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Friday, June 27, 2014

Back to the Garden.

My brain is beginning to ache from all this posting....but maybe it's building muscle!  Wait - is that a good thing?

After a goodly stretch of dry (not remotely like anything happening in other parts of the country), we were blessed with a solid two inches of rain late Wednesday afternoon (just so I could negotiate the potholes and traffic jams through a torrential downpour), until early Thursday morning.  I could almost hear the garden sigh with relief.  I am also happy to say that my rain barrel is finally full.

Here's a little disclosure on the rain barrel.  I am using myself as an example of Haste Makes Waste.  I had a reasonably functioning two-barrel system until I got a bee in my bonnet to put a faucet fixture on the runoff barrel.  I trotted into the house, found my rain barrel kit components (a miracle unto itself), grabbed my trusty Makita 18w drill, and eyeballed the drill bits for boring the hole.  There, my dears, was the problem.  Why I would trust MY eyeballs, I have no idea.  But I was hellbent on finishing the project.  Well, I finished it all right.  I eyeballed the medium bit which was just ever-so-slightly too big.  I am now down to a one barrel system.  My advice to you?  Measure, measure, measure, cut.

The garden seems to be coming along pretty well.  I am so enamored of my mustard greens, that I can hardly bring myself to cut the leaves.  But I force myself.  I have yet to thin out the chiogga and red beets, but that is on my weekend list.  I am also going to dry the rest of the dill, leaving a few guardians to reseed.  Because I am a masochist and I tend to go through amnesia over the winter.  The lettuce has perked up - every other year, when I attempt to plant nice, neat rows of arugula, I get nada.  This year, I put all my elderly arugula seed in a shake bottle and sprinkled it all over.  I've got a quarter acre of arugula!

L-R - Chard (hidden by the voluptuous Mustard greens), collards,
kale, kale.

Tomatoes top, peppers bottom.  Fennel planted around,
basil planted between.

Arugula in the foreground, lettuces in the
back.

I continue to get a quart of berries a day from the strawberry bed.  While it's a pain in the bupkus to have to fish around through the netting to pick them, at least they are there to pick!  The potatoes shot up overnight and now I must be vigilant to make sure none of those nasty insects are laying their orange eggs under the leaves.  My popcorn is growing well, although I don't know if I planted enough for it to pollinate.  I hope so.  Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are doing well.  The cukes are starting to reach up the trellis (with a little encouragement).  My second sowing of kale, collard greens and chard has popped up - I am hoping for a fall crop.  All in all, this year seems to be better than last.

Popcorn and beans.

Flowers on my cukes!

Scapes!

My squash in a bag, however, was a big fail.  While I watched the plants grow anemic and lethargic, I finally had had enough and whipped together a makeshift frame for a bed, filled it with cow manure, and then replanted the squash.  They seem to be perking up.  The squash plants that I stuck in the manure pile are huge!  I think, next year, I will just shove all the squash in the manure pile and not bother doing something tidy, like a raised bed.

Poor little squash plants... :(

It is with some relief that I realized I only have three more scintillating posts to create.  I am just about scintillated out!

13 comments:

  1. It looks terrific.

    As for the potato bugs--I stroll out there first thing in the morning--they're all clustered on top of the plants--a simple matter to brush them off into a small pail of soapy water.
    I laugh when I think back to a farm market guy ---I asked if his potatoes were organic. He snorted and said you can't grow them organic---too many bugs.
    In years past, I always covered them with the fabric, but this year they sprung up overnight , it seemed, so I am just hand picking the nasties. I am definately going back to the Agribon next year..................

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    1. Sue - I would have to plant my potatoes all in a row (of tires....) in order to use the Agribon. I love that stuff (thanks to you)! I have not found a potato bug yet, but I don't dare let my guard down. I am finding that gardening is a lot like waging war.

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  2. Wow, looks great! Unless I plant really early (March) in a cold frame I get 0 lettuce, etc. I can grow kale, chard, but lettuce just bolts on me :(

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    1. Nancy - Lettuce is tricky here, as well. It just turned out that this year was wetter and cooler to start with - plus I put the covered hoops over the bed. This seems to have helped it along - but it does go from tiny seedling to seed in no time!

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  3. Replies
    1. Michelle - It is great stuff! Light enough to 'float' but strong enough to keep the nasties out.

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  4. Wow I am liking this posting everyday thing for you I am getting to know you better and faster:):):) Gardening oh yes it is raining all the time here no problem there for us right now but haying is on hold. Hug B

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    1. Buttons - Well, bless your heart. I don't think I can keep it up, but I do think I will post more often. Is your welcome home party over? Back to normal?

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  5. Garden looks fantastic, enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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    1. TL - I think of you every time I start moaning about the lack of rain. Wish I could send you some (along with hay...)

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  6. I too, pick the potato bugs off by hand. I toss them to the chickens. The scarf them down. Same with tomato worms.

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    Replies
    1. Kristina - That is good to know. I think I'll put them in a dry bucket and toss them in the hen yard. Extra food!

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  7. Just so nice! Not an experimental farm or jungle like wild growth that is the garden here.

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