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Be Ruthless

July 9th, 2014

It’s been a while since I talked about my 5×5 Challenge Garden.  I must admit, it’s a bit overgrown.  The lettuce I started this spring grew like crazy almost shading out the tomatoes that were planted in their midst.  Then the golden peas grew rampant and were blown over when the hurricane came through last week.  As a result, the garden is rather in shambles.
5x5 challenge garden (1)
I ripped out all the lettuce earlier this week.  I plan on harvesting most of the peas while leaving a few to set seed.  Then they will be ripped out and replanted with something else, perhaps bush beans.  The tomatoes need tied up and staked along with a good mulch around their feet.  After that the garden should look neater and the tomatoes will start growing well.

Does your garden ever get out of control? 


12 Comments to “Be Ruthless”
  1. Adelina on July 9, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Oh yes, right now the tomato plants are tied up and a few broke through the ties. The zucchini has choked the lettuce. The swiss chard is happily taking over the spinach. And no matter how many weeds I pull up, there are more taking there place.

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  2. Marina on July 9, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Oh yes,it is!
    It is a humbling lesson, and it makes me love what the garden can be even more.
    This is the summer of health issues for both of us, So there is not much work going on, though my son and a friend helped. I am not good at asking for help!
    What I planted before my rotator cuff surgery pretty much with one hand is what we have and what it usually a very tidy raised bed garden is sparse and weedy.
    Lettuces are finishing, but we had lots, tomatoes are just starting to grow with the heat, peppers seem languishing, the herbs are coming along, the many pole beans will rewards us in the fall as will the string beans soon, the leeks and Cippolini onions are slowly doing their thing, so are potatoes.
    The garlic is ripening and I will soon plant more string beans and lettuces. My weakened arm just got out of the sling, and for sure will be back to normal for next year.
    I will love being able to do more next year, and in the meantime, I have time to plan, make lists and organized charts.

    Reply to Marina's comment

  3. Lorna on July 9, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Wonderfully out of control!
    It always amazes me how things just ‘pop up’ suddenly after a stretch of warmth and rain. I was wondering if my garden would ever take off this year, but just this week I swear the tomatoes grew a foot and the peas are producing heavily (which wasn’t a good thing when the winds came through!). The lettuce is now shaded by the peas and taking over their world, and the beans are like something from a science fiction movie. The only down side is that the weeds have taken a foot-hold. I mineralize my soil and mulch (mostly) heavily, which normally controls the weeds quite well; however, with the heat and rain I think nothing can stop them now! At least some of the weeds are edible :)

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  4. Henry on July 9, 2014 at 8:28 am

    It seems that dry beans are always a challenge for us becasue they get to a certain point where they are too difficult to weed. And it seems like even the ones that are catergorized as bush beans still send out tendrils and try to climb, particularly varieties of Pintos.

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    • Sara on July 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

      I pretty much only grow pole varieties of beans for drying anymore, and can almost ignore them until they are ready to harvest, ha!

      Reply to Sara's comment

  5. Sara on July 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Oh yeah, my cucumbers are taking over an entire corner of the garden right now! Last week I did a purge of pea plants and bolting lettuce in the hoop house, and forced myself to pull the 6 foot flowering dill out of there too (it was so pretty!). Suddenly it’s spacious inside–and I was inspired to get a second round of carrots and beets planted. It’s hard to force myself to be ruthless but when I do it’s worth it, plus there are plenty of jungle-y places left, ha!

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  6. Karla on July 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    The borage in a bed with strawberries and garlic is self-seeded from last year, and is still taking over. I’ll need to pull some of it this week.

    Reply to Karla's comment

  7. Caroline on July 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I made the mistake of planting pumpkins right by the beans and peas. I’m pretty sure the beans are strangled out, the peas are getting there. I learned my lesson! They grew so quickly I didn’t have time to guide them to the fence like I had planned!

    My lettuce is 2 feet tall now, I know I have to rip it out, but it’s just so sad :(

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  8. Charlie@Seattle Trekker on July 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Gardening is not for the timid, sometimes you have to get rough.

    Reply to Charlie@Seattle Trekker's comment

  9. Donna A. on July 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, and YES!
    Especially now that I’ve gone to container gardening… which I’m not good at.
    [2nd floor balcony/patio with about… oh, 12 hours of full sun in hot and sunny California!]
    I’m having a hard time actually keeping anything other than herbs alive!

    My tomatoes need shade. Is that weird?

    Reply to Donna A.'s comment

  10. Kyle on July 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Out of control doesn’t even cover it. I finally broke down and decided to tackle one bed at a time rather than trying to maintain them all at once. I put down cardboard and added 3/4 yard of mulch into one bed yesterday in the hopes that it will more or less behave itself until fall. Onto the next one today….

    Reply to Kyle's comment

  11. Nebraska Dave on July 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Susy, you make me laugh. My garden is never a magazine tidy garden. It’s always on the verge of being out of control. Especially this year with all the rain. Yours always looks great. I should have some time next week to deal with another round of weeding and mowing. The cabbage is just about ready to make some kraut. It only took three transplants to get a crop of cabbage. Lessons that were learned this year were always start way more seeds than needed to replant when necessary, take better care of the left over seed starts, and protect plants against weed spray. I’m not sure how to do that last one in close quarters urban yards, but I’ll think of something.

    My schedule is quickly filling up for July. Some how other peoples projects creep into my schedule. I know. I should say no but I just can’t do it. Two days last week fixed a friend’s front porch concrete steps and last Saturday was help another friend put rain gutters around the newly build open ground level front porch area.

    Have a great garden manicuring day.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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