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What a change a few weeks can make this time of year! I am always so excited to walk around after a rain or a few sunny days and see the almost instantaneous growth in my plants and vegetables. Things are constantly changing although the uncharacteristically cooler temperatures in my area have led plants to grow more slowly than other years.
Vegetables and especially pumpkins (what I am always most excited for) need heat units to grow and produce thriving fruit for harvest. Unfortunately, we have not been receiving those units! I am watching my tomato plants closely as extra wet weather can spur on blight, a disease that yellows and ruins the plants. Blight lives in the soil and can be quite harmful. This week I will spray for the small amounts I am seeing.
From the kitchen garden, I have been very excited with the harvest. As you saw in the spinach salad video, spinach and radish have been plentiful. With the offset planting schedule I keep, I will have much more to harvest in the coming weeks. Brussels sprouts are starting to form on the stalks and I am anxiously awaiting their harvesting!
The baby kale and mustard greens (a personal favorite with a spicy mustard flavor) are being picked and used in wonderful salads, as are numerous herbs.
To keep herbs growing, make sure to nip yours back periodically so new growth can develop. If you leave herbs without using them, they will go to seed far before it’s time.
HERB-INFUSED ICED TEA
For a new way to use some of your favorite herbs, try a Gray Boxwood favorite: herb-infused Iced Tea:
- 2 cups boiling water
- 5 to 6 various tea bags (I use a mixture of black and green)
- a few sprigs of your favorite herbs (I use rosemary and thyme)
Steep tea bags and herbs for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove. Add concentrate to one gallon ice cold water and enjoy!
FLOWERS & GARDENS
The Farm’s flowerbeds have been bountiful in blooms and beauty. The peonies are just about finished blooming but I am still enjoying the wonderful bouquets they provide. The irises are also about to be finished for the year. I will then cut the plants and flowerless stems down for the year. The roses are also plentiful, adding their vibrant colors to the landscape.
I have been busy edging all the flowerbeds using a wonderful edger. This create a four-inch trench, which keeps grass from growing into the beds and gives a clean and sleek look.
Last week, a new (actually quite old) limestone bench was added to my newly planted hosta garden. Antique stone items add such interest and give a sense that the garden has been in place for generations!
Spring and summer mean a lot of work on The Farm but also in any yard as this is when upkeep is needed to maintain the vision and look we are all pursuing. The effort is always worth the work. Whether you have a small yard or a large estate, keep working and dreaming! Slowly you will see your ideas come to life![hr]