Summer Garden 2014: An Update

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It’s been a month since the last update, and to tell you the truth there isn’t a lot to report. Well, there isn’t a lot of good news to report. Something ate our eggplants, Millie or Jake tore out our cucumber plants, then one of them tore out our replacement eggplants, and now something is eating our jalapeno plants. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a damn rabbit.

The only cucumber plant that has managed to stay alive. Barely

The only cucumber plant that has managed to stay alive. Barely.

I’m wondering if we planted too early? Last year we didn’t get the garden in until late June or early July and the plants seemed to really spring up. These have been in for a month now and just barely seem to be growing. It might be that it’s still too cold at night or they’re just not getting enough sun. There are some big trees bordering the back yard that block direct sunlight for a large portion of the day…

This tomato plant seems to be doing okay.

This tomato plant seems to be doing okay.

I just need to find some way to keep the rabbits out of the garden or to capture/eliminate them. I thought I had done a pretty good job at the end of last year sealing up the fence and chasing the rabbits away but something is getting to the plants. I went out this morning to find one of my jalapeno seedlings stripped of its leaves. Yesterday it had all of them… Checked the fences again and didn’t see any holes. If a rabbit lived in the backyard somewhere all winter I’d like to know what it ate to survive.

Small but already blooming.

Small but already blooming.

I’m not giving up. The heat is really starting to come on and the local gardening stores still have lots of seedlings. I’m sure I can get some cucumbers, beans, or eggplants to thrive. As long as Nature doesn’t throw another wrench into the machinery!

This jalapeno still has all of its leaves. For now.

This jalapeno still has all of its leaves. For now.

Summer Garden: 2014

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cucumber seedling

It’s that time of year again! Time to turn the wet earth over. Time to plant seeds and seedlings. Time to hope the dogs don’t ruin it like the do every year. Time to garden!

The recruits

The recruits

We didn’t have a winter garden this year… Or, we did but soon after putting it in we gave up because our dogs, the slugs and snails, and all the local wildlife were treating it like a salad bar. This summer, this year it’s going to be different! Mostly, because I can scare Jake into not messing with the garden and Millie now spends her days inside a kennel when no one is home.

zucchini

zucchini

What are we planting? Same as last year: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and maybe some cucumbers and zucchini. Keeping it simple. Just in case Jake and the other fauna get out of hand. I’m an optimist though, and I’m looking forward to the harvest!

peppers

peppers

eggplants

eggplants

Winter survivors...

Winter survivors…

 

 

 

Summer Garden 2013: Wrapping Up

One day these heirlooms will turn red. One day

One day these heirlooms will turn red. One day

It’s been over a month since the last update. The garden was moving along quite well despite the weird weather we’ve been having. It’s been a weird mix of a little too hot or a little too cold for the squash, basil and beans. There’s also been a problem with white flies… But those were nothing compared to the problem we had when we forgot to put up the gate that keeps the dogs away from the garden during the day when we’re both at work.

Puppies! Yay!

Puppies! Yay!

The dogs, and I suspect the puppy, Millie, more so than Jake, got into the garden and tore out the melon, the okra, and the peppers. One of the okra plants and all the peppers were salvageable  - though all in some state of disrepair. This came at the worse time as these plants were just starting to produce and the stress of being dug up could only have retarded that… But, not much you can do! We replanted what we could and carried on. The jalapenos and tomatoes have been the best producers this year and D has even had enough peppers left over to make jalapeno jelly, spicy hummus, etc.

They taste goof in hummus, jellies, and sauces.

They taste good in hummus, jellies, and sauces.

Right now we’re in that odd phase between summer and fall. The days are still hot but the nights are cooling down. Half the leaves on the trees are browning. One day it’s cloudy and cool and you want to have tea in the morning and the next you need to have something cold to stay cool in the heat. For the garden this translates into our okra and squash being pretty much done but the tomatoes, basil, peppers, and eggplant still being happy enough to keep producing fruit. So, we’ve taken out what hasn’t been working and put in some cabbage and cauliflower. I’m a little worried that it’s still to hot for them and we’ll lose them but all the guides say the best time to plant is “August/September.” Continue reading