What’s Happening in the Garden, July 30, 2014

I truly can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I posted a garden update. Where does the time go?  We’ve been doing everything… camping, hiking, visiting, working, gardening… you name it! It’s a crazy busy summer! While we’ve been so busy lots has happened in the garden.

IMG_6833We have tomatoes!! These are super sweet 100s… I haven’t grown this variety before so I’m looking forward to tasting them.

IMG_6846There are tomato plants tucked in all over the place. One of the great things about growing from seed is the sheer abundance of  plants when it’s time to plant. I’d better get that canning thing down because I’m going to need to do something with these tomatoes.

IMG_6827Yes, their a little bit too close together but I think they’ll be okay. I keep watching for blight so I can remove the yellow branches right away, and believe it or not, hardly anything is touching the ground.

IMG_6822We’ve picked several zucchini and more are on the way. I like to get them when their on the small side so their not too seedy. There is evidence of squash borer. I haven’t figured out how to organically prevent it from hitting my plants, but I have figured out how to deal with it to limit the damage….

IMG_6823I bury the base of the plant where the borers work their evil and the plant reroots almost immediately and keeps right on growing and producing. If you cut open the stalk you will clearly see the wormy little borers eating away. Not everyone handles that well. I think it’s kind of interesting.

IMG_6829There’s basil everywhere too. The flowers on this plant should have been cut back at the beginning of the bud stage. The photo that I took after I cut it was blurry, but you get the idea. You’ll have beautiful basil for a long time this summer if you cut it back!

IMG_6824The red onions look just about ready. I planted them close to the surface as I think I was supposed to and now their very high in the soil? Should I have covered them with soil as they grew or is this okay? It seems like they would have gotten bigger if they had stayed submerged a little bit longer.
IMG_6834The asparagus is gone for the year. It needs to be weeded and fertilized to shore it up for next spring.

IMG_6835The cucumbers are incredible this year! I guess the rain helped, along with researching the variety. I’ve harvested many and there’s lots more coming!

IMG_6845Okay, so, this is kind of a problem. I clearly wasn’t thinking when I put watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin in the same row.

IMG_6840The good news is that we have some fruit.

IMG_6841The bad news is that there appears to be some cross pollination happening. This is a very watermelon like cantaloupe.

IMG_6843Just across from the melon patch is a huge horseradish patch. I still have some in the freezer from last year.

IMG_6862The blueberries, covered with bird netting, are happily producing.

IMG_6855However, these brown dying branches on one of the two plants is a concern. Anyone know what’s happening here?

IMG_6857We have potatoes in the cat pot again… I mixed tons of compost in so I’m hoping for great tuber development.

IMG_6825My favorite border is hanging on. Maybe some good deadheading will bring back another bloom?

IMG_6820We made a little goldfish pond on the deck this year. It’s just a plastic barrel filled with water, pond plants and fish. It’s so easy and a nice addition to our sitting area where we enjoy our view.

IMG_6859Life is so good here…

Enjoy your blessings today!

Love, Michele



  1. So many questions. 🙂 What kind of cucumbers are you having good luck with? Ours aren’t doing great this year. I love your little fish pond. And, please when you cut into that watermelon/cantaloupe please take a photo. 🙂


    1. HI Judy! Those are marketmore organic cucumbers. I seem to have good cucumbers about every third year so we were due. I do think that choosing a variety that tends to do well helps too. I think that melon is going to be green on the outside and orange on the inside, lol! I’ll definitely take a photo of it!


  2. Bailey says:

    We tried the tomato trick DH learned from his grandfather about planting the tomotoes with folded newspaper ringed around the base about 5 inches out and about half way down the width of the fold into the dirt on the zucchinni this year and we had fewer issues with bug attacks on them and a bigger crop.


    1. HI Bailey! I’m sorry I missed replying to your comment the other day. I haven’t tried the tomato trick but it makes sense. I’ll have to give it a try with both the tomatoes and the zucchini next year!


  3. Kathy says:

    Hi Michele! So great to connect with another avid gardener here in Salem. Great post and beautiful pictures. We haven’t had the same troubles with squash borers that we did last year, thankfully, but burying the affected regions is a nice trick for the future. We are seeing septoria leaf spot on our tomatoes. I cut of the diseases branches a soon as I see them, but it’s aggressive to say the least. I just read a scientific article that shows spraying tomato plants with milk helps to stop the spread of it (not to cure it, though). Going to try it. Look forward to reading more and following your blog. Happy homesteading in our fair city of Salem!! 🙂


  4. Hi Michele, What a great post! It sounds like you are so busy (all good) with life, and you have this fabulous garden, too! I can’t wait to hear what the watermelon/canteloupe tastes like! lovely blog post on a lovely garden. Dana


    1. Thanks Dana, xo!


  5. Kathy says:

    Hey Michele, just wanted to leave one more comment. You’re concerned that your melons are cross pollinating. They probably are, but cross pollination doesn’t affect the presentation of the fruit. It will influence the genes of offspring plants inside the seeds within the developing fruit. Those seeds will produce hybrid plants and hybrid fruit, but the parent plant will produce true fruit regardless of who the other parent is that pollinates it. Hope your plants are enjoying the weather as much as mine are. I sprayed my tomatoes with a dilute milk solution today to try and curb the spread of leaf spot. We’ll see if it works.


    1. but that’s a cantaloupe plant and doesn’t it look like watermelon? So will the inside be cantaloupe? I haven’t tried milk solution on tomato spot (blight?) what’s the “recipe”? Thanks for commenting! It’s fun to garden together here in Salem!


  6. Karen says:

    So happy to have discovered your blog…it is nice to meet another New Englander. I think you will enjoy the sweet 100’s, they are one of 3 varieties of cherry tomatoes that I grow each year along with the large heirloom tomatoes.


    1. Hi Karen! There’s lots of fun here in the New England blogosphere! I’m looking forward to the 100s… probably sometime this week. Thanks for commenting!


  7. Cindy says:

    Everything looks great! What is the purple leafy plant in front of your potatoes? I see that you have it labeled. I think it’s what I have growing in my garden, but don’t know what it is. I was told to add it to my salad. Can you offer any more info?


  8. Betsey says:

    Everything is looking great. xxoo


  9. Southernruralroute.wordpress.com says:

    Have read that you can control borers by keeping the plant covered so that eggs aren’t laid on the leaves. Loved your veggie report and your beautiful rudbeckias.


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