Summer Garden 2014 – August Report

2014-07-31 18.22.38

Not from our garden…

Oh, it’s August! I wonder how the garden is doing? Um, not well. I don’t know of it’s the ravaging rabbits, the overgrown shade trees, or our frolicking puppies but our backyard garden is not doing very well. In the last two months I think we’ve had maybe a dozen cherry tomatoes, five¬†jalapenos, and a single zucchini:

This was what I picked this week from our garden

This was what I picked this week from our garden

One of our eggplants has been completely eaten, the other is a stunted little plant with a sad, stunted little piece of fruit on it. One of our jalapeno plants hasn’t even flowered yet. The zucchini plant flowers but has yet to produce anything but that single piece of fruit. Two cucumber plants are flowering, one is growing quite prolifically, but neither has produced any food.

sad eggplant

sad eggplant

Things are okay though! D switched labs recently and her new lab has a garden plot on campus! The plot has melons, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, corn, squash, and tomatoes growing in it. Anyone in the lab is welcome to pick as much as they want as often they want. That is where all the produce in the picture at the top is from!

D's Lab plot. Not very photogenic

D’s Lab plot. Not very photogenic

Still doesn't look that great

Still doesn’t look that great

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Summer Garden 2014 – May Report

2014-05-31 12.51.51

tomato blooms

Earlier this month the majority of our garden was wiped out by one or more rapacious leporids. For a few weeks D and I pretended not to care about the backyard anymore. But, something about having empty garden boxes wears on you. We broke down and decided to take another go at it. This time though we had to think of a way to keep the rabbits, rats, puppies, etc. out of the boxes. There were a lot of fancy methods we could have used but the cheapest, and so far effective, way was to get some two foot stakes and some bird netting.

You can sort of see the netting in this picture

You can sort of see the netting in this picture

A little time, a little elbow grease, and some staples and we had two feet of netting protecting our plants. It’s been two or three weeks now and all of the plants are still there. I’m going to call that a success (knock on wood.) This feels like the third time we’ve planted so far this year but I’m thinking it’s the last. I think we might have planted the garden too early the first two times anyway. The days weren’t long or hot enough for the plants to be happy.

Green tomatoes

Green tomatoes

Eggplant

Eggplant

Garden bed w/ netting

Garden bed w/ netting

fingers crossed this zucchini produces this year

fingers crossed this zucchini produces this year

The beginning of a tomato plant boom.

The beginning of a tomato plant boom.

 

 

Summer Garden 2014: An Update

2014-05-09 07.01.43

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.