Friday, September 14, 2018

Garden Friday

As we prepare for the deluge sure to greet us for the next couple of days,
we welcome you to another Garden Friday.
Hurricane Florence is paying us a visit
and we will be hunkered down all weekend long.
Having lived in Florida for over 40 years,
we are quite familiar with storms
and feel grateful that we do not seem to be in harm's way.
We Garden On.

The tomatoes are coming in almost daily now.
The tomato is the most popular crop grown by home gardeners.
They can be quite challenging,
and it has always been a personal mission to grow them successfully.

Although I had no problems with blossom end rot,
most of the tomatoes grown here suffered from splitting.
They were still quite tasty and some were over a pound,
but worms did get to many before they were harvested.

They aren't the prettiest fruit I've seen,
but I do feel a sense of accomplishment.
I've passed my personal litmus test and can consider myself a proper farmer.

Such a feeling of satisfaction sweeps over me each morning,
as I return from my daily walk to harvest what God has provided.
Each basketful of goodies validates the abundance in my life.

On occasion, one gets away from me.
Okra is so good at hiding,
and sometimes it grows larger than one would like.

I do have to say that this okra has been a pleasant surprise.
A different variety had been ordered, but the seed company was out of stock,
and so these were a substitute.
They have had no pest issues to speak of,
and even the largest veg has not been the least bit woody.

There are still a couple of banana peppers out there producing.

The pumpkins are done.
I think the black marks I noticed on the stems were a heads-up.
The vines started wilting for no apparent reason,
and when I sliced into one,
squash vine borers were having a party in there.
Next year, I will be sure to sprinkle the pots with diatomaceous earth
to prevent the problem.
The alyssum in the pots still look good though!

First step-logs and twigs

After relocating this sandbox to the corner of the veggie garden,
we decided to use the Hugelkultur method of filling it in.
This will be a pollinator bed, strictly used for attracting those beneficials to the garden.

Second step-leaves
This garden may not be planted until spring,
so we may use it to host our scarecrow this fall.

Third step-soil
By the time spring rolls around,
it can be filled with all kinds of perennial seeds
to welcome those helpful critters to the garden.

The garden between seasons

We used some of the leftover branches when we took down our peach trees
to edge the veggie garden.
It helps keep the mulch in place and adds a rustic feel.

We also removed a couple of bushes that were not where we wanted them.
This empty space to the left of the mailbox
will be used to create a pollinator-friendly spot.
Drought-tolerant and natives are our go-to choices.
This will most likely be a spring project.

Our dogwood tree has been flaunting these vibrant crimson berries.
The birds will get an early autumn treat!

This mum, showcasing yellow and orange blossoms
has been blooming for a couple of weeks.
It is the monster that has taken over the mailbox planter.
Another easy-care plant that will bloom for years to come.

Although we aren't ready to say goodbye to summer yet,
we feel the changes coming that will give way to cooler days
and new projects.
Kale, lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard were sown yesterday,
and will be successively sown to allow us to enjoy our own harvests
through the colder months.
For now, we will embrace the remnants of summer
and pray for our brothers and sisters dealing with the aftermath
of yet another bout with Mother Nature.
Stay safe out there.

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