So, more days than not Old MacDonald (sometimes accompanied by me, but I have late hours at the job) has been going out to water the Back 40 garden, and it has absolutely paid off:
I can’t get over how good it looks. He did admit that there have been two applications of fertilizer, which combined with the watering seems to more than be working. Our experiment with grass clippings is also a success; we’ve been out to weed only twice so far this season and both times took about an hour and a half to do the whole garden.
The secret to our success is a 50-gallon cistern we keep in the back, and refill by running hoses linked together from the house whenever it gets down in volume.
And making her first appearance on the blog, Old MacDonald’s mother and a farmer’s daughter (her father was a farmer in Denmark; apparently farming is genetic but skips generations):
Our experiment out back is a success – this was the second picking of beans, just two days after our first round:
I can’t believe how long it’s been since we had any substantial rain. Thank goodness we have the drip irrigation in the main garden and the raised beds:
For the first time in ages, the cucumbers are actually doing something, and will bear fruit:
Powder mold, squash beetles and other environmental factors have contributed to the lackluster performance over the last few years. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to make homemade pickles. That might be changing this year.
Of course, we’re still being supervised:
The nicest thing about this cat is that he wants 5-10 very intense minutes of your attention, and then he moves off to stalk birds or mice or just snooze a bit. We were commenting the other day about our luck in getting neighborhood cats that actually give us the time of day. Even better when they keep away the destructive pests.
The growing season is now underway, with the plants doing remarkably well:
I love that picture because it’s a beautiful shot of an Adirondack chair I never get to sit in.
There’s also a critter in the garden:
This is our neighbor Luke, who arrived with the new neighbors when they moved in across the street last spring. Can’t have an updated garden blog without photos of a neighbor’s cat. He’s reasonably helpful:
He’s actually a better birder but we’ve seen him snag a chipmunk or two. Good kitty!
He’s not much help with the rabbits, though:
Fortunately this year we have not had a moment where I’ve spotted them in the garden because they can squeeze through the fence. It seems like our bobcat from years past may not be around, because there are a lot of them. It was a mild winter, however.
Even the Back 40 is coming along nicely:
As part of our new crusade to pay more attention to this garden, we’ve been watering. It’s pretty dry here – there was very little snow this year, and it hasn’t rained much at all. It’s a pain to walk out there to water, but we figure it will give the seedlings their best chance.