Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Toad - and, Finally, a Garden

On Saturday, while I was clearing the weeded area where we saw a largish toad last week, a smaller, rather dirt-encrusted toad suddenly appeared and took small hops away from where I had been digging. I understand they bury themselves in the soil to regulate their temperature. This one took shelter nearby in the shade of some tall grass next to a bag of composted manure.

Chives are in full flower now, and I love them for their reliable gift of color to the early garden each year.

I sowed some lettuce seeds several weeks ago, and some of those have made an appearance, but the really noticeable lettuces came up on their own, having self-seeded from last year's mixed-salad garden. The red oak-leaf variety is large and striking looking against the bright green of the curly-edged variety. (Yes, I know the ground is weedy and needs mulch. I'm working on it.)

Here's a decent look at about half the length of the garden bed. The area on the right - the whole north side of the long, east/west-oriented bed - was filled with daylilies and other perennials as well as a lot of tall grass until the past couple of weeks, when we moved most of that out to make more room for edibles. My digging muscles got a good workout. Now I've got nine tomato plants in the ground and some squash seeds planted along that side. It will be great to have so much room to work with.

In the foreground, above, are cilantro (just planted and not quite perked up yet), a pepper plant, sage (a perennial) and parsley. Beyond that is basil, lettuce and kale. Behind the viewer, from this photo's perspective, will be zucchini and cucumbers.

Here's a close-up of one of the strong, sturdy tomato plants from Big Woods Farm that I bought at Just Food Co-op's plant sale three weeks ago. This one is a new variety to me: Tasty Evergreen, which is supposed to produce large fruits that stay green when ripe. I kept the plants under a grow-light indoors until recently, since it has been so cool. Tomatoes like warmth, and of course they really go wild when we got those hot and humid mid-summer days. Until then, the growth should be steady but sedate. I can't wait until it's time to start picking.
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Christopher Tassava said...

Impressive! It sounds like your summer's gonna be delicious.

Mary S. said...

I didn't know lettuce would self-seed -- another reason to let things go wild at the end of the season. Looks like a good variety of veggies.

Jim H. said...

Mmmmm...fresh cilantro.

Use some in an acaraje recipe a few weeks ago. Excellent!

How are you going to keep the bunnies away from the garden greens?

Penelope said...

Bunnies: well, we certainly have them. Oddly enough, I haven't had much trouble with them except for young beans, which they wiped out last year. I'm very surprised there is no sign of nibbling on the lettuce, but there isn't. I was just reading one person's advice - she just plants a whole border of lettuce, letting the rabbits have as much as they want, with plenty still left for human consumption, and then they leave the rest of the garden alone. Hmmm... might work, or might be like putting out the "Bunny Buffet Now Open" sign. Anyway, they have never bothered my tomatoes or my squash-type plants in the past, so currently I have no plans for a fence. I guess we'll see how it goes.

cindyzlogic said...

Wow! you're doing great on your vege garden. We just got ours in. Only growing a few things from seed,like lettuce, spinach, & beets.