Garden Survival in the Extreme Heat

| 7/14/2012 9:10:06 AM

A photo of Nebraska DaveJuly is slipping away and I heard the first sound of the Katydid which I say means six weeks until fall.  The old farmers used to say it was six weeks until the first frost.  I seriously doubt my area will have frost at the end of August.  It looks like this year we will still be in the inferno until late in the year.  Today is another mid ninety day with no rain in sight for at least another 10 days.  Normal rain fall for July is about four inches but we have had nada, zip, zero rain with blazing heat.  The farming community is desperate for moisture.  Those that can will be irrigating but it cost about $1000 a day to run the irrigation system and it takes three days to make a full circle in the field.  It definitely cuts into the already slim profits.  Farming is the biggest gamble there is.

Boy where to begin since my last blog.  A lot has happened since then.Anchor for picnic table 

A new addition to the garden was a donation of a picnic table in need of a little TLC.  My neighbor next to the Urban Ranch where I live had a huge tree branch fall on the picnic table and break some of the wood and twist the metal frame for the bench on one side.  A plumber's torch to straighten the frame and a trip to the home improvement store for new wood made the table good as new.

Terra Nova Gardens is in the heart of the inner city and really is not in the best of neighborhoods.  I have become acquainted with the immediate neighbors in the area and they continually tell me that theft is a problem.  A nice picnic table would be a great snatch from the property so I devised a way to slow them down just a tad.  I planted a concrete block under the frame of the picnic table, screwed an earth anchor into the ground and put a U-bolt over the table frame, and bolted it loosely to the earth anchor. 
Finished Anchor for Picnic Table 

Next some quickcrete was mixed up and poured into the hole.  Each leg has an anchor like this one making a total anchor weight of nearly 300 pounds.  The table itself weighs about 150 pounds.  The blocks have dirt packed around them and my plan is to put a poor man's patio on top of the whole thing.Garden Picnic Table 

Here you can see the beginning of the poor man's patio under the picnic table.  I would indeed like to see the look on the face of who ever tries to load this table into their truck for a quick grab and run.  It's been a great asset to the property and a big thanks to my neighbor for his donation to the Terra Nova Project.Terra Nova Gardens July 

8/1/2012 2:22:00 PM

S.M.R. I asked my friend the same question and his response was, "I don't know. I just bought them off the rack at Walmart." I did water them a couple times but they were mostly on their own. We now have harvested about 12 pumpkins that have already turned orange. I think normally that happens in September but this year has really been strange for gardens. The same guy planted watermelons and has harvested three. It's been such an experimental year at the new property. Have a great day in the garden.

S.M.R. Saia
7/31/2012 2:09:13 PM

Wow, love the picnic table!!!!! Keep an eye on those groundhogs. Mine have been eating me out of house and home! I wish I knew your friend's secret on the pumpkins. I can't grow a pumpkin to save my life. The vines do okay but I never do get any fruit...

7/23/2012 2:41:56 PM

Shane, my visit to the garden this morning for watering gave truth to my suspicions. The sweet corn patch was stripped clean. I suspect that the raccoons made a marauding visit last night. It's no matter because that's why I planted that corn outside the fence. To maybe keep the critters away from my corn inside the fence. However, I really should get a gate built and finish putting up the bottom of the fence to keep all the wandering critter appetites from eating my corn as well. Have a great day and I'll try to keep those mower wheels on the ground. :0)

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