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!!!!


  1. P.P. Enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labor. Enjoy today but most of all stay safe.

    1. Rob - You too sir. And all of yours!!

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  3. North Carolina, and I presume much of the East Coast, has been getting lots and lots of rain. We are way up for the year.

    It has been hard to find good times to even mow.

    The downside of using surface water as your primary source though is that once the reservoir fills, you don't get to save any more. And with earth dams holding back the water, you need to be careful with how much you hold back, or the people downstream are going to get a nasty surprise.

    1. Russ - Yes that is an issue. Eventually I want to drop a new well as the one we had ran dry. We actually have a hand dug well that has water in it but I have it securely capped and haven't opened it in a few years but it's there if I ever needed it.

      The rain barrels are almost empty once again but the cistern is full. I estimate it would last us in a pinch. Once it dried out enough I plan on repairing the old stock pond but it still has some standing water in it.

      Around here though and with my small acreage I couldn't retain enough water for anyone down the run off field to ever notice. Especially during years like this.

  4. PP - your garden sounds fantastic and i would do it - bahahahah! maybe have your garden and the Mrs.' garden get together!!! our garden is doing pretty good so far, the tomatoes are flowering. all the peppers are flowering and i even got 2 baby green peppers already growing. what sucked this year was ALLLL of my cucumber transplants got nipped off at the stalk by slugs! same for most of the zucchini! so i had to restart those - i might have cucumbers and zucchini by october - arghghggh!

    but i am glad that your garden is doing really well. and glad that the bees are doing well.

    your friend,

  5. duh! forgot to wish you and yours a Happy Independence Day!

    1. You guys too kymber my dear. This has been such a lovely year climate-wise anyway. Hard to believe all the bad stuff going on int he rest of the world.

  6. I read something about something orange scented, like orange oil, or something that can be put down the mole holes to encourage them to find a new home. You only treat part of the holes at once. I had moles once but no garden. I think the feral cats took care of them.

    1. Linda - Ya know I can never find the actual mole tunnels. All I ever see is raised hills and when I dig into them I never find a tunnel. It's like when they do the damage they go back somewhere and abandon the feeding mounds or something.

      The dogs occasionally try and get the moles but they end up doing more damage than the moles do.


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