I’ve been a bit busy since coming back from vacation, but that hasn’t stopped the garden. This post is a summary of the various gardening activities taking place so far in July. The garden has been getting plenty of rain recently, with just another inch today, so as long as we continue to get sunny days in between the showers the garden should really continue to take off.
I’m afraid I might have started some my seeds a bit early. The tomatoes are fine but the lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini seem to be growing faster than spring weather is getting here.
To give some of the plants a bit more elbow room, I transferred about half over to some 3 inch pots.
I also received my onion plants in the mail this past weekend. I checked the garden tonight and it is still too wet to plant. Tomorrows weather looks like a great day, but I am not too confident that a single day will dry out the soil enough to prep it for planting.
I think this year, at least in the later part of July, the garden gets a theme song. The two leading candidates are Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses or The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens. So far, I have yet to finding a sleeping lion or a corruptive large city in the jungle garden, so maybe in the end, these are not the best candidates after all.
Before looking at the current state of the garden, perhaps a refresher on what the garden looked like BEFORE the plants took over would be a helpful perspective. Check out this post from a short three months ago.
Today is one of those perfect July days. Blue sky dotted with puffy cumulus clouds, light breeze and temperatures in the mid 70s. I figured today would be a great day for a garden status update.
For starters, we get a update on the garden from a short distance away. It is amazing how much the plants have grown in the last 3-4 weeks. The warm temperatures and well timed rain have done wonders for getting the plants off to a great start.
In the picture above, we see the cucumbers climbing and covering the trellis with the green bean tower in the upper right.
The green beans are doing pretty well this year. A small pest problem just starting with a few leaves being perforated, but sprinkled a bit of the Bt powder in the hopes it will ward off the pests. Depending on what it is that is eating it, I may need to switch over to some insecticidal soap. I am thinking the first green beans on the table will be later next week. Hmm, better make sure I have some brown sugar and bacon on hand.
The cucumber plants have been producing more baby cucumbers than I could count. So, why haven’t you seen any pictures of all these wonderful cucumbers harvested? They never make it past the tiny baby cucumber stage. They turn brown, shrivel up and fall off shortly after the bloom falls off. Researching what is going on here is on my todo list. Could it be lack of pollinators? Perhaps there is a mineral deficiency in the garden? If I ever figure it out, I’ll be sure and post it.
Sort of the same issue with the cucumbers is also happening to the squash as well as zucchini. The plant is producing plenty of fruit, but it just does’t seem to mature into something harvestable. So far, I have only gotten one yellow squash from the four plants in the garden. I’d guess that the plants have produced close to 40 fruits, but they just can’t hang on.
The pepper plants are all starting to produce some peppers now. Not exactly sure what I am going to do with all of them once they are ready to harvest, but I’ll either figure that out when the time comes or give them away to those who already have it figured out.
The Lima Bean plants are doing great this year and are full of blooms. A few have already turned into baby Lima bean pods. I’m hoping that this years harvest will be better than last years.
Kind of an ugly zucchini. Again, as I mentioned with the cucumbers and squash, the zukes just are not keeping their fruit. Off to the left you can see a bit of the Bt powder that I have sprinkled across the stem in an attempt to keep the evil squash vine bore at bay.
I am very excited about the onions this year. The yellow in particular have a few very respectable bulbs which have grown quite well. The reds are doing okay and the white onions seem to be staying subterranean for the time being.
Another update on the sunflowers, here we see the tallest approaching the seven feet mark. Pretty soon it will be hard to measure these guys.
I haven’t talked about the tomatoes too much this year. Here is a Brandy Boy hybrid showing its newest fruit. The Sweet 100 are doing pretty good as well with some small green tomatoes. Sadly, the Fourth of July variety still have a ways to go and will once again not live up to their namesake.
Not sure what is happening under the ground, but the sweet potatoes have certainly started to fill in their area and expanded outside into the walkway.
Finally, we have one more picture of the sugar snap peas. I picked all these pods today and am figuring that this will most likely be the last peas harvested of the season. I’ll think about getting a second planting in if there is time and energy.
I spent a bit more time in the garden today and came out with two bags. The first was a lawn bag of garden waste. The second was a bag full of yet more tomatoes and cucumbers. This will be the end of the cucumbers as most of the lawn bag was filled with the spent cucumber plants. By far, this has been the best cucumber year I have ever had.
It was a wonderful September day to do some work in the garden.
The weather in Ohio can be pretty volatile. We’ve been known to have some pretty harsh winters and some sweltering summers. This week give us a hint of both. On Tuesday (Sept 10th), the Garden Weather Station recorded the highest temperature of the year, 97 degrees*. In just four days (morning on Sept 14), the low temperature was a nice and chilly 40 degrees. A swing of 57 degrees. We also managed to finally get a little rain. You won’t see it on the weather page though due to the return of the spiders gumming up the rain gauge again.
Despite all the changing weather, I am still getting tomatoes and cucumbers. This has been the latest in the year I have had cucumbers still being harvested. My family (and neighbors and coworkers) have been spoiled this year with all the fresh cukes.
I spent a couple hours in the garden today doing some of the clean up that I should have been doing over the last few weeks. I removed a number of weeds, the two squash plants, the pole beans and dead leaves from the cucumbers, brussels sprouts and lima beans. In the end, I filled a lawn back with discarded plant debris. As can be seen in the pictures below, it was a great day to be in the garden regardless the chore.
* The thermometer still reads a degree or two high when the sun is bright and hot.
I took advantage of the Burpee 20% off coupon and placed my order for seeds, plants and yet more garden equipment for the 2013 season. I am excited to try pole beans this year and see if I can save some space. I have no idea how I am squeezing all these plants into my garden this year, even with the extra two beds.
Below is a table of my order.
|Squash, Summer, Golden Egg Hybrid(62450A – 1 Pkt. (25 Seeds))||The best-tasting squash in Burpee’s taste trials for two years in a row.||1||$4.95||$4.95|
|Squash, Summer, Sure Thing Zucchini Hybrid(54841A – 1 Pkt. (25 seeds))||Fruits early even in cool, cloudy conditions.||1||$4.95||$4.95|
|Bean, Pole, Kentucky Blue(51474T – 1 Pkt. (1/2 lb.))||You get big crops of sweet and always stringless pods.||1||$7.95||$7.95|
|Pole Bean And Pea Tower(91439 – 1 Tower)||A space-saving way to grow pole beans and snap peas.||2||$29.25||$58.50|
|Bean, Bush, Lima Fordhook 242 (50930A – 1 Pkt. (2 oz.))||Heat-resistant plants thrive in adverse conditions.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Brussels Sprouts, Long Island(60061A – 1 Pkt. (375 seeds))||Lots of tasty sprouts on short, self-supporting stems.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Cucumber, Sweeter Yet Hybrid(56007A – 1 Pkt. (30 seeds))||Cucumbers don’t come any sweeter than this. A Burpee exclusive.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Tomato, Brandy Boy Hybrid(25981 – 3 Plants)||A huge pink beefsteak tomato with incredible heirloom flavor and very high yields.||1||$14.95||$14.95|
|Tomato, Super Sweet 100 Hybrid (24930 – 3 Plants)||Scarlet, cherry-sized tomatoes produce long clusters right up to frost.||1||$14.95||$14.95|
|Tomato, Fourth Of July Hybrid(20651 – 3 Plants)||The first tomato to ripen by Independence Day.||1||$14.95||$14.95|
|Onion Collection, Sets(69690C – 300 Sets (100 of each))||The best red, white and yellow onions.||1||$12.95||$12.95|
|Pea, Super Sugar Snap(53512A – 1 Pkt. (200 seeds))||This incredible pea is even better than the famous Sugar Snap.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Radish, Cherry Belle(60855A – 1 Pkt. (500 seeds))||All-America Winner. Extra-early, retains fine eating quality all season.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Spinach, Salad Fresh(67017A – 1 Pkt. (300 seeds))||Withstands harsh weather.||1||$5.25||$5.25|
|Sunflower, Mammoth Russian(61119A – 1 Pkt. (75 seeds))||Huge heads are ideal for competition at fairs.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Zinnia, State Fair Mix(30110A – 1 Pkt. (60 seeds))||Jumbo flowers in an array of colors.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Zinnia, Cut & Come Again Mix(42846A – 1 Pkt. (75 seeds))||Burpee’s favorite double zinnia.||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Jute Garden Twine(90021 – 1 Roll (200′))||Biodegradable twine- 1000’s of uses.||1||$1.77||$1.77|
|Lettuce, Looseleaf Blend(61663A – 1 Pkt. (700 seeds))||Five favorites in one pack.||1||$4.95||$4.95|
|Lettuce, Green Ice(52977A – 1 Pkt. (750 seeds))||A customer favorite since it was introduced 41 years ago and still the sweetest lettuce in our trials||1||$3.95||$3.95|
|Lettuce, Little Caesar(54080A – 1 Pkt. (700 seeds))||Perfect for small gardens and easy to grow.||1||$4.95||$4.95|
|Carrot, Nantes Half Long(60038A – 1 Pkt. (1500 seeds))||Slim, cylindrical, orange roots.||1||$3.95||$3.95|