Whew! Last growing season was really tough for my garden so I am really relieved at how beautiful the plants are this year, especially the salad greens. I have grown them under netting to protect them from the birds and under shade cloth to keep them away from the harsh sun (which keeps them tender). We have so much lettuce I am putting (sneaking?) it into the family smoothies. The kids have no idea. All I hear is “yum!”
If the lettuce is any indication, this is going to be a great summer.
Pictures of the spring garden…
Salad greens, cover pulled back:
Left to right; carrots, cocozelle squash, chiogga beets, patty pan squash
On the end of a west bed the afternoon sun (bouncing off a driveway) is brutal so I shade the plants. Flowers in the border bring in bees that increase the likelihood of the squash being pollinated, increasing their yield.
Before I put the shade up these squash drooped in the afternoon, now they are really happy.
Cocozelle, or Cocozella di Napoli, Italian summer squash are coming!
And chiogga beets. Ironically just as they came in my husband bought 2 bunches from Silver Leaf Farms— so we are eating a lot of beets! It is okay, we will make a lot of this wonderful beet salad, recipe by Jacques Pepin. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3181-beet-salad
Green beans in foreground. Box with net over it has pepper seedlings. The birds have been brutal to my seedlings this year. I cover all seedlings until they are a few inches tall and then the birds seem to leave them alone.
Taking out aging lettuce. Basket goes to chickens to eat, mesh colander to the family to eat
Harvesting wild lettuce to make a help-mama sleep herbal tincture. Wild lettuce was once used by health care providers when opium was not available. Wild lettuce does have sedative qualities but taken in small quantities it is just a nice pre-bed relaxant.
Lunch- salad and rosemary marinated shush-ka-bob chicken
The poppies are done. Now I am just waiting for the pods to dry to harvest seeds.
My cilantro and parsley have been having a disease problem. They progressively turn yellow. It is not a water problem. I have turned in a sample at County Extension which has been sent of to the NMSU Plant Diagnostics Lab to see what the problem is. I’ll let you know.