Garden Update – Highs and Lows

I have always said that “Gardening is an adventure”. You just never know what is going to happen. You experience highs and lows on a daily basis, and always hope for the best. Our recent garden highs are the nice sized zucchini’s that we have been picking. Our largest zucchini was 3 lbs. 9 oz.

3 POUND ZUCCHINI 7-20-14Here I am, in all my glory, holding our nice sized zucchini. We call them “clubs”. I could definitely leave one on the counter in case someone broke into the house and they would be beaten with a zucchini. Now, that would make an interesting police report, eh?

PUMPKIN 7-20-14

Here’s one of our pumpkins that I pollinated a while back.

PUMPKIN

Four days later, look at how much it has grown!  I placed a small piece of wood underneath the pumpkin to keep it from rotting while sitting on the grass.  This pumpkin is on one of the long runners that is now running around the outside of the garden, so we can watch this one grow every day. We know that we have other pumpkins back along the fence, but we can’t see them any longer.

JULIET TOMATOES RIPENING 7-24-14

Another huge high for the week is the sight of our Juliet Tomatoes starting to ripen! This is so exciting and I’ve got my Italian Dressing ready!

JULIET TOMATO 7-24-14

Don’t you just love how beautiful the Juliets are looking?

ROMAINE

Our Romaine Lettuce has been definitely enjoyed by us this year. My Sweetie can’t get enough of it! He used to love leaf lettuce, but now he is hooked on the Romaine, and I knew he would. Next year for sure, we will be planting a lot more Romaine. Our first batch of plants (above) are coming to an end, but we have back-up plants already growing so we can enjoy more Romaine.

ROMAINE REJUVINATING

And, if you did not already know this, you can regrow your Romaine Lettuce from the established stalk. Once you have removed all the leaves, just cut the stock down to have a few inches of it still coming out from the dirt. New Romaine Lettuce will start to rejuvenate on that stalk!  As you can see from the photo above, we have new leaves starting on this stalk.

GARDEN PORN

It appears that we also have some “Garden Porn” going on too!  The “X” reminds me of legs…well, you know the rest! LOL

CABBAGE 7-24-14

Our cabbage is forming some nice sized heads already too!

BIG BOY TOMATO 7-24-14

The Big Boy Tomatoes are getting bigger by the day!

SUNFLOWER 7-24-14

Here’s one of my sunflowers currently growing under the kitchen window so I get to see it every day.

HORN WORM 7-24-14

And now for the lows of the week… Yesterday, we found some baby Horn Worms on our tomato plants. THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING!  A Horn Worm can destroy your garden and take down a tomato plant in no time flat. I am so thankful that I noticed them in the garden.

The signs you have a Horn Worm in your garden:

  • You find chewed leaves and branches on your tomato plants
  • You find tiny white eggs on a leaf
  • You notice little black droppings on a leaf (Horn Worm doo doo)

What you need to do to immediately:

  • Find the Horn Worms on your tomato plants immediately
  • Pull them off the branches or leafs (I know, it’s gross, but it needs to be done to save your garden)
  • Look at each and every branch on your tomato plants for them
  • Look for the areas where there are signs of chewed leaves, as you will find them somewhere on that plant
  • Look for their “doo doo” droppings, to see where they have been and check that plant out thoroughly
  • And lastly, dust all of your tomato plants with Sevin-5 Dust as it repels the Horn Worms.  We are not a huge fan of using things like this in the garden, but would rather use something to get rid of them other than having all of our tomato plants eaten!

Here is a link to a post I did two years ago when our neighbor first showed us a huge Horn Worm he found in his garden. We are glad that the Horn Worms we found are not the size of the one he found, but nonetheless, we are very concerned that we have the small ones in the garden.

As you can see, gardening is an adventure and you just never know what you are going to run across from one day to another. You take the highs and lows, the good and the bad, and roll with it. But the most important part of gardening, is acting immediately upon what you see, as your actions can save your garden or kill it.

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26 thoughts on “Garden Update – Highs and Lows

  1. Can’t tell what’s sexier, you, the X rated bulb or them giant zucchini’s. Noooooo, it’s you all the way. Did you cut your hair or is it just tied back? Man oh man you have nice skin. You look 12 years old ! Must be either sawdust or dirt but it’s working for you Val, you cutie Pa-2-Tea.

    Everything in the garden looks spectacular. Wow, so tidy and shiny. That worm is monstrous looking in your neighbours photo’s. The teeth are a dental wonder. Wonderfully white and sharp looking. Would they pinch you if you had one on you? Eeeeck! I helped my Aunty pick rubarb out of my yard (she is willing to back in a non-AC’d kitchen) and spotted a fair number of spiders but your worms beat them hands down. You need a market table to sell all that treasure.

    • Oh man, I had to take that photo of the bulb coming up in between the legs of the “X” because I thought it was hilarious! I turned 49 on my birthday, and I guess I am doing something right. Just wish some of my aches and pains would go away though. Bummer. I am not sure if that Horn Worm would have bitten me or not, but I was not touching that f-ugly thing with my bare hands, that is why we cut off the small branch it was on. We don’t sell any of our veggies, just share them with family, friends, and neighbors. P.S. – My hair was just pulled back, but I do need a haircut soon!

  2. For the starters, you are the sweetest thing in the garden. I love your photo.

    I’ve been battling squash bugs this summer, so I understand how disheartening it can be. We had horn worms a few summers back on our beefsteak tomato. That was it for the plant. They are gross!

    The rest of your garden looks lush and green and will you look at all those tomatoes! Val, I think you’re having fun…and that is the best part of it all.

    • I am definitely NOT the sweetest thing in the garden, but thanks for the super nice compliment! You are so kind. I feel for you and your squash bugs. I guess once they get in on the plants, that’s it. At least, for now, I’ve got our horn worms under control and hand-picked them all off our tomato plants. They are so gross!

      We have picked all of our “first batch” of Romaine and our second batch is coming in nicely. So we’ll have more Romaine in a few weeks, then we have a third batch started to see how long it will take for it to grow. Next year for sure, we are planting MORE romaine and less leaf lettuce. We have enjoyed it so much this year. If our rain and cold temps ever goes away, our Juliets will ripen. It has been raining for the past few days. At least our rain barrels are both full! 🙂

      • I know you are so sick of that rain, but oh, how I long for some. We had an extremely unusual cloud cover last week with a few rain drops…and I mean drops. We all ran outside as it was so unusual. The paper recorded it as a ‘trace’ of rain. Not even enough to join the raindrops.

        You’re a natural gardener. Part of the fun, too, is learning something new every year.

      • I agree about learning while you garden, and you definitely do learn something each and every year. Like this year, we tried the tomato cages around the zucchini and it did indeed keep them contained all together in the garden in their cages. It helped from them getting over crowded in the garden. Will do this again next year.

        We finally picked our last batch of our first round of Romaine yesterday. The second batch is coming up nicely, so in a few weeks we’ll have another round! We have so much enjoyed the Romaine this year. If you remember last year, when the deer jumped our fence, he ate all of the romaine…along with everything else. At least we got the chance to enjoy our romaine this year. My sweetie just loves it!

        I hope you get some rain soon! I have seen on the news about the CA fires and I feel for you guys. I could not even imagine knowing that a wild fire is heading towards your home and you can’t do anything about it. Just like watching it flood and your basement fills up. You can’t stop it.

  3. The garden is looking great! And the good thing about the hornworms it that they’re pretty easy to spot, unlike the squash vine borers. And the hornworm poops are pretty noticeable once you know what you’re looking for. I did love the XO and commentary – yep, garden porn alright!

    Hopefully your neighbors leave the doors unlocked so you can sneak in and leave them some zucchini! Just kidding. I like to dehydrate it and use it in soup over the winter. I have an Excalibur and it’s great.

    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy! Yep, our garden is doing well, so far! Keeping our fingers crossed that we can make it through the season without any hiccups! I walked by our garden porn and laughed so hard. Had to take a pic of it! I bet your zucchini soup is wonderful! Never tried it before. What can you dry in the excalibur?

      • You can dry just about everything. I use the zucchini as part of a turkey vegetable soup, along with dried tomatoes (they don’t get totally dry, so stay in the freezer until I need them). I’ve done strawberries and apples, pumpkin, watermelon (like candy it was so sweet!), even kale. The kale worked out well in my vegetable soup but didn’t seem to be a good use of the dehydrator. I don’t do the herbs in there either – I just hang them upside down, inside a paper bag.

        I didn’t do onions or garlic – too pungent, although one tip I read said to just move it out to the garage when you do them. The green peppers weren’t too bad though.

      • WOW! That is a lot of things you can dry! I never even heard of drying watermelon! I can definitely see the uses of drying these items. Might be something that I need to look into! Thanks for sharing all of this information! Very useful!

    • Yucky worms! I agree! We just have to keep an eye on them and pick them off the tomato plants when we see them, or they will ruin them all. We are so pleased with our garden this year too! Isn’t that pumpkin looking so nice? We love watching the pumpkins grow! The coolest part of growing pumpkins is watching them turn from green to orange! ❤

    • Hi Ruby! Maintenance is the key to a great garden. You just can’t stick a little plant in the ground and then do nothing. You gotta love that plant, care for it, water it, and then you can reap what you sowed by some AWESOME veggies like those huge zucchinis! Come on over, we’ll share!

    • Once you start a garden, you get hooked. I had to laugh, that even our neighbor said the same thing. We both have gardens, and every year we want to make them bigger! If you are not motivated by creating a raised garden – – – you should try to do some container gardens then. You could start out with a tomato plant or two, or even carrots in a large container. It’s amazing on how well they grow in a container.

      That is what I did years ago. I wanted a tomato plant so bad, that I planted two little cherry tomato plants in a large pot. I got hooked! 🙂

  4. Wow! Barring the hornworms, this is a great garden report. You can make zucchini fritters for an army with those giants. I am fascinated with the perfect pumpkin. Are Juliet tomatoes the same as Roma tomatoes? They’re similarly shaped.

    • That is a good question Cupcake! A Juliet Tomato has the same size and shape approximately as the Roma, but I am not sure if the taste is different.

      I do know, that a Juliet Tomato tastes much better than a Cherry Tomato. A Juliet has less seeds and is nice and firm. I’ve got some in the garden right now turning red that would knock your socks off! They are huge!

      And, those zucchinis are the best we have ever grown! We are just tickled to have actually grown them. In prior years, we had no luck. I wish you were our neighbor, as we would share our garden veggies with you!

  5. I just imagine a giant bowl of mixed salad with veggies from your garden :o) The Garden Porn is funny, that’s cool! I hope you can remove that worms, last year you had the deer this year the worms try to sabotage your harvest… send them back to Wormland :o)

    • It is always something isn’t it? I have been out to the garden tons of times today searching for more Horn Worms. If I don’t find them all, they will eat down the entire tomato plant! Not something we want to happen!

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