It was time to do some major clean-up of the yard this weekend. We’ve only mowed the lawn once since last September, so it was starting to look pretty shaggy. Unfortunately, our lawn mower is in disrepair and I had to hire a guy to come out and do the mowing for us. First, however, we had the rather large task of pulling weeds … I didn’t realize until we got started how much of the yard was actually weeds! UGH! THIS is why I don’t like grass …
After pulling several hundred weeds, I also decided to pull two of the spinach beds and switch them over to the summer crop. I pulled up five heads of lettuce and I harvested a full grocery sack of spinach leaves from the second and third spinach beds – too much for us to consume by ourselves. We had some family over on Saturday, so I sent my sister and sister-in-law home with a sack full of spinach and lettuce heads. My sister wrote on her Facebook page yesterday, “I’m enjoying the best salad I’ve ever had!” I’m glad she’s enjoying it!
While we’ve harvested the spinach a few times, we have only eaten it raw. Sunday night, however, I heated some olive oil and fresh garlic in a skillet and then sauteed a couple huge handfuls of spinach. When they were cooked, they still had a crispness to them, and their flavor was oh sooo sweet! It tasted so much better than the organic baby spinach we usually get at H-E-B. I could eat spinach everyday like this!
In place of the harvested spinach, I went ahead and transplanted cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash. The seedlings were getting quite large, and it was time to get them in the ground before they started going downhill. I have four paper pots of seedlings for each veggie, and each one of those pots has two seedlings. I ended up transplanting three pots of each and I’m waiting to see how these transplants develop before thinning them. I want to keep the strongest seedlings, and I want to have a total of three plants per hill.
Meanwhile, the broccoli continues to produce sideshoots and there are a few main crowns still forming. I’ll be pulling these up in the coming weeks as well, but would like to squeeze a few more harvests out of them. It’s been nice having fresh broccoli twice a week now for the past few weeks – all from only nine plants. I continue to be surprised at how quickly the sideshoots form.
broccoli's main crown
another crown, still getting started
sideshoots everywhere - these are incredibly tender and delicious
I sat in the corner of the yard to get a good feel for how things will look when all of the landscaping is finished. Michelle joined me out there, too. In fact, she sat out in a chair and enjoyed the sun most of the afternoon. She’s loving it already. I told her I can’t wait until later this summer when all the plants are bigger and producing flowers. “You’ll love it all the more when butterflies come dancing by you as you sit.”
It appears that even the container plants are anxious to get blooming. The plants I’ve chosen for the butterfly garden have offered up some pretty colors for us:
Four Nerve Daisies
Purple Moss Verbena
The Copper Canyon Daisies are also blooming, although they are supposed to be a fall-bloomer. Perhaps they’re confused? I thought I got a couple of photos, but obviously I’m confused, too. I really love the smell of this plant!
Lastly, as I was sitting by the mint bed, I snapped this photo. I’m continually amazed that all of these were cuttings from one small plant…