post to post. The ruts are 8-10″ deep when dry. The first person into the area in the morning usually hooks the gates to the fence on either side but today they chose not to fill their shoes with water.

Close-up of the gate passage. Knee high rain boots are advised.

One last obstacle. The gazebos on the right was built in July and the heavy equipment used to haul the materials widened and deepened all the potholes from the road to the gardens.

The gate area is no better from the inside traveling out.

The most perfect sculpture placement ever!

All pictures are courtesy of my husband and his helmet camera:


July 24, 2017

7/24/2017 Home Garden Tour & Harvest

Filed under: Garlic,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 5:59 pm

Last week I posted a tour of my community garden plot. This week I’m showing my vegetable garden at home.

I’ve been gardening in this space since 1998 and it was my only garden until after I retired. Over twenty years things change. The trees 60′ to the south now have roots reaching into the garden. The sapling Norway maple 10′ to the north in my neighbor’s yard is now a full-sized tree, shading 2 beds and with roots extending to the middle of the garden. The soil is beautiful, but conditions are challenging. I focus on crops that do well despite some shade.

The deer ignore the herbs outside the garden fence. After 20 years the wire fence is buckling under its own weight.

Herb Garden – common chives, sage, rosemary. geraniums and garlic chives.

Just inside the gate two teepees support Helda pole beans. Between the teepees there is also an overwintered kale plant, and my single hill of zucchini (not visible). Rhubarb surrounds the bird house. The flash of blue is a stool which allows me to (barely) reach the top beans.

7/17 harvest – the first Striata d’Italia zucchini and Helda pole beans. I’m harvesting beans daily.

This bed of butternut squash is to the left of the beans. The mottled foliage is Honeynut while the remaining plants are Waltham butternuts.

The next picture shows the 5 beds that make up the north-east third of the garden.  The two beds in the top left corner contain raspberries and two kale plants.  The neighbor’s maple makes the area dry and shady so I didn’t bother to plant much. In the foreground there is a bed of Peppermint Swiss chard and kale. Two weeks ago I removed snow peas and replanted the area with bush beans under a row cover to protect the seeds from chipmunks. There is also a baby bunny in the garden so I’m leaving the row cover in place until the plants out grow it. The fence was the trellis for my snap peas. I pulled out the last of the plants yesterday and ate the pods with breakfast.  I will replant the area with fall crops this week.

Northeast corner – greens and beans.

Peppers: from front to back Carmen, Escamillo and Highlander.

The circled plant is a red giant mustard plant going to seed. I’ve allowed several plants to bloom and set seed.  I’m planning to dump some of the mature plants in the empty bed in the NE corner – because spring is the only time with is enough light and moisture to grow a crop under the tree – and mustard is the first thing up in spring.

The tomato bed – interplanted with parsley and basil.

The Jasper tomato in front is supported by a 5′ high cage of concrete reinforcing wire. The garden slopes slightly, so I stabilize the cage by tying it to a stake on the uphill side. Past experience says the cages will tip during a thunderstorm if not tied to something.

In the spring snow peas were trellised on the fencing. In mid-June I planted Fairy squash (around the bird house pole) and 7/5 I planted Summer Dance cucumbers (foreground). Another mustard plant leans on the pea trellis. I’m hoping the cukes will climb the fencing.

I harvested most of the garlic this past week.  Music will be the last variety harvested – it is above, behind the squash.

Garlic: German White, Chesnok Red and Duganski.

I expected Duganski to be as big or bigger than Chesnok Red. Norma, at gave me a  head of nicely sized cloves last fall. I missed cutting the scapes off two Duganski plants resulting in the two smallest garlic heads. Duganski was growing next to German White; perhaps it felt crowded out by the much larger German White plants.

Check with Dave at to see what other gardeners are harvesting across the US and around the world.

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