Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back in the Backyard--A Trailer Park Homestead update

I don't think this is what the trailer park manager meant when she called my gardens "over the top", but some of the sunflowers and some of the corn is now over the top of my head!
Last week, I focused on what vegetables were growing in the front yard, in support of Julie Bass's troubles in Oak Park, so I figured I should show you what's growing on in the back yard (to see how it all fits together, you can check out the video tour) this week.  Like the front yard, naming it the "backyard" is a bit optimistic for the most part, since it is mostly the side yard, but I define the "backyard" as the area from the back door, back to the garage.  The area between the doors is the side yard a.k.a. the children's play area.
A row of lettuce planters, corn (yes, it is supposed to be tassling while that small) with cucumbers trailing around their bases, and a row of tomatoes act as a barrier between the driveway and the backyard and helps create a greater sense of privacy in the backyard.
Much of the backyard is dominated by towering corn, with vining things such as watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and squashes growing around their bases to act as a living mulch.
The sunflowers that form the border against the next lot (along with more of the miniature corn and the vining things) are starting to tower above me!  I had to look up to shoot this picture.  I've never been much of a fan of sunflowers, but I really love this variety!
I like the sunflowers so much that I decided to stick a few seeds in the barren patch of ground that was left when I moved the brick pile that was in front of the dryer vent.  Can you tell my 2 year old "helped" me plant these?  Spacing them out better is one of many, many outdoors tasks I'd like to get done today, when the temperature is only supposed to get into the mid-70s.  If I don't get them done today, I hope I can get things done tomorrow, when the high is only supposed to be 81.  I definitely don't want to have to do anything outside when the 90+ degree temperatures return this weekend!
I've never grown cabbage before, since we don't eat a whole lot of it, but I do use it in chicken egg rolls, so I thought it would be a good idea this year to grow a few cabbages then make up a bunch of egg roll filling to freeze so I could just thaw it out and use it when I want to throughout the year for a semi-convenience meal.
The snap peas, which are in the back bed along with the cabbages and a whole lot of onions, look a lot better than their counterparts that were in pots by the front bed.  The formerly front bed peas are now sitting in their pots, next to the back bed waiting to die.  I haven't killed them completely yet since I don't desperately need their pots for anything right now and I'm letting them die in their own time to save some of the peas for seed.  Yay for heirlooms!
The potato condo is completely hidden behind the house, so it could be said that it is the only thing truly in the backyard.  Adding more soil to this thing is on my to-do list for today and adding another layer of slats will probably be on my husband's "honey do" list for the coming weekend.

I didn't bother showing the rest of the back bed and the St. Patty's bed this time around because they are hideous.  A slew of onions ready for the harvesting, or at least nearly ready, aren't cute by anyone's standards.  I'll be pulling both of those beds almost (or maybe completely) up in the next week or two and planting them with some of the broccoli and cabbage I have started or maybe some carrots and greens of some sort.  So much potential yet to be had in the garden for the year!


  1. I am amazed at what all you are growing there in your space.

    Happy Summer Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  2. Isn't having a garden something that warms your heart? We are growing mangels for the first time this year, they are an Enormous beet and chickens are supposed to go crazy for them :)
    I've been lightly harvesting the leaves this week for poor man's swiss chard.
    all the best, Sharyn

  3. That all looks really great! Yes the dog days are on us. I got up at 6am the other day to week before the heat of the day got cooking. Take care!

  4. Great big little garden you have going! I love it! May I suggest black eyed peas grown with your corn? They add LOTS of nitrogen to the soil for your corn to 'eat'. You could plant some even now and they would cling to the corn stalks as they grow or you could put in tall stakes.

  5. You have a wonderful garden. I have a hard time getting my tomatoes that big.