Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Garden Journal #8

The Beans look amazing! I've even seen flowers, on the ground. The 5 or so plants that make up this tower of greenery might start to fruit but then drop. A condition known as blossom drop. Usually a sign of poor soil quality. So I added the usual coffee and egg shell grounds, a nice dose of dry grass trimming and leaves, and waited. Besides a sudden surge in growth, no change in the edible department. Time for research. I lurked around the Farmer's Alamanac forums and found that marigolds release an antibiotic into the soil. Pretty cool! The antibiotic is said to help keep tomato worms and other pepper, squash and onion pests away and aid soil quallity. However, it interfers with the fruiting of legumes. That finding led to my immediate transplanting of the 3 foot Aztec Marigold planted 2 feet away from the bean vine! (Well, i had to wait a week because I went camping, cleaned up from camping, sprayed the house for fleas, and spent yesterday running between playdates and library-led freeplay science explorer hour - if you live in Denton, check out that last one. It's so cool!) 

Anyway - this morning, I did some weeding, moved the giant flowering bush to where my lovely chicken left an acorn squash plant out to dry and hope this helps solve the issue. Next issue, I don't think my pole teepee is gonna be tall enough...

 I am waiting with baited breath for these big guys to turn red! Pictured are the most tomatoes I have had grow since leaving Oregon. that's right: 3 in the last 5 years. The only thing I did different this year, was not buy a plant from anyone. I grew all 9+ of my plants from seed and they all are fruiting. This year, we will have tomatoes! In fact, this year, we have already enjoyed more fruit from our garden than all the years since leaving Oregon combined,
Sneaking little bites of kale when no one is looking. Little Scamps!
 as long as these guys stay on the appropriate side of the fence.

This year has been extra wet and stormy. Yesterday we had another howler blow through with the chance of hail. The Crape Myrtle in the front yard looks like someone tried to drive a truck through the middle of the foliage 8 feet in thge air. I am hoping the dry weather today helps the plant put things back where they belong, but I digress. Last night as the wind was ripping through, I did the usual walkabout to make sure all the important stuff was tied down (like climbing on the pergola and securing the tarp. That was new for me.). I noticed one of my climbing trellises in the garden was swaying rather dangerously. Last thing I want is for my pie pumpkin to die because the trellises ripped it out of the ground. As I was securing it with tent spikes for the time being, I noticed the hidden cucumber vine that encircles the pumpkins finally had an actual cucumber on it! It was half buried in mulch and I assume the horrid squash beetles pollinated it. But I am so happy to have one that i didn't squish any beetles today. I did scrap some eggs off the leaves though.

 The mornings are the best time to see all the insects hard at work. I saw so many bees I was actually giddy. I am grateful for their hard work and I hope the bowl of nectar I put out in the fall and the constant stream of flowers we have in the garden helps them survive this coming winter!
Have you ever seen corn with this much hair?
 The radishes are still flowering, so I've left them for the bees. Occasionally I'll find a pod hanging off the plant and I'll pick that. These are the radish seeds for next year. I did some Googling and some book researching and couldn't find a thing on how to seed a radish. So naturally, I experimented. I just let the bulbs flower and watched to see what would happen. Pods formed where some flowers had been and as the pods dried on the vine, I picked one and opened it. Inside was a tiny round orb I can only assume was a seed. I haven't gather as many pods as I should have so I bet the radish has reseeded itself and I may have a voluntary crop come Autumn. I do hope anyway. In the meantime, the gnarly twisted plant is keeping the ground shaded and suffocating weeds.

 Happy gardening!

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