Carrots!

Posted July 9, 2017 By Ruth

I guess I was wrong, the carrots are happy!

There’s five varieties in that picture, two orange, yellow, white, and purple.

Either that or they’re desperately trying to produce before the weather kills them…..

Cause its awfully early to have tomatoes ripening too……

Garden update

Posted July 6, 2017 By Ruth

We had a few days of nice sunny (hot!) summer before we get buried under more rain.  So some more photos!

First cucumbers of the summer, and one of the cucumber tires.

 

my zucchini plant is not happy, but I got my first one of the season off of it

 

Carrots LOOK really happy, but I’m not convinced that they’re not just reaching for the sun in desperation……

 

Bill Bean Tomatoes.  I’m thinking we have another magnesium deficiency here, all of the tomato tires got treated with epsom salts just in case.

 

Black Plum tomatoes.  I had a couple spare traditional tomato cages, so I plopped them on top of the home made ones for some extra height.  Not sure its going to work long term, but whatever….

 

Black Gypsy tomatoes

 

Green Nutmeg Melon.  This is one of the ones I had to completely restart from seed.  Cross your fingers!

 

Baby Corn

 

Itsy Bitsy baby Habanero peppers

Quick garden photos dump

Posted July 2, 2017 By Ruth

Garden update

Posted July 1, 2017 By Ruth

As of Tuesday evening I’ve been able to get into the garden again!

I spent Wednesday weed whacking most of the weeds down.  My arm didn’t hurt for the weedwhacking, but it sure hurt the next day.  Oh well.  Annoying too, because I totally missed a row….

Planted out the 2nd attempt at most of the melons.

Weeded, and mulched with straw.  Ran out of straw, and keep forgetting to get more.

Haven’t gotten the 2nd layer of tomato cages on, and I’m not sure its worth bothering at this point, I guess I’ll just let them fall all over.

Its basically not stopped raining.  Oh Wednesday was dry enough I could weedwhack, but that was it.  Its been constant rain.  There’s standing water everywhere (hello mosquitos!) and even my raised beds are completely saturated.  Thankfully most of the plants seem to be doing ok despite it.

How much has it been raining?  Well, last week Watertown NY (north of me by a couple hours) got more rain in one day than they normally get for the entire month of June.  And in Utica NY they had this problem today.

Garden pictures hopefully tomorrow.  If the rain will let up enough to let me take them.

MY garden!

Posted June 25, 2017 By Ruth

I have Tree Swallows nesting in the nest box closest to the garden.  I had to move that box a bit further from the garden a few years ago, when the nesting pair got fussy about me being in the garden while there were chicks in the nest, but haven’t had any issues since.  Well, not seriously, they get fussy about me working the row closest to the nest when there are chicks in the nest, but that’s manageable……

Till this year.

As I was planting those pepper plants last week (Wednesday) the Swallows started fussing when I walked the row closest to them.  I figured the babies were hatching, tis the season.

Friday I had a few minutes and headed out to do a little weeding…..and got driven out of my garden by dive bombing Swallows before I’d gotten the furthest row done!

Dammit, its MY garden!  I was here first!

I like Tree Swallows, they eat mosquitos, and deer flies, and the like.  But they don’t get to claim my garden either.  Once this set of babies leaves the nest I’m going to have to move the box again……..

Garden Update

Posted June 21, 2017 By Ruth

Despite Husband’s and my best efforts the weeds are trying to take over the garden.  I shouldn’t be surprised I guess, considering I was trying to do everything with a bad arm (which is mostly back to normal at this point, thankfully).

Remember this baby tomato seedling?

I planted it a month ago today.

Here it is today:

ALready in need of a 2nd cage.  So much for not overwhelming myself with tomatoes this year.

Also, Bill Bean Tomatoes:

and Black Gypsy Tomatoes:

The corn bed, which has turned into potatoes and corn:

a volunteer Melon Pear plant!

There was a BUNCH of them in the two tires that I had the Melon Pears in last year.  I might not have been able to tell the fruit was ripe, but clearly that didn’t matter!

This year’s Melon Pear plants:

Jalapenos:

Black Pearl Peppers:

This year’s incredibly wet spring resulted in over 90% of my sunflower seeds not even sprouting, and more than half of what did sprout just dying.  I’m going to have exactly TWO sunflower plants this year.  Dammit.  I debated just covering the now empty tires with black plastic for the season, but decided this was my chance to try a BUNCH of different hot peppers.  Baby plants arrived today.  Hopefully the season will last long enough to get a decent crop!

I also had to restart a bunch of melon plants, for what is likely the same cause.  Though SOMETHING (insect not mammel) was munching the hell out of them too.  Not happy, though at least there everything is short season enough it should work out.

BTW, I didn’t even get those tomato seeds started till AFTER I broke my arm.  So beginning of April.  And they were still that big when I planted them mid-May.  I started 3 of the Black Plums for a friend and he couldn’t get over how big the seedlings were in comparison to the store bought ones he usually buys.  I have no clue what I do thats so different, but clearly it works……

I also got the deer fly traps setup and out today, a bit later than planned, but hopefully early enough to keep them from being a pain this summer!

Hostas

Posted May 28, 2017 By Ruth

You may remember that last year I planted a bunch of hostas in an odd corner of the yard.  And that the reason for it was that nothing else was thriving there, except for the weeds.

Not only did they come back up this year, they’re almost all quite large and thriving!

Not quite sure whats munching on that one, one other one is being munched on too.

 

Top right corner there is one of the ones that didn’t come up big, but since we had to kill a bull thistle that decided to sprout right next to it last fall I’m just thrilled it came up at all.

 

Is that not the cutest little hosta plant ever?  Its called Blue Mouse Ears and I want about 10 more to scatter around that area.  Unfortunately that was the one expensive pot of the bunch, so I’ll have to settle for 2 or 3 most likely, assuming I can find them local again.

Birds

Posted May 25, 2017 By Ruth

There were no babies from the pink Bluebird eggs.  The House Sparrow struck barely a day before they’d hatch.  There is another male Bluebird (not the same one I think) scouting the nest box yesterday, so maybe we’ll still get lucky this year.  I’m not holding my breath though.  My local House Sparrows aren’t deterred by the normal methods used to keep them away from the Bluebirds.

I’ve decided its time to do some religious trapping of the sparrows.  Before someone freaks out, House Sparrows aren’t a native USA bird, they are infact an English native (and if it was legal I’d happily box them all up and ship them back), and they’re highly destructive to natives, as I’ve had to learn the hard way.  Trapping and killing (or even shooting and killing) is legal as long as local laws on the subject are followed and the killing is done in a humane fashion.  I’ve done casual trapping before, as well as had some luck with the pellet gun, but they were one bird at a time methods.  This time I’ve ordered a repeating sparrow trap, which is capable of holding a large number of birds.  We didn’t need to spend the money, the trap isn’t cheap, but my husband isn’t arguing with me, he’s as frustrated with the House Sparrows as I am.  I’d happily leave them alone if they’d leave my local natives alone, but they aren’t.

In more amusing news, this is the location of one local Robins nest this year:

That is the top of our solar panel meter and shut off.  In an emergency that nest will likely be destroyed as the firemen shut down our solar panels.  In addition the nest is between our garage door and the front house door.  And my dogs are absolutely willing to munch on baby bird if given a chance.  As a result we’ve tried hard to keep the Robins from nesting there.  The first summer I hung shiny spinny ribbons above it (you can see the remains in the picture).  The 2nd summer the Robins wove the ribbons into their nest (I didn’t get a picture, I should have).  The 3rd summer we stacked odd shaped irregular items on top of it.  They nested on top of the irregular shapes.  Then I hit on the bird spikes, you can get a 10ft pack from Amazon for not to much.  They worked for two years, it was awesome.  Then, in the mess that has been this spring, I left for work one morning and spotted the above image, and of course had to snap a picture.  The nest is built up enough none of the spikes poke through.  It was probably there for a day or two at least before I spotted it, it generally takes them a day or two to build it.  I feel like it needs one of those motivational captions about overcoming your environment.  I guess I need to come up with a new solution for next year……

Garden

Posted May 23, 2017 By Ruth

Everything’s planted, caged, got its water hose set, and mulched with straw!

Volunteer rattail radishes.  I knew I didn’t get them all picked last year, I didn’t realize how many I didn’t get picked.  Nice to know they’ll reseed in my climate though.

Volunteer potatoes.  I guess there were more surviving potatoes than I realized!

Black Pearl peppers, seeds given to me by a friend of mine.

Black Plum tomato.  Still my favorite tomato.  Mostly because of the flavor, but also for the reason shown in the picture above.  Thats a two-foot tall seedling, standing happily on its own.  They barely need caging till they’re closer to 4ft tall.

Read the damn manual

Posted May 16, 2017 By Ruth

When you buy a new piece of equipment, read the damn manual.  I don’t care if you’ve run virtually identical pieces of equipment for your entire life.  Read the damn manual.

And if you DON’T read the manual, and the piece of equipment won’t work, read the damn manual THEN.

And if you STILL haven’t read the damn manual, don’t call the store screaming about how we sold you defective merchandise, because I WILL wait you out and then walk you through the steps to start your new lawnmower properly and be delighted when you clearly feel stupid.

The fact that I sound about 14 over the phone helps with this, but still, you could avoid the whole thing by just reading your damn manual.