July 2013 Week 1: New Bed

Summer weather is embracing PNW, we are seeing 70s and occasional 80s (Yes, that’s height of summer!). My shade garden is in production mode.

I need more space to transplant tomatoes and maybe some squash plants. Just beyond one of the vegetable beds, there is some space that I may use. I am going to try to build a temporary bed over there. Here are some of the efforts –

Step 1 – define perimeter and set up wood planks


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Step 2 – Define the temporary  space to build vegetable bed. Dig.. Dig .. Dig


vegetable bed


Step 3 – Gather and throw away rocks, roots etc and remove.


vegetable bed


Step 4 – Mix in compost, potting soil, manure etc


vegetable bed


Step 5 – Transplant, sow something… Below is picture of same space in 10 days.


vegetable bed

Tomato transplants, squash plants, fenugreek, cucumbers and garbanzo beans growing here.


This is still work in progress, I am planning to plant cucumbers, tomatoes, squash in here. Hopefully I can post updated photo with actual veggies growing in here…

Apart from garden additions, there was some harvest from garden.

Sorrel leaves were picked to mix in with daal.


More strawberries


and some chard


This week’s harvest:
Green Sorrel – 1 bunch
Strawberries – 4 cups
Raspberries – 2 cups
Chard – 1 bunch

Happy gardening!


Mid July Garden Update

All plants are liking warm weather we have had for last 10 days. It’s been in 70s and occasional 80s for last 2 weeks. I am suddenly seeing seeds germinated (which I forgotten that I ever seeded) , beans showing visible new growth day by day and much more. Here’s mini tour of the garden.

Garden in mid-July is looking greener and fuller with warm temperatures. It has been mix of sunny, overcast and few showers for month of July. Sunny days followed by some rain are making good conditions for greens. Tomatoes and other warmth loving plants are not vigorous yet, I am hoping rest of July and august bring some high temps. We’ll see…

Here are 3 smallish potato plants.  One is volunteer and other 2 are planted.  Potatoes are flowering; I’ll dig up when potato fruits are set.

This is one of the unkempt raised beds. There are few things growing on there, I have to weed in and plant fall/winter veggies in here.  Few buttercup squash is growing on side.

This side has cabbage and cauliflower with one tomato plant. Cabbage is ‘early Jersey Wakefield’ type.

Bed 1 has pea plants on left side, these are planted back in Spring, most are picked by now and vines are slowly dying. I’ll plan to clear them in next 10-15 days. Next to it is random radishes and few beans planted. Middle is dill greens; these are close to being harvested. Right side of the bed is green Sorrel.

Green Sorrel

Here is Bed 2. From left  – purple Kohlrabi, Chard seedlings, Beet seedlings,  Cucumbers and  Green beans.

Containers with Mint, Tomato and shoebox onions.

June Garden Tour on First day of Summer

June 21st marks first day of summer. Seattle area saw temperatures in 70s after many days (or weeks) of June gloom. There were so many good sunny days in April/May I almost did not expect June to be so overcast. But it was for first 3 weeks.

On first day of summer, here is small tour of the garden.

Various Containers:

A good friend has shared Mint cuttings with me last week, I have established it in a small container. Hopefully it will live.

Shoebox container with onion seeds just emerging.

 Bed 1:

Alaska type peas are forming; these will give a good harvest beginning next week.

Dill has emerged:)

Green Sorrel is just forming. I am hoping that these establish in this location. Looking forward to summer long of Chukka bhaji.

And finally, all above in one single shot. Clockwise – Wax bean seedlings, Green sorrel, Dill and peas on left of the photo.

Bed 2:

Here are Bright lights Chard and Purple Kohlrabi seedlings.  In the right corner of picture, young Methi seedlings have emerged.

One single shot of bed 2 – from clockwise: new seed planting of beans, fenugreek methi, overwintered beets that are bolting, I am hoping to collect seeds. And lastly 2 puny tomato seedlings which I am hoping to speed with homemade milk jar reenhouses.

Bed 5:

I have transplanted 4-5 small seedlings of winter squash (Buttercup) in the neglected space of my garden. This soil is not amended and I fear these plants are not going to be as vigorous as otherwise. I’ll wait and see.

French Breakfast radishes are bulbing up.

Apart from this, I have 3 volunteer potato plants growing up. These came up from missed tubers from last years. I am not complaining.
A local drugstore sells seedlings, I am watching closely till they slash prices of the seedling trays to 50 cents. I never tried buying such sale seedlings, shall try this year. let’ see what grows form it.


“There are very few things to harvest this year, it seems so strange” I told my husband. He responded with YES. “I haven’t seen you much in backyard all spring long” He said.

So it dawned on me, To get Summer harvest, I have to kick start in Spring get soil prepping, sowing in Spring. Hmm. What was I doing all spring long? Well, life happened and things were just too busy. Not anymore.

All hope is not lost. Now I get it. To get Fall harvest, I have to start planting fall garden NOW.

Fruits of the Future

Trees and vines are showing hope, I can’t wait to test the sweet juicy plump fruits and berries.
June showers are promising bumper plump strawberries. Only if I can get to ripe ones faster than slugs. Eeeek. Like last year, I have a perfect plan to save strawberries. Let’s see how this battle plays out…


Blueberries – I got 2 plants, these berries need 2 plants to help with pollination. One plant has few berries, other is not filled yet.


Northwest Bing cherries – Black crows are as impatient as me. I am getting ready with arsenal to fight it out. Here comes CDs, flash tapes, my grandma’s old saree.


Raspberries: I can’t believe how much raspberries have spread. Can you believe these were just 3 small canes couple years back? Raspberries are against back fence on rock wall.



Summer Harvest

I am back from vacation and garden was filling with goodies, was able to pick up good produce. I really didn’t picture everything that I harvested but here are few shots. Summer is busier with kids staying home, vacations, activities, hikes and much more, I am finding very little time to spend in garden. Really this is the time to relax and enjoy the hard-work we have put in garden over last few months.

Here are few pictures of harvests over last week. I was able to harvest Green and Wax Beans, 1 big Zuchini, Blueberries (last of the season), Lots of Radish, Chard, lettuce and Chives.