My garden is happy.
It's producing like crazy.
Tomatoes, carrots, peppers, pumpkins,
squash, potatoes, basil, parsley, and some late lettuce.
I have noticed these last couple of years that my raised beds seem to dry out more in mid-summer and don't seem as productive as my in-the-ground gardens used to be. So I decided to till a little patch this past week right next to the raised beds, then I filled them up with some yard mulch -- grass clippings and leaves. I also intend to put some rotted alfalfa hay there and let the worms and bugs go to work on it, building up the soil there. Next year I'll plant and see what happens.
Have you heard of Ruth Stout? She's an old-time gardener who was a big believer in deep mulch gardening. She never tilled or added manure or fertilizers. She just kept piling on old hay mulch year after year and let the bugs do the digging and fertilizing. She called it Lazy Gardening, but I call it smart! She wrote a couple books about gardening without the work, and there are a few articles and videos about her methods. Here is an excellent article in Mother Earth News about her. And here is a sweet video of Ruth telling about her gardening in her own words. Ruth lived into her nineties and did all of her own gardening.
I took up the deep mulch, no-till method of planting potatoes a few years ago, and I can testify that it does work! I rarely even water the potato patch and it produces more than we can eat. I've used straw in the past, but I think this fall I am going to add a layer of old, moldy alfalfa hay to it. I think it will be healthier for the ground and add more nutrients to it.
I just had to show you this beautiful plant that has climbed my garden fence. It's a Hyacinth Bean Vine. Kathie from A Sparrow's Home sent them to me a few years back. I had tried planting them a time or two, but they never grew. This year, I found the calico pouch with a few more seeds in it and decided to try once more. And here they are! Beautiful, purple-y blossoms with deep purple pods. I think the beans are mostly ornamental, and I've read that the raw pods are poisonous, but I've also read that if you cook them well, you can eat them. I just think they are beautiful and don't plan on eating them. I hope that they might reseed and come up again next spring. Thank you for the lovely gift, Kathie! I think of you when I see them.