This Week in Barigord Life – 07/21/23 – Grading the Garden

alphabet letter text on black background

Cooking, gardening, and coexisting with nature are funny things to think about as hobbies. They’re the mechanics of survival! But they can also be fun, and satisfying, and that’s what this weekly post is all about!

Last week’s post can be found here.

Hey out there! It’s exactly one month into Summer. It’s been a hot one. Look after yourselves, people.

For many people, including myself, the warm weather has been an excuse to garden. Gardening is amazing. It’s therapeutic, meditative, honest, and dirty. I love watering especially, which I do with a big green plastic watering can.

Old School

So armed with minimal technology, and not a lot of knowledge… I’m actually doing really well. I’m working a long, narrow space with partial sunlight of 2-3 hours daily.

We have a lot of beds, and a lot of containers, and I’m willing to try anything. I’m definitely trying to prove it can be done and real food can be produced.

The Report Card

Even though there’s plenty of summer and even fall left for gardening, I think it’s time for some letter grades. I planted a lot of stuff, and this will also be a good retrospective!

Incomplete, but promising

Asparagus – Looking amazing, appetizing, and prolific is the asparagus. They got a lot of attention (and some singing) while sprouting, then had a choice patch picked out for them. They’re very happy, but often mistaken for dill. They’re a year 3 plant, with maybe a little yield in year 2.

Rhubarb – The Garden Centre where I bought the rhubarb called and said it was mislabeled. So it’s a kind I didn’t buy. Oh well. It’s very scraggly, and under constant slug assault. It’s a year 2 and beyond plant, so I’m not concerned.

A – Producing

Wax & Garden Beans – I’m bringing in a handful of beans every day. Plenty for just me, or a nice little portion to give away. I planted them all over and they came up readily. Next year I need to get them more vertical.

Nasturtiums – Growing everywhere also. Not sure there’s anything edible here, but several have flowered. The leaves are fun, like lily pads.

Zucchini – Already producing tons of flowers, and now a few zucchini. I eat the flowers daily, and will be using the zucchinis for both savoury and sweet stuff.

Peas – On the decline, but the best producer of the early season. I planted them poorly, not close enough to things they could climb, and some did poorly as a result. I’ll do better next time, which is in the late summer.

Pattypan Squash – New this year to the garden, and promising a cute assortment of little snacky-sized squashes, are the pattypans. They’re growing well, contributing flowers, and now producing fruit. I picked the first pattypan today! So cute!

B – Promising

Marigolds – One came up in the bed where I planted it. Only one. Luckily I did some others under a propagation dome. Those are strong and should flower soon.

Calendula – Similar to the marigolds, these did better where they were planted. I have a few rows of strong plants, and at least one is flowering.

Okra – I have a few smallish plants, but nearly all have some little pods, and at least one is big enough to eat.

Sunchokes – Tough to say what’s going on under the ground, but the plants are in the six foot range and looking super healthy.

Endive – There’s a strong little patch in a good location, and I’ve already harvested some of the leaves.

Peppers – Lots of plants, and several in flower. Even if they don’t produce any peppers, these are nice plants.

Grapes – What started as a stubby little stick is now a mass of leaves and vines, and is climbing up the trellis that’s meant for it.

Potatoes – We’ve got 7 bags going, and the plants are tall and strong. Two of the bags look like they’re going to be ready soon. We also have 5-6 random plants that came up by themselves in various spots around the garden.

Tomatoes – The plant is huge and healthy. We’ve got a few small tomatoes going. Very exciting. Squirrels keep away!

C – Hanging On

Eggplant – The plants are very small, and while a couple have flowered, seem unlikely to produce big purple eggplants. We’ll see.

Pole Beans – The plants have been vigorous at climbing whatever’s nearby, but there aren’t many, and they show no signs of beans yet.

Pumpkins – There’s a few in their own specific spot, but it’s quite shaded, and the plants are very small.

Carrots – Lots of tops, but it’s tough to say if there’s any significant rooting. Doesn’t look like it.

Leeks – A good row, but they don’t look too strong individually. They’ll need a lot of growth to get there.

Chard – Some tough little patches, but they’re only doing well in the shade. Probably better in the fall, and in a shaded spot regardless.

Beets – They started strong, but something’s been destroying the leaves. Some good sized roots are there, though. They also lost tons of light to the pattypans, in the same bed. My bad.

Berries – We’ve got good bushes, but the birds got the raspberries, and the rest are a long term project.

Kale – Some small plants are up and doing okay. Some others are in propagation domes. I’m scared the birds will strip them all bare in a day.

D – Not Looking Good

Sunflowers – Planted poorly, they were dragged down by peas. There are a few left, most with weak stalks.

Dill – 2 scraggly little patches in 2 containers.

Radishes – Came up strong, but almost all have flowered, and none have a nice juicy root.

Onions – Also started well, but only one row remains. The rest never got bigger than a ribbon, and some have been eaten by something.

Spinach – Definitely too hot for spinach. Some came up, but it went to seed quickly. Wait for fall.

F – Bad

Rosemary – Planted all over. Nothing came up.

Wildflower Blend – Several varieties, including a big bag. Almost nothing. Some scrubbies. A flower or two.

Chicory/Mache – A few tiny plants that disappeared one night into a slug.

Lavender/Spinach Strawberries/Bee Heaven Salvia – Planted a row of each, but got nothing.

Bok Choy – a few came up, but went quickly to seed, and were eaten by something just as fast.

Broccoli/Romanesco Cauliflower/Broccoli Rabe – Big winners of early season indoor propagation! Went outside and seemed to thrive. Decimated by birds. Eaten down to bare stems.


Lots of letters! Who knew A was for Zucchini? I’m curious to check again in a month or so and see what’s different.

What do you think? What grade did your garden get? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for Reading!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply