It’s the height of the growing season! July 2018 has shown such productive promise. Now that we’ve been here for 3 years, I can see a lot of the woody perennial shrubs and trees that have struggled through being transplanted are really starting to grab on and mature.
The Nanking cherry bushes, the beach plums, the high bush cranberries and the elderberries are filling in and you can see shades of the lush, front yard food forest that they will become.
I’ve expanded a couple of the front yard beds just a bit so that I can move some things around as those larger bushes will want to spread out even more next year. I don’t think peonies like to be moved… but they will have to get over it because they will be swallowed up by their neighbors if I don’t shift them to a better spot this fall.
I’ve got some space carved out for another jostaberry and blueberry I’ve ordered but I’m not sure where I’ll put the nectarine that’s coming to replace the one that died. I think I might put it in the bed next to the front door, but that might change.
There are 2 new beds on either side of the compost system… one is mostly shaded and has a filbert in it. I also planted American ginseng roots here in the spring and since I’m not sure what the plants look like, I’m basically letting this bed do it’s own thing and NOT pulling any weeds or anything I don’t recognize. In the other new bed (gets part sun) I’ve put a few young perennials I have high hopes for next year. Lovage (similar to celery but gets HUGE) and salad burnet are my new, long lived veggies planted here. The lovage is staying very very tiny, so I’m not positive they will survive.
My new rain garden, care of jerseyyards.org and the Experience Jersey Friendly Yards Program, is filling in beautifully. Now that I am familiar with the size of these plants, I may move them around in the fall for better placement come next spring. The black eyed susan variety is downright weird… the flower stems are as tall as I am and the center of each flower is 2 or 3 inches tall…. delightfully weird.
The rat tailed radishes are mature and pretty much past the point where they are good to eat. I cut them down out of the front bed and saved the pods. They are drying out in the garage and I am excited to share these unique seeds with garden friends who want to try growing them. I’ve also got some Nanking cherry seedlings I’ve potted up and put into the greenhouse until I find them some good homes.
Speaking of the greenhouse…. I couldn’t be happier about how it’s working out. The raised bed has been perfect for raising brasicas this season. NO cabbage moths chewing on these leaves!! It’s also turned out to be a great environment for cuttings as I think the humidity stays crazy high.
The back yard beds are coming along great. The keyhole is astoundingly productive (that’s just one zucchini in there) and the new boxes on either side are stumbling through their first season. Next year I plan to put all the greens in the boxes and keep the fruiting annuals in the keyhole as that’s what gets the most sun.
The next project is to build an arbor for the kiwi vines. I know where it will be placed and have an idea of my design, all I need to do is buy the 4″x4″x8′ posts. I can’t wait to share it with you when I’m done.