Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Okay, so I fibbed - June Progress Report

In my last post about simplification, I said that I had, for the first time ever, restricted myself to the planned 5 tomato plants.  And then the very next day, I planted the 5 backups I had.  Because they were small, but too nice to throw out.  When you've cared for a seedling for two months, it is hard to give up on it.  I also have one backup each of cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini in gallon pots.  Those make a little more sense.  The gallon pot slows down their maturity, and you can plant them much later and have a second crop up fresh, healthy plants.  However, last year I was so good at maintaining my zucchini that I didn't need a backup.  So...

The five spare tomato plants are rooming with the zucchini
No deer protection.  But that's what you get when you're a spare
But the tomatoes are under strict supervision.  I am suckering them and keeping up with the lower leaves, and generally following all of the accepted practice of tomato training.   I am pinching off any fused blossoms, because last year I had such a mess of ugly fused fruit.

Celebrity Tomatoes
This is the first year in a long time that I have planted a determinate hybrid variety.  I chose Celebrity because it is a great producer, and the fruit are round and beautiful, and just perfect for sandwiches.  They are also earlier than my heirloom varieties - apparently.

The small zucchini to the right was not pollinated and is already beginning to shrivel.
The larger one to the left is newer, but filling out quickly
This year the zucchini put out a lot of female flowers before any male.  I let them go because who knows if a bee may manage to cross pollinate from some neighborhood garden.  But in the end I could tell that none of the squash would amount to anything, so I pinched them all off.  I've also been carefully policing up the spent blooms.  I was very thorough about that last year and had no sign of mildew or other disease until the end of August.  It's just good housekeeping.

The Neighborhood Squash Patch
I have five zucchini plants planted.  Technically ten because each "one" was two seeds.  I mentioned this last year.  I like planting zucchini seeds in pairs because one will grow left and the other will grow right and you will always have a compact looking zucchini bush and never a sprawling naked vine.  Which I hate.

I always have a few spares hanging around
The reason I have so many is that we let the next door neighbors share our garden and I want to be able to choose the variety and maintenance schedule on the mildew prone summer squash (I planted some yellow as well) so I told them I would plant and manage all of the zucchinis and they could help themselves to as many as they want.  I have my own private zucchini monster planted separately.  And I bought a spiralizer and pinned a bunch of recipes so bring on the zucchini noodles!

The pea anchors for windy days.
The twine is tied to the top of the tall pea fence
My Wando peas are so tall I have to reach way up to pick the later pods.  They are also catching a lot of wind so I straightened the fences and anchored them down a bit.  An ounce of prevention and all that...  We've had a lot of cool windy days and the ground is saturated, so things can easily topple over.

The Tomatoes are surrounded by Nasturtium and Basil
In fact, I had a Nasturtium plant twist off in the wind.  I have them planted thickly here around the tomatoes to prevent soil from splashing up on the tomato leaves in the rain thus discouraging bacterial diseases.

The early Pea bed is cleaned and replanted
The earlier peas are done and the second planting of cucumbers, and the first planting of bush beans are in.  I have learned to wait with beans.  The longer I wait, the better luck I have.  I've planted in May and lost entire rows to rot in years where it was so cool and wet I had moss growing every where.  Like this year...

Moss in the zucchini bed!  And it get's full sun.  ALL DAY full sun and great ventilation.

Cucumbers sheltering the lettuce from the afternoon sun
The early cucumbers are progressing nicely.  I chose the super resistant SV4719CS variety which did very well last year.  The second planting is Marketmore 76 which will be fine in the heat of July but often mildews early.  So I plant them later and hope for dry heat.  I hate having to look at scraggly brown vines whether they are producing or not.

Big Early Red
The peppers and potatoes in pots are doing well.  The neighbor's pepper plants are beginning to drop leaves in this cool damp weather.  Mine did that a lot last year, so I tried fresh soil in containers, and I have had very few leaves drop.  I have also pinched off and pruned my pepper plants, experimenting for larger yields.  The "Big Early Red" that I purchased as transplants instead of starting from seed have set a lot of fruit.

The apple tree is loaded with apples.  I may experiment with bagging them this year.  I think it is done dropping the inferior fruit.  The droppage has slowed down anyway.

The landscape plantings are beautiful this time of year.  The irises are done and the lilies are starting up.

The Siberian Irises earlier this month
May Peonies
Clematis Vine

Tiger Lillies

Daylillies in the dry creek bed

The Dry Creek Bed

Toad Stool Town
And the garage is stripped, empty and waiting for the Amish

No comments:

Post a Comment