Right in My Own Backyard - What’s Going On?

I made a video last week - July 6 - but I’ve been running around too much to get any time to actually sit down and write, and there have been some interesting goings on, so I decided to just go ahead and make a new video.  I had originally thought to just scrap the last video and replace it with the one I did this morning - July 13 - but I may just put both of them up anyway.

At the time of last week’s recording, I had one new cucumber flower in my hanging bucket but since then, a couple of flowers have come and gone.  It looks like I’m on the road to seeing some fruit there.  I had a half chewed strawberry which I guess was Kiti because I saw what looked like great big teeth marks in it, and the sight of that has led me to believe it was she who took the hanging pepper as well.   I still have a couple of strawberries left; one of them red.

In the rest of the garden, my fennel, what’s left of that after Kiti’s last trot through the garden looks okay.  I only have one full looking plant and one little sprout out there, but they look healthy enough.  No real change in the green or yellow beans except the yellow beans are really climbing the poles, and I wonder if I’ll have to extend them.  The cantaloupe seems to be coming along; especially the one plant closest to the east fence (my last hold out).  I’ve seen 3 or 4 flowers come and go from it and I think I’m going to soon add a pole or two.  I’m not really sure how a cantaloupe plant grows, but from the presentation I saw at Toastmasters, I’ll need to stake it and add a make shift hammock for the melon to sit in so that it doesn’t get ground rotten.  The four cantaloupe plants close to the west side of the garden really keep me guessing; one minute they seem to be advancing in growth and then given up on life the next.  I dont know  The melon plant in the square foot garden looks healthy but I haven’t seen much change in it over the last few days.  Oh, and the herb sections look like they’re really kicking in now too.

My in ground peppers are really performing well.  I have two especially good looking plants with big, healthy looking peppers.  Of the tomatoes I have a really good cluster of cherry tomatoes on the biggest plant with the others starting to catch up.  I’m starting to get some hope for the beefsteak; even though there aren’t any flowers yet, I can see that it’s working hard to grow and the leaves all look healthy.  I hate to give up hope on the hanging tomato plants, but they just don’t look all that good.  I see minimal growth, and still no flowers.  I know I just said there aren’t any flowers on the beefsteak, but the hanging plants don’t look that healthy. The one hanging by the shed looks a little better, but still . . .  I don’t really know what to make of them. 

The cucumbers in the garden are moving right along as is the one hanging against the wood fence.  There’s a second hanging cucumber that died though because it was just too close to the fence.  We didn’t really pay attention when we were making holes in the buckets and some of them turned out to be perpendicular to the handles.  So when we hung them up, there’d be one plant touching the fence.   I need to get longer hangers as well to keep the buckets farther out from the wall. 

I’m pretty baffled with a couple of the plants in the square foot garden.  The flower’s on the radish square have reverted to pure white from pink and white, and what looks a lot like bean pods are growing in their place.  Also, the broccoli is getting something bean looking but with “thorns”, and the plant itself looks rather sparse.  I don’t have any experience with either radishes or broccoli, so I have no idea what the natural progression is for these plants.  I guess time will tell if I’m on the right track.   The peas will soon be ready for picking I’m sure.  I’ve tasted some and are they ever sweet.  They’re still quite tiny though.  I’ve also got some good sized green beans growing in the square foot garden, but still not ready to pick yet. 

I still haven’t planted anything in my empty squares or the empty spaces in the rest of the garden;  I don’t know now if I even have time to grow anything there.  Then again, it might be beneficial to leave them empty this year and use it next year when I rotate everything.   And that wraps up the garden report for now.


Right in My Own Backyard - July 6 2010

It’s now 6h42 and I’ve just been an hour in the garden fluffing and tying stuff up.  We’re in for a wicked heat wave over the next few days.  We have a humidex advisory out – supposedly in the 40’s -  for today, so I thought I’d better get out there early if I wanted to get anything done.  I guess that makes me officially a farmer now.  Winking  I guess it’s just going to get hotter toward the middle of the week.

I’ve had a video on ice just waiting for me to post since Canada Day, but there’s been a lot going on, and I just couldn’t seem to find the time to write, and the couple of times I did get to sit down at the computer, I was just too tired from so many personal commitments on the go.   Even now, I don’t know that I’ll be able to finish this today; what with the constant editing, rewriting and the inevitable Youtube and photo upload troubles that plague every post.

This morning I got everything fluffed up, and I actually considered planting in the empty spaces but then thought better of it.  With the heat coming it’s bound to get pretty dry out there, and I just didn’t feel like dragging the hose out this morning.  I added a few bean poles in the yellow beans to supplement the two little wire “trellises”  I got from the dollar store.  My tallest tomato plant has started to lean.  The stake I tied it to is a little short and now the tomato plant is taller than the cage even, so the upper have has begun to tilt.  All I did to compensate for that was to tie it to the upper rung of the cage.   I noticed that I have even less fennel than I started out with; which wasn’t much.  I may add more seeds to it down the road.   And I’m considering ditching the tomato plants I have in the planter boxes along the east fence.  Speaking of the east fence, some kind of weed is poking through from the neighbour’s yard that has a really pretty flower on it.  I’ll get pics next time if it’s still alive. 

So, what went on in the garden last week?  Well, in the square foot garden I cleaned out the 4 “dead” squares, and I put a wire trellis in the green bean section.  I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but this year the green bean blossoms are pink.  The onion tops look like they’re dying though.  I’m noticing that they’re getting brown and drooping over.  I accidentally dug up an onion when I was fluffing the other day, and it didn’t look any bigger than the bulb I originally planted.  The carrot tops are really getting quite full and healthy looking.  It doesn’t look like I’ll have many carrots though, so maybe I’ll add some more seeds to the empty squares.  Here’s a question:  How do you tell when things that grow underground are ready to harvest?  What’s supposed to be spinach doesn’t look like it’s going to be spinach to me.  When you touch the blossom, if that’s what you can call it, there’s some kind of smoky or powdery substance that flies off of it.  Also, I see three plants in that square and you’re only allowed one spinach in a square.  I’m wondering if some of it is weeds, or did I just lose track of what the heck I was planting again?  The blossoms on the radish and broccoli squares are getting quite tall, and I guess the broccoli will soon start to appear because I saw a few petals on the ground.  The cantaloupe square that I replanted is probably about an inch out of the ground now, so I’m really hopeful that I’ll get something out of it.  There aren’t any changes that I can see as far as the peas are concerned; they still look great.  Oh except that they all seem to be clumped together as though they’re one plant.  There’s no plant definition between the peas and they seem to be occupying one side of the squares they’re in.  I’ll talk about that in the next video.  That wraps up the square foot garden.  One thing I have to say about the square foot garden though, is that even though I feel I had pretty good success with it in the ground, I think you really need to do it according to the book.  Now that things are really starting to come in, it’s making it hard to get in there and weed even with my tiny hand tool, because everything is in such close quarters.

In the rest of the garden I think the cucumbers are soon going to come.  The flowers are starting to die off and I think I see the start of teeny, tiny cucumbers.  I took off some of the dead leaves, and I saw that one of the plants had decided it was going to reach for the wood trellis, but I showed it who’s boss and put it in it’s place by the north fence. 

My tallest cherry tomato plant now boasts 9 little tomatoes on it! The smaller cherry tomato and the beefsteak plant are finally starting to pick up.  While I was tying the middle plant (the one that got eaten in the beginning) I was reminded that there were actually two plants there.  I wonder if I can let them grow like that, or would I do better to separate them? 

On one of the three in a row pepper plants, I have one really big pepper.  It was second in size to the one that was growing on the hanging pepper plant, but is now number one because the hanging pepper got plucked.   I think it’s actually bigger now than the photos will show.  Nothing really spectacular is happening with the peppers that are sharing a patch with  the cantaloupes.  And speaking of those, all of the seeds I planted are showing promise.  The last hold out, as I call the last of three cantaloupe plants I bought, now looks like it’s going to flower anytime now; fingers crossed.  I feel like an expectant mother.   The yellow beans have a count of fifteen, and my green beans have gone from nine to seven.