Garden Report 06-20-2012 – Great Blooming Bits!

| 6/21/2012 2:08:12 PM

Farm View 06202012sm 

Today I thought I’d give you a visual tour of my little garden and discuss what is working, what is not, and make a few guesses as to why.

My biggest problem has been battling the bugs; a warmer than normal winter has left us with battalions of bugs and I’m trying to find non-chemical solutions that don’t kill the plants as well.  I've experimented with hot pepper sprays, Fels Naptha soap spray and Eco-Smart spray. 

I’ve also been busy building the rest of the fence boxes and planting the last of my crops.
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I have two boxes of tomatoes: 9 plants per box.  Cherry tomatoes (though they look more like grape tomatoes to me at this point) a bunch of Romas, some Best Boy (red) and a few Black Kren.  No yellow tomatoes this year; I still have a freezer full of yellow tomatoes that never got used for anything.  Somehow yellow tomato sauce just doesn’t fly.  As you can see the bushes are bearing heavily.  The Krens are starting to take on some color, I expect they’ll be the first to ripen, but the others may come from behind for an upset at the finish line.  When they do start to ripen, we’ll have lots and lots of tomatoes to deal with.  The Romas are more meaty, less fluid, they should be better for canning.

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I just recently got my black beans in the ground.  The delay was caused by lack of funding to buy the soil materials and PVC for the fence.  Once that was done I planted the beans, but forgot to soak them overnight first.  I worried that perhaps I’d messed up because it went a couple of weeks and I saw no sign of activity at all.  But I kept the box wet, watering each day.  One morning I came out and where there was just bare soil the night before was now a forest of little cotyledons.   In a couple of days their secondary leaves began to spread out and I eased back on the watering.  A few were a bit late in coming up, but it looks like all but two or three did germinate.

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I planted four Zucchini vines in one box and a pair of summer squash and a pair of patti-pan in another.  All of these have come up and are doing well.  Some have flowered and we will soon be shoving excess squash off on our neighbors – or maybe taking it to the Farmers Market.
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My cucumbers are doing phenomenally: look at all those blooms!  We will soon be eyeball deep in cucumbers!  I’ve harvested a few already.  Too bad there isn’t any way to preserve them.  What we can’t eat, sell or give away will end up in the compost bin.
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I tried some sugar snap peas this year (in the back, climbing the trellis) and they are doing well.  I stagger planted them so the first round would get tall enough to start up the trellis before the second round got going.  They can then climb up the first round and all will be supported off the ground.  They’ve begun producing and I’ve gotten a handful of tender, sweet pods each morning for the past few days.  Marie is planning on using these in her stir-fry this Friday.  They will also be good raw in salads or steamed as a side dish.

Jonathan Davidson
6/26/2012 5:32:19 AM

Hello,I really enjoy viewing your garden. I love what you've done with your land. I currently do raised beds and I am always looking for new ideas. I haven't seen a fence design like yours before. I was wondering how you made them? What do you use to attach the chicken wire to the PVC? Also how large have u made them? Would they be strong enough to use one on a longer bed 4'x8' or 4'x12'? I would love to be able to make them and then just throw plastic over them for a row cover! Sorry for all the questions. I hope you are able to keep sharing.

Allan Douglas
6/25/2012 6:18:08 PM

Nothing like corn fed turkey for thanksgiving! :-) I'll be watching to see what you come up with for a critter proof gate. I'd like to know that one myself! Thanks for visiting!

6/25/2012 2:36:45 PM

Allen, thanks for the tour of the garden. I too am having issues with peppers. My gardening friends are saying that their peppers are just not doing well this year. We have had over our average rainfall so maybe it's too much moisture. I may have research what soil conditions peppers need to grow well. My new garden Terra Nova Gardens has river bottom soil. I haven't had it tested yet so I don't know exactly what the make up of the soil is yet. Every thing else is doing well except for the new sweet corn. The wild turkey chics are chewing off the tops of the corn plants. I'll just keep on planting and see if I can wear them down. :0) This first year is mostly about eradicating the weeds and not so much about crop harvest. My helpful friend and I are slowing getting the fence built around the fenced in garden part but so far it's only about half finished and needs a critter proof gate. So many challenges generate many ideas. Have a great day in the garden.

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