Garden Update 7-22-13

GARDEN COLLAGE 7-22-13

Another week has passed and we have evaded any deer attacks in the garden, except now something is taking advantage of our cabbage.  We are thinking that a bunny got in the garden area somehow, but we’re not sure since we have not seen one yet.  The cabbage heads are still intact, but the outer leaves have been severely nibbled.

FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE 7-22-13

We do have some good news to report, as our Juliet Tomatoes are now starting to ripen.  HINT: When Juliets form on the vine, they usually come in a group of 10, so just imagine how many tomatoes we are going to pick with batches like that! They have come back after the deer had chewed lots of the branches a few weeks earlier, and are now filled with nice huge tomatoes, getting ready to be picked soon.  Phew!  You should click on the photographs to enlarge so you can see actually how tall our one Juliet plant is.  It is amazing on how this just sky-rocketed!  (we need to find a pole tall enough to support it now)

JULIET TOMATO 7-22-13

JULIET TOMATOES 7-22-13

SEVEN FOOT HIGH JULIET TOMATO PLANT 7-22-13

Our weather has been so up and down here lately, one week with nothing but rain, then temps in the 90’s, and now this week we’re back to normal temps and cooler, and we even had more rain today with hail.  If we can just get a nice week of sun, the garden would surely ripen up nicely.

SPIDER IN THE GARDEN 7-22-13

I just noticed today that we finally have a small Red Warty Thing pumpkin that has formed.  Our pumpkins are really behind in their growth this year and we hope that we can actually get a pumpkin or two before Halloween.

Our zucchini is taking its good ole time in growing too, but we are not surprised with this as they did the same thing last year.  We need to improve our soil next year as this will encourage growth with more nutrients.  Remember that our zucchini plants are in the flower bed next to the garage, and are not in our raised garden.  But what is strange, is that our strawberry patch is on the left side of this same flower bed and the strawberries did great this season.  Who knows why one kind of plant does well and the other grows slower, but it has to be all about the soil composition.  That’s ok though, as next year we are planning on planting the zucchini in the raised garden bed, as we feel the strawberry plants will take over that entire flower bed area.  (by the way, look at the photo below…can you see where the arrow is?  That is where the strawberry plants started at the beginning of the season.  Now they are more than halfway through the flower bed)

ZUCCHINI 7-22-13

STRAWBERRY PATCH 7-22-13

The cucumbers have grown with leaps and bounds and are climbing up the two trellis’s and little cucumbers are all over the vines.  I could only imagine how much taller our cucumbers would be now, if the deer would not have pruned them down to nubs a few weeks ago.

CUCUMBERS 7-22-13

BABY CUCUMBER 7-22-13

We were sitting here talking the other day and we could not believe all of the setbacks we have had this gardening season.  One after another, and we were close to just throwing in the towel on the whole garden a few times, but then you get that burst of energy that pulls you back up to fight back against the elements & the critters.  Even having a small garden like ours, is a lot of work, time involved, and lots of maintenance.  Our garden is 6′ x 16′ and you would think that it would be a breeze to maintain…think again!

SUNFLOWERS FROM AUNTIE RENE

It’s all worth it though just to be able to pick something that you grew yourself, as you can appreciate all the work that went behind starting that plant from a seed the size of a “dot”.

Patiently Waiting to Eat

We are just like all of the other summer gardener’s who are patiently waiting to dine from their home grown veggies.  Some of these gardener’s are already reaping what they sowed because of their zone, but we are in zone 5 in Ohio and our garden has not produced anything yet, except our leaf lettuce. 

We have been introduced to other fabulous gardeners here on WordPress as they share their gardening successes, pitfalls, and how they battle the summertime bugs that invade our precious veggies.  Here are some of their garden posts that you too might enjoy following: 

Seed to Salad, Soulsby Farm, Town and Country Gardening

While dealing with bugs and other harmful things in our garden, we found some great information about those little white butterflies that can do much damage to your cabbage.  (aka: Cabbage Worms)   First, if you notice small holes on your cabbage leaves, you have a problem.  The white butterflies feed on nectar and lays single eggs on the underside of plants.  Their eggs hatch in five to seven days.  Because of their appetite, an infestation can be as few as two or three works per plant.  A serious infestation can result in the death of the plant, since the more leaves the cabbage worm eats means that the plant’s ability to photosynthesize is reduced.  Inspect your cabbage leaves underneath to make sure you don’t have any eggs, and if you do, make sure you remove them immediately.  To help prevent the cabbage worm from burrowing into your cabbage, insert each head into a nylon stocking and leave it on until harvesting. 

So far, we are truly happy to watch our garden grow and mature.  Each day seems to be a new adventure.  Sure, we’ve had to replant some seeds, but since this is our first time having a home garden, we are learning along the way, which makes this experience truly rewarding.  The one thing that we are still trying to get control of is the damage from the chipmunks.  We have lots of pumpkins that are popping up from the soil and those darn chippies are eating them as fast as they pop up!  And, they have even dug in the soil and ate the pumpkin seeds right out of the dirt.  We have considered putting little empty butter containers over these little sprouts at night, since this is when we feel that they are eating (since we don’t see any during the day), but we keep forgetting to head out to the garden to do so, only to wake in the morning to find their damage.   Since we have our garden completely enclosed with a six foot high fence, we have not had any deer eating from our garden (yet) and we hope to keep it that way, but the deer have been eating all of our little flower sprouts that have popped up and have damaged them from ever blooming.

 

Pumpkins go hand in hand with Halloween, so that is why we have planted lots of pumpkins in our yard.  We have Jack Be Little Pumpkins (those are the little tiny ones you find in grocery stores), Big Mack’s, and the one that we can’t wait to see is the Red Warty Thing Pumpkin that will produce about a 20 lb. pumpkin that is a reddish orange bumpy pumpkin.  We have four of these Warty Thing’s planted & growing, so hopefully we have a good chance of them producing this year (unless the deer come out to eat again like they did last year).

Not only are we busy with tending to our garden, we also can be found having some fun.  Mommy got me a new toy that we named YoYo from Pat Catan’s and I only had it for a few minutes until I ripped open the seams!  Oh no, a trip to the Pet Hospital for sure and where I sit next to Mommy while she mends up my new toy.  (sorry Mommy)  YoYo is not actually a dog toy, but Mommy could not resist getting it for me as it was so adorable.  I ran around with YoYo all over the house, threw it up in the air, hugged it, then snuggled with it on the couch where I fell asleep. 

Grandma also stopped over for a visit over the weekend and I never left her alone.  I love my Grandma so much as she always gives me butt rubs and when she does, I melt.  I seem to fly away to another place in my mind, as my ears go back and my mouth seems to drool and I am zoned out from the attention. 

So, all in all, we had a great weekend with lots of stuff going on and this week we’ll have to wait and see what we can get into, but for now, I’m heading off to nap with YoYo.

Catch up with you later,
Nikita