Saturday, July 30, 2022

What's NOT Happenin' In My Garden . . . And More

Due to my unforeseen "out of commission" period, parts of my garden didn't get planted this year.

I was going to plant the small pie pumpkins here.

And the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins would have gone here.

Two rows of sunflowers were meant to be growing in this space.  Oh, how I am going to miss all those cheerful sunflower bouquets!
Okay, after viewing those dismal bare spots in the garden, here are some other areas that did get planted, but will be changed next year.

I put the tepee trellis in the middle of this raised bed with Scarlet Runner Beans around the base and climbing up it.  On both ends of the bed are beets.  Everything is growing well, but I think it has a look of being too crowded with those two particular vegetables growing together.

The carrots and cosmos flowers . . . oh, my!  Whose idea was this?  Too much greenery that all looks the same.  Bet you can't even tell the cosmos from the carrots.  Being late, of course, the cosmos are yet to bloom.

Even though I won't have pumpkins for fall decorations, I did get small colored gourd seeds stuck in the ground at each end of the hoop trellis.  With luck, they'll climb up and over the hoop.  Maybe too late planted, but at least I got them in.  Will they make it to maturity?  Don't know.  There are zinnias planted from seed in the middle of the bed.  They're going to be late, too.

On the bright(er) side, I've already taken two cuttings of parsley to dry for our winter's supply.  Good ol' parsley.  Reliable stuff.

At my daughter's suggestion, I planted bulbs for Asiatic Lilies.  (I would normally have more flowers interspersed throughout the vegetables in the garden to add lots of color.)  The lilies are just now blooming, and I'm so happy with the color they've added this year. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

What's Happenin' In My Garden

The green peppers are surprising me.  I've always grown them under a cold frame (for added protection from our cool nights . . . and sometimes cool days!) because we generally don't have as much heat as they like over a growing season.  This year, for a couple of reasons, I set them out in a raised bed with no protective cover (eeep!) and told them they were on their own.

Even with our (so far) coolish summer, they're doing just fine.  The plants are tall and lush.

They have loads of blossoms and even some decent sized peppers shaping up.  Go figure.

Look at all those blossoms on the one row of Carola white potatoes!  The other two rows to the right are Dark Red Norland.  The Carola vines are about twice as big as the Norlands.  Does that mean bigger potatoes?

Cabbages usually do well for me and these alternating heads of green and red ones are shaping up nicely.

I put in some turnips specifically for feeding to the poultry this winter.  Frankly, I didn't expect them to size up so quickly.  These shown are about softball size, and I think a good size for human consumption is more like that of a tennis ball.  I cooked one of these bigger ones, and we found it quite bitter.  I'm thinking I read somewhere (but don't quote me on this) that a lack of boron in your soil could cause bitterness in turnips.  It could also be that I simply let them get too big before harvesting.  Please don't tell our chickens that I may have goofed on this one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Our Strawberry Season Is About Kaput

 Our strawberries were late ripening this year most likely because of our cool spring/early summer.  And now they're almost done producing while still giving us mostly smaller sized fruits.  Still worth picking but it takes a lot longer to hull those tiny berries rather than big ones!

I had planned on this being the last year for these older plants (two rows are 7 years old and one is 5 years old), but my husband is trying to talk me into getting one more year out of them since the yield was better than we expected this year.

We've given away quite a few berries and have had a couple of groups of kiddlies come to pick themselves.  This has become an annual thing for the young ones and they start asking when the berries are going to be ready about two months ahead of time.

By this time I usually have our quota of jam made and in the pantry but not being up to handling that just now, I've got the smooshed berries waiting in the freezer for a more opportune time.

The three row planting and the location they are in hasn't turned out to be what I had expected so I'm going back to double rather than single row planting in a new spot.

Considering everything else we already had on the agenda for this spring/summer season, I wanted to hold off a year before starting the new patch.  But our daughter coerced me into doing it this year by saying she'd help me plant them.  So I did go ahead and order more to be started this year.  How could I resist that offer?

What luck that we got all 110 new plants in the ground on June 10th, shortly before the wicked viruses and my oopsie abruptly changed things.  The plants are looking great and all of them took hold and grew except for one.  Can't complain about that ratio.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Jumping Back In . . . Slowly

Hello to you all!  I'm back, at least on a limited basis.  Can't promise anything more at this time.  Here's the short story (not that I can ever write a short post) of our crazy and challenging last several weeks. 
I wrote my "time out" blog post on June 10th.  Almost a week later, on June 16th, our daughter came down with . . . yep, Covid.  I started with symptoms two days later and Papa Pea two days after that.  Neither of them had a fun time, but seemed to recover rather quickly.  I got socked.
The first full week in July, I had inklings that I might be starting to feel somewhat better.  On Friday, July 8th, I really fouled things up by taking a bad fall.  Smashed the right side of my rib cage on a door jamb.  I was lucky as I didn't hit my head or break a bone.  Of course, we were concerned I might have cracked a rib (or six) but decided I didn't.  Now we're wondering if I actually did as although my mobility is better (yay!), I have a lot of trouble sleeping as I just can't lie in a horizontal position without discomfort.  (Have tried being tied upright in a corner, but that doesn't work either.)
The garden got only about two-thirds planted.  I be the head gardener, it's my thing and I love doing it, but since I've been a bit incapacitated (understatement), father and daughter team have been going above and beyond doing what needs to be done that I can't do. 
Dear daughter has been doing all kinds of town running and other errands for us during the time I couldn't get up or down from a chair by myself (let alone get dressed or bend over enough to lift the toilet seat up . . . TMI?) while Papa Pea stayed close to me as constant caregiver.  Poor guy.
But enough of this tale of woe.  Healing is happening and soon it will all be only a memory.  Oh, to feel strong and healthy again!
I can now croggle out to the garden so I'll take some pictures soon to post.  Some things are doing really well, some are surviving and the bare spots will be filled with nutritious bounty next year.  All is well.  And it's good to be posting again.