Monday, July 28, 2014

"July 28, 2014 Garden Update......"

I decided since I was out in the garden picking green beans today and tying up Sugar Baby Watermelons, I should take photos for a "Garden Update".  :)

The 2 varieties of cherry tomatoes are growing very nicely but are not setting many fruit, although there have been hundreds of blossoms.  Perhaps the cooler temperatures have had some effect on this?

I was able to pick a few strawberries from these plants, but the majority of the berries disappeared......"I believe", with chipmunks.  The 3 blueberry bushes have ripening fruit on them......hopefully, I will be able to pick them before the chipmunks are aware of their ripeness.  :)

Here are several Summer Squash in planters.  I have been able to get a few squash from them but have had some blossom tips wither and die.  I'm not exactly sure what the problem has been but since I have watered the plants less, they seem to be setting fruit better.  I must have been giving them too much water for the cooler nighttime temperatures and the days weren't hot enough to require the plants to drink it up quick enough?

The broccoli is growing nicely but no sign yet of any heads......

In this 2' raised bed I have a variety of plants giving us produce.  The Zucchini and Summer Squash plants are doing well, although I think the cooler temperatures are slowing the production down.  As you can see, I am blaming the cooler temperatures for all of this.  ;)  I was, however, able to pick enough at the same time to make a batch of my cousin Barb's Zucchini Relish.  I will be able to do that again within the next few days, too.

I have cut numerous kale leaves, making seasoned kale chips in the dehydrator, and today, picked a bunch of green beans for tonight dinner.  I am thoroughly enjoying being able to pick from the garden and eating the produce the same night.  :)

I haven't grown watermelons in years but thought I would attempt to this year, choosing the variety, Sugar Baby.  I also thought I would try trellising them, giving the melons support by tying the melons up in old shower scrungie netting.  So far, this method seems to be doing very well.

The Grasshopper population is quite large this year and they have been dining on several types of plants, but really taking their toll on my pepper plants.  I get sharing with Nature, but hope Nature remembers to share with me.  ;)

All of my tomato plants are heirloom varieties.  The few which have ripened and we've tasted have been excellent, but the plants are not as productive as I would wish.........however, it could be the cooler temperatures, right?  ;)  I do wish I had planted a few hybrids (I don't think they all are genetically modified) for a control group to see how they would have responded to the same conditions.  Perhaps next year......

This small strawberry patch gave us quite a few berries until the chipmunks found it.  The 2' tall, small spaced fencing did not deter them in the least.  I hope to build a tall raised bed soon so that I can transplant these strawberry plants in it and give them a good amount of time to set good roots before fall.  I also plan on building removable sides and top, covered with hardware cloth in hopes of saving the strawberry harvest "for us".  :)

I hope to replace all of the rest of the low raised beds with 2' tall ones this Fall, too, so they can be in use for early next Spring.  I haven't been able to rotate my plantings as I would like, so having new beds will help with that.

My other 2' tall raised bed is doing very well, too.  As you can see, my cabbages are forming nice heads, the dill is close to flowering, and the peas are on their way out.  I am purposely leaving many pea pods to mature on the vine to see how well they dry and how many shelled peas I get from these few plants. So far, no sign of sprouts forming on the 6 Brussels Sprouts plants.  OH!  The small plants in this near corner are Zinnias.  I planted the seeds quite late after getting a package free with something else we bought.  

The 4 seedless grapes are all growing well, too.  I have 2 green and 2 red plants......the green seedless seem to be growing the fastest, sending out the longest runners.

The Red Raspberries that I planted last year have grown exceedingly well, too.  Next years harvest should be quite large with all of this years new canes.

I planted these 2 Blackberries about 5-6 weeks ago and they have grown tremendously, too.  I've never had Blackberry plants before so do not know what to expect from these.  All I know now is that the canes are VERY prickly, VERY long, and still growing!

Unfortunately, I lost one of my 3 Rhubarb plants, although the 2 surviving ones are quite healthy.  I'm not sure if the leaves are also poisonous for grasshoppers, but if they are, they aren't helping put much of dent in this years population.

All of my container plants on the deck are growing well, too.  Perhaps it is because the pots heat up more quickly after a cooler night?  (See?  Back to the cooler temperatures).

Here are my pots of Basil......


Tomatoes, with a tiny Zucchini or Summer squash plant emerging......

And lastly, my thriving pot of Chives.  I have already trimmed these plants 2 times for dehydrating.  I just noticed the weed growing in the pot.  These photos are good for spotting what needs to be addressed, eh?

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