A mid-summer progress report on the school garden

Here about midway through the summer – the solstice was nearly six weeks ago – the fruits of our spring planting are winnowing. Unfortunately, our beans died right away, so the two stands I made for them are there as stark reminders of that failure. The shoots grew about an inch or two, and then, one by one, withered and died. But that one “crop” was our only dismal failure.

About two weeks ago, we had one other setback. Apparently no one has told our school’s lawn service to stay out of our garden. This is what happens when the yard man sprays Roundup everywhere that he doesn’t want use his weedeater. These were sunflowers . . .

dead-sunflowers-roundupYet, here’s what the garden looked like on July 9.

btw-school-garden-july-9-2015As you can see, the steadfastness of our yard man forced him to weave his big lawnmower inside my cordoned-off area. I’m just thankful that he didn’t use Roundup here too. That bed that’s in the foreground has watermelon vines and cantaloupe vines. The cantaloupe vines only produced the one single solitary piece of fruit, but we did get a few small watermelons.

Below, we have four huge squash plants . . . next to the barren space where our beans died.

huge-squash-dead-beansHere is another variety of squash in the background, with our basil plants in the foreground. These  plants produced so well that some of the squash were longer than my forearm. The basil also flourished so well that I couldn’t give it all away.

squash-and-basilNext, this bed had carrots and kale in it. The kale did really well, but the carrots were spindly and under-developed. I don’t think the carrots were planted properly. They should have been spaced out more evenly.

carrots-and-kaleHere is a great illustration of how not to plant tomatoes. We put them way too close together, and the six plants overran each other. Next year, we’ll plant four tomato plants in this space.

2015-07-09 09.02.00Finally, we had plenty of eggplant and peppers. The peppers were very popular among folks who were interested in partaking of our harvest, but the demand for eggplant was not so great. As the summer wore on, I was giving people whole shopping bags of fresh produce, grown organically with no chemical pesticides and no chemical fertilizers. This is a batch I brought home that represents a small portion of what we got overall.

summer-harvestThe 2015 – 2016 school year begins in about two weeks, so we’ll be removing those plants to the compost pile and planning for our next go-round pretty soon.