It’s Heating Up In Our Garden

Well, July has arrived and so has the HEAT, just what our garden needed to give it a huge growth spurt.  Everything in the garden has really taken off, not to mention so have all of the bees, wasps, and yellow jackets that are swarming around.  It has been quite difficult lately to do any gardening during the day because of the amount of the bees, so we have to wait until later in the day when they seem to taper off a bit.  Mommy is allergic to bee stings, so she is being very careful when out by the garden, and she is concerned too that I might get stung, and we don’t want that.  Daddy does not seem to mind the bees, but is still avoiding them when they are out in full force. 

Daddy has still been doing a lot of fighting with the little furry Chipmunks that continually visit our pumpkin patch.  He plants a few seeds, and the next day that little Chippy has pulled them out and eaten the seed, and then blatantly leaves the empty seed on top of the soil for him to find it.  Grrrr!  The Chippies did the same thing to him when he planted more zucchini seeds – he planted a few seeds, checked on them in a few days only to find them pulled out and eaten (again) by the little furry vermin.  He said that “this is getting old” and they better stop doing this.  Well, the majority of our pumpkin plants have taken off and have grown quite a bit, so it appears that the Chippies don’t nibble on them when they get to a certain size, but….getting them to that “certain size” was the problem.   We even started 10 more pumpkin seeds in peat pots indoors about a week ago, just to get them ready to head outside later today for planting, so we hope that they survive the Chippy attacks! 

NOTE TO GARDENER’S:  We heard about a really cool trick to ensure that your pumpkins get “pollinated”, even if the bees don’t do their jobs.  The trick is to pollinate the pumpkins yourself by using a Q-Tip.  You just take the Q-Tip and twist it around inside the male flower of the pumpkin, then swipe it around the inside of the female flower.  Whala, instant pollination!    We have never heard of this before, so we are going to try it out and we’ll let you know how it works.  If we would have known about this last year, we could have had more pumpkins! 

We just noticed the other day that we are starting to see our cherry tomatoes ripen and Mommy is really excited to see that!  She needs to stock up on Italian Dressing now for sure, as she is anxiously awaiting her first salad with them.  The Beefsteak Tomatoes are getting bigger with all of this heat, but we have not noticed any ripening ones yet.  Daddy’s onions have grown by leaps and bounds and we have noticed how big they are getting as they push through the soil and expose a little bit of the onion.  But he knows to cover them back up with a little soil until they are ready to be plucked from the garden. 

The cucumbers had a very shaky start, and if you remember, we started a lot of our plants indoors.  But, we found out the hard way, that we started them way too early indoors, and when we took them out to the garden, they seemed a bit wild.  So, we let them go to see what happened.  Well, we saw what happened….they died, well, most of them did anyhow.  So, Daddy replanted seeds directly in the garden this time and we now have a huge cucumber crop that is erupting on one end of the garden.  The bees are definitely doing their job and have pollinated the majority of the cucumbers already as we can see from how large some of them are getting. 

As for the zucchini plants, they have “Gone Wild“, not growing wildly, but rather they have had a tremendous growth spurt with the heat and rain we have had.  We can see a large amount of little baby zucchini’s starting to emerge and we are tickled pink to see that.   Mommy can’t wait until the day that she can pick a zucchini and make Zucchini Bread for Daddy, and she will definitely share with you the two recipes she has for a) regular zucchini bread, and b) chocolate zucchini bread.  (betcha you can’t wait for those!) 

We forgot to mention also that we even have four Cantaloupe plants doing very well and we can’t wait to see how they produce for us this year.  No Chippies took down these guys!  (phew

Our Red Warty Thing Pumpkin is growing like it is on drugs or something.  We check on it one day, then by the next day it has grown bigger.  The stalk on this pumpkin plant is huge, not like the other pumpkins we have growing whose stalks are thin, so we’re unsure of why the stalk is so large, but who cares – this thing is awesome!  We are anxiously waiting to see the first sight of a red warty pumpkin to emerge, as these are supposed to get to about 20+ pounds in size.

So, like we have mentioned, it is heating up in our garden and we have lots going on, and with us being “first time gardener’s” we are truly proud of what we have grown so far, have learned a lot along the way, know what works and what does not, but by far we have loved every minute of it and can’t wait to do it all again next year. 

 

Edible Landscaping

Over the weekend, we had the chance to pick our first batch of leaf lettuce and the results were tasty!  Grandma came to visit and she got the first batch of clipped lettuce.  Daddy was so proud of being able to finally clip something from the garden that we grew. 

We are starting to get nice sized beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and our red peppers are now forming, along with a few really small jalapeno peppers that we will use in our homemade salsa, and we even have a little cucumber that has emerged.  Ah, the pleasures of watching your garden start to produce veggies is awesome!

 

 

 

Our red warty thing pumpkins are getting bigger every day, and it is amazing to see them every morning because we feel that these guys do all of their sprouting at night.  We have four red warty things now growing, three in a container, and one in our flower bed.  We so can’t wait to see a pumpkin start forming from these seeds, as the red warty thing will be reddish-orange in color with “warts” all over it, so this will be something interesting to see, not to mention, very cool to carve for Halloween! 

Our Jack Be Little pumpkins, that we started indoors under the grow light, are coming along nicely as well.  They are forming incredible leaves and will be blooming shortly.  Jack Be Little pumpkins are those small pumpkins that you see piled up at the grocery store in Fall and make adorable decorations around the house.  Finding out how many we will produce will be interesting, but we have lots of these planted so our chances of a nice crop will be good. 

Mommy was on another creativity trip again this weekend and made an American Flag out of a pallet.  She started ripping apart a few pallets awhile ago to make a potting bench, but this process is going so slow because pulling a pallet apart is really hard, so she decided to take the few pieces she did have and make an American Flag to hang on our fence by the garden to give our backyard a patriotic look.  She used four pallet strips to make the stripes and painted them.  She did not paint all the way to the edge, rather just lightly added the paint to the strips to make a more aged look.  Then, she cut a piece of another pallet strip in two pieces, and nailed the red & white pallet strips to thee two pieces in the back to hold the strips together.  And lastly, she cut a small square out of pressed wood, painted it blue, then hand painted a few stars on it, and lastly she nailed the square on top of the red and white strips.  Now, the flag hangs on our fence and adds an adorable patriotic touch to our garden area.  So, if you have a pallet just lying around, try making one for yourself! 

We finally got rain over the weekend after about four weeks with no rain.  The lawn and garden was in pure heaven as the rain fell.  We have been working really hard to keep our lawn “green” as we watered every day with the sprinkler – we had to because we fertilize our lawn and did not want to burn it and have our grass look like hay, like most of the lawns do in our neighborhood.  All in all, we were so lucky to receive this rain, as it has made everything in the garden jump for joy, not to mention it gave them all a growth spurt! 

Mommy will let you in on another project she is working on that involves a different kind of cement.  She is experimenting with it right now, and once she perfects the process, she’ll show you what she’s up to. 

We had such a great weekend, with visits from Grandma and Auntie, visiting Grandpa for Father’s Day and Grandma even gave me a new toy – a Minnie Mouse!  Ever since Grandma gave me Minnie, I play with it every day and even take it to bed with me every night.  That Grandma of mine is so thoughtful as she has bought me about 1/2 of the toys in my toy box!  Thanks Grandma!