Friday, July 20, 2018

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday!
It's been a steamy summer,
but we have a few things that don't mind one bit!

The cantaloupe should be ready in a couple of weeks.
This will be the first time in a while we've grown melon.
The trellis has worked well
and I've already decided to try some other varieties next season.

 Watermelon, too, has enjoyed the sizzling heat.
We will be increasing our varieties here too.


The turtle beans have germinated and grown well,

and are starting to dry on the vine.
Another first-time crop, it hasn't had any issues with pests or disease.

 The Japanese eggplant will soon be picked
and pan-fried in a cast iron skillet.
I could eat this stuff everyday.

 Even with all this insect damage, it still produces.
We grow organically, 
so I'm hoping the beneficial insects will do their job.

Cucumbers have been enjoyed everyday in salads.
Dairy-free ranch dressing pairs well with them.

 Although one of the banana peppers seemed to have been damaged
(probably by a squirrel),
we still have a couple of other plants to harvest.
Eggplant, onions and peppers is one of my favorite combinations!

Even the tomatoes showed up this week!
I learned from my farmer friend Lynn in Florida,
that I may have fertilized them too soon.
It's best to wait until the fruit is set on the plants
before fertilizing for the first time.
Lesson learned.

 The okra doesn't seem to need much of anything.
Except heat.
It is almost doubling in size every few days.
For some reason, the plants in the foreground bed
are getting much bigger than the raised bed to the rear.
Haven't figured that one out yet.

The sweet potatoes seem to be pretty happy.
The vines have taken off and are starting to climb the teepee.
I think they were just ready.

Out of several pots of pumpkin seeds that were sown,
one pot germinated.
The others were disturbed by something
(those dang squirrels again, no doubt),
and never took off.

 This is my way of dealing with those varmints.
It's just household screen draped across the pots
and secured with bricks on the ends.
Take that, you rascals!

This week some dismantling was done on the garden.
All of the pots that were between the straw bales got moved
and soon the used bales will be piled up to use as mulch.
The garden was measured, so that I know where I want to add on
and drafts of several ideas concerning design were recorded in my garden journal.
The aspect I'm mostly focused on with the new layout is irrigation.
I want to make it as easy as possible to water.
Drip irrigation and a timer would be ideal solutions.

 I'm hoping to get to this project on the weekend.
The idea is to line these (free) crates with screen
and plant flowers in them.
They could be placed in various spots in the veg garden
to attract pollinators to our crops.
Incorporating flowers and veggies seems like a marvelous idea.

With no planting in sight for the next couple of weeks,
there is time to reflect on design and function.
It's one thing to dream,
it is another to bring it to fruition.
If I can see it, I can make it happen.

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic;
it takes sweat, determination, and hard work."
~Colin Powell

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