Good Reading

Well there were hoof prints in the potato patch this afternoon. But I don’t think it was javalina because nothing was rooted up and they were pretty big. So I have a feeling it was the deer that have been hanging around. It’s been really dry so I’m thinking that they are coming for water.

I might put a tub of water over across the creek for them or something, just to help keep them out of the yard.

In the meantime I’ve been having a wonderful read over at Gene Logsdon’s blog; awesome fella, I’ve been reading him almost as long as he’s been writing. Bought a few seeds the other day and cleaned out one of my seed boxes this afternoon. I really am trying not to go whole hog on the garden but my fingers are itching to be in the dirt.

So I planted about 3 luffa seeds, a few red sunflower seeds and some snapdragons. That shouldn’t get me into too much trouble. I planted them in some soil blocks and set them in the kitchen to keep the birds and chipmunks out of them while they sprout up.

Mule Deer

Season Review

Well since summer seems to be gone, I thought it would be a good idea to think about this past year and make some notes for next year.

It seems that last spring I could have planted more lettuce, radishes, beets & carrots later in the season. This would have helped with the gap in late May. While the kids enjoyed the baby corn, it seems they really wanted regular fresh corn.

I definately need to plant more melons. Plant less small tomatoes and a lot more large ones.  Give the large tomatoes more space, they probably need a good 24 inches each. I only had about 2 doz large tomatoes, could probably use upwards of 75-100. It takes a lot to make sauce, ketchup and other tomato based things.

Twenty to thirty row feet of snap and snow peas are probably enough, since I don’t like the way they are when you freeze them. But we could use 50 or more row feet of shelling peas for freezing little green peas and probably 25 feet or so of the Blueshokker soup peas.

Since the Lima beans didn’t set pods until late September, they could probably go in a lot later than they did.

I need more bird protection, especially in the summer and fall. Not only did I lose a lot of seedlings to the birds, but also a lot of sunflower and popping sorghum seeds.

I need more rat/squirrel/rabbit  control, they got some melons, tomatoes, squash and other things.

I want more peppers of all types. The amount of squash was fine, as we don’t eat much, especially of the summer types.

We would probably eat more spinach type greens, but mustard and turnip greens were a bust at the table.

We could probably eat more dry beans. The amount of green beans might have been too much, they weren’t a big thrill for the kids so I anticipate the 21 pints I canned to be more than enough. Though I will plant less yard long beans and more Kentucky Wonders.

We could use a lot more strawberry plants. Nobody likes Huckleberries, so I will just invest in more blueberry bushes.

We needed a lot more cucumbers. So this year watch out for the aphids and try to get rid of them ASAP.

I really need to work on the succession plantings. Not keeping up lead to a lot of gaps this year.

It’s a Jungle Out There

Well, here’s a few pics from around the yard to catch up since I missed so much of August.

gardensept09 001Heavenly Blue morning glories cover an arch by the front gate.

gardensept09 002The small sunflowers are still blooming. They attract a lot of butterflies and bees of all kinds.

gardensept09 003One of the surviving Heritage raspberries has put on a few fruits.

gardensept09 004The Moon & Stars watermelon is going strong, tho no fruit yet.

gardensept09 005Elephant Ears & Canna lily

gardensept09 006The Jicama are going strong, just hope they are making nice big roots!

gardensept09 007Can’t hardly walk beside the house for all the plants out there.

gardensept09 008Delicata squash almost ready to pick.

gardensept09 009The eggplants in pots on the patio are doing very well.

gardensept09 010A couple of Rio Grande pepper plants loaded with fruit.

gardensept09 011The back garden. The two empy beds in the middle are for carrots and parsnips.

gardensept09 012Kentucky Wonder green beans cover a 5′ wire cage. So far it’s been so hot they haven’t set any beans, but I found one yesterday so we should have lots of them soon.

gardensept09 013Apache Purple pod beans cover part of the greenhouse. They are just beginning to bloom.

gardensept09 014Cucumbers & beans. I don’t think we’ll get many more cukes tho, they are severly infested with aphids. I think I should probably just pull them out.

gardensept09 015Four o’clocks bloom by the front gate.

gardensept09 01616 baby artichoke plants in their pots. Just not sure where I’m going to plant them!

gardensept09 017The 11′ Lima beans, which still have yeilded no beans.

Too Darn Hot!

whew! It has been about 105 for several days, last night at 9:00 it was still 93.  I don’t do well in the heat and would much rather lay around in the shade drinking icy mint tea, but no rest for the wicked as they say. So in the garden I am busy trying to keep everything watered so it won’t die and it repays me with abundance. [I looked at the tally sheet for July and I think we are pushing 100 pounds of produce for the month ;-)]

gardenJuly09 003Here’s the big corn patch, most of what you can see here is the Bloody Butcher beginning to tassel. Also the patch of small seeded sunflowers. Close up is a part of an old greeting card rack, which has become a trellis for a couple of luffa plants.

gardenJuly09 002I love the color of this small seeded sunflower!

gardenJuly09 004Compare this shot of the yellow Moon & Stars watermelon plants with the one from July 4th and realize that is only 24 days of growth!

gardenJuly09 005The Elephant Ears are getting huge and the canna isn’t doing too shabby either!

gardenJuly09 006A tomato forest. After I took this pic I actually pruned these back a bit. With it being over 100 degrees every day I know that none of the current blossoms are going to set, so I took out some of the excess suckers and branches. That way the plants will stay shorter and are less likely to break later when they do start setting fruit again.

gardenJuly09 008Here you see Miracle’s triple header sunflower is falling down on the baby corn. Her giant 8 & 1/2 foot one is in the background.

gardenJuly09 009If you look closely where the leaves clasp the stalks you can see the little ear shoots coming out on our baby corn. The girls haven’t seen it yet, but they will be excited when they do-they have been waiting for the baby corn all summer.

gardenJuly09 010The yard long beans are growing like crazy in the heat. The yellow blossoms are the Double Yield cukes from http://www.freedomseeds.com

gardenJuly09 012Pickles on the vine.

gardenJuly09 011The Kabocha squash by the greenhouse is turning orange already.