Our 2021 garden: progress, and some mysteries

Gosh, it was so lovely to do my rounds this morning! It has finally cooled down (for all the rain we had yesterday, it was still hot and very muggy!), and as I write this, it’s a lovely 17C/63F outside. There is the possibility of more rain, then things are expected to get hot and sunny again. I don’t know of we’ve had enough rain for the burn bans to relax a bit; it would be nice to be able to light our burn barrel, or use the fire pit.

We do still have a few plant babies in the sun room that will eventually get transplanted. This morning, I found a new gourd seedling.

A third Ozark Nest Egg gourd has appeared! We only planted 2 per pot, so we have plenty of seeds to try again next year – starting much earlier, and with a warmer set up!

With the Thai Bottle gourd, if this one seedling survives, we might at least be able to try them, as they are edible at 4-6 inches. There is no wait for them to reach full maturity. The other gourds, however, were planted for crafting purposes, and with them sprouting so late, they just won’t have the growing season for it.

Another reason I’d like to set up polytunnels and/or greenhouses. Extending our growing season would open up a lot of options for us.

I’m happy to see the grapes are leafing out nicely! They had a slow start (which I am beginning to think is normal for them), but once they do, they grow really fast! There are new vines this morning that were not there, yesterday.

The Peruvian Purple Fingerling potatoes are filling their grow bags faster than any of the other varieties. Gosh, they look so pretty! I love that hit of purple at the stems.

One of the nice things about the clean up I was able to do in the spruce grove this spring, is that I can now cut through it to get to the main garden, while doing my rounds. This morning, I found this lovely explosion.

The wild roses are blooming! The rains have been a huge boost for them. 🙂

As we continue to clean up the spruce grove, everything in here will be cut back and cleaned up. Unlike the spirea, which we are trying to pull out by the roots as much as possible, the roses will just be trimmed to ground level. Once it’s all cleaned out, they should grow back better than ever. This area, however, will probably not get worked on this year. We’re focusing more on the south and west sides for now.

Checking the various garden beds, everything it looking really good and strong. We do have a couple of mysteries, though. One is in the yellow bush beans.

A while back, I noticed a few of the seedlings appeared to have had their heads chopped off. Remarkably, the stumps still seem to be growing!

I’m not sure what did this. Normally, I would have thought it was a deer, but if it was, I would have expected a whole swath of seedlings with their tops gone, like at the ends of the spinach beds. Not 2 here, 1 there, and 2 more in the other row.

Well, whatever it is, it seems to have stopped coming over, as there is no new damage, and nothing is showing up on the trail cam.

There is another mystery, though.

All the radish sprouts have disappeared.

There had been so many sprouts, before the corn started coming up, and now, nothing. Not a trace. Not a stem or leaf to show it was bit by a critter, or cut by an insect. There were only 2 rows with the daikon type radish, but the watermelon radish was interplanted in every row of the other two corn blocks. The corn is coming up nicely, but the radishes have simply disappeared.

It is so very strange!

I should also take back the “no new damage” statement, though this damage is no mystery. Nutmeg has taken to following me along when I do my rounds, wanting attention. While looking at the sunflower transplants, supported by their twine, he decided to rub against the twine, then drop to the ground and start rolling.

Right on a sunflower, breaking the stem.


It wasn’t completely broken off, and it’s been put back between the twine for support, but I doubt it will survive.

Destructive little boy!

As I continued checking the beds, I would stop to do a bit of weeding, and he’d be right in there, pushing at my hands for attention, walking, sitting and rolling on top of the plants! I kept having to move him off the beds, only for him to jump right back, as long as I kept trying to weed.

When the girls and I were just starting to head home from the city yesterday, my husband messaged us to let us know that a low flying airplane had just gone over the house. This morning, it happened again, though it wasn’t an airplane.

Instead, we had a low flying helicopter! Seeing helicopters flying around is not that odd (there is a small airport not that far away), but seeing one flying this low certainly is. I don’t usually see ones coloured like this, either. Usually, they’re black.

When I was done my rounds, I uncovered one of the spinach beds to do some weeding and thinning.

Yes, these are just the thinnings, and just from one side of one bed! They’re packed down a bit in that colander, too. The spinach is doing just fantastic, now that they’re not being eaten by deer. 😉 I was able to uncover the bed on my own, but with are makeshift covers we have right now, it takes 2 people to put the covers back again.

I supposed we’ll eventually get to the point when we’ll have more spinach that needs harvesting than we can eat right away, so I’ve been thinking of what to do with any excess. I know they can be frozen, but why ruin good spinach? 😉 I’ve decided to try dehydrating them, then making spinach powder. This would keep for a long time in a jar on the shelf, and be a handy ingredient to toss into soups, or pasta dough or something like that.

I’ll have to get some photos later, but our chives have started to bloom, and I’ve started using them to make chive blossom vinegar. I picked up a bottle of white wine vinegar, and we’re just adding the cleaned blossoms straight into the bottle, after removing a small amount of vinegar to make space. It will get strained after 2 weeks in a cool, dark place, though we might keep adding more blossoms over the next few days, as the chives finish their blooming. We’ll count it as 2 weeks from when the last of them are in the bottle. 🙂

*sigh* This post has been taking MUCH longer to finish that it should have. Our internet is crappy at the best of times, but whenever we get rains or winds (not even over us, but anywhere to the south of us), we start having troubles connecting. Getting images to load is the worst. It’s taken me half an hour to get the above image to load, and as I’m writing this, it STILL won’t load! Once I get the bloody thing to work, and hopefully get this post published, it’s time to get off the computer before I go completely bonkers!!

The Re-Farmer

19 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden: progress, and some mysteries

  1. Have you grown grapes in the past? My family had vines when I was a teen but they barely produced anything… I’m sure they needed far more specialized care than we provided.

    I’m still waiting to see what my “dwarf” kumquait is going to do. So far, it continues to grow taller – but nothing else. No blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!

      Yes, the house has a root cellar my dad included when the “new part” was added on. We have been monitoring the humidity and temperature for about a year. My thought was to turn it into a cheese cave at some point, but I don’t think it had the right conditions for it. So we will stick to vegetables! 😁😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, how nice of him to do that, I wish someone had added one to our place lol. Instead, I am using the utility room in the basement and making an area under the stairs for cold storage/root cellar stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol! Well, he also added things like “running water” and an “indoor bathroom”, and considering how big the garden used to be, a root cellar would have been a necessity.

        I do wonder what was used before then. I was too young to remember. The old basement got too wet for anything like that.

        I find it interesting – and a very positive thing – that so many people are interested in such things again. I hope you work out a good set up, soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, running water and indoor plumbing were definitely appreciated additions, I’m sure. It is funny how many of us are going back to the “good old days” albeit a modern version.

        I was watching an episode of the Victorian Farm series today (I love that show!) and someone commented how we shouldn’t romanticize the days before modern conveniences because their grandma was adamant that going with out them in the “good old days” sucked badly! 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love that show, too! And the other ones they’ve done, like Edwardian farm.

        When my kids were younger, a lot of people on the national home school group I was part of talked about how we all needed to “go back to the land”, and basically live like I grew up. As much as I agreed, in many ways, I had to point out more than a few times that there are reasons we moved away from that life! 😁😄

        Liked by 1 person

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