It's time for another garden report, even though there has not been much progress. Between hailstorms (I think we had five big ones) and squirrels (they have been a far more damaging force of nature than we imagined), we need a couple more months to get significant results from our gardening this year, and we're about out of time. Even though we started over three times, the days are getting cooler and shorter too quickly.
Here's where we are now:
We built three raised beds.
The one on which my daughter is adjusting the Emergency Squirrel Cover contains one zucchini plant, which we might get a zucchini from—it has multiple blossoms, and one squash that is now about 4 inches (10cm) long, so it might reach harvestable size before the weather gets too cold.
First frost here occurs between September 17 and October 17, so we have between a few days and maybe a month. At the back of that bed are also parsley, sage, and thyme, which at least should come back next year.
Here's the biggest bed:
We've gotten a half-dozen or so tomatoes from our three plants (the hail and squirrels got more), and have quite a few small, green starts being optimistic within the two-layer version of Emergency Squirrel Cover.
The three basil plants are doing very nicely, even though we had to start over on those, too. . . . We'll have pesto in the freezer. The marigolds are cheerful, although only about a fifth of the plants we got made it through all the weather (the squirrels didn't seem to bother them).
And we have a few beets and carrots . . . we haven't harvested any yet, and this is a small percentage of what we planted (squirrels):
We never even planted the small bed at the back corner, although the squirrels dug holes in it anyway!
At least we know what we're up against next year, and we'll be spending part of the winter figuring out Intentional Squirrel Covers that will seal better around their edges and be easier to adjust to give the plants growing room.
The dogs liked that we spent more time in the back yard:
Tussah is good at basking. She does it in the sun, too.
Ariel is harder to take pictures of, because she (the one with arthritis) prefers to keep moving, especially toward me when I'm trying to snap a photo:
She used to love chasing squirrels—and they would tease her by running along the top of the wooden fence. Because she doesn't hear so well any more and her running is limited to short (happy) spurts, the squirrels have gotten a lot braver.
Our neighbor feeds them peanuts, so I think they should just stay in his yard anyway!
Well, next year we will be ahead of the game. The beds have been built. We know some of what we are up against—hail and squirrels. My daughter did a fantastic job of keeping things watered, so we know we can do that.
Last frost is mid to late May, so we've got almost eight months to figure out a plan for next year.