The garden has really started to pick up recently. All the plants are starting to fill out nicely and in some areas are so dense that weeding is no longer needed. This is especially true under the radishes and the pinto beans. I’ve made better use of the garden space this year than I did last, but I still think I could easily squeeze in double what I have now if I were to plant more densely and start succession planting. This is quite evident where the peas were. I’ve harvested all the peas I will eat and am saving the remainder as seed. However, if I had planted beans in the rows by the peas about two weeks ago I would have small pinto bean plants already up. The main reason that didn’t happen is that was about the same time I caught something that the remnants of are still plaguing me. Also, while the lettuce I planted by the perennial flowers is doing quite nicely, there is still ground that could have been planted.
One of the things I want to do with my garden is to become mostly self-sufficient with seed. This obviously requires that I become familiar with saving seeds from all my plants. Last year, I saved seed from the pinto beans, the onion, some mint and a pumpkin. This year, I have added buckwheat and peas to the list and I am planning on adding radish, sunflower, lettuce and okra to the list. I’m still waiting on the sunflowers to bloom and the lettuce to bolt. In the mean time, I’ll be battling the caterpillars that started appearing on the sunflowers a couple of days ago. My main plan of attack is to knock them off the leaves into a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze them to death and also preserve them for David to use in his aquaponics system. Since my tomato plants never made it in the ground and David’s are doing amazing, I might be able to get a tomato or two in exchange.