This morning, Preston and I got up early and went surfing. It was a flat and somewhat disappointing day for him, but a good time for me. Except for that bit where I got caught between the rip and the longshore current, heading for the jetty; that part was a bit stressful, but I learned my lesson. We got back early enough for me to spend a couple hours in the yard, working on the next project. There’s a bed along the back edge of the house that looks like it was intended to be a shade garden at some point, but it was badly overgrown and the previous occupant had stacked some old stumps all over the top of it. I spent most of the day tearing out cleavers, cat’s ears, nipplewort, dandelions, and dead ferns. And I learned where all the slugs have been hanging out during the day. Here’s a before and after pic:

It’s more dramatic in person I think, but you get the idea. I’m not sure what I’m going to plant back here. The ferns will stay, and there are some itty-bitty vinca vines near the front that I’ll let go. In the next few days I’ll be getting another load of dirt, which I’ll use to fill up this bed, and then think about what to put here. I know we need to paint the house soon, so I’m thinking of putting pavers along the back edge of the bed so there’s a way to paint without smashing plants. Preston and Magoo both helped to supervise the whole process.

And here are some updates on the garden beds:

This is arugula, radishes gone to seed, lots of lettuce, little bits of spinach, and salad burnet. You can click on the picture for a bigger view. The arugula is mostly gone to seed now. I need to cut it down so that the next planting can get the full sun. The radishes never really bulbed up, they just made these beautiful lush tops, but no roots really. Not sure if I didn’t thin them well, or if I planted at the wrong phase of the moon, or what. But it’s okay because I remembered that Preston and I don’t really like radishes anyway. The lettuce is lasting way longer than I expected. I made a second planting a couple weeks ago, thinking that this stuff would start bolting soon, but it hasn’t. We’ve been eating our salads “on the graze” just picking them and eating them right out of the ground. Yum! The spinach was planted too late and hasn’t like the heat so far this summer. But it seems to be holding out for cooler temps so I’m hoping it will take off and give us a fall crop. The salad burnet was something I had never heard of
but planted because I had free seeds. It’s a nice additions to salad, kind of a nutty celery flavor but without all those annoying celery strings. There’s also some rad cabbage in behind the radishes, but the slugs seem to like them a lot, and between that and the hot weather, there’s not much happening with them. Also tucked in between the radishes and the arugula is a row of carrots, which the slugs seem to like very much. Maybe when i chop down the arugula and radishes, the carrots will have a better chance.

Click on the image for a larger one. That’s sweet corn, bush beans, cucumber, cantaloupe, broom corn, with chives and fennel along the back and marigolds along the front. The corn seems to be loving the heat.

The tomatoes are going to town! There’s also cilantro in there, as well as some cinnamon and lemon basil. The cilantro didn’t seem to like all the heat and went almost directly to seed. There’s also some kohlrabi survivors over there on the left, which I am watching curiously. And you can’t really see it in with the big tomatoes, but there’s a volunteer lamb’s quarters in there, which is considered a weed but is actually quite tasty.