Ok. Last year was terrible for my gardening attempt so I let the garden go wild. I mentioned the success of the wild back in April in another post and how happy the pollinators were. I admit I haven't seen as many this year, but I am also keeping the weeds to a minimum because I am actually gardening this year and also because we are having a terrible drought, so the flowering weed population is almost zero. It's a great year for crabgrass. So, the garden started with two types of hardneck garlic planted in mid-October of last year. One raised bed, babied and nourished with store-bought soil, peat and compost, all organic, filled to perfection, was tested and planted with Purple Stripe and Porcelain and covered over with leaf litter. The garlic sprouted and grew to be about a foot tall before the first hard frost hit and freeze set in. I was getting nervous at how much the garlic grew before winter came. I think I'll start it a little later this year. I harvested the scapes in early to mid-June and the real harvest of garlic came a few weeks ago. To my dismay, as I harvested the garlic, I came across jumping worms. Thankfully, they don't eat garlic. I picked them out and threw them as I came across them. I'll be mixing in diatomaceous earth this autumn. I guess that is what I get for using store-bought organic soil without solarizing it first. I planted shallots in March. Those started growing right away! I was surprised to see how quickly they sprouted. I was very happy to see that. I just harvested them last week. They are currently stinking up my cellar while they cure. Mid-May I planted cherry tomatoes. I took a chance on seeds that were 10 years old. I'm not kidding nor exaggerating. They were 10 years old. They all sprouted. As is typical for my yard, they had a bit of a slow start growing, but I've got two that are growing well and already have green marbles. Usually, I don't start seeing those until the end of August or beginning of September. I'm happy to know I'll actually get tomatoes I can eat this year. It was recommended to me that I not bother trying to plant seeds for anything larger than cherry tomatoes because our season is too short for the larger toms. If I do decide to go for the larger ones, I'd need to purchase plants to plant in the garden, or start my seeds indoors which I have tried and it never works for me. I'll stick with the cherry tomatoes and be happy with that for now. I also planted a summer squash and a winter squash. Those are also doing very well. The tall ones are the summer squash, the other is the winter squash (acorn). Just a few days ago I saw a small yellow squash that needed a little more time before I should pick it. That little guy grew fast! I got two, but I ate one already, so you only get a picture of one. So, those are the plants and the beginning harvest of my spring/summer garden. Now that I'm left with three empty beds from harvesting my garlic and shallots, I got some tips on what I can plant so those beds can be productive until it is time to plant the garlic for next year. I started broccoli in the old garlic bed. I don't know what that weed is but we chopped it down before it went to flower and seed and I'm using it as a cover to prevent my broccoli seeds from cooking in the hot sun. It actually smells like mint but it looks like mugwort and grows to be about 6 feet tall. Actually, there are two different ones here. One might be flea-bane, the other might be mugwort or I might be totally wrong and they both might very well be something else entirely different. Does anyone know? Both are about 4 or 5 feet tall. Weed one: Is it flea-bane or something else? Weed two: Is it mugwort or something else? Anyway, back to the veggies. After I harvest the broccoli, I'll prep it the bed for spring. That bed will be used for tomatoes next year. I'm planting Swiss Chard and Kohlrabi in the other two beds. Once I am done harvesting those veggies, those beds will be prepped for the garlic and shallots. The garlic will be planted in late October/early November and the shallots will be planted in March. And then we start the spring! Spring planting will be the same as this year, but I'll have one more bed to plant. I'm not sure if I want to plant more tomatoes or add something new. I guess it will depend on how ambitious I'll be (or won't be) next year.