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.

The herb spots are starting to fill in, and I really feel that they’d do better if I could really loosen up the dirt around them.  I tried to do that a couple of days ago, in the ground and in the buckets, but I have to be so careful digging around the herbs; they’re so tiny and delicate they’re easily disturbed when you go poking around.  The pineapple sage looks alright, but I don’t know, maybe I should have just put it in a pot.  The basil that’s sharing a bucket with my bell pepper is filling out as is the dill on top of one of my hanging tomato plants.   The tarragon and spearmint don’t look too good; just one sprout in each of those and since I first saw it, the spearmint sprout looks like it died off.  I put quite a few seeds in those buckets, so you’d think something would have happened.  Oh well.

The hanging plants look good, but I don’t expect the tomatoes to do anything.  They are growing a little, but they look sick.  I could be mistaken, but I think they’re pretty badly diseased.  I’ve never seen purple leaves on tomato plants, but then I never saw pink bean blossoms either so who knows?  The thing is though, I really don’t like the look of these tomato leaves.  Aside from the purple colour, there’s some
yellow spots on quite a few of them.  The strawberry has a new flower, but they come and go so quickly.  The pattern seems to be one flower at
a time.  It blooms then dies off and starts to berry.  Once the berry has been forming for several days, then the next flower comes.  And they seem to just appear out of nowhere too.  As for the hanging cucumbers they have lost their blossoms and it looks like I see little cucumbers coming just like in the garden.  Oh you know the I saw the weirdest thing last week.  On one of my fluffing days I came across a dead beetle of some kind near the cucumber wall.  I think it was a june bug, but I’m not sure.   That by itself isn’t so weird, but then I saw a couple more by the stand alone cantaloupe mound and then, down in the green bean section, I raked up a whole bunch of them.  All dead just under the surface.  Now, I did plant some chrysanthemums to help kill bugs, and the majority of these dead beetles turned up in the green beans which are close to the mums.  Dare I think it was they who were responsible for all that carnage?  I dont know

20h58:  Just as I thought.  I knew I wouldn’t be done with this before I had to get on with my day.  Just a quick update though.  I was watering this evening and saw Kiti’s footprints in the garden. . . AGAIN!   The fennel is practically all gone now, I’m down to 6 green bean plants from 7 at the time of the video, one radish flower stem is snapped, and I saw a pepper plant laying murdered on the bricks.  I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I murder my dog, right?   Also, the new strawberry flower is already gone and one of the berries is turning pink.  They’re still pretty small though.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7/7/10 19:47

    You are doing a super job, me and my buddy here at work watched your video. He also was impressed with the garden, and you blog on herw

    love lester....