Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Sexy Garden and perfect Spring/Early Summer
My garden this year is so sexy that if I was a cute greenie activist chick I would do me. Yes It is that sexy. I have never seen such a perfect garden in my life. Even the weeds I let grow for pest control are in their proper spots for the most part. The only slight drawback to this growing/bee season was the very cool start which has kinda put several of the plants behind on bearing any fruit, namely the cucumbers and tomatoes. Usually we have ripe tomatoes galore by the fourth. Also the melons are lagging behind just like the cucumbers.
I have seen minimal squash bug activity. So far only about half a dozen egg clusters and two pair of mating bugs. Of course it is hard to be sure because the squash and zucchini are so thick that there is no way to actually check all the leaves. I find myself having to do several passes just to keep from missing all the hidden zucchini under those four foot high leaves and stems.
Even the potatoes were a complete success this year. The peppers that were eaten off to nubs by the evil varmint-cong rabbits have started coming back and blooming. Why even the rabbits find my garden so sexy this year they won't even defile it anymore. They hop up to the edge and just look at it in wonder like some kind of religious pilgrimage or something. I think I even saw one of them bring the partially chewed stem of a Dutch Clover plant yesterday and leave it as an offering of some sort.
The only failure were the bush beans as the rain kept me away from them for so long that the bindweed got em.
The corn righted itself back up and then filled in so well that they are almost dealing with any weed growth themselves now by cutting off all the sunlight. The pumpkins grew in so lush that they became their very own bindweed-like attackers and removed the other weeds from their territory as well.
52 wheel barrow loads of heavy sheep manure infested straw/hay from the birthing barn has now completely covered every square inch of exposed dirt and is keeping a tight lock on all the weeds except of course the bindweed, morning glory and crab grass. Those three are manageable without all the other riff raff coming up with them. The morning glory does like to hide under the large sunflowers on the end rows and get a good foot hold before I notice it. It's sneaky that way.
Some of that barn waste had been packed down in layers so thick it will take months to break down enough to allow weeds to pop through. I was laying it down in sheets it was so stiff.
I also changed tactics on the grass clippings. My usual method of letting the clippings dry a day or two before using them as mulch was not working this year. We simply did not have enough time between rains so I got out the grass catcher that I usually try not to use and began putting the hot and wet clipping in the open areas of the garden in a big pile and allowing them to dry that way. Once they dried I then spread them out around the tender plants but left the thick layer in the open area to kill the weeds. I also have been putting piles of hot clipping over any weeds that manage to poke through the barn mulch.
at this point my total every day garden maintenance and weeding now takes only an hour or so and most of that is dealing with hand watering and tying up new tomato growth.
I now have time for more projects!!!!
The one thing I do have to complain about, and you all just knew I would find something, is that there are so many wild flowers blooming that the bees are ignoring my garden. Usually this time of year the bees are hitting my cucumbers, squash and melon blooms hard because there isn't a lot else out there. This year everything is blooming so thick they have higher yields to chase elsewhere. That maybe why those plants are not bearing fruit as they usually do as well.
Speaking of bees. I harvested yet more honey this week and still have another hive to check. Each hive is building up fast and I think we are moving into another session of swarms because I got a call for removal of one this morning. Once I finish mowing tomorrow my next project is constructing another three hive stand out of cinder blocks and 4x6's over at the West apiary. Yep I am now out of hive space and need more!!!!
I actually had to order in more brood chambers and foundation!!!!
Things are literally booming right now.
Oh another thing to complain about. The moles are once again moving into the raised beds. I really do not want to have to dig all those beds up and put chicken wire under them but I fear it maybe necessary.
Mrs. PP's raised bed garden is also the sexiest thing on earth. Her flowers are literally exploding everywhere and her peppers (which never got eaten by rabbits) are the finest specimens I have ever seen grown out here.
The newly planted hay field has come in thick and green and the other hay field needs another cutting. Unbelievable.
Since the fruit trees took a beating from the storms and lost all their fruit they are now putting all their effort into new growth and filling out nicely. I have hopes that next year may see a sizable fruit crop once again.
Now that the garden is tamed it is time to get back to work on the hand pump for the cistern and some new growing areas I have planned.
I also need to start painting the trim on the barn soon. Some projects are not as appealing as others LOL.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!