"Broadening' Our Knowledge

Northland Backyard Gardeners is talking about growing Beans, Something else from Northland

Garden ready!

Well this has definitely been a challenging growing season. All and all though, I like to take the positives from it. The positives being that it has been another learning experience for the boys (and for myself). Because they also take part in a school home garden challenge, they have started to develop a rough time line for comparisons from season to season.  They have developed some knowledge of what their plants should/or have been like in the past at this point in time (judging time). While they might be frustrated that the growth isn’t as lush in some parts as last year, they also understand that everyone else is in the same boat so to speak, and that this is the reality for gardeners. There is no guarantees. You can’t control nature. So as frustrating as it is, it really is a great learning experience – and a good one at that. With problems to overcome, you definitely extend the opportunities to learn more.   Today on the way home in the car we started discussing ways we could potentially combat this (apart from getting a glass house). The favoured suggestion is to look at making little mini greenhouses (from bottles) to go over young seedlings or perhaps get some poly tunnels in place (perhaps simply by placing plastic over or needed ones in a temporary fashion). More permanent ones comes with a bit of a problem – hubby tried it once on a garden for himself (using the tomato frame he completely wrapped the whole bed in plastic – including the top). He just forgot to factor in the watering side of it and that he couldn’t rely on nature if he kept nature out. The dried out bed was a bit of a disaster. The suggestion from there was to install a water system next time unless he planned on watering things himself over winter (I prefer to let nature take care of the watering over winter). 

While the veggies are delayed a bit, the same can’t be said for the berries. We have been eating the strawberries for the last month and the boysenberries started colouring up yesterday. I just hope the rain doesn’t ruin too many. Our roses were out a few weeks early – normally the first ones open the week of my birthday. This time on my birthday, for the first time in 14 years, I had an entire garden full of them. 

While our tomatoes may only just be starting to flower, the cucumbers are only just started to climb, I also appreciate the fact that we have been able to keep other crops in longer.  Normally our cabbages are well and truly out by now and the broad beans are finally producing beans. It’s not something we have grown before and not something I thought I would like, but after tasting a dip made with broad beans last year, I was sold. I can’t say I am keen to cook them up and eat them in any other way, but I can definitely handle the dip. I must say, I am also rather fond of the pretty deep red flowers they have on this variety.