If you squint your eyes and turn your head a little….


I ran into a friend the other week who asked how the garden was growing. I replied back in a relatively negative way commenting on all the things that weren’t doing well. But truthfully, for our first growing season in a new garden, things are going just fine. Yes, there is still a large learning curve we have yet to round, but all in all, things are coming along quite well.


The tomato patch is developing beautifully. Doesn’t it always amaze you year after year that just a few month ago you put a small speck of a seed in a little soil and now it’s grown to the top of your five foot high cages? Every year I’m in disbelief. New cages were in order.


The peppers are setting on in profusion after a sprinkling of and watering in of epsom salts a few weeks ago. That gives them a magnesium boost and causes them to make more peppers. We’ve already eaten our first round of Padrons, they aren’t so spicy this early in the season.

Even though we planted the onions much later than we normally do (in late Feb/early March I think?) they grew almost better than in years past. Before we planted in early January and they’d always bolt before it was time to harvest them, this year nary a one bolted. Maybe the key is to plant them late in this climate.

As long as you stand back far enough the beans don’t look bug eaten, nor does the popcorn look like rabbits nibbled on them.

Same with the kale, as long as you squint your eyes and turn your head a little to the left, this row doesn’t look bug bitten in the least.

The escarole hasn’t been touched at all. I was worried that if the bugs didn’t like it then the boys certainly wouldn’t like it however, last week I made a pasta dish with escarole, spinach and chard from Chez Panisse Vegetables that the boys ate all of, even every last green! I couldn’t believe it. I need to save that recipe!

I guess maybe it’s hard in the garden not to get focused on the things not going well. You put so much effort into tending to things that when a rabbit comes and eats it straight down to the ground, or an unknown bugs wipes out an entire row of seedlings in a night, it’s hard not to let that frustration be our point of focus. But that’s the learning part of gardening, seeing what does grow well, what doesn’t, what your pests are and what diseases show up. Pretty soon, as each year passes, we’ll learn how this little patch of earth works, but for now it’s a practice of passing over the negative and focusing on what is doing well.

Happy weekend friends!


Filed under State of the Garden

10 responses to “If you squint your eyes and turn your head a little….

  1. May

    It is amazing to me how just the smallest move does require you to relearn and discover what works well in the new space. You are so much more gifted at gardening than I am. So, a bad garden for you would be a banner year for me!

  2. New gardens can be a challenge. And I think we’re so conditioned to see the gaps or shortcomings that we don’t often take in the big picture and see the wonder that we’ve helped create. Seeds are just little bits of magic, aren’t they? Nice onions!

  3. KimH

    That soil is omg beautiful!! Sure wish I had it in mine.. I love seeing pics of your place. Its just drop dead gorgeous.

  4. Randi

    Everything looks great! You should be proud of all that you’ve accomplished in a short amount of time. I too was having kind of a downer year until a couple of weeks ago when my summer crops suddenly took off. Haven’t gotten any peppers yet (jealous), but I’ve been harvesting zucchini, green beans, tomatoes and the like…which is pretty spectacular! New gardens are tricky. Although I have been in my current house for two summers, my “combination” soil (well-drained, compacted, low nutrient, variably textured) and constantly moving patches of seasonal shade continue to vex me. 🙂 But part of the fun in gardening is the challenges.

  5. I’ve been contemplating this too: how easy, in the garden (and life itself) it is to focus on everything that goes wrong and how to shift to everything in the garden (and life) that goes right, most of which we are oblivious to. An outsider’s eyes are always helpful: your garden looks great! Lush and prolific!

  6. Alexis

    Our peppers are refusing to produce fruit. You said you watering them with epsom salt. How did you do that? How much epsom salt to water and for how many days?

    Any help would be so appreciated!

    And, beautiful garden.

    • asonomagarden

      Alexis, he just sprinkled a handful of epsom salts around each plant and gave them a good watering. Just once! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

  7. Your garden is gorgeous! I’m so happy to find your blog–it’s absolutely lovely. I, too, adore Floret–isn’t Erin amazing? Every time I read her blog, I want to dig up our yard and start a flower farm! Our garden is looking tired and raggedy–but it’s still producing well, which is all that matters, right?! Look forward to visiting often to see what fun things you’re up to! Cheers!

  8. Rita

    Just a question: what do you do to prevent the kale from being eaten by cabbage moths?

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