Friday, July 5, 2019

Garden Friday


Welcome back to Garden Friday!
Thankfully, everything seems to be in working order,
so we'll jump right in!

 Whoever wrote the song,
"Summertime, and the livin' is easy"
never spent it here.
Ooooh-weee!  It's hot out there.
The leek don't seem to mind.
They are happy as clams in their plastic tote.
Some of the leaves are drying out already,
so they may soon be ready for harvest.

 Although the October beans are starting to show these yellow spots,

they are still producing.
We'll keep an eye on them to see if it starts to spread to anything else.
If so, they will be promptly pulled out of their pots and destroyed.

The potatoes seem to like their shady spot near the maple tree
and keep exploding out of the wire cages we made.

I spied these on them.
Not sure if these are what the flowers look like before they bloom?

The butternut squash has done so well since being transplanted into the raised bed.

 It seems to have tripled in size since last week.
This weekend's project will be to build a trellis for it to climb.

 The loofah is scaling the framework, it just loves this heat!

 I managed to spot the first loofah growing on the vine.
These gourds are edible at the young stage.
I may give 'em a go.

 What an amazing plant.
Just look at this beautiful array of male flower buds.

The female flower, which sits next to the male buds,
looks similar to a rose before it opens.
Isn't it gorgeous?
This crop will be a mainstay in our garden from now on.
It's just so fascinating!

 To my surprise, a couple of volunteer tomato plants
decided to take root underneath the loofah structure.
I'm not tending them, I just want to see how they do.

So far, so good.
It never ceases to amaze me 
how Mother Nature creates with absolutely no help from us.

 A few of us at the West End Master Gardeners meeting
decided to grow pumpkins for the Apple Festival this fall.
This seemed like a great spot.
I'd love to see vines sprawling and covering this area
to kill the grass underneath.
My goal is to eliminate water-greedy turf wherever I can.

 I grew pumpkins once in Florida with limited success,
so it was time to give it another go.

Two hills were mounded right over the clay soil
and three seeds were sown about 1 1/2 inches deep.
Then straw was added around the hills.
This will help with insulation, keep weeds at bay,
and give the vines a cushion to grow on.
I plan to keep adding straw as they grow.
With rain predicted steadily over the next 5 days,
they should get a great boost!

The morning's harvest of greens (and reds) 
are a wonderful supplement to store bought lettuce.
Here, I gathered buttercrunch, Freckles and Red Salad Bowl lettuces,
Vates kale and Bright Lights Swiss chard.

A few of the lettuces are allowed to go to seed,
then I simply shake them over the bed to resow.
My intention is to be able to grow greens year-round, 
so that they can be removed from my weekly shopping list.

 This plastic tub makes a great seat next to the hugelkultur bed.
It's just the right height and easy to move where I need it.
These types of containers are usually planted in eventually,
but I'm working on a new design for the garden this fall,
which doesn't contain as many bins in which to plant.
We're going to transition to all raised beds.

Look at this curious fellow on one of the sunflowers.
Although there were a few holes present,
the plant overall still looks good, so I won't worry just yet. 

If anyone tells you that nasturtiums thrive on neglect, believe them.
This was one of the plants in a raised bed before I fertilized the crops in it.

Afterword, they started declining and turning yellow.

These marigold plants are in bondage to keep squirrels out of the tub.
The easiest organic remedy to deal with squirrels digging for seeds
is to cover them with something, chicken wire, shade cloth or welded wire.

I repurposed these riding mower tires to use as flowerpots.
We love reusing things in the garden.

As is indicated on our "Meet the Family" page under the header,
we don't fish.
I couldn't resist this minnow bucket at a thrift store.
There are so many ways to reuse everyday items.
Just let your imagination run wild!

The tithonia plant sown in the mailbox bed has taken off!
The pollinators love it and it is constantly covered in bees, wasps,
and other flying critters.
The bright orange blooms are striking next to the dark green foliage.
It keeps company with the zinnias.

black diamond sunflower

The weeks just seem to fly by!
So many wonderful surprises in the summer garden each day.
I feel blessed to have a piece of dirt to call my own.
Garden On!


  1. Good to know about nasturtiums. My late planted loofahs have got their first true leaves! I was just out there noticing them, thinking they must not mind the heat. Thanks for confirming that. There were lovely flower gardens around the hospice where my Dad died. I grabbed a handful of tithonia seeds there, but sadly, never had luck growing them. Yours are beautiful.

    1. Yes, the loofah is growing about a foot a day!

      I can try to save some seed for you, if you'd like.

      Hope you are beating the heat this weekend!

  2. Beautiful photos! Will you have to build a cold frame for greens to grow in winter or will you use something like a tote to make a greenhouse-like environment? I wasn't sure how cold it gets for you there. Your loofah look fantastic!

    1. Haven't thought that far ahead, but thanks for the ideas! I saw someone use bricks to create something similar to a cold frame, and that's one thing we have, so I may give it a go.
      We had a mild winter last year. We'll see how it goes!


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