It is the beginning of a new month. We are half way through the year! Incredible. Time is flying. So much has happened! I have hand written my garden notes in the past but this year I thought it would be easier if I just recorded them here too. I find it very helpful to be able to look back on what I have done and what things worked or needed improvement. It gives me invaluable information on the soil, pests, as well as the final product too.
July Garden Update
We planted so much this year!
Onions (We did it just for fun for their tops)
Tomatoes- Roma, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Juliet, Grape, Yellow Grape, and an heirloom variety or two I can not remember
Peppers- Hot, Yellow, Red, Green
Cucumbers- Lemon and Pickling
Winter Squash- Butternut and Spaghetti
Pumpkin- Heirloom pie and a “Cinderella” for my girls
Herbs – too many to mention! The top 10 standard + some tea herbs but somehow…. no dill.
Flowers: Marigolds, Sunflowers, dianthus, and nasturtium + perennials from last year.
Bugs and Beasts
- Cat used the garden for a litter box initially- no real remedy- seems to be less now that it is planted
- Chickens ate most of the few strawberries this season- broom and shooing helped
- I saw my first big fat hornworm/caterpillar- hand plucking all bugs- it takes about an hour to go through the whole garden. Usually longer because getting an uninterrupted hour is tricky.
- Flea Beetles- They liked the nightshade family seedlings and particularly the tall potatoes. They skipped the peppers.
- What worked? Hand pinching the little bugs. This was tedious and Diotometious Earth very carefully sprinkled just at base of plant and on leaves. This helped a lot! It was on 24 hours before rain/water washed it off. I reapplied by hand, gently coating each leaf. Again 24 hrs. later it rained and most of the powder washed off. CAUTION: I think that it may have damaged some of the leaves where it set longer than twenty-four hours. The leaves yellowed and had brown spots.
o Potatoes: the leaves are yellowing under the straw and getting mushy and yucky. I fluffed the straw and removed the some of the really wet stuff and that seemed to help. Potatoes have these disgusting maggots that are eating the leaves as well. I was cutting off infected leaves and using soapy water to kill and dumping remains in burn pile.
Later, I was told not to cut the branches and to simply remove the bugs.
o Some of the tomatoes have some yellowing/brown spots- not enough water? DE damaged? Flea beetles damage? Further investigation needed.
o Peppers are yellowed and not growing very tall I suspect they need more water. They just blossomed and I put epson salt and water fertilizer for them.
o Herbs are browned and looked damaged where I harvested them. I suspect that I had a dirty cutter- CLEAN YOUR TOOL LIA D. 🙂 Lots of water and fresh cuts with clean scissors worked, a week later they are looking healthy again.
Watering has been the biggest challenge. We have no irrigation set up, only a 50ft hose, a broken nozzle and a broken sprinkler. Needless to say this does not do the trick in a close to a 4,000 square foot garden. I can purchase more hose and nozzles but the soaker hoses are on back order at the local garden supply store and it is testing my patience.
Weeds- They have not been terrible. Crab grass from the newly turned sod is the main offender. We have raised beds without borders and crab grass in the paths. Some of the beds have black semi-permeable black fabric mulch. It has been dry, so it wasn’t until last week that I almost spent every spare minute pulling up the crab grass from the beds. It only came out to a couple hours a day of hoeing, pulling and carting heavy sod to the other side of the house. All the same it was a lot of work to haul about a pick-up truckload of dirt.
Lots of Lovely Lettuce
Lettuce is so simple and easy to grow. I use a “musculin mix” variety that you can cut high so as to miss the ever-growing center and the lettuce will continue to grow until it goes to seed.
I thought I was picking chard when I accidently pulled baby beets!
We had one carrot grow faster than the rest. It was huge and tall and bushy for picking. It was delicious. We are so excited for more.
Succulent Swiss Chard!
This did very well. AMAZING! It was a complete bust last year. This year – we have head after head of gorgeous greens.
That’s about it! How does YOUR garden grow? Share a pic! I’d love to see.
Until next time,
Harvest Time & Preserving !!!