Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Too Hot to Blog

 We just got past a three day stretch of 90+ weather.  Sunday: 94*  Monday: 92* Tuesday: 94* again.  With all of the gravel in and around the garden the temperatures reached 110 a few times.  (That's 43*C for those of you on the metric system)  I watered well Monday morning and kept checking throughout the day for the few transplants that needed rescue.  I did a lot of my checking from the shade of the maple tree, and yes, we did finally turn the air on in the house because it was also too hot to sleep. Today we are getting a much needed rain and relief from the heat and humidity.

Photo taken 10 minutes to Noon yesteday
while the humidity was still low

The Daisies bloomed

The herb garden is beginning to show some nice color

The Dahlias and Zinnias are beginning to bloom earlier than expected

Some of the potatoes are producing berries which is rare

Grow Bag Potatoes

Later Sweet Corn (Honey and Pearl)

Fordhook Lima Beans

The Lima Beanss are really doing the climby thing
and seem pleased with their set-up
First and Second planting of peas.
There are still some pods on these and by this weekend they will be pulled out.
I have pickling cucumbers just now germinating to replace them.

Early Sweet Corn beginning to show tassels

Third planting of peas producing a respectable harvest
When these are done I will plant Buckwheat

Cauliflowers bursting their seam

I have harvested one Cabbage and two Broccoli this weekend

Late planting of peas beginning to produce beautifully.
This bed of peas I will leave in to see if they continue to produce 

Pole Beans and Nasturtium

Bush Beans and Alyssum

Lettuce, Cucumbers and Summer Squash.
The lettuce exploded into monsters.  One variety is bolting.
I've cut one whole gorgeous plant out of there and need to stash a few more.

The two cucumber plants nearest the summer squash are taking a beating
from the cucumber beetles but the rest are OK and growing.

Baby Cue Ball summer squash

Little tomatoes on the Carbon plant

Mahon Yam sweet potatoes taking hold and growing

Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe

As soon as things dry up a little I am going to dig
some new potatoes from the short row of Satina
to make Salt Potatoes.

Pretty soon there is going to be a lot of food out there....

Thursday, June 24, 2021

So you wanna be a bean stalk when you grow up

This year my Fordhook BUSH Lima Beans insist on sending out extremely long, climby stems.  Some almost four feet long  Last year they were tall and bushy and could have used support but they didn't do this... 

One thing I've discovered when growing plants is that if you deny them the chance to grow in the way their passion is taking them - they will quit on you.  There is only so much pruning and discipline you can inflict on a vegetable.  I've had tomato plants just up and die on me because I was trying to keep them to a certain size and space.  And I'm not talking about poor production or pitiful looking plants, I'm talking about Dead.

Sungold Cherry Tomato plant July 2013
suckering indeterminate tomatoes is not always advantageous
In fact, that whole bed of tomatoes was unhappy

You can have years of experience, months of planning and hours of work and suddenly you are faced with a circumstance that requires a lateral move.  So after observing the problem for a few days, I decided I was going to have to hurry up and figure out a tall support for them.  Because this could be just the beginning.  Who knows what they have planned.  

 #1 I have a plan for almost all of my existing supports so I don't have anything tall to span the length of the bed and #2 I have some grids in there already that I think may damage the plants if I removed them at this point.  So I rummaged around and found one beat up T-post and a bean pole.  I could have used two bean poles, but the T-post is sturdier so at least one end of this apparatus is going to hold.  If the bean pole doesn't, I can go buy another T-post and replace it without much trouble.  I used a post pounder to set it so its in there pretty good

Then I strung some heavy jute twine across from post to pole.  But I know that climbing beans feel around for vertical surfaces, not horizontal ones so I added some short pieces of twine tied vertically.  The twine will need to be tightened as it stretches but this will be easy to do because the knots are easily accessible and quick release.

They could just send up some shoots and look a little raggedy or this could be the start of a wall o'beans.  I don't really know what to expect.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

To Pick or Not To Pick - That is the Question

 Sometimes I think that the anticipation is more enjoyable than the harvest.  Its a close run thing.  I am at the point of having to harvest and process things every day.  But the first of anything is always the best.  The first peas, the new potatoes, the first broccoli salad, the first cole slaw.

And then there are things that we are chomping at the bit for and they're still a long way off

Like Cucumbers....

C'mon Daisies - you can do it!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Out Walkin' Around


Will today be the day the daisies bloom?

Bosc Pear

Bartlett Pears

The pear tree is looking nice.  
The creeping thyme at is feet I started from seed.
This cushions the ground if the fruit drops

This is what gave me the idea of planting thyme under the pear tree
This thyme started as three plants next to the rocks.
The flowering areas are Lemon Thyme and Variegated Thyme.
The English Thyme is the green blob!

We've been making good use of the chipper shredder

Our beautiful London Plane trees.

They were planted back in 2012.
They were pretty nice trees then but their growth still astounds us

The view from our neighbor's driveway.
I love this lawn but they get to see it more than we do!

This is the tree we planted twice
It will never be as nice as the three replacement trees, but this shows their unique bark.
Its more like tree skin.
A different view of the garden

Just look at those potato plants!

COVERED in blooms

Well that was my morning stroll.  That's how I make my list for everything that needs to be done that day.  The things that bother me most go on the to do list and off I go....

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Passive Weed Control

My husband asked me awhile back why I was taking up a whole raised bed just to set potato grow bags on when they could just as well be on the gravel along the fence like last year.

This is why:

See all those itty bitty weed babies?

That bed, and two two others, were completely over run by purslane last year.  Practically knee deep in it in between the corn stalks which is pretty impressive for a ground hugging plant.  So I am blocking it out.  Covering it up.  And weeding the edges.  That'll fix it!  Or at least its one less bed to worry about this year.
I just go over it with a claw ever week or two and uproot all of those seedlings before they get big enough to require pulling

Less weeding is also why I use up all my old lettuce seed as ground cover.
No room for weeds in there!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mid-June Progress Report


The whole point of keeping a garden blog is comparing past years to this year.  Compared to June 15th last year, some things are right on track and some things are way ahead.  My Garden last year on June 15th.  I can't believe how far ahead the potatoes are.  Of course this is because they shipped earlier this year and I was able to get them planted much earlier.

The potatoes are already at their mature height and beginning to flower.
The Lima Beans are WAY ahead.

Lima Beans

And the pole beans are already trying to climb.  Last year the first batch I planted around the conduit poles sat there with a stupid look on their beany faces for two MONTHS and never seriously tried to climb so I pulled them out the end of July and planted a new batch on the trellises.  This year I began with trellis.  I can learn from my mistakes.

Pole Beans

The sweet corn is looking awesome.  This early variety is new to me this year and should be producing in another 5 weeks.  I've strung up the first layer of support strings.

Same as last year I have a baby broccoli,  Last year I thought the first one was a Vitaverde cauliflower but it later turned out to be a fill in broccoli from the nursery.
This is Gypsy and I bought the transplants in early May.

The cabbage is ahead of last year because I purchased and planted it a couple about four weeks earlier.  

The cabbages are forming heads.

Last year I know I planted Golden Acre and Red Acre.  This year the tags were generic.  I hate that.
I do have seeds for Golden Acre and Violaceo di Verona.  I am thinking of planting a batch for fall.

The cauliflower is all looking outstanding, similar to last year.

In a few days I should be picking peas.

These peas were planted a month later and are just as tall and almost the same stage

These are the in between pea plantings.  The soil in this bed has very little organic material left in it.  I planted the peas spaced every two inches instead of in a long blob like I usually plant.  The combination of poorer soil and different spacing is not working out real well.

The summer squash are doing the same as last year.  These are Cue Ball plants

The Carbon tomato plant is blooming.
Same time frame as last year's tomatoes.

When I'm done picking and poking around my garden.  Weeding, fertilizing, pruning.  Scolding, coaxing and admiring.  I sit in the chaise, put my feet up, and watch the dragon flies patrol the dry creek bed.