Weekly Garden Journal #13

This week the Edible Garden changed Big Time…

At this time of the season, I usually take stock of what’s working and what’s not.  Fortunately, most Everything has been producing prolifically, except for the zucchini.  I thought this year was going to be the year that broke my streak of zucchini/squash failures…I have fretted over them like babies, but I couldn’t keep away that dang fungus.  I finally pulled out the southernmost plant to buy more time for the other three.  There is still time for them to fruit…

The biggest changes are the empty bean beds…the kitchen has been invaded by green beans…

The Kentucky Wonder Pole beans are a long, flat, tasty bean and we’ve harvested a gallon or so.  Though I planned that those should be picked about now, I didn’t plan on having to bring in the second crop of bush beans this soon (we just harvested the first crop last week).  We’ve already planted the first bed with more Blue Lake (bush) and they are popping right up. I’m going to let that second bed rest for a bit while I think about what sort of cool weather crops might go there.

It’s also tough keeping up with the Roma tomatoes, so I’ve started fixing my trusty tomato salads, beginning with the easiest:  chopped roma tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, black olives, feta cheese with a red wine vinaigrette that I whip up with red wine, canola oil, fresh oregano, and garlic.  Mmmm…

The weather is Exactly the type of weather that makes me want to go to the mountains in July every year…  The garden, though, is at its neediest, so here we are.

Around on the Bird Garden Porch, I had to move the cardinal vine/black-eyed Susan vine to a shady spot for some intensive care.  The container I used was just too small and it dried out so easily where it was placed. With all the real estate opening up in the Edible Garden, I might try to plop it in the ground in a couple of weeks. The nasturtium was nearly destroyed by rain and sun, so it also was placed in intensive care.  Just to keep everybody company, I also moved all of my herbs there and I like seeing them right outside my conservatory door…

We’ve paid no attention to the banana trees, yet every week they happily unfurl new branches–if only the edibles were so easy…

Keep on Growing…

 

 

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Weekly Garden Journal #12

We are Reaping what we’ve Sown…Green beans have been on the menu frequently for the last couple of weeks.  Sliced tomatoes are always available. There’s a steady supply of cucumbers and bell peppers for dipping.

This morning we pulled the last of the beans from the first planting in late April.  It was a slow start, thanks some 40degree temperatures, but it has Loved the rain, and we’ve bean eating from it for the last two weeks.  We pulled up the plants and will amend and prepare the soil for one more planting.

 

  The second planting is nearly ready for picking now.

Today’s Harvest

Photo Gallery

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #10

The rain stopped and we saw Sunshine yesterday!  The gardens don’t look a whole lot different, but we’re spending considerable time removing beetles and caterpillars.  The persistent rains made spraying a futile effort, but we’re still hitting them with Neem and Sevin as often as we can.  There’s very little weeding to be done thanks to thick mulch, and certainly there’s less watering this year.

We harvested several servings of green beans last week and they were delicious with some new potatoes from the Farmers Market.  Soon we’ll have more peppers and tomatoes, too, but the rain has messed up our zucchinis and we’ve had to toss some thanks to the rot.

I fix Classic cucumbers and onions in sweet vinegar every summer, but this is the first time I’ve grown cucumbers—who knew they were so easy?  Easily thrilled, I love keeping the bowl full with my very own crop.  The burpless cukes are prolific, but too obscene to photograph…

The Edible Garden

Blooms

Today is overcast, but at least bright, and I’ve got Jrs. girls for the day after spending last night with us. I hope you see the Sun Shine today!

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #9

Lots of rain, almost too much, has been a daily occurrence, so we’ve spent some time propping plants back up.  We caught some Rust on the pole beans and zucchini early enough to remove and spray, but lost one Roma tomato.  I’m so grateful for whoever invented Neem oil; it takes care of most of our problems — if we catch them early enough.

With Casey at home, I have a fellow stalker-of-pests, but he keeps an eye on the real crritters, too.  He has an ongoing War Against the Moles, who he calls “the mole”, like it’s just one…but he’s focused.  Several years back we sprayed the lawn with castor oil and for a couple of seasons, they stayed away.  Last year they were back, and this year are reallly back.  He’s been planting his traps all along their runs and between rains he’s sprayed the castor oil around.  He was in the edible garden and saw the movement of “the mole” at the edge.  “The Mole” has never ventured into the Edible Garden and Casey’s alarm went off…he did some sort of ju-jitsu with shovels (and stuff I made him stop telling me) and I am so happy for him!  Man against Mole is a gamble and lately the odds are short on “The Mole”. so Hurrah for Casey the Mole-err-catcher for saving the Edibles.

Here’s the garden he saved…The Edible Garden

Around the House…

The Bird/Porch garden got better when we bought the cool red glider at a rummage sale, but I couldn’t stop myself from adding more begonias.  This year I have No plants on the Front Swing Porch–I neglect them out there and the West sun doesn’t let me get away with it–so I’ve made up for it with More containers in the part-shade Porch.

Today is Midsummer’s Eve and I suggest you be alert for Puck or something like him.  It’s been a water-filled Spring and we’ve had only one pool day, so I’m hoping to see more sun in the next Season, but as long as the Plants are happy, I’m happy.

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #8

The weather continues to be just right for our garden, though our local farmers have had so much rain that only 50% of their crops have been able to be planted.

The Edible Garden

My biggest project this week has been the Bird Garden which has morphed into the Porch Garden.  I went crazy with begonias and pulled around some other containers to fill it with blooms.

The feeders stay busy as the adult birds bring the young-uns out and teach them to feed themselves.  If we sit still for a while on the porch chairs, we can blend right in with the avians.

The echinacea and susans around the feeder poles are doing well, but it’s too early for their blooms.

I’ve got the girls today and we’re headed out for a picnic…  Until next week…

Keep on growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #7

Wow, can you believe it’s been 7 weeks since I started planting?  I am thrilled with how it’s all growing, but honestly, it’s the mix of rain and sunshine that has made this year so pretty.   Experience teaches that you work harder in the years that are less productive, so I have to give credit, again, to Mother Nature…  I’m just her assistant…

The Edible Garden

Cucumbers

Butterfly bushes, Viburnum, grapes

The daylillies are breaking into bloom

I’ve had two of my grandies staying with me this week, so I’m grateful for the night-time showers.  I’ve noticed that having the kids around all the time is as exhausting and exhilarating as gardening, but with a lot more giggling.

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #6

The rain has been relentless for the last couple of days and the gardens love it.  This morning I took these pictures in a light sprinkle of raindrops and the green was more lush than the camera caught…still, you get the picture…

The Edible Garden

There are zucchini and cucumber fruits forming and the paltry first planting of green beans are starting to bud out.  In addition to already harvesting 4 lovely Big Bertha peppers, I’ve counted a dozen tomatoes on the Better Boys and Romas and the sweet cherry 100 is blooming on…

The daylilies are ready to pop, with the Stellas leading the way…

The begonias that I overwintered are as beautiful as ever.  I have trimmed the mint, but I don’t think it likes its spot in the west sun too well…not a problem on these rainy/cloudy days, but I need to move them eventually.

I can’t stop buying things to plant, but Ronnie’s is down to just about nothing and no more trucks will be replenishing.  I might hit up some big box stores for some rescue plants…As long as I still have empty containers and a barrel of soil, might as well take in some strays…

Keep on Growin’