After an hour plus of concentrated work weeding, pulling out the sugar-snap peas (they had lots of peas ready for picking or beyond, but were at the end of the line), and staking:
|From How Does My Garden Grow?|
I get a lot of produce out of my little 4x6 plot. The key, I think, is making anything that can go vertical, go vertical - that does take a little attention, though. Having had no attention for several weeks now, everything had gone rampaging off on the horizontal plane & the slow-motion wrestling match for survival was well underway, with the cucumbers bidding fair to come out the winner. Holy cow, they were THRIVING, tendrils running off to every corner of the garden - if I'd just left things alone I think I could have had enough of a crop to sell!
However, I'd rather have some tomatoes too. Maybe the tomato plants will be more interesting in making tomatoes now that they aren't being strangled by runaway cucumbers...
or just plained squashed by a giant runaway crazy 2nd-year chard plant!
Yep, I hadn't done it by the time I took the "after" picture tonight, but after a little more gardening, I decided it was time to end the science experiment tonight.
It was a fun experiment. At the end of last season, I'd left a couple of chard roots in the ground over the winter, out of pure curiousity. One made it through. It dwindled back to a couple of little tiny leaves that never quite seemed to die; No matter what rottenness the winter threw at 'em, they just hunkered down and stayed at least partly green. Here they were on the day when I got the bed cleaned up & ready for the season:
As you can see, the biggest of the 3 little over-winter leaves got halfway frozen - but they never quite got nipped all the way & by this time (mid-March), it was already starting to perk up & get back to growing.
It started like a normal chard plant, and provided me with some of the first pickings of the year. Eventually, though, it bolted, just like lettuce when the weather turns warm - only it got a WHOLE lot bigger than any rambunctious Romaine!
I had a lot of fun watching this thing go rocketing off, but tonight I discovered that there was a volunteer tomato plant that was fighting to exist in the same space. I let the tomato win.
No ripe tomatoes yet, although plenty on the way, but the pickings were GOOD tonight!
I had a fine "mess" of beet greens & green onions for dinner tonight! Simply sauteed in olive & sesame oils, with a little butter thrown in. Delicious!