Friday, June 24, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome to the first Garden Friday of the summer season!
We are welcoming new growth and new life.

The corn is slowly making progress.
This is a first time crop for me,
and I'm happy with any success with it.
As this is our initial foray into corn growing,
we started with a small block of eight seeds,
7 of which germinated.

The pumpkins are still doing well,
although I haven't yet spied any fruit on the vine.
It's early though, so I will be patient.

The cucumbers have started bearing fruit,
so I will be getting my jars ready for quick pickles.
It will also be nice to be able to share these with the chooks.
They love some frozen cucumbers!

I thought this was a cucumber beetle,
but the bug I saw does not match the photos I've seen.
It's on the squash plant, but it's not a typical squash beetle either.
Any ideas?

Fortunately, the good guys gals are easy to recognize!


This squash plant has showed no signs of slowing down
or of being affected by our 90+ degree temperatures this week.

The leaves are enormous!

These sad looking potatoes are ready for harvest.
I'm  hoping to get that done this weekend,
as our garlic is fully cured,
and I can use the same drying system for the taters.
Potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow,
with very little in the way of pest pressure.

It's so exciting to see the melons on the vines out there.
We all love watermelon and I've been making lots of 
watermelon lemonade the last few weeks.
So refreshing!

Some of the cannas around the chicken run 
have started to bloom.
What a gorgeous, tropical-like blossom!
I have very little red in my garden,
but for these, I make an exception.

The turmeric is bouncing back
now that it is outside under our maple tree.
It spent the winter in the garage, 
along with our aloe vera.
This inflammatory-reducing herb is a beautiful plant
all on its own.
The medicinal benefits are a bonus!

 Although I admire this nest made by a mockingbird,
it was too high up for me to take a peek
at what was inside.
Bird nests are always so fascinating and truly works of art.

I was, however, able to get a glimpse of this bluebird house
and its inhabitants.
So sweet is their chirping.
No doubt they will be off on their own adventures very soon.
What's happening in your summer garden?


Friday, June 17, 2022

Garden Friday

Greetings and welcome to another edition of
Garden Friday!
We're sharing what's growing in our Piedmont Zone 7b garden.
With a couple of nice rainfalls,
our crops are moving forward.
Here, some melons begin to set fruit on the female flowers.

The okra in the straw bale definitely doubled in size this week.
We have more seedlings to add to other bales.
This is the Clemson Spineless,
but we will be transplanting a few of the Bradford Family variety.

The bees managed to stay hydrated this week,
and found our new chook waterers helpful.

Our largest pumpkin plant is now flowering
and looking very healthy.
No babies found yet on the flowers,
but it should happen soon.

The Jacob's Cattle beans are filling out nicely.
They are also called Appaloosa beans,
as they resemble the pattern on those beautiful steeds.
The goal is to have dry beans,
so these will be left on the plant until they completely dry out.

The mystery squash is probably the healthiest plant in the garden.
It decided to grow underneath one of the straw bales,
and it looks like nothing will slow it down!

Cucumbers were spied on several plants,
so it looks like I'll be making refrigerator pickles
and cuke salads all summer long.
No complaints from me!

Our garlic was harvested last weekend.
The crop yielded about 80 heads,
but many were quite small.
It's drying or "curing" in the garage for another week.
My order has already been placed 
for garlic seed to plant in the fall.
Our harvest lasts us an entire year.

Once the garlic was pulled,
we were able to put in our sweet potato slips.
We grew these from organic sweet potatoes found at the grocery store.
It looks like someone discovered how good the leaves are,
as several plants disappeared the day after they were planted.

 One of the areas around the two south raised beds
was providing me with too much work in the way
of weed management.
It seemed like a good time to put down
these huge cardboard boxes to suppress all that nonsense.
Wood chips will be added on top.

Summer is right around the corner,
and the sunflowers tell the story!
Our pollinator bed is filling in with 
all sorts of beauties.

One of my momma's favorite flowers were glads.
This and several others were planted here before we came.
It's almost like Mimi was waiting for us.


The vitex is starting to bloom 
and the bees are all over it!
There is also a mockingbird nest in its branches.
We are blessed with so much nature around us.

What's happening in your garden?

Friday, June 10, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome back to Garden Friday!
Our buds are bloomin' and the heat is comin' on strong!

We're still getting a few strawberries here and there.
Whatever the squirrels decide to leave us.

On my daily walk, I pass along an empty lot
where raspberries grow.
They're getting close!
I may bring a bucket with me next week.

The third set of cukes I planted are looking like they might make it.
The first batch was eaten, when I had planted them in the ground,
then the second batch (planted in pots) succumbed to the heat.

I think we're on the right track!
I fertilized anything in the garden that developed flowers this week.
The netting is used to deter squirrels from digging in the pots.

 It looks like the pumpkins are getting close to setting flowers.
So far, these are the most promising pumpkins I've grown,
but we still have a long way to go.

Oh my stars!
We have beans!
One of my favorite veg is moving right along.
I had to get over the idea that it was necessary to grow
everything from seed.
I'd rather have something to eat than bragging rights.

This volunteer squash will be a mystery fruit.
I have no idea how it got here, but I'm glad it will have
a trellis to climb next to the straw bale.
Love me some squash soup!
Unfortunately, none of the Candy Roasters germinated.

The garlic will be harvested this weekend
to make room for sweet potato slips.
This is a motley looking mess of garlic.
Not sure what happened,
but my garlic usually looks a lot better than this.
Ah well, it should be enough to keep us fed all year.
Instead of saving the largest heads to replant in the fall,
I decided to go ahead and order new seed from Sow True.

Two varieties of lettuce seeds are being saved.
This is the green oakleaf variety,
and I also have buttercrunch bolting.
A new salad blend will be added to another bed
for harvesting through the summer and early fall.

Surprisingly, the kale is making progress next to the newer carrot crop.
I had just about given up on the two varieties of kale I had in this bed,
but lo and behold, it decided it wanted to grow.

Speaking of carrots, 
I decided to let some of it go to seed.
The flowers are amazing
and it will allow me to save seed
while fostering the pollinators in the garden.

The asparagus is one hot mess.
I'm not sure why it lays down like this, 
I've always seen it standing upright.
Harvesting has slowed down,
but we are still getting spears months after it started growing.
What a valuable food source!

For the first time in years,
I bought some brand new pots.
This fountain grass had been purchased a couple of weeks ago,
and I knew they would be perfect in pots on the front porch,
but I didn't have anything I could use.
These pots are not only made in the USA,
but they are made from 100% recycled plastic.

The daisies are still going strong,
and most likely will continue through the long, summer months.
They are deadheaded a few times a week.

Our butterfly bed out front is filling in
with lots of additions like echinacea, zinnias,
lantana, gerbera daisies, shasta daisies and some herbs.

This pile of branches and twigs has been sitting next to the driveway
for months, and the dry weather lent itself to tackling this project.
After all, we can always use more wood chips.

 With the three of us working,
it took a few hours to mulch up the pile.
The chips were added to various areas of the chook run.
Nothin' like fresh wood chips!

What didn't get shredded was burned,
so we have a bit of ash to use in the garden as well.
It's amazing to see how all of that "rubbish" burns down to nothing.

Sprouting has begun again.
While organizing a cabinet the other day,
I spied these alfalfa seeds and decided to give it a go.
I figured whatever I couldn't eat could go to the chooks.
Turns out, they didn't even try them.

Ah well, more for me!
I love them in salads, on sandwiches or added to cheese and crackers.
So good for you, and you've grown them yourself in just a few days!

Our days will soon be heating up,
but thankfully, some of our garden friends enjoy it.
As for me, I'll do what I can outside,
taking breaks as needed
and keeping the coconut water flowing!

What's your spring/summer garden up to?