Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a difference a few days make

Wow, have things taken off! With the hot, wet weather we have been having the yard has become a virtual jungle. We have started reaping the benefits of the hard work early this years. We have already been picking and drying batches of herbs but also have had some summer squash, zucchini, and some blueberries have already started turning blue.

The squash and pumpkin has taken off to the point it is overshadowing the other plants. I think I'm going to put in a couple 4X4 boxes and use them just for the squash plants next year. I still have some grass left in the yard I can put more boxes in. I might just till a space instead of putting a box. I haven't decided yet. I have some stripped cucumber beetles hanging out but I have been able to control them by handpicking them along with some of the caterpillars I have seen on the broccoli. Today I did see my first Japanese beetle, got the little bugger. Will try to control them by handpicking but we will see. If not I have some home remedies to try. I really want to stay organic this year but I'm not willing to give my garden up to the bugs for it!

We added a new garden bed in on the west side of the house. We did the corner this year and the plan is to go down the side of the house in subsequent summers. The hardest thing about it was getting the sod up. The soil underneath was awesome, just tilled it up really did not require any additives. Going to try to keep this mainly perennials with a few annuals in the front to change out each year. Tam has also joined me in the yard this year. She started two trash cans full of potatoes. They have just started to sprout. I think she has got the bug. Watch Out we truly wont have any lawn left.

The boxes on the front porch are finely done, I actually bought the plants for these. The impatiens take to long to grow by seed. I still feel pretty good considering 95% + of the yard this year was grown by seed in my living room.

And last but not least. We are trying to put in 2 poles to be bird feeders/hammock. Now we dug the holes and put a 5 gallon bucket in each one. We put the poles in the bucket and filled the bucket with cement. Of course, we did the level thing and staked them until the cement hardened. We took off and went geocaching and camping for the night. The next day we came home I filled the rest of the hole with dirt, Tam put on the hooks for the hammock. I set up the hammock and couldn't wait to put my big butt in that hammock and enjoy the yard and all the hard work we put into it. I sat down and landed completely on the ground sprawled out like a very big fish out of water, both poles had pulled forward. If that is not a big hint to go on a stricter diet nothing is. So I did a little research and low and behold I really need to cement the bucket and everything in the hole. The soil around it is not strong enough to hold the poles. Well I feel better, I'll stick to the DQ Blizzards Thank YOU!
Happy Summer, Enjoy

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Raining, It's pouring, Everything is growing

It has been raining off and on for weeks but the garden seems to like the big drink they are getting. I haven't been able to get outside much between the rain and other activities going on but it did not matter this garden has a mind of it's own. We have a few unwelcome guest such as some aphids , ants (which go hand and hand) and tons of earwigs. No real damage other than the caterpillars chewing on the broccoli leaves. As you can see things are growing well. I have crammed in more plants this year more than any other year.
The plants are actually bearing some fruit. Tammy called me at work one night just to tell me she found the first baby tomato growing. We felt like proud parents. We now have some small Zucchini, blue Hubbard, strawberries and tons of blueberries. If all the blueberries truly ripen I can see jam in our future. The strawberries probably wont give much and what they do doesn't always make it in the house before it is eaten.
The herbs are growing prolifically. I have already trimmed them down and started to dry some. I guess that is it for now. Other than doing some weeding and harvesting the veggies & fruits are maintaining their own. We are working now on a new perennial garden along the side of the house. will update you when we stop playing in the mud!