Garden update from Illinois

Happy July 4th to all of my American readers. Our resident American, Sarah, is taking a break from her Independence Day festivities to share a glimpse of how gardening is going so far this summer in Illinois.

Happy 4th of July to all the American readers! As you are reading this we should be celebrating Independence Day with a fish fry and fireworks in our back yard.

When Steve and I discussed what sides to make to serve with the catfish, I knew that my goal was to make dishes that included as many foods as possible from our garden.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that we got a slow start to our garden this year. Unfortunately, we have struggled ever since. Walking through the garden last weekend Steve said, “This is the worst our garden has ever looked.” I had to agree.

We had several heavy rains, and it seemed that every time the garden dried up enough to actually walk the rows, another big rain came. Looking up the rainfall for June, it shows that we only had one inch more than average, but I think the timing was our issue.

However, our garden may look awful and yields are down, but we have still been able to have some fresh vegetables.

We have had the best luck with our cucumbers. We have picked enough pickling cucumbers to make 3 quarts and a pint of refrigerator pickles.

Steve had never made refrigerator pickles before and after giving him a little tutorial of how to do it, he has taken over and made it his project. He has tried 3 different recipes and tweaked them to how he thinks they could be improved. The pint above is his version of a hot pickle which included a jalapeno and some red pepper flakes. Hopefully after a few more weeks of marinating and adjusting the recipe, I can share his final version.

Even though the garden is not exactly like we like it, we are still fighting through. Over the past weekend, I actually MOWED our garden rows. I can’t say that I have ever done that before.

Then I was able to pass through with the tiller and pull weeds by hand.

We have a long way to go, but it is looking more like a garden now.

How is your garden doing this year? Have you had to fight weeds? Rain? Any other adversities?

Ahem… fellow garden mower here. I’ll just leave it at that.

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7 thoughts on “Garden update from Illinois

  1. You can puff some of that rain over to your neighbors here in Indiana!!! We are still short of normal rainfall, and right now it would be appreciated, especially since most of the wheat is in.

    • Isn’t it strange how rain can hit one place and skip right over another? I’m not sure how far apart we are but I know just 30 miles away had less rain than we did.

  2. I’m glad you’re getting some fresh veggies, even though the garden is struggling. What did you wind up making for your July 4th celebration?

    Our veggie garden became a bit of a fizzle. We had the area rototilled, but due to various circumstances (health, a very rainy May and schedule issues) it kind of grew in again. Then we got the news that our landlord is selling the house and we have to start house hunting, so that took any remaining wind out of our sails. Oh well! The flower gardens are looking beautiful, at least.

    Happy 4th!

    • Oh how frustrating, house hunting can be so stressful. Wouldn’t it be a dream to find a place with an already designated garden area!? Dream big! And good luck!

    • I realized I didn’t answer your first question! I made potato salad with potatoes from the garden. And a veggie plate with tomatoes and green pepper from the garden. Other dishes that my family brought were cole slaw, carrot cake, a salad with Italian dressing and bacon wrapped cheese stuffed peppers!

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