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


What’s Happening in the Garden-June 9-And Then There Were Two

 

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So, there’s good news and bad news around here. I’ll start with the bad news first and get it over with.

It’s actually really bad, as in, “a coyote killed four of our baby chicks in a few minutes” kind of bad. Michael and I miscommunicated about the meaning of “the chickens are all set” last Sunday night. He left for a work trip right after dark and when he said that they were all set I thought that meant locked up for the night so I never checked them. At 5:00 Monday morning I heard lots of chicken noise so I ran down there to see what was up. I found my neighbor out behind the coop having just scared the coyote away a few seconds before I arrived. It was horrible. The coyote killed three of our chicks instantly and a fourth disappeared. Two survived, both wyandottes. I can’t help but think that it might say something about the hardiness of the breed. One walked out of the woods shortly after the attack and we found the other sheltering in place up the street behind the stop sign. Anyway, I’m now calling these two Silver and Gold because they truly are precious.

IMG_5890The good news in our pet population is that this little sweetie pie is staying. We’ve named her Tucker, and she is the cutest, friendliest bunny ever! Tucker really helped to ease our pain last week after the chicken disaster.

IMG_5973Other good news is that I finally planted out this herb garden this morning. I know it doesn’t look like much now but just you wait! There’s a lot of plant material just below the surface burrowing in and getting ready to grow. This was a very economical project as the only money that we spent was for compost and a few annuals that I had around and added to brighten things up.

IMG_5336Here’s the same space a few months ago.

IMG_5974The borders are coming in to bloom. They need to be weeded again.

IMG_5979The peas are starting to flower a little and there’s watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin seedlings in front of them.

IMG_5981We have some happy cucumber seedlings and some that need to be replaced. I think the cold weather got to them last week. It’s been unbelievably cold. I have new seedlings cooking in the basement that I’ll plant in those hills.

IMG_5999I also started fall crops inside over the past few days… broccoli, swiss chard and brussel sprouts. Just ten plants of each, that’s enough for us.

IMG_5983In spite of the cold, the tomatoes have settled in quite well. I think that their about to take off.

IMG_5984As has the zucchini. The kale loves the cold, along with the mesclun, and the peppers and onions don’t mind too much. It looks like it’s time to weed and pull out rocks again.

IMG_5987The window box still needs to be planted.

IMG_5990And the butterfly garden could use some attention.

IMG_5988It won’t look like this for long… just a few weeks and these beds will be full!

So we’ve had our ups and downs around here. Between the chicken loss and the crazy weather it’s been kind of sad. I’m in the habit of going out to the garden very early in the morning so that we have family time in the middle of the day. The kids enjoy the garden and they help a lot but we don’t want them growing up to resent the time we spend out there.

We’re always adjusting, trying new things, making it work…

And sometimes I can sleep on the beach!

How’s your garden growing? Let me know!

Love, Michele

 

 

Catching Up ~

Wow! The past eight days have flown by! I’m sorry that I’ve been so completely absent. My middle daughter was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society last week, then twenty-four hours later our oldest son graduated from Salem High School. It’s been a whirlwind of events, celebrations, family and fun! I’m “off” today and trying to catch up around here. A lot happens in a week in my cyber world, not to mention on my desk and in my fridge… time to clean out, freshen up and get moving again!  It’s been raining a LOT for the past week. There’s a little glimmer of sun today so I got out for a few minutes this morning and snapped a few very quick photos. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is on Saturday (where did a month go??) so I’ll share most of the blooms that haven’t been destroyed by torrential rain then.

Here we go:

Potatoes, spilling out of their pot… I keep adding soil and hoping that we have a nice harvest from this bucket. I’m starting other potato pots a little at a time in the hope that we can enjoy them over time. I wonder if I could grow potatoes year round if they were in a cool spot? I’m thinking about that, especially for my workplace. IMG_1570The first little Adirondack Blue potato sprout… I hope to see lots of these in a few days!
IMG_1572 I planted and caged quite a few romas. Margaret Roach talked me into staking the rest of the tomatoes this year. Click on the link to read about that. I love Margaret, she is one of my very top gardening mentors…  IMG_1574 Someone is digging a hole, I don’t know who.  I think a Have a Heart trap is in order here…IMG_1575 Okay, one bloom… a very waterlogged white iris. I can’t help it. It’s beautiful, even in it’s frazzled state.IMG_1579 Lots of lettuce… we need to keep eating it. I’ve had a tendency to forget lately!IMG_1582The bush beans sprouted. There’s just a few, I’ll probably start to add a few seeds where the lettuce is as we use it up.
IMG_1583 Hi girls. Their wet too, poor things…IMG_1590Buff orphington chickens are quite friendly and tame. This lady may be doing some visiting around town soon.
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I need to add some twine  to help the poor peas reach the arbor… I’ll be there as soon as I can! My littlest girl grew the lettuce and carrots that are coming up in front of the peas. She’s really proud of “her garden”…

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So, as you can see I have lots of work to do today! Now that I’ve gotten back to my blog and caught up a little I can move on to the outside stuff. I may even get the laundry under control!

Thank you, thank you for stopping by, and reading and commenting! You are all wonderful!

Enjoy everything!

Love, Michele

What We Do With (Old) Pumpkins

Get this, we bury them, strategically, around the yard and woods… We really do! We have put them into the compost before but they take a long time to break down and we’ve been known to end up with crazy pumpkin plants coming up everywhere. So, we prefer to make a sport of choosing some good growing spots and plunking them into or sometimes, onto, the ground.

I love this white pumpkin. This one wasn’t carved this year because we  didn’t get all of them carved. It’s kind of a long story that involves the emergency room and stitches. We won’t go there today.


Michael and I worked together to clear off the front steps and load the wheelbarrow… (not barrel, barrow, thank you spell check!)

Winnie was helping us, he loves to help whenever he can!

Did I mention that it’s very cold here today… 38 minus the wind chill. The wind is blowing at 30 or 40 miles per hour… it’s cold!Hence, the lovely hat and scarf  🙂
We identified a spot for the white pumpkin on the hill leading to the woods… This gets a good amount of sun in the summer and the vines will have a place to spread out.Michael just dug a little hole and buried it in..
I helped him… we are a team after all!  Now, its good to go. In the spring the vines will come and if weather conditions are good and the bee population does it’s job, we’ll have lots of pumpkins from this. It may be run over by sledders all winter, but that’s okay. I think the kid activity actually helps things grow in a weird way… it’s just good energy!And the process is repeated with the hardy mums, they’ll likely re-emerge to enjoy next year. We just look for a good spot, plunk them in and see what happens…

Spring will be here before we know it! This gives us lots to look forward to all winter..

Stay safe and warm today!

Love, Michele (and Michael)