The above photo was taken a week or so ago, and the garden has changed quite a bit since then. Including a lot more weeds!
The same view of the garden a few weeks later (the other section of the garden is in the back to the left behind the flower gardens.)
I have had hardly any time to weed this year, and have had to come to the point that weeds are okay to have in the garden. :) I am afraid that I am one who really likes the look of beautiful gardens and enjoys keeping them well-weeded and cultivated. But . . . this year, that isn't going to happen (at least at this point.) At first, it was discouraging seeing all the weeds and not having things look as 'nice' as I would like them to. But then I have to ask myself, does it really matter? Not really! As long as the weeds aren't to the point of interfering significantly with the vegetable production, then, they're fine! Though, I do have to remind myself of that from time to time. :)
Besides the weeds, this year has also been much more of a challenge as with the very wet, humid conditions, the fungus problems have been significant. Our tomatoes were hit pretty hard, and I have been pulling the badly diseased plants and it looks like we only have about eight plants that are still looking all right. The onion crop, however, was completely lost due to fungus . . .
The onions had been doing quite well, and were starting to bulb up so it was disappointing to see them end up like this. But at least the green onions are stilling look good so far!
In addition to the fungus, we have also had significant problems with deer. And all of our 'normal' scare tactics are not working as the deer are just too tame this year. We had planted two large bean crops as I grow beans for others (one hundred and fifty plus pounds) and then we have all of our beans, too. But the deer have eaten the bean plants so much that our crop looks like it is going to be quite small this year. We'll be doing well, I think, to get enough to put up for our family, but again, some is better than none!
Aside from the tomatoes, onions and beans, though, the rest of the garden seems to be doing very well, and especially all of the vine crops. They look great! I have been harvesting zucchini and yellow squash quite a bit lately which means we've been able to enjoy some of our favorite summer dishes . . . squash casseroles!
A growing yellow squash
Another positive this year is that we have a lot more honeybees around. Last year, I had to hand pollinate for several weeks at the beginning of the season, and this year, I haven't had to do much hand pollinating at all as the bees are taking care of it! It brought a smile to my face yesterday morning as I was out harvesting squash and there were so many bees buzzing around from flower to flower that the air was full with a constant 'hum' from them.
The cucumbers have been well pollinated, too . . . it won't be long before we can have cucumber salad again!
The carrot bed . . . sadly, it doesn't look quite as nice now as the deer liked the carrots, too. :)
This isn't really consistent with the vegetable garden post, but one of the flower gardens is right by the vegetable garden, and when seeing this bee on the coneflowers, I had to take some photos.
And with a growing and producing garden, it means it's time for the preserving of that produce which is one of my favorite parts! I have been drying herbs, Leah and I snapped our first green beans of the year yesterday, and I am planning to put up beets today . . . what a fun time of year this is!