2019 Garden Archive

Frost and things

Posted October 14, 2019 By Ruth

So, the saturday after I posted my last post we got a frost, and not a mild one either.  It hung around till well past 8am in any area not immediately hit by the sun.  Finished off the melons, and most of the tomatoes (a couple plants in the middle of the garden are still alive, but that’s it).  However most of the peppers held up just fine.  We’ve had a couple lighter frosts since, but again, most of the peppers are still holding on.  So with Husband’s help I rearranged my shade canopy (over some of the peppers) to a frost protection lean-to.  Here’s hoping it’ll hold things long enough actually get those peppers to ripen.

Meanwhile Apollo is delighted by the colder temps, and peeved at us for lighting up the wood burning stove to counter the chill.

Yesterday, while bringing in Arty from the fenced run, I managed to get stung by a yellow jacket.  No clue where the damn thing came from, I didn’t brush against any weeds or flowers or the like, but when I bent my arm to grab his leash it got pinched in the inside of the elbow and stung me.  Spent the rest of the day yesterday taking a max dose of benadryl, and getting stabbing pains from shoulder to knuckles every time the benadryl started to wear off.  Today it hurts less, but itches more.  Yay.

My neighbor on my north side has her property up for sale.  She’s in her upper 80’s, and her husband died a couple years ago.  The “kids” (who’re pushing retirement age themselves) have been helping care for things, but she’s decided she’s done.  She’s moved into an apartment in town and put things up for sale.  Crossing my fingers for a neighbor I can tolerate.

The co-worker who’s been out on medical leave is HOPEFULLY coming back at the end of Oct.  Crossing fingers.  The last time I saw him, over a month ago, he looked pretty damn frail, and was clearly not healing very well.  But the folks who’ve seen him more recently all agree that he’s doing MUCH better.

One of the libraries in the next county over has a Maker Lab, including 3d printers.  I’ve been going over periodically to play a bit and print things.  They put one of their older printers up for sale, it runs fine, but apparently the touch screen control pad is failing.  Normally a $2000+ machine, they’re selling it for $200.  I did a bit of checking, the manufacturer sells a replacement control panel for $80, and it appears to be a pretty straight forward swap.  So we’re buying it.

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Life in general

Posted September 29, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is mostly done, with a few exceptions.  I’ve got two baby watermelons still holding on and getting bigger, and the new pepper varieties have finally put out baby peppers, since they’re a colder hardy variety I might see if I can get away with tenting them and see if they’ll produce.

The pool walls are completely down.  Now if it would stop raining long enough for everything to dry out so we can  have a big ass gravel truck drive across the yard to delivery the gravel.

Work is still a bit crazy, I’m still covering for a co-worker with health problems, and now my “home” department is short a full time associate too.  Again.  *sigh*

I’ve been having a great deal of fun playing with my new spinning wheel.  And having to resist buying ALL THE FIBERS!!! to play with.

We found a baby Cedar Waxwing under one of our maple trees.

I couldn’t find the nest to put him back up unfortunately, and it was gone the next day.

Our fridge died, and we had to buy a new one in a hurry.

Note to self, cleaning the dog fur out the compressor intakes on a regular basis is probably a good idea.

For the first year, since we bought this house, I successfully grew Snapdragon flowers.

Aren’t they pretty?  Now to hope they’ll come back again next year…..

 

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Garden, melons, etc, update

Posted August 30, 2019 By Ruth

I have finally picked enough tomatoes to fill a gallon ziplock bag.  Normally by this time I’ve got several bags full.

Those giant cucumbers are very very good when picked young.

An interesting note: the plants sharing a tire with a sunflower are less happy than the rest of the garden.  There are other plants in the garden equally unhappy, but everything sharing a tire with a sunflower is very unhappy.  Including the one tire of jalapenos, even though the rest of the jalapenos are fine.  I guess that my idea to spread the sunflowers around the garden instead of dedicating a tire or two was a bad one.

Something, I suspect a bunny, keeps trying to chew on plants, and then deciding they taste bad and leaving the cut off stalks to lay there.  Its very annoying.

Melon run down:

Boule d’Or: plant is pretty happy, but I  haven’t seen any actual melons form

Petit Gris: baby melons

Rich Sweetness: trying hard to hold on, at least one baby melon

Bateekh Samara: dead and no melons

Royal Gold Watermelon: plant isn’t happy, but its in a tire with a sunflower, its trying hard though

Golden Jenny: dead, bunny repellent failure (or maybe I forgot to treat it)

Noir d’Comes: had two melons!  Something ate them.  Plant very happy

Green Nutmeg: has a baby melon, plant reasonably happy

Kaho Watermelon:  Cross your fingers!

 

I have to add, many many houses where I normally see noticable gardens didn’t bother this year, or gave up early.  Its been a bad year for gardening.

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Garden and general update

Posted August 5, 2019 By Ruth

Cross your fingers, but the Noir d’Comes melon has two baby melons on it, and at least two of the other melons have what appears to be fertilized female flowers…..now if only fall will hold off long enough I might get melons after all!

The biggest of the sunflowers is blooming.

Not as giant as hoped, but I’ll take what I can get.

The pool has gone from this:

to this:

Once the whole thing is gone we’ll fill the remaining hole with gravel, and put my to-be-greenhouse on it.

In completely unrelated news my new spinning wheel has arrived!

And I’m having to remind myself to finish chores before sitting down to play!

Garden update

Posted July 28, 2019 By Ruth

The garden in general is not going to produce much this year.  That cold wet spring/early summer just completely shot it.  Everything’s alive, well, except for the Golden Jenny melon, which apparently I missed getting rabbit repellent on, but only about half the peppers have peppers growing on them, and I’ve not seen a single melon yet.  Tomatoes are producing, but aren’t nearly as big as usual.

Its not just the garden either.  Usually by this time the hibiscus are getting ready to bloom.  But not this year.

They’re not unhappy, as you can see, but they’ve got only the tiniest of buds on them.

The sunflowers are getting bigger.

The biggest is now at least a couple feet taller than Husband, who’s 6’2″.

The tadpoles in the rain barrels have started turning into frogs.

 

 

Garden Update

Posted July 13, 2019 By Ruth

The weather has settled out some.  Several days of hot and dry and then some rain.  That I can live with.

On an amusing  note, apparently I didn’t need to worry about mosquito larva in my rain barrels this year:

There’s upwards of a couple hundred tadpoles in each barrel!

Went out to the garden today to do some weeding and thinning.  Came in with a handful of “baby” carrots, 5 or 6 early tomatoes, and then had to go back out for a handful of Miniature White Cucumbers.

The Hollyhock is blooming.

The Noir d’Comes Melon is taking off.

 

But most of them melons look more like this one (Kaho Watermelon).

 

Most of the giant Sunflowers are looking good, this is the biggest of the bunch so far, and its just a bit taller than I am.

The garden appears to be home to a bunch of Garter snakes this year.  I always see a few, but this year every time I turn around I see another, and they’re all different sizes too, so it’s definitely different snakes.  Everything from a little tiny fellow who was MAYBE 6″ long, all the way up to this one, who was bigger around than the garden hoses and had a head the width of a quarter!

I actually had to water the garden!

Posted June 30, 2019 By Ruth

Its been over a week  now since we last got rain here.  Which is kinda amazing.  There’s been rain in the area, but none of it fell on us!  So we managed to get the rest of the yard mowed, and I even had to water the garden!

The cucumbers at least are  happy:

 

And I finally got up a shade structure for the peppers that need shade:

Now to see if it’ll hold up to wind.

I put together this fountain/bird bath a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to post about it.  Its got a small fountain pump in the bucket, that pumps the water up, which over runs over the side and dribbles back into the bucket.

 

One of the random seeds that caught my eye when I was buying seeds was some dwarf pomegranate seeds, so of course I bought some:

 

 

Garden update

Posted June 25, 2019 By Ruth

The garden is not, in general, happy this year.  To much rain, not enough sun and warm.  In addition something has attacked a BUNCH of the melons.  It almost looks like borer damage, except that it happened WAY too early to be borers.  The good news is that most of the vines appear to have survived, the next question is if they can recover well enough to produce.

The last couple years the germination rates on my carrot seeds has been lacking.  I put it down to old seeds, most of my carrot seed packets are old due to the fact that I don’t grow that many of any one variety in a year.  So this year I decided to just do a quick broadcast spread of whatever was left of the oldest seed packets and then next year I’ll buy fresh seeds.

So of course every single freaking seed germinated *rolls eyes*

Here’s a picture of the carrot container AFTER I did some thinning:

More thinning will  be required, but at least this way they have a bit of room.

Here’s the celery tire:

And one of the giant sunflower plants (in a jalapeno tire)

Both the Hollyhock and the Foxgloves I planted last year have come back up, and the Foxglove have been blooming:

 

Here’s my updated garden plan for this year:

Garden update

Posted June 1, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is officially all planted.  It was 90% planted last week, but I ended up ordering some extra jalapeno plants, and those didn’t arrive till this week.  I swear I started plenty, but somehow when it came time to plant I only had half of what I thought I had.  Oh well.

 

The rest of the yard is a mess.  Its been so rainy that we’ve not been able to mow most of the property.

Its hard to get perspective in this, but most of that grass is taller than my knees.  And the ground under it still squishes when walked on.  Its going to be “interesting” to mow it all  once we can finally get the mower back there.

Life

Posted May 21, 2019 By Ruth

Turned out that a fair bit of my lingering symptoms were dehydration.  I do not understand why I’m suddenly having such big issues with dehydration.  I swear I’m drinking alot of water!  So, I bought a bunch of Snapple and Arizona Iced Teas (all non-caffeinated stuff), all of which I normally avoid, because sugary drinks, and keep forcing myself to drink and drink and drink.  And presto, I feel better!  Ugh.  Appointment with the gastro specialist is Thursday and I intend to ask if dehydration is a normal symptom or if there’s something else going on here.  Seriously, I never stopped peeing at a normal rate, and it was normal colored too.  So why was I dehydrated?!

Garden is about half planted, now if Mother Nature would stop trying to drown us…..

As of last Friday there were 4 Bluebird eggs in the nesting box, cross your fingers!

We’ve had a bunch of Baltimore Orioles this year, they’re going through orange halves at an insane rate.  I need to remember to take more pictures, I keep forgetting, on the other hand I’m enjoying watching them.  The hummingbirds are out in force again this year too, such little birds, so big egos!