Friday, September 17, 2021

Garden Friday

It's Garden Friday!
Welcome to our lil' Piedmont garden,
where we were blessed with a bit o' rain yesterday.
The flowers just drink in every drop!

Both of the mystery melons that grew in our melon bed
were either eaten or split before they could be enjoyed.

This sometimes happens when watering is inconsistent,
although when this photo was taken,
we hadn't had any significant rainfall,
and the drip irrigation is very consistent.
All is not lost though,
these were fed to the chooks,
who suck up the seeds like a Hoover vacuum.

I managed to save some seeds for planting next season as well.

 Speaking of seeds,
my order from Sow True Seed came in the mail,
so I will be ready to complete my fall planting.
I got a bit behind, as I was dog sitting last weekend,
and didn't have time to work in my own garden.
I hope to remedy that this weekend.
This year, I will be trying their raised bed mix
on one of the larger raised beds.
Every year, I choose a different bed,
and sow cover crops in it. 
I will also be sowing some white Dutch clover
to the drain field in our yard.
The chooks scratched up quite a bit of it over the last year,
and it needs a bit of resowing.

Each year, I snap a picture of our Mammoth sunflowers,
although this year I'm a bit late to the party.
They were well past their prime by the time we got a photo.
Fortunately, the squirrels did not climb the stalks this year,
so I will be able to harvest huge heads of seeds for next year.

A surprise greeted me when I was perusing the garden.
A few more of the Kajari melons popped up in the grass.
We'll see if we get to sample any.
So far, we haven't had much luck with melon tasting.

The sweet potatoes are surfacing, for some reason.
I've grown sweet potatoes for a few years now,
and never seen them come up out of the ground like this.
It'll be fun to see what's under there!

Strawberries in September?
Is it me, or are things a bit off this year?
I never expected to see berries forming now.
Not complaining one bit!

The loofah are getting huge!
I have sampled some of the smaller ones,
and was surprised to find out that the chooks enjoyed them as well.
The rest will be left to size up and harvest 
to use as "sponges" once they dry. 

The chooks have relished the extra bit of shade the vines provide.
The pollinators have delighted in the flowers.
Everybody wins!

This sweet basket was made by a friend's husband
so that C could use it to collect eggs.
I gathered some basil for pesto making
and it was exactly what I needed.

There are quite a few projects planned for when it gets
just a wee bit cooler.
It's coming, little by little.
I'm hoping that the drier air and cooler temperatures
will motivate me to get out there and get things crossed off of my list.
I'm not sure if I'm slowing down,
or just not willing to go out into the heat anymore.
 Do you notice the asparagus bed in the foreground here?
We've not had any significant wind events,
but the ferns are always laying over in the bed this way.
Any ideas?

The weather is starting to change,
and once again my favorite season will be here.
It's such a blessing to be able to send the heat of summer packing,
and welcome in a milder season.
Here's hoping you enjoy all the loveliness of this very day.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Garden Friday


Garden Friday is on hiatus until I come back 
from my time with a special friend.
Life is good.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday! 
 We got over 1/2" of rain from tropical storm Ida
on two separate days.
Our thoughts and prayers go to those affected by the storm.
Mother Nature's strength is astonishing.

One raised bed was filled with soil and planted with leek, 
three types of lettuce and tatsoi.
The other beds will be worked on over the weekend.
fall garden candidates

An order will be placed for cover crops and seeds that I was low on
so that I have a better chance to restock my supply.
With seed shortages, I'm ordering early.
I'm also getting better at saving seeds where I can.
The cover crop will be used on the bed where we have grown
garlic for the past two years.
The garlic will planted elsewhere.

The beautyberry is starting to bear fruit
and will soon be feeding some of our visiting wildlife.

Speaking of visitors, look who showed up this week!
At last count, there were 17 eggs 
and last night I counted 10 caterpillars on the milkweed.
Oh, I see some gorgeous Monarchs in our future!

The gazebo frame is becoming covered in the loofah.
I love the bright golden flowers almost as much as the bees!

I hope your holiday weekend is just the way you like it.
Personally, I'll be hoping for more rain!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Garden Friday

It's another Garden Friday and we are in a state of transition.
While we have a few things still growing in the garden,
it will soon be time to seed our fall and cover crops.

Believe it or not, this is our first okra of the season.
We got a late start with this heat lover,
but by the looks of the future temperatures,
summer isn't going away anytime soon.
Who knows?
We may get enough to pickle!

The basil was another late bloomer,
although it was planted early in the season.
I'm hoping to get at least a few batches of pesto made
and put into the freezer for later use.

The Red Ripper beans are starting to strut their stuff,
climbing the bamboo A-frame.
These are one of the best drying beans I've ever eaten.

I somehow lost the tag to this melon plant,
so I'll have to refer to my seed packets to find the variety.
I believe it is a cross between a honey dew and a cantaloupe.
 It doesn't look close to being ready to harvest.

A few of the Kajari melons have ripened,
but were split from the inconsistent rain we've been getting.
I'm hoping I'll still get to taste one this season.
In any case, seed was saved for next year's planting.

The sweet potatoes keep on a rockin' the bed!
They are sprawling all over the place,
and I'm thankful we have the space for them to ramble.
This bed will be filled with cover crops when it is harvested.

The loofah has taken on some size.
Before you know it, they are huge!
By the time the fruit gets to be this size,
it starts to get squishy,
which means that the "sponge" is starting to develop inside.
I hope to have enough to share again this year.

The pumpkin flowers are so striking.
So far, no fruit is forming,
but we are as patient as we need to be.

Some time was spent this week mixing up our soil
with the amendments we had on hand.
I had planned to fill the raised beds with it on Tuesday,
but I lost a day due to the effect of the shingles vaccine.
I hope to tackle this task on the weekend
so that I can start planting!

I've been working on collecting various seeds.
These are from the gorgeous moonflowers 
we've been enjoying each evening.
It looks like I'll have plenty to give away.

The tithonia, or Mexican sunflower, always provides lots of seeds
so that they can be planted every year.
This is one of my favorite summer blooms. 
I really want to be better about saving seeds each year.

This woody patch in our backyard is where I think the bunnies live.
We purposely pile up brush for critters to have a safe haven.
We often see rabbits in the front or side yard.

Look at this cute lil' thing I spied one evening.
When I picked it up to show C,
it squealed and squealed!
I'm not sure who was more surprised!

We've been having a problem with finding dead bees
on the front porch every morning.
Several will be found curled up in this position.
It's curious, as we don't use chemicals on the homestead.

I have a mind to transplant some of this supple grass.
This resides underneath a canopy of trees,
but it's so graceful that I would like to use it elsewhere.
I love any kind of native grasses
and hope to add some to the property over time.

We got over an inch of rain this week,
for which we are so grateful.
This seasonal transition is always an upbeat time.
With the hope that every lil' seed brings,
we dream of what could be,
and work to make it so.
May your garden and your homestead be blessed.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Garden Friday

It's been a wet and stormy week,
and we're happy to report no serious damage
on this Garden Friday.
We were blessed with over 3" of rain,
after being without any precipitation for many weeks.

The loofah is gracing us with beautiful blooms,
and is starting to cover the top of the frame.
The bees are its constant companion.

A few fruit were spied on the vines yesterday.
These will be eaten when less than 8",
and I will enjoy a wonderful zucchini substitute.
I want to see if the chooks will eat them as well.

Checking on the pumpkins,
I couldn't help but notice there were no female flowers visible.
The plants look fairly healthy,
with the exception of a bit of squash beetle damage.

Our okra is way behind the growing season,
but marching on just the same.
We'll see if we're able to harvest some for pickling.
Depending on how long summer lasts,
we could get lucky.

The hyacinth bean tepees are looking glorious.
They are being covered in delicate purple blooms.
These are purely ornamental, and they add a nice bit of color to the garden.

They also ensure their longevity by forming oodles of seed pods.

The milkweed is also producing seed pods,
which will be harvested so that we have fresh seed
for next season.
We are expecting the monarch caterpillars any day now.

The moonflower seeds have been gathered a few times a week,
and I will be happy to be able to share some of these beauties.

The lantana has done well planted in some
old lawnmower tires.
These heat resistant flowers just keep blooming,
all summer long.

The stormy weather on Tuesday caused our maple tree
to fall forward.
I think I spied a crack in the trunk, way up high.
This tree will most likely have to be felled,
even though it doesn't threaten anything but the drain field.
Although I'd be sad to see it come down,
it would be enough wood chips to cover the whole garden
and then some.

Two of the hoses I use near the garden and chicken coop 
burst at the same time.
We've been looking for replacements,
but haven't liked what we've found.
They just don't make them like they used to.
 One of these is connected to the irrigation,
so it will need to be replaced soon.

There's always a project on the homestead.
New goals with each new day.