Mad Cat Garden | September

September saw the garden wind down considerably. We had hoped to get a Fall/Winter garden going, but we waited to long and ran out of time. It was hard to find plants, too late to sew seeds before we knew it. Lesson learned for next year!

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But in early September, our compost patty pan was still going strong.

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We had already cut back most of the cat nip, but some new buds started growing thru the cracks in the patio. Tom took full advantage.

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Broccoli never took off for us but someone was enjoying it all Summer. Poblano peppers were a favorite throughout the growing months and were still going strong in early and mid month. We thought September saw the last of our favorite summer pepper meal, but at the very end there are still more poblanos to be had. The flowers we planted in Spring are still blooming and attracting pollinators!

Tomatoes are still reddening and ready to eat in mid Sept. We planted some last Summer radishes to enjoy in Sept/Oct salads.

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In mid September, a new fancy blueberry bed was made and planted.

Most of the peppers we planted in pots got too dry in the heat this year. Unlike last year, in which they thrived in pots. My take away there is all good things in the ground! Almost everything in bed survived and did well.

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We planted one milkweed this year and by end of Sept it is still going strong with flowers, pods, and visitors! We have been capturing seeds and planning our milkweed empire for next year!

September was a slow month in the garden, a natural winding down. Our second year garden has been so different than the first year’s. We are excited to remember the lessons we have learned and make plans for the third year! And yet we do not know what to expect!

Did your garden go as planned this year? What is the biggest surprise you encountered? The biggest challenge you faced? The biggest victory?

Mad Cat Garden | August

August was the best garden month so far!

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We still had some items in pots and containers. This year they didn’t do as well as the previous year. Perhaps it was too hot and sunny.

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Most things in our back beds were growing like mad. Tomatoes and poblano peppers were ripening up and the bushes were laden with them. Shishitos were starting to grow. We transplanted our corn and it survived! Our arugula, lettuce, and spinach had long overgrown.

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Our morning glories that come back every year really started growing and getting in amongst the beds. They really enjoyed the bamboo trellises we made.

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Some of our blueberries didn’t fruit as much as the previous years. We are thinking we will recondition the beds and repot those in containers. Some of the bushes fruited well, but we ate few berries. Most went to the squirrels and birds.

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Our compost squash is growing huge! It’s a white pattypan! Mid month was when everything we grew produced fruit and veg. We ate well and varied.

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Although our front bed looked quite scraggily the entire month, it produced many tomatoes! We really aren’t sure why this bed was so thin this year. Compared to last year, when it was super lush, it looks terrible! We wonder what next growing season will bring.

For our second year of gardening we are very pleased with how everything turned out in August but also very surprised. This summer’s garden has not been what we expected. But there is still nothing better than eating meals grown right out your own door. We already have many plans for next Summer.

How was August in your garden?

Mad Cat Garden | July

July saw the garden really take off. Here is the record of last month progress.

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The flowers and cat nip were still going strong.

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We moved the corn out of a bed and into the ground.

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Strawberries and raspberries growing but slowly.

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Spinach and arugula went nuts. We plan to take them all out when and replant for fall.

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The last picture is of our compost squash. We had to wait until August to find out what it was!

What’s your best growing garden items this year?

Mad Cat Garden | June

May was the first month we started working on and tracking out garden, but June was when we really got down to business. June saw us buying and plating more, making more beds, and seeing plants grow and change. The changes between the beginning and end of June were huge, but these photos and records are mainly from the beginning on the month.

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June was extremely rainy. Many of the plats loved it! Our lilies returned and grew taller then me this year. They are not strictly part of the garden but a focus of June was to bring in pollinators with many flowers. The strawberries over wintered and started blossoming. We planted herbs and they thrived in the rain.

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In out front bed, also our first bed, tomato volunteers started popping up like mad and we had to thin them out. Rather than just toss the extras, we planted them in small pots to give away, or replanted them in other areas. We made new beds in the back and planted lettuce, arugula, broccoli (one is pictured in the first photo), corn, beans, and cucumbers.

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Many flowers helped attract bugs and bees. Our blueberries got off to a good start, enjoying the rain and producing lots of little soon to be bluebs.

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Tom often helped by inspecting the catnip patches. In June we created three new beds and had a delivery of filtered soil dropped off to fill them. Although pricy, we found this to be a convenient and zero waste alternative to buying many bags of dirt. We are still contributing to our compost on a regular basis, but it’s not big enough to fill beds. We do use some compost to help enrich the soil.

By the end of June, the yard looked very different, but we’ll have to wait until July’s update to take a look!

How is your garden growing?

Mad Cat Garden | May

Each month I like to share my plant observations. This can be our yard, our garden, the neighborhood, parks, beach, and more. This year we are really trying to pick up our garden game and I think it’s progress is going to require it’s own feature each month.

Although we had high hopes to start our garden super early, May came and went with little activity. We did prep the garden, started verbally planning, moved a few items around and let Tom visit as garden foreman.

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Our first garden bed, which is our front yard and last year housed tomatoes, started popping up with plants. We had to discern what each plant was and either leave them or transplant them. We had a lot of tomatoes come up from seeds that dropped off the plants last year.

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This strange plant popped up and grew like crazy. We did some research and discovered that it was an invasive plant called Japanese hops. It’s so pretty and we interested in seeing if it was going to grow hop like cones. Unfortunately it was growing like nuts and we had to re-home it so it did not choke out our new tomatoes. We were sad to find that the hops couldn’t handle the move and died pretty quickly. We think the hop seeds were dropped by visiting birds!

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The kale that we planted last year also over wintered. We had to clear it out of our back yard bed, but put it in a pot to see what it would do. In May, it flowered and started making seed pods. Kale flowers are lovely! We have collected the seed pods and plan to replant from last years growth!

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On the last day of May was when we really started planting and reseting the garden. In only a few weeks we’ve transformed the garden quite a bit. We look forward to seeing where June takes us.